Track: Thriving and Vibrant Nonprofit Sector
Commitment: Innovating with Enterprise; Investing in Capacity
North Star: Capacity for Innovation

Format: Project-Based
Level of Learning: Doer

Reports indicate that roughly 50 percent of nonprofit organizations are set to fail due to an inability to sustain business models. Many nonprofits have been forced to renew and shift strategic plans to keep up with the ever changing environments in our nation. The methods used to deliver social services in the past are no longer effective in today’s world for a variety of reasons. Now more than ever, nonprofit organizations must be innovative and creative to achieve their mission and survive. Organizations with a new business development and social enterprise focus have proven the ability for the nonprofit sector to sustain and thrive.

Participants will be pushed to begin leveraging innovative thinking to lead their organization into the future. Case studies will be shared to demonstrate successes and failures in business development (failures in this work equal learning, not devastation). Examples will include ideas around bringing executives and the board of directors along for the exciting journey.

Interactive and experiential learning will be incorporated as implementable innovation tools and methods are shared. Small tests of change will be encouraged as a tangible next step. Participants will be coached and equipped to take the first steps in implementing new business development and social enterprise planning at their organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the benefits of innovative business development practices
  • Discover ways to introduce innovation and business development to your organization
  • Practice using two innovation tools that promote business development


  • Jill Huynh, vice president of new business development, Beech Acres Parenting Center
  • Gwen Koenig, executive director of business development, Specialized Alternative for Families and Youth

Jill Huynh
Vice President of New Business Development
Beech Acres Parenting Center

Jill Huynh is the vice president for new business development at Beech Acres Parenting Center, a parent-focused, family-centered organization with the mission of inspiring and equipping today’s parents, families, and communities to raise capable, caring, contributing children. Huynh oversees transformative and innovative projects that will guide Beech Acres into the future by responding to the needs of today’s parents in creative and innovative ways.

Prior to joining the Beech Acres team, Huynh was the intake coordinator for Psych Systems of Cincinnati. She was also employed at St. Joseph’s Orphanage as a child mental health clinician for four years in Hamilton County communities.

Huynh has been a licensed social worker in the State of Ohio since 1994. She graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with degrees in psychology and sociology. Huynh has participated in numerous speaking engagements, trainings, and parenting workshops throughout the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area addressing parenting, social service systems integration, and mental health issues. She is a current member of the APEX Health and Human Services Intersection CORE team for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

Gwen Koenig
Executive Director of Business Development
Specialized Alternative for Families and Youth

Gwen Koenig has over 25 years of clinical and administrative social work experience in Ohio and Colorado. Her most recent position involves new business development in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina, Nevada, Colorado, and Alabama for Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY). Koenig works collaboratively with state and executive leadership to leverage existing resources and identify new opportunities to further the agency’s mission of preserving families and securing futures. She previously helped start family preservation by creating SAFY of Colorado and is proud to have paved the way for SAFY to be the largest treatment foster care provider in the State of Colorado. Prior to working at SAFY, Gwen held executive director and state director positions for nonprofit organizations in Southwest Ohio and Northern Colorado.

Koenig possesses a master’s in social work from the University of Cincinnati and is an adjunct instructor with Colorado State University, where she teaches the master’s-level social work administration course. She is passionate about furthering the management skills of social workers to be future leaders of human services organizations.