ABOUT DR. M. LOUISE WALTERS
PhD, MSM, BS, IOM
Dr. M. Louise Walters holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Services - Organization Management and Leadership which complements her 30 year career as a practicing nonprofit organization CEO and business owner.
She belongs to a small group of leaders who have been CEOs of organizations in both the for-profit and the nonprofit sectors.
Dr. Walters is a career organization executive specializing in government agencies, trade associations, professional societies, economic development groups and chambers of commerce.
She is a change agent and a builder, a trainer, a coach and mentor of community leaders, organization executives and staffs of corporate, non-profit, governmental and educational organizations.
Of particular importance is her experience as a 'turnaround agent' who steps in and guides troubled organizations until they get back on a solid financial and governance footing. That's how her career began: at age 23, Dr. Walters became the youngest CEO (male or female) to lead a state capitol city chamber of commerce.
The 'turnaround agent' aspect of her career started on her first day when she discovered the organization was not just broke, it was broken. The chamber thought it was in good financial shape. It wasn't. It owed creditors almost $20,000 (including $10,000 to a local bank that loaned the chamber money to meet payroll and rent expenses). The expedient move would have been to file for bankruptcy. But with business people and community leaders serving on the chamber's board of directors, declaring bankruptcy would've had serious consequences for the board members. A lack of confidence in the chamber was bad enough. However, gossip about the perception of the board members' inability to manage finances could reflect poorly on their ability to manage their own businesses. So, failure wasn't an option.
At the next board meeting, Dr. Walters presented a package of fundraising ideas and other debt reduction actions that would put the chamber back on track. With her guidance, three years later all bills (including the $10,000 bank note) were paid, a reserve fund was established, tired programs were retired and new energy and synergy were created.
A similar situation occurred with another Chamber of Commerce. It was in even worse shape and also didn't know it until a file folder packed with overdue bills was discovered stuffed in the former CEO's bottom desk drawer. The amount of debt totaled over $30,000.
Immediately Louise met with the chamber's treasurer. Then together they met with the chamber president. The three leaders then met with the chamber's executive committee and hammered out a debt retirement plan and presented it at a special board of directors meeting.
Over time, Dr. Walters developed specialized subject matter expertise in nonprofit organization management. She parlayed that knowledge in to the creation and growth of her organization management firm, The Leadership Center. Her portfolio includes:
-- Interim CEO management.
-- Nonprofit and business consulting.
-- Executive searches.
-- Organization reviews / troubleshooting.
-- Strategic planning / visioning facilitations.
-- Full-service organization management.
Clients have included realtor, allied health, insurance, utility, medical, chambers of commerce and business organizations as well as charitable foundations.
To a large extent, Louise built a successful career based on a high school education. Then, a few years ago, she decided to build formal educational credentials to enhance her qualifications as an organization executive. She ramped down her firm to a part time status, and began attending college full time.
Louise earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Legal Studies in 2008 followed by her 2010 Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies, both from National American University. In the top five percent of her class, she received the University's prestigious Tschetter Award presented annually to the graduating senior who has made the most significant contributions to the Legal Studies department. In 2012, in the top one percent of her class, she received her Master’s degree in Management from National American University.
In June 2021, Dr. Walters was awarded her PhD in Organization & Public Service Leadership with an emphasis in nonprofit leadership & management. Dr. Walters' Doctoral dissertation addresses how relationships between the Board Chairman/ Chairwoman and the CEO impact the nonprofit organization.
Her passions are leadership, visioning, and the future.