Our Impact

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Impact is an essential component of the LEAP Program. The women selected to participate in the program gain tools, confidence, and skills they need to be get to the next step in their career, and make valuable connections along the way. The LEAP Program is unique in the way that it also tremendously impacts the local Irish-American community. Through LEAP in the Community, two nonprofit organizations are selected to benefit from LEAP expertise through a number of different projects.

There is no cost for nonprofit partners to participate in LEAP, nor is there a cost for LEAP Participants. The LEAP Program is funded entirely through sponsorships and donations who see the value and impact in the program.

We are proud to have directly helped 28 number of women excel in their careers to date, and indirectly helped 100’s more when the women shared the materials and experiences with colleagues and friends. Now with LEAP digital, we have the opportunity to share the rich learning modules with a larger global audience online.

As reported by LEAP Participants, 100% will utilize the tools and advice learned from LEAP to advance their careers, while 71% will use it for workplace dynamics and growing visibility. Through LEAP in the Community, our partners have rated their satisfaction with the LEAP Program as a 10/10. LEAP tracked improvements in leadership skills through a series of pre- and post-surveys which were conducted by an external evaluator. Results include confidence gains in business knowledge as well as interpersonal skill development that can be applied in the workplace.

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Read more about our LEap program below

Ambassador Geraldine Byrne-Nason at the  2019 Program Launch  on February 7th.

Ambassador Geraldine Byrne-Nason at the 2019 Program Launch on February 7th.

“LEAP is a fantastic initiative and I am delighted that the (Irish) Government is supporting it. Certainly you will not just be accelerated in your career development, but you will get to where you out to be, which is at the helm. I know that sense of leadership participation and ownership is at the heart of everything being done at LEAP.” Ambassador Geraldine Byrne-Nason, Ireland’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations


“The hugely important thing about having women in leadership roles in business is that it creates a different type of decision making and a different environment inside the workplace. LEAP creates role models and it improves the quality of thinking in leadership. The more diverse a board or a leadership group can be, the better the outcomes for the business, and of this I’m absolutely certain,” said Ronan Dunne, EVP and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, at the 2019 LEAP Program launch.

Ronan Dunne, EVP and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group  with Co-Directors of LEAP Courtney Sunna (left) andMaura Kelly (right)  at the  2019 Program Launch

Ronan Dunne, EVP and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group with Co-Directors of LEAP Courtney Sunna (left) andMaura Kelly (right) at the 2019 Program Launch


Testimonials from the 2019 LEAP Participants

While in LEAP, I applied for an internal promotion and believe my participation and the skills I learned and developed through LEAP set me apart from the other candidates. I am happy to say I was successful in my application and am currently transitioning into my new role!  

Ashling Scanlon

LEAP changed my life in so many ways. My boss and colleagues noticed that I was more confident after only 6 weeks in the program. I gained so much from all of the talks and found the speed mentoring event invaluable. I have sought a career mentor for some time and am fortunate enough to have found several thanks to LEAP. The ladies I worked closely with on the LEAP in the community project have become lifelong friends. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work and connect with so many talented peers and mentors I look up to. My career trajectory has changed for the better thanks to LEAP.

Caoimhe Forde

During the LEAP program, I was offered a new career opportunity which would be based in Dublin. Having lived in New York for 5+ years this presented itself as an exciting but difficult decision. During the Speed Mentoring event I availed of the opportunity to speak to the highly-accomplished female Mentors about the opportunity presented to me. The Mentors spoke very candidly and provided really helpful and honest perspectives, insights and advice which ultimately helped me make the decision to accept the role. I believe this is an example of LEAP's objective of women-helping-women and being a development program that empowers female leadership.

Patrice Shivers

As a young professional having recently relocated to New York, participating on the IIBN LEAP Program was a fantastic way for me to expand my professional network, further my professional skills and avail of valuable mentoring from members of the IIBN board. 

Participating in the LEAP Community Project with Solace House allowed me to gain an insight into the not-for-profit sector in New York, to give back to the Irish American Community by applying my professional skills to a cause, and to develop my project skills by coming together with seven other professional woman from varying backgrounds to positively impact Solace House objectives.

Alison Murphy

LEAP is about empowering women and helping broaden horizons. Through the LEAP Program, and the collaboration with the other women in my group I have expanded my corporate vocabulary and learnt how to network with other professional women more effectively.

Christine McKenna – Tirella


Impact of LEAP in the Community

Overview of the 2019 Project with Aisling Irish Community Center (AICC)

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The AICC is a pillar in the Yonkers area and provides much-needed support to Irish immigrants, Irish-Americans, and the larger NY community. The overarching goal was to provide the AICC with the tools needed to expand and develop strategically, allowing the center to continue to positively impact the community. LEAP worked with the Aisling Irish Community Center (AICC) to build an enhanced brand and fundraising strategy. With this goal in mind, LEAP sought to provide them with a new, fresh logo, a pitch deck for potential fundraisers, a marketing video, and some ideas around potential donors within the local market.


Feedback from AICC:

“Working with LEAP was of great benefit to us in a number of ways” said Catherine Flood, Executive Director of the AICC

It helped us

  • Focus on our strategic plan and identify the areas in which we most needed assistance.

  • Set short-term measurable goals – what we wanted to achieve within 6 months.

  • Evaluate our range of programs and services and prioritize according to community need.

  • Communicate these priorities to our LEAP group in a coherent manner in order to for them to prepare a professional pitch-deck presentation to use when approaching corporate donors for funding.

After 6 months of hard work, the LEAP team delivered a professional pitch-deck presentation and narrative for the Aisling Irish Center, complete with new logo, so we can confidently approach potential corporate donors with a compelling story. Materials are fresh and modern, and have been prepared in such a way that they can be adapted to our future needs, depending on the context. Working with LEAP has benefited us enormously- it helped us focus on prioritizing our most essential services for approaching donors and given us a professional platform which we will use to great effect for future funding.”


Overview of the 2019 LEAP Project with Solace House:

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Solace House provides confidential, therapeutic support for those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, bereavement by suicide and also for those who engage in self-harming behaviors. They deliver these services from two New York locations, Long Island City and Yonkers.

The LEAP Project Team developed a comprehensive strategic plan for Solace House that includes best practice recommendations on their website, social media, communications, fundraising and outreach, corporate sponsorship, board materials and how to develop a volunteer program.

The final project deliverables for Solace House included:

  • Best Practice Recommendations & Strategic Plan

  • Strategic Planner highlighting key dates for Solace House in terms of current and future planning and opportunities

  • Board Meeting Materials – Best Practices Presentation; Agenda; Minutes; Participant List

  • Social Media Materials – Social Media Plan; Social Media Quotes; International /National Day Planner

  • Volunteer Program Guidelines

  • Fundraising Documents – Fundraising Ideas; Yearly Fundraising Planner

  • CEO Bio

  • Press Release Feedback for the Solace House Sunrise Walk

  • Media Contacts List


In addition to the above, the LEAP Project Team organized for the Solace House CEO to promote the activities of Solace House and the upcoming Sunrise Walk at an event at the Irish Consulate, New York.

The LEAP Project Team also arranged for the Solace House CEO and Director of Operations to undertake two pro bono trainings:

  • Media training with Thomas Rozycki, Managing Director at PR firm Prosek Partners. This training focused on presenting, brand representation and utilizing media opportunities in a productive way.

  • Training with Laurie Meadoff, visionary and founder of CityKids Foundation. This training focused on networking, brand building and fundraising within the non-profit sector, which resulted in $90,000 in additional revenue.

“The Solace House staff greatly enjoyed getting know the individuals of the LEAP team and valued each person’s unique perspective and expertise. We’re confident that the deliverables we received will help our staff effectively strategize throughout the year, and hope that the connections we acquired through this program will strengthen Solace House as an organization and in our relationship with the Irish community. Implementation of the information provided by LEAP will strengthen Solace House on multiple levels and keep the organization on track throughout the years to come.said Danielle Gallagher, Director of Operations at Solace House.