My Metromode story about new nonprofit leaders facing the COVID pandemic

There’s almost always a sharp learning curve when you assume the top leadership role at a nonprofit organization.

But when you happen to take the reins shortly before a pandemic stops the world, you inevitably face a kind of double transition into entirely new worlds.

We spoke with two local nonprofit leaders who took the reins just as the pandemic hit. Here are their stories.


Christian Greer left St. Louis to become President and CEO of the Michigan Science Center in July 2019, intrigued by both the innovation happening in Detroit and MSC’s unique facility.

“It had everything I would have wanted – an IMAX theater, great science exhibits, hands-on programs, and it was right next to other museums, right in the heart of the city,” said Greer, who noted that MSC had been without a CEO for a year when he arrived. “The challenge was the organization was in a little bit of chaos, understaffed and underfunded, so there wasn’t a lot to work with. But that can be both attractive and scary – attractive because you know you could go to a place and make a difference. … And if you’re a mission-driven person, that’s how you know you’re exactly where you should be.” READ THE REST HERE


My Michigan Alumnus profile of The Broadway Collective founder Robert Hartwell

While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most actors into a hiatus, 10-year Broadway veteran Robert Hartwell, ’09, has never been busier. Four years ago, Hartwell — who has appeared in five Broadway shows, including “Hello, Dolly!” and “Motown the Musical” — launched The Broadway Collective. The musical theater, youth education program boasts a 97% success rate for getting students into top musical theater college programs. Although he already offered some online instruction, he shifted all his in-person classes to Zoom and a private Facebook group in March. Since then, the number of students taking part in his program has nearly tripled.

Recently, Hartwell shared with Michigan Alumnus the lessons he learned from his childhood and time at U-M that have helped him on stage and off. READ THE REST HERE