Welcome from Zena & Warren

NFP Workshop FoundersWe are proud to welcome all of you to the largest NFP Educational Event in the state this year, our 4TH Annual All Day NFP Workshop! But before we go any farther, we want to pause for a minute, and reflect on what’s been accomplished so far with the NFP Workshop concept! When we had a vision more than 4 years ago, of getting the NFP community together to share best practices and open new doors through networking, we knew from the beginning that the Workshop concept was the best vehicle to accomplish this!

When more than 4 times the number of NFP organizations we expected, attended the first Workshop in 2011, we knew we were on the right track! What we didn’t know was exactly how to structure the Agenda so that the NFP attendees would get the maximum value from the Annual Event!

Through a series of trial & error, and by analyzing the feedback from the post Workshop surveys, over the last 4 years we have been fine tuning the format and now believe we’ve finally got it right! The 4TH Annual NFP Workshop you are attending is the best one we’ve presented to date! The mixture of the 13 relevant topics presented by 30 top NFP experts ( 13 of whom have previous Workshop presentation experience ), backed by 27 volunteers, and the entire Straz Center Team, will absolutely maximize the value of the time you spend here today!

It is our hope that the best practices you learn today from your peers, will help you raise the level of service your NFP Organization provides to our Community! Finally, we would like to THANK all of you here for believing in our Workshop dream and for joining us and your peers in making it happen!

Zena & Warren

Welcome from Judith Lisi

Judith LisiDear Not for Profit Guest,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2014 Not For Profit Workshop, founded and sponsored by Dr. Zena Lansky and Warren Rodgers. Philanthropists and lovers of their community.  Dr. Lansky and Mr. Rodgers recognized the need for our communities not for profit organizations to meet and to learn best practices from each other.  Now in its fourth year, the Workshop has become not only an annual gathering place of our organizations, but a point of pride to see all the great work that is being done by incredibly talented, professional, and enthusiastic people who live their mission and inspire other to do so.

The Straz Center is proud to once again serve as hosts of this important event. Our Straz team works in tandem with the indomitable, tireless, and creative Warren Rodgers in planning this day. There is attention to every detail and it is a year-long process, but the results are worth every bit of effort.  The hope is that we go back to our organizations refreshed, renewed and re-energized to do our very best for the important work we are privileged to do.

We have so many people to thank, of course, Dr. Lansky and Mr. Rodgers, Sharron Robbins, our Straz Team: Jeanne Piazza. Lorrin Shepard, Georgiana Young, Julie Britton, Javier Rasmussen, Michael Chamoun and their departments and all of our guest speakers and panelists.

And so we wish you a great day of meeting new friends, learning new things, and enjoying great camaraderie!


In 2005, Dr. Zena Lansky and her husband Warren Rodgers both retired to pursue their Philanthropic efforts fulltime! At that point, Zena was a noted Surgeon/Nutritionist/Entrepreneur who had been practicing medicine for more than 40 years in the Tampa Bay area, and Warren had more than 40 years of experience in Marketing as a highly successful Corporate Executive, Entrepreneur, and the Founder and President of two Major Florida 501(C)3’s.  Over the next five years, they gradually kept expanding their Philanthropy, primarily in the areas of Health Care, and the Performing Arts.

By  2010, they were involved with/supporting 21 MAJOR local Not for Profit Organizations ( as of today, it’s now 24 )!  However, because both Zena & Warren believe in being involved in the Organizations they support financially, over this 5 year period they both served on numerous NFP Boards, Committees, Councils, Etc.! In the process of doing this they observed numerous examples of Business Best Practices that could be shared with other NFP Organizations.  In 2010, they began a series of Mini Workshops, focusing on potential areas of improvement in Marketing, Fundraising, Operations, Staffing, Board Development, Etc.! Sometimes these Mini Workshops, which typically ran from 2 hours to a full day, were presented to the NFP’s whole staff, sometimes to KEY Executives, sometimes to the Board, and sometimes to a combination of all three! By April of 2011, Zena & Warren had conducted over an 18 month period, 31 Mini Workshops at 16 of the 21 NFP Organizations they were involved in supporting!

However, they began to have two problems.  First they had numerous requests from the organizations they had already presented Mini Workshops for, to return and do more! Second, 11 other MAJOR NFP Organizations had heard about the Mini Workshops, and approached Zena & Warren about conducting one for them! Needless to say, trying to find the time to prepare and conduct all these Mini Workshops was a MAJOR logistics challenge.  So to address all these requests, Zena & Warren decided to have a Not for Profit Workshop and invite all 21 organizations they were involved with, and the 11 others who had expressed an interest, to a half day NFP Workshop at Ruth Eckerd Hall, to be held on 9/30/11. At this Workshop, they expected about 35 NFP Organizations, and 75 NFP Professionals to attend! However, as the word spread, and without any advertising, the reservation list kept growing to the point where a total of 188 NFP Organizations, and 387 NFP Professionals ended up attending the first NFP Workshop.

Because of the overwhelming response, Warren & Zena decided to make their NFP Workshop an annual event and invite all  Executives / Professionals / Donors / Board Members / Leadership Volunteers from any NFP Organization to attend.  At the Second Annual NFP Workshop held at the Straz Center on 9/19/12, a total of 910 people from 467 NFP organizations registered to attend.  Visit the website to view the 2013 list of participating organizations.  At the Third Annual All Day NFP Workshop held again at the Straz Center on  8/29/13,  a total of 1,452 people from 829 NFP organizations registered to attend.  Recently, Florida Trend Magazine announced, for the second year in a row, that last year’s Workshop was the “…largest NFP one day Educational Event held in the state in 2013 ”.  In addition, the readers of Tampa Bay Magazine have recently voted, for the third year in a row, the Third Annual NFP Workshop as the “Best Philanthropic Program offered in the area.