Name: Ana Campos
Number of years as a CEO or Executive Director: 16 years
Current Title: Chief Executive Officer, After School All Stars, Los Angeles, California
Ana is a graduate of USC – University of Southern California, with a dual degree in Social Work and Gerontology. She has worked in the “helping” industry all of her career. First, in the medical field, where she worked as a Medical Social Worker for many years, then in the home health field where she was the Administrator for numerous home health care agencies.
After 20 years in health care, Ana moved to her next passion – helping children. She served as CEO for Youth Enterprise Systems of America, Inc, a youth foundation founded by Oakland Raider, Anthony Smith. In 1998, Ana joined LA’s BEST and served as the Director of Operations. In 2005, Ana joined the After-School All-Stars Los Angeles as the current President & Executive Director. Throughout her tenure with the organization, she continues to successfully expand the organization’s delivery of high quality after school programs throughout the Los Angeles area. She is passionate about her work and dedicated to meeting this goal.
Ana spends much of her free time with her family – especially her 3 children, – John, Stefanie and Caitlyn
1. What advice would you give to professionals who have taken on a CEO or executive role for the first time?
Be comfortable with not having all the answers; Be flexible; Listen to your stakeholders; Make no changes until you have done a full assessment and have buy in from your Directors; Understand that you don’t know everything and lean on those who can provide context, opinions, and options.
2. What is your best advice to navigate the first 90 days?
Listen, Listen and Listen some more!
3. What is your best advice on how to work with the board?
Meet with each board member individually to understand why they are on the board; what they feel about the Organization; where they see pitfalls and how they view the CEO’s role in communication with the Board.
4. What is your best advice on leading a team?
Measure the level of commitment from your team; identify who the strong leaders are; identify areas of growth needed through authentic and courageous conversations.
5. What is your best fundraising advice?
Start with your Board and how they can support your efforts, then be flexible and willing to try approaches that may be new for you.
6. Share your greatest failure as a CEO and executive and the lesson learned. We often learn the most from our failures.
I think my biggest failure was several years ago, I oversold our program but didn’t have the total buy in from the program team. It was very rocky and I learned that expansion without organizational capacity was something that I needed to pay closer attention to.
7. Recommended reading. What book helped you on your journey?
I’ve read many books particularly on effective management
I hope this helps. Let me know. Sharing is caring.
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Thank you to those nonprofit CEO and Executive Directors who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading 7 Questions with Ana Campos helps you in your nonprofit journey.
Your mission matters,
Sabrina Walker Hernandez,
Supporting World Hope