Leadership Breakfast of Maryland

Doors Open at 7:00 AM
Session: 7:30 AM to 8:45 AM. 
Feel free to stay and discuss the session until 9:30 AM.

Register Now
If you have any difficulties registering, please just send an email to: jacklgates@leadershipbreakfast.org and indicate your plans (attend or not), and your name and organization as you wish it to be shown on your name badge at the meeting.

April 3, 2015

The Unpopular Programs and Leadership - How Do We Live the Vision?

Have you ever tried to help a client or friend, only to discover that he or she was just a little bit crazy?  Frustrating, wasn’t it?

At this program, you will have an opportunity to experience that special kind of frustration all over again.

David Gamse will be our crazy client – crazy because, by his own admission, he wants to market products and services that precious few customers want.  Specifically, he would like to help older jobseekers land jobs.  Yet, as you might imagine, most employers are not particularly interested in hiring them, and neither the employers nor the jobseekers seem willing to pay for this assistance.  To complicate the marketing and business challenge, most employers don’t speak their minds because federal law requires them to appear to be age friendly or at least age neutral.  Even David’s current and prospective customers -– men and women age 50+ -- shy from calling themselves “old.”

So how should David effectively package older workers and the services that support them?  How could he attract middle-aged and older clients?  How might he cover his operating costs?

In one way or another, David’s dilemma is shared by nonprofit leaders from coast to coast.  Often, they advocate for unpopular programs, policies and segments of society.

“If we didn’t represent extraordinary needs,” said David, “our nonprofits themselves probably wouldn't be needed.  Human service agencies are especially likely to swim upstream, against market forces.”

David is the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Council for the Aging® (JCA®), a local philanthropic organization that for 41 years has been helping to make the National Capital Area a great place to grow up and grow old.  JCA helps older adults and family caregivers of all faiths, ethnicities and walks of life.

“JCA meets a wide range of human need,” said David. “Our programs include transportation, adult day services and caregiver support, intergenerational activities and more.  Yet senior employment is our largest program.  Last year alone, we invested more than $1.2 million in it.  How do we make certain that future investments have maximum impact?”

Takeaways from the Session

  • Although the session highlights an issue in a mission-based non-profit, you will see the same principles apply to all types of organizations

  • Don't just try to "put lipstick on the pig" - look for substantive incentives or solutions

  • Leadership lessons on achieving the vision through all programs.

About Our Facilitator:


David Gamse

David Gamse is a gerontologist who has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Council for the Aging® since 1990.  At JCA®, he plays a pivotal role in creating and managing innovative and cost-effective programs that help seniors thrive. 

Seventy-five staff and 800 volunteers rely on his leadership, and together they serve more than 30,000 older adults and family caregivers each year through transportation services, senior employment programs, intergenerational activities, adult day services, public information programs and more.  Concurrently, David serves as CEO of the National Center for Productive Aging™, JCA’s consulting arm.

Over the years, David has led workshops and symposia on issues of aging and nonprofit management for a wide range of public and private organizations including the American Management Association, the White House Conference on Aging and the U.S. Department of Labor.  He has represented U.S. policy on aging at international conferences of the United Nations and Israeli Gerontological Society.  He has authored many articles about productive aging and service delivery.

Prior to joining JCA, David was a senior manager at AARP, a multi-million-member association.  Earlier, he was an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Florida’s Aging Studies Program, from which he graduated and from which he later received an Eminent Graduate Award.  David is also a recipient of the Florida Board of Regents’ Distinguished Scholarship Award and the Seabury Leadership in Aging Award.

David is a member of the American Society of Association Executives, the Gerontological Society of America, the National Council on Aging, the Executive Directors & Headmasters Council of Jewish Agencies in the metro Washington, D.C. region, and the Montgomery Moving Forward Leadership Group.  He is also an officer of WorkSource Montgomery -- the Workforce Investment Board of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Contact Information

David Gamse

Chief Executive Officer


Email: dgamse@accessjca.org

Phone: 301-255-4255

Register Now

If you have any difficulties registering, please just send an email to: jacklgates@leadershipbreakfast.org and indicate your plans (attend or not), and your name and organization as you wish it to be shown on your name badge at the meeting.


The Conference Center at the Offices of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy, and Ecker, P.A.

12505 Park Potomac Avenue
6th Floor
Potomac, MD 20854
(I270 & Montrose Road)
Map & Directions

Our Gracious Host/Sponsor: Shulman Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A.

Resolutionary Thinking

Focusing on solutions. Thinking creatively and tenaciously about outcomes. About what’s in your best interests. Getting matters resolved, so you can get on with what matters to you. That’s resolutionary thinking. And that’s made Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A., one of the largest, most respected law firms in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

In 1972, Shulman Rogers was founded on a commitment to client service. Today, the firm’s roster of highly skilled attorneys and other dedicated staff members are all guided by that same commitment. A client-first approach. A smart, efficient practice. A relentless focus on problem solving. And an underlying compassion—for our clients and our community. It all adds up to resolutionary thinking. The kind of thinking you can count on from the people of Shulman Rogers.