Case Study: Executive Coaching

West Harlem Environmental Action

Peggy M. Shepard is co-founder and Executive Director of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc., the twenty-four-year-old nonprofit known as WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Glancing through her impressive résumé, one might conclude that she is the last person on Earth in need of coaching to enhance her professional capability.

And yet, Ms. Shepard credits the Support Center’s executive coaching service as an important factor in the success of WE ACT—by helping its leader maintain its mission and increase its impact.

“We all have weaknesses in certain areas where we need support,” said Ms. Shepard in an interview. Speaking about her staff of fourteen, she added, “In a small organization, you don’t have a lot of experienced people. But your success requires innovative thinking. You often feel pretty much alone.”

The recipient of numerous honors over the years—among them: the Heinz Award for the Environment, for “courageous advocacy and determined leadership”; the Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rockefeller Foundation; and the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Mailman School of Public Health—Ms. Shepard regards executive coaching as essential to her job performance.

Contact (212) 924-6744 ext. 302 or email Carolyn Champ, Associate Executive Director, to learn more.

“It’s always easier when someone outside your organization hears and understands your perspective, then broadens it with fresh ideas and useful advice.

Sometimes, you’re just too close to things. Sometimes you need to talk with an experienced counselor, someone who can help you work through sensitive matters.”

Peggy Shepard
West Harlem Environmental Action