Serving Nonprofits. Strengthening West Virginia.

Speak (((Now))) Keynote/Plenary Speakers

Elise Woodworth
President

Elise Woodworth is the president of Woodworth Enterprises and dedicated to empowering nonprofits and their boards. Leveraging her background as a former US Air Force Logistics Officer, Elise combines military experience with business acumen to propel organizations toward success. As a best-selling author of “Business Not Battle for Nonprofit Boards,” she’s transformed numerous nonprofits with her expertise in leadership, governance, and team building.

Elise’s impact extends beyond her daily work. Serving on the Virginia Military Institute’s Foundation’s Board of Trustees and volunteering with various organizations, she exemplifies her commitment to service and excellence. Her MBA from Capella University and Bachelor of Science in Biology from VMI underpin her strategic approach to nonprofit management. A dynamic speaker, Elise captivates audiences with insights that ignite tomorrow’s leaders while drawing from her experiences as a mother of five and former military spouse. Her speaking engagements offer practical advice, shaped by her diverse interests including homeschooling and bird watching. Join Elise on a journey to unlock your organization’s full potential and shape a brighter future.


Aleda Gagarin
Vice President of Influence

As VP of Influence, Aleda leads Candid’s thought leadership, strategic coalitions, and campaigns to increase Candid’s collective impact and support a stronger social sector. She directs the Influence teams, including Communications and Brand Awareness, Development, Partnerships, and Partnership Operations. In close collaboration with the CEO and executive team, Aleda is responsible for creating and executing Candid’s influence strategy, defining how Candid shows up in the world – what we say, how we say it, and who we partner with.

Aleda is passionate about making connections, solving problems, advocating for resources, and shifting power structures. She began her career in advocacy as a program assistant at the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 2004, later served as sales and membership coordinator for Institutional Investor, and worked with North Star Planning and Evaluation Consultants as a researcher. Aleda joined Candid via the Foundation Center in 2013 as a development associate, and with the evolvement of her strong leadership skills, advanced to development manager, director, senior director of development, and associate vice president of development.

Aleda holds a B.A. in international studies from American University and a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College with a focus on community advocacy. In her spare time, Aleda is active in community and electoral organizing, and spending quality time with family.


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