CEO Corner: Charles A. Archer

Charles A. Archer is the co-founder and CEO of The THRIVE Network, the new iteration of the Evelyn Douglin Center for Serving People in Need, which offers services to clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the New York metro area. Archer is also the author of the book, “Everybody Paddles: A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating a Unified Team." 

The following interview has been edited for space and clarity.

NYN: Your organization, the Evelyn Douglin Center for Serving People in Need, is being rebranded as The THRIVE Network. How does the new brand reflect the work of the organization and its future path?

CA: About 24 years ago, I started working with people with disabilities as a direct support professional. I had the opportunity to go to college during the day and work at night, and what I’ve learned over the years is that people with disabilities want the same things in life that I want. That propelled me to commit myself to providing those types of services to those people. 

In 1995 and 1996, when I co-founded the Evelyn Douglin Center for Serving People in Need, at that time we were really looking at servicing underserved and under-accessed communities. Fast forward to 2015, we’re at a place now where we have to ask ourselves what we want to become to continue providing support to our core population, but also look at serving other people in other demographics with other needs. 

The THRIVE Network will become a network of services for more than just people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but people with other aging needs or homeless needs, among others.

NYN: Many nonprofits consider rebranding to attract more funding, volunteers, grow the organization, etc. What has the rebranding process been like for The THRIVE Network? 

CA: The way that we approached it was by coupling the CEO and leadership with the board of directors. We assembled an excellent board that believes in the organization as it is and shares a vision on what it needs to become. When you get those three groups together, you gain more of a consensus about where (the organization) needs to go. 

What really helped me, as a CEO, was bringing in someone that could help me with the rebranding. There are moments as a leader when you’re expected to know it all—and in some instances you really should—but we had the opportunity to work with a fantastic company that was able to scan the space in New York state to see what names had been used, what kind of logo we should use, and help us through the whole process. That’s really what pushed us to become The THRIVE Network. 

NYN: You’re an author of a compendium of essays on leadership philosophy, “Everybody Paddles.” What was the inspiration for that book, and what is your personal leadership philosophy? 

CA: In “Everybody Paddles: A Leader’s Blueprint for Creating a Unified Team,” I lay out six principles that I really believe can create a culture of change, a culture where (people) believe that they matter and want to add value at work. Over the years—I’m an attorney and I’ve also done some teaching throughout the city—I’ve realized that many people come to work and they feel devalued. There’s a sense that people wonder, “Do I have something worth contributing and will anyone pay attention?” 

“Everybody Paddles” has become a guide for people to understand that you really are expected to add value at The THRIVE Network. We don’t want it just on Monday or Friday. We want it five days a week, and your colleagues want it, and the people that we serve want it. It’s also become about the concept that followership is as important as leadership, and without one you can’t have the other. 

NYN: This is a challenging environment for many nonprofits throughout the industry. What is your advice to other agencies navigating through these difficult times, and what do you think that government partners need to bring to the table? 

CA: I think that there has to be active participation, active communication and active involvement. As a nonprofit executive, you can’t be in a position where you expect government to come up with all of the solutions, but from the government side, there has to be a willingness to listen.

In our experience leading nonprofits, we’re on the ground providing necessary services on a day-to-day basis. Government partners don’t have the same perspective and can’t always see how their actions directly impact people on the ground. The ability to have active communication is very important so that we can make sure that our perspective gets across.

Thinking about involvement, we at The THRIVE Network make sure to be involved in a lot of activities in the community and get a seat at the table in discussions that affect the community, not just so that we can know what’s going on but so that we can try to influence the direction of the discussion.

NYN: What are your biggest advocacy goals for 2015? Where would you like to push the conversation?

CA: In terms of the discussion regarding intellectual and developmental disabilities, the health services and delivery systems are changing. From a nonprofit’s perspective we understand that there must be changes, but we need to be careful about how drastically and swiftly things change. In terms of government, if you are going to say that you want to protect and serve all New Yorkers, you need to back that up with actions; it can’t just be a philosophy. There must be implementation.

 

NEXT STORY: Frontline Hero: Armando Rosado

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.