When word gets out that the top leaders of a nonprofit in a small town have been misappropriating funds and behaving unethically, everybody hears about it. Everybody. And it’s up to the board to act quickly with integrity to find someone who can immediately step-in and LEAD—someone to help stop the bleeding, begin the healing process internally AND mend relationships with donors and the community externally.
When today’s guest, Gino DeMaio, was approached to temporarily lead his organization through their crisis, he was totally up for the challenge. Under his leadership (which, by the way, is no longer temporary), the organization was completely transformed from the inside out.
Listen in to this episode as Gino shares how he dared to lead his staff with vulnerability, how he discovered and developed leaders from existing staff, and how he has successfully repaired the relationship between board and staff and rebuilt trust between organization and the community.
It’s Mental Health Month, and I couldn’t let the month end without interviewing Gino DeMaio, the CEO of Sound Community Services in New London, Connecticut. I can’t wait for you to meet him, hear about his journey into nonprofit leadership, and learn about the important work SCS is doing to help young adults prioritize mental health.
📌 Check out our Pinterest Board for Mental Health Awareness
🎧 Click here to listen to this week’s episode:
About Gino DeMaio
Here are the book shelves we discussed in the podcast. #jealous
Gino DeMaio, Chief Executive Officer of Sound Community Services, has always had a true passion for grassroots development and implementing change through action. His leadership style is about creating a shared vision and influencing those around him. His goal is to bring what he knows and what he is passionate about to his agency, the community and those served.
Before accepting the position of Chief Executive Officer, Gino embarked on a 20-year distinguished leadership career with the State of Connecticut, working with Commissioners from DMHAS, DDS & DCF where he was instrumental in creating and implementing a forensic services division that permanently changed the way agencies work in collaboration to influence change.
More notably, this division changed how individuals with Developmental Disabilities were handled when they encountered the Judicial, Probate and Mental Health Systems by changing standards and influencing outcomes around Competency to Stand Trial for these individuals.
These legal and clinical efforts reduced the recidivism rate and influenced and forever changed the lives of individuals with Developmental Disabilities who encountered the Judicial, Probate and Mental Health systems. This development also led to the allocation of millions of dollars per year to divert individuals who would have otherwise been institutionalized or incarcerated without its development.
After spending almost 20 years traveling around the State of Connecticut influencing change in most cities in the region, Gino is elated to be able to use his leadership skills to influence change at Sound Community Services and the City of New London, a place where he is wholeheartedly grateful to call home.
In his downtime, Gino enjoys sharing his love of photography, music, and sailing with his beautiful wife, Lisa. They can often be found taking in the natural beauty that Southeastern Connecticut and Long Island Sound has to offer.
Connect with Sound Community Services:
- Organization Website: https://soundcommunityservices.org/
- Donate: https://soundcommunityservices.org/donate/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soundcommunityservices/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sound.community
Mentioned in This Episode:
- Norwich woman comes in from the cold with help of social service agencies
- Sound Community Services Voted Top Work Place 2019
- Volunteer & Donor Reviews on GreatNonprofits.org
Articles that Document the Change and Impact of SCS:
- Young adult program helps New London teen stay off the streets
- Drug-free and timed out, woman still finds support at Sound Community Services
- Young mother needed to hear ‘You’re better than that’ after abusive relationships
- ‘Growing up, some people have it easy. Some don’t.’
- Young adults drop in to Sound Community Services for therapy and support
- Sound Community Services brings clinician to Mitchell College
- Talking about Worries (with kids)
- Help, Hope, and Dedication
- Families of Addicts Find Strength in Numbers
Here are my favorite Brené Brown books (a.k.a. ALL of them). What are some of your favorite leadership books? Share your list in the comments below.
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So glad you are doing this and putting out such great information.
What a blessing you are to the world!
Thank you, Frances. That means a lot coming from you! 🧡
Beautiful podcast…such important work — in trauma informed services, those who fall between the cracks, the challenges in various life circumstances, the populations in between…Proud of your work my friend. Continue the tremendous work you are doing Gino. Not at all surprised. But it still makes me smile. #ItMatters
Thank you. It’s an honor to interview such amazing leaders!