In 2005, Dr. Zena Lansky and her husband Warren Rodgers both retired to pursue their Philanthropic efforts fulltime! At that point, Zena was a noted Surgeon/Nutritionist/Entrepreneur who had been practicing medicine for more than 40 years in the Tampa Bay area, and Warren had more than 40 years of experience in Marketing, as a highly successful Entrepreneur, and the Founder and President of a Major Florida 501C3, The Tampa Bay & South Florida CIO Council's!
Over the next 5 years, they gradually keep expanding their Philanthropy, primarily in the areas of Health Care, and the Performing Arts, till by 2010, they were involved with/supporting 21 MAJOR local Not for Profit Organizations (as of today, it's now 23)! However, because both Zena & Warren believe in being involved in the Organizations they support financially, over this 5 year period they both served on numerous NFP Boards, Committees, Councils, Etc.
In the process of serving, they observed numerous examples of Marketing/ Business Practices that one NFP Organization was doing REALLY well, that other NFP Organizations, they were also involved with could also benefit from implementing. So in 2010, they began a series of Mini Workshops, focusing on potential areas of improvement in Marketing, Fundraising, Operations, Staffing, Board Development, Etc. Sometimes these Mini Workshops, which typically ran from 2 hours to a full day, were presented to the NFP's whole staff, sometimes to KEY Executives, sometimes to the Board, and sometimes to a combination of all three! By April of 2011, Zena & Warren had conducted over an 18 month period, 31 Mini Workshops at 16 of the 21 NFP Organizations they were involved with/supporting.
However, they began to have two problems, first they had numerous requests from the organizations they had already done Mini Workshops for, to return and do more! Second, 11 other MAJOR NFP Organizations had heard about the Mini Workshops, and approached Zena & Warren about conducting one for them! Needless to say, trying to find the time to prepare and conduct all these Mini Workshops was a MAJOR logistics nightmare! So to address all these request, Zena & Warren decided to have a Not for Profit Workshop, and invite all 21 Organizations they were involved with, and the 11 others who had expressed an interest, to a half day NFP Workshop at Ruth Eckerd Hall, to be held on September, 30th, 2011!
At this Workshop, they expected about 35 NFP Organizations, and 75 NFP Professionals to attend! However, as the word spread, and without any advertising, the reservation list kept growing to the point where a total of 188 NFP Organizations, and 387 NFP Professionals ended up attending the first MAJOR NFP Workshop, and as they say, THE REST IS HISTORY!