CNPE Annual Nonprofit Conference & Pyramid Awards of Excellence Luncheon 2016

2016 AC Logo

Thank You for another great year!

For the Annual Conference brochure, click here.

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence's 16th Annual Nonprofit Conference & Pyramid Awards Luncheon will be held at the Galt House Hotel - Rivue West Tower on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.  The theme is Owning Your Everyday Awesomeness.  This year's conference brings together nonprofit, corporate, and public sector leaders to learn, build relationships, and celebrate excellence within the nonprofit sector. Specific breakout sessions will feature national and local presenters to dynamically explore how we can elevate our sector by addressing the real challenges we face.

The Pyramid Awards for the Art of Excellence are designed to recognize the essential value of our region’s nonprofit sector.  These awards are presented each year during our nonprofit leadership conference at the day’s luncheon activities.  CNPE recognizes and celebrates commanding contributions by nonprofit members in six areas: Collaboration, Governance, Inclusion, Leadership, Social Innovation, and Vision.  Gordon Brown, former President & CEO of Home of the Innocents, and Joe Tolan, President & CEO of Metro United Way, will be honored with CNPE’s Lifetime Achievement Award for their transforming community contributions also during the luncheon.

  2016 Annual Conference Morning Keynote

Vu Le

With the growing number of challenges our world faces, nonprofits are needed now more than ever before.  And yet, we face myriad internal obstacles: think overhead, sustainability, and the myth that nonprofits can't have nice things.  But the game is changing and we must evolve, evaluate, and engage.  As our keynote speaker says, "we must examine the philosophies and implicit biases that drive our work, abandon outdated thinking and practices, and own the power and influence we have to make the world better."

Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle with the mission of developing and supporting leaders of color to strengthen the capacity of communities-of-color-led nonprofits and foster collaboration between diverse communities to effect systemic change.

Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves.  There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it.  He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.

Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at  The title of his blog refers to all the balls that we nonprofit professionals have to juggle: clients, board, staff, volunteers, funders, auditors, payrolls, budgets, cashflows, trainings, annual events, etc.  We are all knee-deep in balls.  We have balls coming at us from every direction.  Sometimes we “drop the ball,” but no worries, since there is never a shortage of balls in this line of work.  He is also the humor columnist for the awesome nonprofit online magazine, Blue Avocado.

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