25 Years of Impact: Mariama S. Boney

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariama S. Boney.

It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?

Hailing from Syracuse, NY, Mariama was “raised on a college campus” as a second-generation educator. Seeing my mom and start a family business as a full-time teacher and university administrator, during the 90’s gave me that example that anything is possible. I obtained my B.S. and M.S. degree in Social Work from Syracuse University with a specialization in Child Welfare; and earned a Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential. I am also a Licensed Social Worker in Maryland and Virginia; plus a certified coach and executive.

As an award-winning educational administrator, DEIA+A visionary, executive leader, and coach, with content knowledge spans over 100 topics in leadership, DEIA+A, and wellbeing

My 25-year+ commitment stems from a personal passion for equity, dialogue, wellbeing, and leadership. I’ve facilitated comprehensive multicultural programs, leadership and diversity models, organizational transformation, culture and climate change, succession planning, governance restructuring, partnerships, and grants for faculty, staff, students, partners, boards, volunteers, and the community.

As an active volunteer leader and alumnus of the ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Program (2008-09), and Babson College’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (BWEL), I have also served in several leadership roles for associations, non-profits, and alumni groups. These include serving as a board member of MAFN, an appointed advisory member of the SU Office of Multicultural Advancement, donor of Syracuse University, donor, member, chair of the ASAE Ethics Committee. As a twice nominated and interviewed candidate for the FASAE, Mariama continues to serve as a trusted go-to resource for professionals and executives world-wide.

I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?

I’ve known living through loss, love, and laughter. When my father passed in 1996, it was devastating. Then, pressing through the hidden disability of having Bell’s Palsy twice in my 30’s, several miscarriages, divorce, sexism, racism, and again nearly compromising my own health and well-being in 2014 puts life into focus. I know about standing in my truth, not compromising with ethics, plus calling people out and in. I’ve experienced the backlash of pressing through people’s manipulation of their privilege and challenging systems to be more ethical. I also know about doing the personal and professional work to be a better leader – trailblazing to ‘bridge head and heart’ of 3 million people during her 20+ year career. Being the first to pioneer STEM grants, organization-wide DEI and multicultural initiatives, launch national leadership programs, restructure association governance, volunteers and components. Being the first African-American female Executive Director for MMEA, ACY, and other senior teams, she enjoys advancing associations, non-profits, and corporations to flourish through the transformation process!

During the pandemic God blessed me to be the author of multiple articles and 3 books – VENT: I’m Worth It: A Journey to Refocus, Realign and Restore, VENT: I’m Worth It: Leadership Edition, and VENT: Our Resilience Is Enough. It was my way of processing through the tumultuous times.

Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?

As President and CEO of Achieve More LLC, I provide a roadmap to uncover the transformation needed to get association and nonprofit professionals teams, and organizations ahead in leadership, well-being, and DEIA+A. Now more than ever we need to be on a path to turn problems onto profits, stand together, and stay connected to our purpose, so we can thrive and accelerate the possibilities. We are a consultancy who brings together human performance and organizational dynamics with a solution focused approach. We assess individual and team strengths, values, inclusive behaviors, leadership voice, style, personality, wellbeing + burnout. And We are deeply committed to creating safe spaces for association, non-profit, education, and corporate transformation through change leadership.

Achieve More LLC, specializes in training, coaching, and consulting excellence for non-profits, education, associations, and corporations to turn personal wellbeing, leadership, and DEIA+A challenges or goals into solutions and profits. I am hired by some of the greatest local and national organizations and have impacted 3 mil+. And am on a mission to help 5 million professionals annually create safe spaces for transformation, transparency, and generate impactful solutions. It’s an honor to have a world-wide impact that includes 1000+ training and programs, 800 projects and consultations with over 1000 groups & teams! Achieve More LLC is a certified SWaM, acknowledged by CEO Action, and also gives back to the nonprofit, association, and education community as a sponsor and donor.

What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success?

Leadership and failures of leadership are apparent all around us. The top reason women say they’re considering leaving their current role this year is for another job with higher pay (52%), followed by one with less stress (51%) and better work-life balance (48%) per the latest Momentive/CNBC Women at Work Survey. Rates of anxiety, depression, and stress are through the roof!

I believe that we each bring our richness of being leaders at home, work, and in our community. Staying well, culturally rooted, and brave is one essential existence that makes the world better, more just, and innovative. When we exercise care and compassion towards ourselves and others, we can openly believe, honor, appreciate, celebrate, support, and achieve the equity, access, and inclusion, plus justice that we need, deserve, and aspire to for our world. Being better as leaders allows our level of curiosity and inquiry to deepen about each other – to provide enough energy for us to stay engaged in dialogue, in relationship, and in partnership.

Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?

To me success means that we:

Be Better: ​​​​​1. Foster organizational growth and professional success. ​2. Engage in consistent assessment and evaluation to build excitement. 3. Honoring and partnering together shifts relationships.

Achieve More: 1. Create and make visible a sense of value. 2. Lead with a sense of hope and optimism through partnership and collaboration. 3. Explore of new approaches to expand the business possibilities that exist.

Maximize Results: 1. Ensure that specific, measurable, and realistic goals are set. 2. We align with the allocated resources. 3. Define an action plan, assign roles, and clarify expectations to record what works.

What’s next for you?

Building, growing, and maintaining a greater impact. By 2025 we will grow and establish a Center for Courageous and Transparent Leadership to help professionals, teams, and organizations shift their culture or dismantle the systemic or structural challenges that are deeply rooted.

We plan to support the association and non-profit sectors by:
* Hosting webinars, workshops, cohort learning programs with prospective, aspiring, current, and retired leaders
* Developing and distributing educational resources and tools
* Accelerating communications and culture-focused data driven publications and media
* Launching annual summits that connect multigenerational leaders across the U.S. and throughout the world
* Hosting recognition for and collecting resources as effective practices and standards from associations and nonprofits who are recognized champions for civility, authenticity, wellbeing, justice, equity, inclusion, belonging, cultural fluency, and anti-racism
* Maintaining a hotline to help foster brave, courageous and transparent leadership. The Leading Brave Line will provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in who are experiencing a challenge or situation regarding ethical leadership, well-being at work, or DEIA+A.

Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?

Invite us in. Let’s partner!

Explore more by calling or texting us directly at (703) 987-0092, email mariama@achievemorellc.com, visit www.achievemorellc.com, or let’s connect for my a 15-minute consult or 10-minute meet & greet via www.calendly.com/mariamab.

You can message me directly on Instagram @mariama.s.boney, on Twitter, LinkedIn, or find Achieve More LLC on Facebook.

Many organizations are dealing with disruption – low morale, engagement, and trust, internal team conflict, and various aspects of systemic amnesia or structural bias, racism, and discrimination plus navigating through the recycling of an eternal leadership transition during this socioeconomic, social justice, and climate transition. We turn problems and goals into solutions and profits.

Key offerings include:
​Executive, Leadership, and Business Coaching, Leadership |Strategic Planning | Team Building | Organizational Audits | Climate Surveys | Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access, and Accessibility Consulting | Organizational Development | Group Facilitation | Burnout and Stress Management | Crisis Communications | Everything DiSC® and the Five Behaviors® of a Cohesive Team, as an authorized partner of Wiley | An authorized partner of ASAE, GiANT, and the Five Voices.

Mariama Boney

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