COA Accreditation Volunteer Spotlight: Christian Holland
Through COA Accreditation, a service of Social Current, we seek to empower organizations to implement best practice standards to improve service delivery and achieve better outcomes for individuals and communities. COA Accreditation provides a framework to help organizations manage resources, incorporate best practices, and strive for continuous improvement.
We believe there is rich expertise in our field, so we ground the COA Accreditation process in our human and social services community. Our volunteer peer reviewers conduct our site visits and finalize accreditation decisions.
We are proud to spotlight the latest Volunteer of the Quarter: Christian Holland
About Christan Holland
Christian Holland was named vice president of programs for the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) this September. He is responsible for the service delivery strategy, program implementation and compliance for all PYN programs in this new role. This includes ensuring all youth are connected to high quality services by developing programs as well as facilitating procurement models and support. Additionally, Christian provides leadership to support fundraising and business development relationships and processes. His goal is to ensure all participants and partners have a meaningful and valuable experience while assisting youth up the ladder of economic mobility.
Christian earned a master’s in business administration from Benedictine University as well as a master’s in divinity with a focus on administration, counseling, and education from Claremont School of Theology. He earned his bachelor’s in psychology from Wesleyan University. He also received a certification from the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College.
Christian most recently served as senior director of out-of-school time and youth programming at Episcopal Community Services. There he provided strategic oversight and expansion for multiple sites and contracts, which deliver quality educational extended learning opportunities to youth and families. In addition to his more than 20 years of professional experience, Christian chairs and serves on various health and educational boards throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
It was in 2010, during a accreditation cycle, Christian was approached by a staff member from the Council on Accreditation, now Social Current. During this conversation, he learned about the opportunity to become a COA Accreditation volunteer. He says accepting the chance to serve as a volunteer was one of the greatest decisions he made in his career.
What three traits define you?
I am defined by the following traits: High quality, impact, and dignity. These values push and motivate me in the work I do. As a volunteer, I am committed to ensuring agencies offer high–quality services, hence impacting the participants being served. It’s also important because offering high quality services ensures participants have dignity and feel a sense of equity and respect. This is critical.
What are your strongest beliefs about the value of COA Accreditation?
COA Accreditation is extremely powerful! It really does provide a framework for agencies to manage resources, offer best practices and strive for continuous quality improvement. This is critical for an organization to continue to grow, innovate and sustain its stance as a credible player in the nonprofit sector.
What advice would you give someone interested in being a COA Accreditation volunteer?
It may be intimidating in the beginning, however, if someone approaches you, or perhaps you just feel like it’s something you may want to do, go for it! Social Current is an amazing organization, and they are there to assist you.
I will always be a part of the COA Accreditation family. I’m not going anywhere. Social Current has amazing staff like Director of Volunteer Engagement Darrell Woodliff and Senior Volunteer Services Coordinator Phil Vasquez (they are really incredible support for volunteers), a great commission of senior volunteers and decision makers, a supportive COA Accreditation team, and a great visionary and president, Jody Levison-Johnson. You can’t go wrong with this supportive team! Try it, like me, and it may just positively change your life.
Share a memorable place, person, or experience from a site visit.
I have served as a volunteer for over a decade and there are so many great experiences and leaders I have had the pleasure to encounter. For me, however, what’s most rewarding is when I am able to do a site visit and see a program, make recommendations through the process, and then return to the site at a later time, four to eight years later, to see those recommendations implemented, standards in full action and the site thriving. There are no words to explain how that makes me feel. There is a sense of fulfillment and assurance the youth and families being served are really experiencing the best possible experience– that is CQI in action! I love that!
What excites, surprises, and/or challenges you the most about the work you do as a COA Accreditation volunteer?
I tell people the people I have met through COA Accreditation are an extended part of my family and COA Accreditation saved my life. It really did. In a time when I was burning out in the work, COA Accreditation gave me energy, a sense of purpose, and allowed me to see the bigger picture of the “power of the work” as well as the true impact of quality programs.
I believe we have the power to positively change the lives of those we serve! That excites me! It is never easy, however, helping an organization through the COA Accreditation process and seeing when the light bulb goes off for an executive director or manager in relation to best practices, CQI, or an area of service delivery is powerful! That’s when it gets exciting for me–when people can take the standards and connect them to practical examples and use that data to inform and improve their programs. That is what I live for!
Learn more about how to become a peer review volunteer and apply online.