Hello, I’m

Barry Silverberg


Barry Silverberg has over 45 years of nonprofit professional and volunteer leadership, management, resource development, and communications experience focusing on nonprofit governance, strategic thinking, board engagement, professional and organizational development, and public policy awareness and advocacy.

Barry founded the Center for Nonprofit Studies at Austin Community College in 2000. He created the Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management in 2007, and with Lisa Bussett, Center Coordinator, has created other Certificates in Volunteer Management, Grant Writing, Effective Fundraising, Marketing and Promotion, and Cultural Leadership.  He also created and taught Nonprofit Management and Leadership for St. Edward’s University’s Nonprofit Management Certificate for 15 years.

Currently co-Executive Producer of CNS’ Civil Society television and web podcast, Barry is also Secretary/ Treasurer of School of Thought, an international nonprofit that epitomizes his personal and professional focus.  It is an online education platform that will provide courses, content, and other resources that teach creative and critical thinking skills to anyone and everyone, for free.  By using the power of creativity to entertain, it aims to make learning how to think a fun and engaging experience, and fulfill a lifelong thirst for understanding and self-awareness.

Formerly Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations CEO and volunteer leader for 13 years, Barry helped build the organization into an influential entity. He served on two Texas Legislature task forces and led the groups to recommend and then work to establish the Texas Nonprofit Council. During this time he was appointed co-chair of the National Council of Nonprofits Task Force on Government Contracting.

Barry co-produced a 3.5 hour DVD on Strengthening Your Nonprofit Organization. He also contributed to the authorship of two books: Conflict to Mediation, A Process for Mediating Group Differences with Dr. Garry McDaniel; and Thinking Strategically within Nonprofits, Every Organization Is Created for a Purpose, and Thinking Strategically Will Achieve That Purpose with Michael Dore. He wrote the Forward to The Courage to Lead, An Essential Guide for Volunteer Leaders, Board Trustees, and Public Servants by Robert Floyd.

Passionate about promoting “strategic creativity” and fostering greater understanding and appreciation of the Nonprofit Sector, Barry has consulted with hundreds of area and state nonprofits and has been a leader in dozens of nonprofit organizations.   A strong advocate of ensuring creativity and credibility among and between nonprofit organizations and the government and business sectors, Barry created and facilitates his Strategic Thinking Leadership Gatherings that focus on Board engagement to create and sustain highly effective Boards and organizations.  He also shares his perspective with foreign delegations sponsored by the United States Department of State; and at conferences.

An active coach and mentor, Barry believes change emanates from passionate individuals moved by visions and dreams.  He served as Executive Director of the American Creativity Association and had a 23 year career as Executive Director/ CEO of Jewish Federations in Syracuse, NY and Austin, TX.  He has a Master’s Degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University (1977) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in Judaic Studies.

He enjoys helping individuals considering careers in the Nonprofit Sector and those seeking new approaches and solutions to society’s challenges by creating and building new organizations.

Barry’s diverse professional, volunteer and community service leadership roles include:
  • Secretary/ Treasurer, School of Thought (an international nonprtofit)
  • Co-Executive Producer, Civil Society television and web broadcast
  • Executive Director of the American Creativity Association
    • Chair, 2005 & 2006 International Conferences of the American Creativity Association in Austin
  • Co-Publisher, Creative Pulse Magazine
  • Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Austin (1995 – 1998)
    • Publisher, Jewish Outlook (newspaper)
  • Executive Vice-President (or Associate Director) of the Syracuse Jewish Federation (New York; 1975 – 1995)
    • Publisher, Jewish Observer (newspaper)
  • Founding chair, Council of Jewish Federations’ National Computer Committee (pioneering application of computer technology in Jewish Federations nationally)
  • Member, Council of Jewish Federations’ Management Services Committee.
  • Chair, Professional Development, Constitution and By-laws, and Publications Committees, Association of Jewish Community Organizational Personnel
  • Author, POSDCORB, column on management literature, AJCOP Newsletter
  • Creator and Publisher, Beyneynu(Hebrew for “Between you, me and the gatepost”) periodic journal seeking “to enlighten, to expand personal horizons, to make connections among ideas and to cause the “aha: feeling that unleashes the curiosity and creativity with us all.”
  • Member, Texas Legislative Task Force on Strengthening Nonprofit Capacity (2009 – 2011)
  • Co-chair, Texas Legislative Task Force on Improving Relations with Nonprofits (2011 – 2013)
  • Advisory Board, Texas Connects Coalition (TXC2) (2011)
  • Chair, St. Edward’s University’s New College Dean Search Committee (2008-2009)
  • Chair, St. Edward’s University’s New College’s Advisory Council
  • Advisory Council, Texas Campus Compact;
  • Advisory Board, Partners for Sacred Places – Texas Regional Office
  • AFP Austin Philanthropy Day Awards Selection Committee
  • Various planning committee for former Governors Nonprofit Leadership Conference (GNLC)
  • Board Advisor to Community Weaving & Family Support Networks International
  • Board, Samaritan Center for Counseling and Pastoral Care
  • Advisory Council, River City Youth Foundation (RCYF)
  • President, Central East Austin Community Organization (CEACO)
  • Higher Education Sector’s representative, Community Resource Council of the Community Action Network
  • Leadership Council, CREATE Austin
  • Advisor, Literacy Coalition of Central Texas
  • Board, University of Texas Center for Performance Excellence
  • Planning Committee, Communities Connecting for a Better Tomorrow
  • President, Summer Wonders (a camp for gifted and talented children);
  • Austin Community College Citizen Advisory Council (1999-2000)
  • Chair, Communications, Personnel and Executive Search Committees, Austin Jewish Community Day School
  • United Way/ Capital Area’s 2000 New Initiatives Committee
  • Project Advisory Committee of the Training Better Board and Committee Members Project of NAMI Texas
  • Board, Central Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross
  • Board, Greater Austin Quality Council (GAQC)
  • Baldridge Award Examiner
  • Graduate, Leadership Austin Class of 2000
  • Vice-president for Communications, Austin Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)
  • Peer Panelist Review Committee for the Capacity Building Level II Grants for the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division of the Economic and Redevelopment Services Office
  • A founder and president, Syracuse Area Interreligious Council, where he worked extensively on broadening ethnic, racial and religious involvement on such critical issues as discrimination, racism, Interreligious understanding, human and civil rights, refugee resettlement, transitioning ex-offenders, housing, food bank, and hunger relief
  • Initiator and Chair, three Central New York community-wide efforts that raised approximately $200,000 for hunger relief in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda
  • Initiator and Chair, Interreligious Fund for Kosovar Refugee Relief and Resettlement, Austin Metropolitan Ministries
  • Initiator, Nostra AetateAward at St. Edward’s University
  • Chair, Finance and Program Committees, the Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center
  • Board of Trustees and Capital Development Committee, Public Broadcasting Council of Central New York
  • Vice-president and Board member, Americanization League of Syracuse and Onondaga County
  • Member, Thursday Morning Roundtable (a weekly forum of Central New York business, civic, religious, political, educational and social service community leaders)
  • Advisory Board, New York State Voluntary Enterprise Commission
Barry’s recognitions include
  • Recipient, 2009 New College Community Partner Award (St. Edward’s University, June, 2009)
  • Special Recognition Award – Austin Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (2006);
  • Ethics in Business Awards Finalist (2004) – co-sponsored by the Samaritan Center and St. Edward’s University’s Center for Ethics and Leadership 2003 Bellwether Award Finalist at the Community College Futures Assembly. for the ACC CNS’s excellence and its innovative approach in Using Strategic Creativity and a Partnership of Business and Community College to Meet Workforce Needs of the Nonprofit Sector;
  • For Pete’s Sake Award, Impact Austin (2004) for his role in mentoring its leadership and assisting with its creation
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association Liberty Bell Award (2003) “presented to a non-lawyer who has made a significant and selfless contribution to the community. This award recognizes dedication to community service that promotes a better understanding of the principles of American government and strengthens the effectiveness of the American system of freedom under law.”
  • Syracuse Herald American (newspaper) Mover and Shaker in Religion, a recognition of leaders under 40 years of age (at that time!)
  • Esther and Joseph Roth Award for Outstanding Jewish Community Leadership for his service in Central New York

During his 23 year Jewish communal service career, Barry traveled often to Israel, Eastern and Western Europe ( Rome, Warsaw, Krakow, Vienna, Prague) and visited concentration camp sites of Theresienstadt/ Terezin, Mauthausen, Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Now he enjoys traveling with his wife, Marcia.

Professionally, Barry is proudest of his impact on others. Summing up Barry’s career in Central New York upon his departure for Austin, the Syracuse Herald American published an editorial – Farewell to a Class Act – and an article – An Examined Life, Thoughtful Local Jewish Leader Take His Leave.

Rooted in his Jewish tradition, Barry finds his greatest joy in his family. Married since 1977 to the former Marcia Lederman of Buffalo, NY, he is the immensely proud father of Sharon Brener and Mark Silverberg, who are both saving their pennies to support their parents in a retirement style to which they are accustomed.

Marcia is Principal, HR Directions, and was formerly Vice President, HR Strategic Initiatives and System Office Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of Ascension Health and previously Senior Vice-president for Human Resources and Organizational Development for the Seton Healthcare Network (Austin).  She and Barry are co-principals in Silverberg Associates – a consulting, coaching and HR services firm serving the for profit and nonprofit sectors.

A resident of Austin, TX since 1995, Barry’s roots in Brownsville (Brooklyn, NY, not Texas) are self-evident when he gets passionate.