Vera’s Rising Leaders Program: Unlocking Leadership Potential

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At Vera Solutions, we cultivate skill-building and cross-functional collaboration at all levels of the organization. We invest in growing our emerging leaders in concrete, structured ways. One example is the Rising Leaders program we run for staff from around the globe. This program focuses on tailored leadership development planning, peer support, and connection with Vera’s senior leadership.

The Rising Leaders program traces its roots back to Vera CEO Zak Kaufman’s participation in the Global Good Fund (GGF) Fellowship in 2017. The GGF Fellowship supports successful social entrepreneurs by investing in their leadership development. Zak decided to pay it forward and invest in building a program for emerging leaders within Vera that takes inspiration from the GGF Fellowship Program.

"The GGF Fellowship was a transformative experience for me, from crafting a Leadership Development Plan to connecting with like-minded change makers from around the globe. A major focus of my development plan was making my role and Vera as a whole more sustainable - that hinged on creating space for other leaders in the company to step up and investing in building their capacity and confidence as leaders. The Rising Leaders Program has been key to that end - a unique aspect of the company and culture we’ve cultivated that ensures Vera as a whole remains dynamic and committed to continuous improvement."

- Zak Kaufman, Vera Solutions Co-Founder and CEO

In-Person Summit: Building Bonds Across Borders

The heart of the Rising Leaders Program is its summit, where leaders from diverse geographies and roles come together for a week of training, peer learning, and professional development. This in-person component is more than just a series of workshops – it’s an opportunity for Verites to forge bonds that transcend roles and locations.

Last month, 14 nominated Rising Leaders came together to participate in a three-day summit in Cape Town. The cohort participated in a curriculum that included skill-building exercises, peer support sessions, values identification exercises, goal-setting and planning, and a creative “art jam” reflection. Heavy focus for this year’s cohort was on strategic thinking and motivation – including a session investigating the science behind motivation, a workshop on energy management and avoiding burnout, and a panel discussion with Vera alumni sharing their motivational strategies.

"The most exciting part was definitely connecting with other Verites at a similar stage in their leadership journey in person. I had a lot of “ah-ha moments” around different leadership styles that will help me be a better colleague, manager, and leader."

- Mary Lycke, Senior Accounting Manager - Vera Solutions

Dedicated Time for Skill Building and Reflection

One standout feature of the program is the benefit of dedicated paid time for skill-building and deep reflection. Participants were asked to step back from their day-to-day responsibilities, zoom out, and critically examine their career trajectories. This intentional pause allowed the cohort to assess where they currently stand in their career, where they aspire to be in the future, and the strategic path to bridge the gap through a Leadership Development Plan. This plan provides Rising Leaders with an opportunity to recalibrate and align both personal and professional goals.

"Prior to the Summit, Rising Leaders seek peer feedback from a variety of people that they work with, informing a 360 degree review which they use to build a Leadership Development Plan. This is a moment for them to pause, reflect on their career trajectory, and establish a plan towards achieving a specific leadership development goal. That could be anything from "improve managerial skills” to “build sales competencies” to “become more technically-skilled.” A participant’s goal could also be to develop empathy or greater emotional intelligence as a leader."

- Rachel Glogowski, Global Operations Director - Vera Solutions

Peer Support and Access to Senior Leadership

Another highlight of the program is the emphasis on peer support – the program fosters an environment where leaders can learn from each other’s experiences. During the summit, Rising Leaders gained invaluable access to senior leadership within the company, creating a bridge for knowledge transfer and mentorship. This year’s summit included one day that overlapped with the Vera Leadership Team, providing an opportunity for Rising Leaders and Leadership Team members to connect to the workshop together.

"The Rising Leaders Summit surpassed my expectations, not only in its delivery but also in providing a unique opportunity to connect with leaders representing every facet of the business. What fills me with the utmost pride is the realization that, as I looked across the room within my group, I encountered individuals who not only embody excellence in their respective departments but are equally remarkable as human beings. It has been a genuine honour to forge connections and get to know each of them on a personal level."

- Rory Mc Lean, Senior Business Development Manager - Vera Solutions

Strategic Overlaps: Aligning Leadership with Company Vision

This year’s summit allowed emerging leaders and senior leaders to align on the company’s strategic goals in-person. Rising Leaders participated in key discussions on company strategy and learned about the concept of “situational leadership” – the adaptive styles required in different leadership contexts. The structure allowed the Rising Leaders to learn from leaders across Vera as they navigate their own leadership journey.

A Year-Long Journey of Continuous Growth and Leadership-Building

The Rising Leaders program is not just an in-person Summit, it’s a year-long journey that shapes leaders into the best versions of themselves. Drawing from over five years of success, the program continues to evolve, ensuring that each cohort receives a tailored, transformative experience.

Vera Solutions is committed to professional development by nurturing a community of leaders who are not only skilled in their roles but are also empowered to steer the company towards a future marked by innovation, collaboration, and impactful leadership.The Rising Leaders program stands as a testament to Vera’s investment in its people and its unwavering dedication to fostering leadership excellence.

Introducing the 2023-2024 Rising Leaders cohort

United States

Mary Lycke | Vera Solutions Mary Lycke – Senior Accounting Manager

São Paulo

Vera Solutions Team. Vera Solutions Employee. Investment Management Consultant. Tech Solutions Consultant. Grant Manager Consultant. Data Managment Consultant. Cloud-computing consultant. Program Management Consultant. Impact Measurement Consultant. Impact Analysis Consultant. Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant. M&E consultant. Gus Valentim – Lead Consultant

Christiana | Vera Solutions Chris Metzker – Customer Success Manager


Hasti Sawala – Solutions Architect

Prathmesh Prathmesh Mengane – Lead System Architect

Pronit Agrawal | Vera Solutions Pronit Agrawal – DevOps Lead

Prateek Prateek Gupta – Senior Product Manager

Srivatsan | Vera Solutions Srivtasan Ramesh – Global Services Manager

Prasad Sawant | Vera Solutions Prasad Sawant – Senior Developer

Cape Town

Carmen Kingwill | Vera Solutions Carmen Kingwill – Customer Success Manager

Rory Mc Lean | Vera Solutions Rory Mc Lean – Senior Business Development Manager

Caitlin Graaf – Solutions Architect

Hetile Dlamini Hetile Mabunda – Senior Success Engineer

Vera Solutions Team. Vera Solutions Employee. Investment Management Consultant. Tech Solutions Consultant. Grant Manager Consultant. Data Managment Consultant. Cloud-computing consultant. Program Management Consultant. Impact Measurement Consultant. Impact Analysis Consultant. Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant. M&E consultant. Lucia Thesen – Solutions Architect

If you would like to become a future Rising Leader, explore our current job vacancies and join our dynamic team!

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