After finishing grad school, before I got my first job, I was volunteering at a local fundraising event called “Ride for Riverview” (see equestrian, above). The event was a horse show that raised money for one of our local hospitals, Riverview Medical Center. I met the development team and shortly thereafter interviewed for an entry level role in annual giving. I was offered the position and have been with the organization ever since – 14 years!
My husband and I have always been civic-service type people (he’s an elementary school principal). We live in a populated area in NJ, and being actively involved in our community helps create a small-town feel for us. That said, what better way to help our friends and neighbors than through the impact of healthcare - it is incredibly rewarding to play a role in a healthcare institution that helps so many. I find it truly remarkable to match a donor’s interest with a hospital priority, and then share the impact of that philanthropy.
The number one answer is relationship-building, but I think the bedrock needed to do that well is persistence, patience, enthusiasm, and a good sense of humor.
Also, I can’t emphasize enough the value of having incredible leadership role models, from whom I try to take different strengths and approaches to find the version and style that works for me. This has included volunteers, executives, trustees, donors, doctors, patients, nurses, my family, friends, coaches, and so many others.
My children: I have three daughters, ages 7, 5, and 2. They are bright, precocious, funny, chatty, happy, stubborn, incredible little people. I hope every day that I can encourage them to be the change in the world.
Learn more about the award, including criteria and the nominations process here.