Why did you join YWA?
I had recently gotten back from traveling and living abroad for most of 2010 and 2011, and was looking to reinvent my life. They say that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and I decided I wanted to consciously focus on surrounding myself with passionate, community minded, inspiring women – and I found those women in YWA.
What is one of your favorite personal stories or experiences about YWA?
Oh, this one is one of my favorites! First some context – so, for my birthday, I generally host some sort of informal fundraiser for a philanthropy I feel passionate about. Two years ago, I was still a new’ish member and a new Board member as well, and I had decided to do a small fundraiser/happy hour for SmileTrain (which does cleft palate surgeries) for my birthday. No sooner had I posted the invite for my birthday on Facebook, several of my YWA friends immediately made a donation. They stepped up and supported me quicker than anyone else – before friends I had known for years, or even my own family had time to donate. It wasn’t the amount of money that even mattered, I was so touched by their camaraderie! The support and love was immediately felt from my YWA community.
What are you excited about for the 2015-2016 year?
There is a lot I am excited about in the coming year. We have an all-star leadership team on the Board this year, and an amazing group of women who make up our organization. During our recent Strategic Planning Board Retreat, we focused on two main areas: creating an engaging and rewarding membership experience & building our YWA and YWAF brand and presence in the community. To this end, we’re looking to expand our organization’s offerings to get our members more connected and involved in the community, develop a membership perks program and develop our plan of creating the next generation of women philanthropic leaders through supporting our Foundation. We’ve also created a new position – VP of Strategic Partnerships to organize our efforts to build stronger relationships with local businesses and organizations. We’re going to have a lot of fun this year with the Board and the new Chairs — I can’t wait!
Tell us about a growth moment you’ve had in your career – good or bad, explain why it was formative for your ultimate climb to success.
About a year ago I was sitting in a YWA General Meeting, and decided that it was time for me to start offering my own workshops for women. It was one of those moments where I thought — if these women can talk in front of a group, so can I! I love learning and am a lifetime student — which is great — but sometimes I can get caught in the loop thinking that I just need to learn or study just one more thing before I’ll be able to speak or teach others. So it was a game changer for me on several levels, sitting in that General Meeting, finally giving myself permission to stop waiting and just begin.
If you could have offered yourself a piece of advice ten years ago, what would you have said to your younger you?
Go to the places that scare you. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be your best you. Stretch yourself regularly (literally and figuratively), embrace failure. And remember: dancing is not optional. Dancing is essential.
Tell us something about yourself that most other members might now know?
I am always looking for a reason to dance — though anyone who’s spent any time with me probably knows that.
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is on it?
Hmm, off the top of my head… in no particular order I’d love to: see the northern lights in Norway, hike either the Pacific Crest or Appalachian trail, lead a nonprofit, raise enough money to build a school in another country, write a book or three, learn to code, and open up a dance/yoga/healing arts studio.
Tell us about something(s) you are most proud of?
A few things come to mind: I’m proud of when I decided to leave my comfortable and predictable life at the beginning of 2010 to follow a dream. I’m proud of when I left my “normal” 8-5 job in 2013 to do consulting work and I’m proud of every time that one of my coaching or consulting clients does something utterly extraordinary.