November 9, 2018
It’s fall, y’all. And for this new CEO, that means a whole lotta networking. Connecting with our community – current colleagues and potential partners, like-minded CEOS and innovative thought leaders – means listening and learning … what the nonprofit world is saying and doing and what that might mean for United Way’s work in education and family stability.
This is my third week on the job! I’m excited to get back into the community, catch up on what’s going on, and learn more about the areas where education is happening. Today is full of meetings with board members as I learn about their connections to United Way, the workplace campaigns supporting United Way, and other providers in the community. One meeting was with Scotty Oliver Lombardi, Senior Manager of Talent Management at Hunter Industries, a company that has been supporting United Way for at least 35 years, starting with Ann Hunter-Welborn. I also had the opportunity to meet CEO Greg Hunter to learn more about their family history with United Way. I was delighted to hear that employee gifts are matched by Hunter Industries to United Way.
Ian Gordon, Chief Impact Officer, attended the Live Well Advance Summit today. I probably don’t need to tell you about the role Live Well plays in our community! As HHSA brings together all of the entities interested in building a community that incorporates the county’s Live Well goals, we at United Way see our role in helping our community THRIVE.
Ian Gordon, Tia Anzellotti (VP of Partnerships), and I met with Steve Eldred, from The California Endowment, and Cindy Martin, Superintendent SDUSD, about the accomplishments of our collective impact work with Partnership for Children/Strive Together. We also look forward to a broader potential regional initiative to build on our collective successes.
By the time you read this, the work of the National Philanthropy Day Committee will be completed. It was such a pleasure working with the planning committee this year under the leadership of Christy Wilson, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, and the guidance of NPD staff Georgia Ringler.
Oh, wow! My first official public interview as the new CEO! KUSI hosted me as their guest to talk about my vision for United Way – just so you know: we are sticking with Education and building a broader vision.
Ian and I met with Wendy Fokas, President & CEO, Barrett Lambert, Board Member, and Brian Garbark, VP of Community Engagement from Partnerships with Industry to talk about how we could partner and to learn more about their strategy to work with the various school districts.
I attended the Asian Business Association Annual Scholarship Gala hosted by CEO, Wendy Urushima-Conn. Knowing there are so many deserving young people in our community and hearing about how the scholarship recipients intended to further their careers, makes this work in the Education field so rewarding.
Many thanks to the Leadership gifts from employees at the Airport Authority! Today I was invited to join these employees at downtown’s University Club to not only thank them for their support and willingness to give back to the community but to also begin to shape our Education vision for future discussion with the United Way board. Thanks, Kim Becker, CEO, for the invitation but most especially for her leadership of the workplace campaign and her long-standing support for United Way.
As many of you have probably heard, Nancy Jamison, CEO, San Diego Grantmakers, is retiring. As a board member, I am participating in the search and offering input on qualifications for their next leader. This is a great opportunity to shape the future of this organization as we build on the successful foundation of work established by Nancy J.
For the rest of the week, United Way staff and I attended the Strive Together conference in Seattle with a few of our partners representing Oceanside Promise (Nicole Magnuson) and San Diego County Health and Human Services Association (Carey Riccitelli). The successful collaboratives are following the theory of action laid out by Strive Together. One area that stood out to me was how one collaborative built their budget together – including the “backbone” support needed to be successful!
I attended the Celebration Under the Dome at the Central Library to support the Library Foundation’s work. Congratulations to Jay Hill, CEO, for a successful event, highlighting the work of the library system in addressing the needs of the community beyond books.
Wasted: A Celebration of Sustainable Food – Who doesn’t love food? Who doesn’t want to avoid wasting it? Hosted by Jennifer Gilmore, CEO, Kitchens for Good, culinary experts and novices enjoyed food and libations this afternoon focused on rethinking food waste. What a curious dissonance: the abundance of food compared to those with food insecurities in our community. Combining culinary training with workforce development ensures that giving back through this event impacts many lives.
This evening I attended the launch of the Creative Youth Development Network at the San Diego Art Institute. I’ve worked with Matt D’Arrigo since his days at A.R.T.S. – A Reason to Survive. Today he has launched a collective impact network of organizations working to ensure all students have access to the creative arts, supported with initial funding from the Rose Foundation. I could feel the excitement in the room to move this work forward.
Oct 17: Okay, somedays I overbook myself – I’ll admit it. This evening was one of those times. I started out the evening with our Emerging Leaders affinity group, introducing myself to them and talking about our work into the future. Chaired by Reana Shah, the group also heard from HR professional Jorge Barba about leveraging LinkedIn. Members also had an opportunity to have professional headshots taken by United Way’s Ryan Morris.
I quickly followed that by attending the Bastyr University Gala at Coasterra to celebrate the growth of naturopathic education and services in San Diego County. It was great to see fellow supporters Scott Suckow, American Liver Foundation; Jay Hill, Library Foundation; and Ruth Westreich, Philanthropist; as well as Bastyr staff President Harlan Patterson and David Lang, Senior Development and Community Relations Officer. Not only are they providing educational and clinical opportunities, but they are also partnering with community providers to include a holistic approach to their work.
Oct 19: I started the morning hearing the State of Nonprofits report at USD. Dr. Laura Deitrick and Dr. Emily Young presented their findings for San Diego County. With over 11,000 nonprofit organizations in the county, only slightly more than 2500 have staff. Congratulations to Nancy Jamison for being awarded the Libby Award for Nonprofit Leadership!
At lunch I met with Don Wells, CEO, Diane Cox, Development Director, and Michele Silverthorn, Investor Relations Manager, from Just In Time for Foster Youth, to hear more about their work in trauma-informed services. Truly going beyond what most of us think about these services, they have developed a curriculum to work with young people who have experienced ACES – Adverse Childhood Experiences. The most memorable point I learned: when transitional aged youth (TAY – 18-24 years of age) are assessed – no one in their group had less than 8 of the 10 experiences that determine ACES! We know the impact this will have on the future of these children; for most of them, unfortunately, foster care, juvenile justice and homelessness awaits.
Oct 20: It’s that time of year! HomeStart’s Hallow-wine event at the Burnham House was a fun time. Laura Tancredi-Baese, CEO, and her staff hosted the event with food, wine, beer, and a silent auction. The heartwarming, yet sad story we heard was one that shows the impact HomeStart has on the young pregnant and parenting teens with whom they work.
Oct 22: I had a chance to catch up with Keren Stashower, Principal and Owner, Kinnectics, LLC at lunch today. It’s always interesting to hear about her work and what she’s learning about teaching in the community. As we talked about systems change, I also learned about systems leadership. I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to read more, but it’s good to know about it!
In the afternoon I also met Adama Dyoniziak, Executive Director at Champions for Health. Learning about her path in her first 10 months at Champions for Health was very interesting. We may be able to find a partnership in some of the work we are both doing in Lemon Grove. More to come on that!
Oct 23: Thanks Sean Karafin, VP of Public Policy and Economic Research, for educating me on the San Diego Chamber of Commerce’s work with small business. It was a highlight to get the latest information on the report to be released in two days!
That evening I was honored to be a part of the National Philanthropy Day Honoree Dinner at the home of SDSU President Adela de la Torre. This was the first time we brought the honorees together to meet and mingle with each other and the NPD staff and volunteers. Many thanks to Wendy Urushima-Conn, as chair of the Honoree Committee, for her and the committee’s work in selecting these honorees. More about the celebration in next month’s blog!
Oct 24: Jess Yuen, Senior Advisor with HUD, joined UWSD staff to talk about potential Pay for Success models — or maybe you call it Pay for Results. It was exciting to learn about the opportunities that we could identify to move efforts in the community, collaboratively, to addresses the critical hurdles necessary to meet on the Education continuum that will help to ensure high school graduation and a pathway to college or career.
UWSD staff also met with Alice Guittard, Ann Bossler, Rosario Iannacone, and Becky Modesto from Price Philanthropies to update the status of our work in City Heights. As I continue to learn about our work, I was impressed to hear about the ways we deal data from SDUSD that combines attendance records with the reasons for the absence. This data work allows schools to individually tailor the interventions that will improve student attendance. We were also intrigued to learn more about Price Philanthropy’s work with school social workers to ensure a point person is coordinating the work with each student. Beginning to see some partnerships developing! How together, we’re sharing best practices.
Oct 25: What an underutilized resource we have in our community with Naila Chowdhury, Director of Social Impact and Innovation at UC San Diego. I had lunch with Naila and learned about her work to connect UC San Diego students with the community – and vice versa – to create opportunities for all students to learn about new experiences.
Oct 26: Okay, it was a little early, but today Ian Gordon and I presented our case to the Women’s Leadership Council for United Way’s funding activities. This year we changed the presentation by providing a more high-level view of the work we are doing and less about specific activities. The WLC will vote on how they want to see their funds distributed. We also recognized a change in leadership: Sarah Thompson steps down as chair and Christina Hastings begins as chair. Thanks, Sarah, for your leadership over the past 2 years! And congratulations Christina – I look forward to working with you!
Oct 29: I may have been away from this work for a few months, but it was great to jump back into the Accountable Communities for Health (ACH) Steering Committee group this morning. Kitty Bailey has been leading the group for the past three years and a lot of progress has been made. Although the same challenges continue, it was interesting to see the group has the leadership and experience to help steer it through.