Member Spotlight: Ken Flower

Ken Flower - Photo

Ken Flower

Director of Advancement and Community Relations

Bexley Public Library

Q:           Tell us a little about your organization. Mission? Population you serve? What do you like most about working there?       

A:           Bexley Public Library exists to enlighten, engage, and inspire our community of lifelong learners. We serve Bexley and surrounding communities by providing access to millions of resources, lifelong learning opportunities for everyone from babies to seniors, and a warm and welcoming place for exploration, collaboration, and learning. I’ve always been a supporter of libraries, but had no idea all that libraries do until I began working here. I love getting to be a part of a mission that literally serves everyone regardless of age, race, or socio-economic background. Libraries help level the playing field and provide opportunities for everyone to learn and be inspired. It’s also pretty great to pick up my next bedtime read when I leave work!

Q:           How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?

A:           I’ve been an AFP member for almost 2 years. Apart from attending monthly luncheons, I’ve also taken the Foundations Course, been a part of the mentoring program (had the greatest mentor in Mayme Norman!), and am joining the board this year as chair of the “Be the Cause” committee. I’m excited to serve on the “Be the Cause” committee because of the opportunity it gives all of us to give back to AFP after receiving so much professionally from this group.

Q:           What do you consider the most valuable part of your AFP membership?

A:           The relationships and friendships started through AFP are by far the most valuable part. To have a network of colleagues I can learn from as I continue to grow professionally is priceless. Specifically, I found the mentoring program to be invaluable and encourage everyone to join it at some point.

Q:           How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?      

A:           I’ve only been fundraising professionally for 2 years. Like most, I’ve wanted to be a fundraiser since I was five years old :).  Actually, I kind of “happened upon” fundraising. After serving church communities full-time for almost 10 years, I was making a professional transition and thinking through where my skills and passions might lead me next. The world of non-profit service made sense and my skills and experiences translated well.

Q:           What is your favorite part about living/working in Columbus? Favorite Restaurant?

A:           I work in Bexley and live in Merion Village. I love both communities because they really feel like communities. My family loves the friendships we have in our neighborhood and how easy it is to be a part of our neighborhood community. Being able to walk to restaurants, parks, shops, and school help with this a lot. Our go-to diner is the German Village Coffee Shop on Thurman Ave. I probably spend too much time there. They know my kids and it’s a great place to get a solid breakfast without breaking the bank. If the sky is the limit, then it’s G. Michael’s.

Q:           Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.

A:           I helped to start a movement in our neighborhood 4 years ago called Southside STAY and currently serve as board president. Our goal is to support and improve our neighborhood public schools so that we have excellent schools. Two of our kids are currently at our neighborhood school. I’ve learned that the biggest factor to whether or not a child succeeds in school is the level of parental engagement. 

Posted February 2016
  

Member Spotlight: Amanda K. Metskas

Amanda Metzkas - Photo
Amanda K. Metskas

Executive Director

Camp Quest

Q:           Tell us a little about your organization. Mission? Population you serve? What do you like most about working there?       

A:           Camp Quest is a network of summer camps providing weeks of fun, friends, and freethought to campers ages 8-17 across the United States. We’re aimed at giving kids a safe secular place to belong, challenge themselves, question, and grow.  Last summer we served more than 1,100 campers at 17 weeks of camp staffed by more than 400 volunteers.  I love the work that I do because I get to help kids flourish every summer.  I hear from parents that their child has never found another place where they felt so comfortable being themselves.  Camp people are amazing, and I love working with the Camp Quest team.

Q:           How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?

A:           I’ve been a member for two years. I’ve taken the Fundamentals of Fundraising training, I participate in the Small Shops affinity group, and I try to get to as many of the monthly lunch trainings as I can. I also had a mentor in 2015 through the mentoring program.

Q:           What do you consider the most valuable part of your AFP membership?

A:           The mentoring program was an amazing opportunity to connect one on one with a more experienced fundraiser. I learned a lot from my mentor, Joanne Spoth.  She’s awesome!

Q:           How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?      

A:           Eight years.  I’m passionate about the mission of Camp Quest, and became our first paid staff person after many years of us being an all volunteer organization. To make what we do possible I had to become a fundraiser, but I’ve found that I really enjoy the work because it’s about connecting with people who share my passion for Camp Quest’s mission.

Q:           What is your favorite part about living/working in Columbus? Favorite Restaurant?

A:           Columbus is a wonderful city because it’s a cosmopolitan place with tons of arts and culture, educational opportunities, and delicious food, but I can still afford to live here as a non-profit professional! It’s a humane and livable city that also has many of the benefits of much larger cities.  I live in the Short North and I love the restaurants and galleries. My favorites are the Rossi, da Levee, Philco, and Northstar Café.

Q:           Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.

A:           I’m a knitter.  It’s a creative way to unwind (pun intended).

  
Posted February 2016

Member Spotlight: Mellissa Gallagher

Mellissa Gallagher

Mellissa Gallagher Photo

Development and Events Manager

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio

Q:           Tell us a little about your organization. Mission? Population you serve? What do you like most about working there?       

A:           Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to-one relationships that change    their lives for the better, forever. Not only am I an employee of BBBS, but I also volunteer my time as a Big Sister. It has been a very rewarding    experience and sometimes I think my “Little Sister” has had a greater impact on me than I have on her!   

Q:           How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?

A:           I just officially joined in December, but am excited for the training and opportunities AFP has to offer!

Q:           How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?      

A:           Four years. To be completely honest, I just sort of fell into the fundraising field. I knew I wanted to make a difference in our community and the first job I got out of college was a fundraising job and I’ve stuck with it ever since. None of the amazing work done by non-profits could be accomplished without money and that’s what makes fundraising work so rewarding.

Q:           What is your favorite part about living/working in Columbus? Favorite Restaurant?

A:           There is always so much happening in Columbus, with sporting events, concerts, special events, etc. – there is always something new/different to do! My favorite restaurant is Cameron’s American Bistro in Linworth—it’s amazing!

Q:           Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.

A:           I was a competitive figure skater for fifteen years and even skated in college at Miami University. Now, I coach basic skills group lessons and a synchronized skating team at The Chiller Ice Rinks here in Columbus!

Posted: January 2016
 
 
 

Member Spotlight: Marcus J. Fish, CFRE

Marcus J. Fish, CFRE
Marcus Fish Photo

Development Director

The Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation

   Q:           Tell us a little about your organization. Mission? Population you serve? What do you like most about working there?       

   A:           Our Foundation was started in 2014 by The American Ceramic Society.  Our goal is to attract, inspire, and train the next generation of    ceramic and glass technicians, engineers, and researchers.  We have a tremendous staff and members who are dedicated to the scientific and    artistic uses of ceramic and glass materials.

   Q:           How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?

   A:           I’ve been a member for one year. I joined AFP after moving to Columbus to work with the CGIF.   So far, I have taken the CFRE prep class and recently passed the exam.  I was a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council for 9 years prior to moving to Columbus.

Q:           What do you consider the most valuable part of your AFP membership?

A:           Networking and learning opportunities offered throughout the year.

Q:           How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?      

A:           Ten years.  Like many fundraisers, I stumbled into the profession.  I worked as a financial advisor for several years which prepared me well for making the transition to planned giving and fundraising.

Q:           What is your favorite part about living/working in Columbus? Favorite Restaurant?

A:           Columbus is a great place to live and raise a family.  Everything we need and want is just a short drive away.  We recently had a great meal at The Table on E. 5th.

Q:           Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.

A:           I love barbeque ribs.  I have tried them all over the country and my favorite spot is Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis.

Posted: January 2016
 
 

Member Spotlight: Emilie Zion

Emilie Zion
Development Manager
Capital Area Humane Society
  
Emilie Zion
 
Tell us a little about working at the Capital Area Humane Society.
The Capital Area Humane Society’s mission is to fight animal cruelty, help animals in need and advocate for their well-being.  I love working with all of our amazing donors and volunteers who dedicate their time, talent and treasure to the animals at the Capital Area Humane Society. We are so fortunate to have so many dedicated inviduals who rally behind our cause.
  
How and when did you become a fundraiser? I became a fundraiser 8 years ago. I started out managing volunteers for a non-profit organization in Chicago and quickly learned that I had the skills and personality to become a fundraiser.  I love working with individuals of all different ages who are passionate about philanthropy and creating a legacy in their community.
  
What do you consider the best part of your AFP membership? I actually have only been an AFP member for about a year (and am now a member of the Marketing Committee), but it has been a great experience. The best part for me has been networking with other fundraising professionals and learning more about the philanthropic community in Columbus.
  
Do you have a fun fact  that other AFP members wouldn’t know about you? I am married to an identical triplet.
  
Posted October 2, 2015

Member Spotlight: Cliff Wiltshire

Cliff Wiltshire
Development Director
Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center (CRC)
  
Cliff Wiltshire
 
Tell us a little about CRC and what do you enjoy about working there?
The CRC is a settlement house which has existed in Clintonville since 1971. Because of that designation, its leaders are able to regularly review the landscape of needs in the community and then determine the best services to meet those needs. The CRC currently operates a busy Choice Food Pantry that’s accessible seven days a week, a recently expanded Kids Club afterschool and summer experience program, and a thriving Senior Services department that helps a large and growing population of people 60 and older who often require just a little support in order to remain safe and happy in their homes. As a fundraiser, I deeply appreciate the way the CRC has many “hooks” for me to make connections with potential donors. On a personal note, I enjoy making a positive difference in my community, especially in helping provide direct material assistance to people who are facing difficult times.

   

What has your involvement been with AFP? I joined AFP two years ago when I became a full-time fundraiser. I attended the AFP International Conference in San Antonio in 2014 (with a great group of Central Ohio Chapter members)! I also attend monthly educational luncheons when possible and belong to the “Small Shop” affinity group. 
  

What do you consider the most valuable part of your membership? As a relatively new fundraiser, I especially appreciate the connections I’m able to make through AFP, with fellow fundraisers as well as with helpful and vetted resources for continuing education.
  

Why did you become a fundraiser? After 2 years in community journalist, primarily as a reporter and editor, I was looking for a “second career” in which I would be able to utilize some of the skills and gifts that I developed during that time. In fundraising, I am asked to develop relationships with other people, take he facts and stories from my agency and share them with the public, and help the CRC effectively share its story with the community. It has felt like a natural move for me to make. 
  

Tell us some of you favorites parts about Columbus? I really enjoy the small-town feel of most of Columbus, along with its great variety of entertainment options from the arts to sports and lots more. For my favorite restaurants, I’m not one to venture far from home in Clintonville: pizza from Pizza House, a pepper burger from O’Reilly’s Pub, pulled pot nachos from Iron Grill and a Mozart torte and coffee rom Mozart’s (but not all for one meal)!

Posted September 2015