Q: Tell us a little about your organization. Mission? Population you serve? What do you like most about working there?
A: COSI’s mission is to inspire interest in science and encourage people to want to know more about their world. I love the collective talent and dedication of my amazing co-workers, and I feel extremely proud to be part of the COSI Team. Also, it’s meaningful to me to be part of an organization that encourages critical thinking, teaches science inquiry skills, and supports a larger culture of curiosity—which, I believe, are all essential to a healthy society. COSI offers so many programs that support the development of these habits of mind. Whether through outreach to 280,000+ students a year or bringing students onsite to our Teen Tech Studio— to me, it’s about supporting the innovators and scientists of tomorrow, yes, but also (equally important) supporting the development of informed and engaged citizens, the problem-solvers of tomorrow. It’s about asking questions, testing solutions, and sharing ideas… whether programming a robot or creating a more fair democracy. I love contributing to that!
Q: How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?
A: I became an AFP member four years ago. I completed the year-long Mentorship program under the guidance of the fabulous Ruth Watkins and also completed the Fundamentals of Fundraising Course. Especially for those starting new in the profession, AFP is an amazing resource to gain practical knowledge, a nurturing circle of colleagues, and practical steps for advancing a career path in the field.
Q: What do you consider the most valuable part of your AFP membership?
A: I would say the supportive colleagues. When I took on my first Development Director position, I felt no hesitation whatsoever in picking up the phone and calling a much more established AFP colleague for advice (for some random, elementary database issue, if I recall) — not someone I knew particularly well, just someone I’d run into along the way. I felt very comfortable and confident that I would receive a warm and helpful response (I did!)— simply because it feels like that’s the kind of community the central Ohio AFP has built over time. The veterans are so helpful to the newbies and give (both formally and informally) of their talents and expertise for the good of the profession and the success of our collective central Ohio non-profit base.
Q: How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?
A: I began my fundraising career over ten years ago, when I joined the Columbus Symphony as the Associate Director for Grants and Foundations. I had just completed an MFA in Creative Writing and wanted to use my writing skills in a non-profit setting. Grant writing seemed the ideal fit. Over time, I’ve used writing to help build donor relations, communicate impact, and advocate for my organization’s value among many different stakeholders.
Q: What is your favorite part about living/working in Columbus? Favorite Restaurant?
A: I have an enduring love affair with everything German Village, which is where I first lived when I moved here from California… 15 years ago! I also love our Metro Parks and library systems. Restaurant-wise, I would never turn down a meal at Hunan Lion on Bethel— always delicious, always peaceful.
Q: Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.
A: In an earlier version of me, I was studying to be an opera singer. That was my first major in college, before I switched to poetry. It’s still a dream of mine that one of my poems will be set to music for some soprano to perform from the bend of a grand piano!
Posted May 2016