Member Spotlight – Kerry Shaw
Director of Development and Communications
Q: Tell us a little about your organization. Mission? Population you serve? What do you like most about working there?
A: Local Matters was founded in 2008 in response to projections at the time that the current generation of children would have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, largely due to diet-related diseases. Our mission is to improve the health of people and communities through food education, access and advocacy. Local Matters works to address issues related to chronic disease and food insecurity by delivering critical hands-on cooking, nutrition and growing education, working with everyone from pre-schoolers to seniors, at over 80 sites throughout the city and state, supporting almost 12,000 people annually.
I have been working in the non-profit sector for almost 20 years and I have never worked at a place like Local Matters. The passion and commitment that I see carried forth from the staff and leadership is indescribable. Our food educators are teaching over 40 classes a week all over the city. When you go to a class and see how connected the children and adults are to what our food educators are teaching and how excited they get to interact with healthful food, it changes you. In 2015, we embarked on a capital improvement campaign of sorts to relocate our offices and build a culinary classroom, the first one in the organization’s history. The foresight shown by the leadership of the organization and the support we received from funders and partners was exceptional. Local Matters now has a Community Kitchen where we teach cooking, nutrition and gardening classes to the public, regardless of ability to play, where we train satellite partners from across the state and where we will be instructing culinary medicine to second year pediatric residents from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I was honored and humbled to be a part of such a legacy-setting endeavor. I love working at Local Matters because everything about it is real.
Q: How long have you been an AFP member, and what has your involvement been?
A: I have been an AFP member for almost two years. I have attended numerous education sessions, networking events and have met with members who have helped me grow in the development world. I realized I had a lot to learn about development when I joined Local Matters and AFP has helped tremendously with that learning curve. I also participated in the mentorship program in 2015.
Q: What do you consider the most valuable part of your AFP membership?
A: I find the most valuable part of AFP to be the other members that I meet. Some I have known for years in my past roles in the non-profit world but being exposed to such a brain trust around fundraising and development is invaluable. I also found the mentorship program to be extremely beneficial. It was helpful to be paired with a mentor who was running a small shop type of non-profit, similar in size to Local Matters. My mentor had years of experience in fundraising and imparted not just wisdom but also practical tools to use in further defining development at Local Matters.
Q: How long have you been in fundraising, and how did you get into it?
A: I have been in fundraising for two years, although I have been in the non-profit world for many years as a grant writer, program manager, and most recently as a program officer with a foundation. The position at Local Matters appealed to me, first, because of the people, the mission and the culture, and second, because it was an opportunity to grow my skill set. I have learned so much in the past two years because of on-the-job exposure and because of resources such as AFP.
Q: What is your favorite part about living/working in Columbus? Favorite Restaurant?
A: My favorite part of living and working in Columbus is being close to my family, friends and my two nephews. My husband and I recently moved to Clintonville and it truly feels like home. My current favorite restaurants include Gallo’s Kitchen, Harvest Pizza and Brassica.
Q: Tell us a fun fact about you that other AFP members wouldn’t know.
A: I am a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States. All four of my grandparents were born in Ireland and immigrated to the US in the 1920s and 30s. I had the opportunity about 20 years ago to apply for citizenship because of my grandparents. I haven’t necessarily done anything with it yet but who knows…there is still plenty of time.
Posted June 2016