Photo by Kayla Giordano-Wittig
While in graduate school, I started volunteering for the local Special Olympics Chapter where I was the head swimming coach. I loved the athletes and the organization's mission. I discovered that the nonprofit sector was for me.
I wasn’t sure how an MBA in Marketing would help me get into the nonprofit sector. Until one semester, I enrolled in a Nonprofit Marketing class and discovered that the nonprofit sector did have a place for me and my MBA!
After graduating, I loaded up my ancient Oldsmobile, put all the cash I had into one pocket, and drove from Madison, Wisconsin to Washington, DC to find nonprofit work. And, I’ve never looked back.
My first job in DC was with Special Olympics International as their National Telemarketing Manager. I’ve also worked for organizations that have helped homeless men with AIDS die with dignity, helped adults earn their GEDs, one that provided capacity-building to small nonprofits, and a foundation that supported small, workforce development organizations. I was honored to be selected to be part of the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in Ukraine in 1992.
I’ve fundraised, created strong partnerships with boards, managed and motivated staff, celebrated accomplishments, and fretted over looming challenges. I'm grateful for every minute of it. I always say I won't die a rich man, but my life has been so enriched by being in the nonprofit sector.
Along the way, I co-authored a board governance book with my dear friend and former board chair (aka boss!), co-founded Mundo Verde Public Charter School and a collaborative workforce development nonprofit, the Skyland Workforce Center. I am a graduate of the Georgetown Leadership Coaching program, an ACC Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation, a certified Positive Intelligence Coach, and certified in Designing Your Life. I currently serve as the Board President at Joseph’s House and volunteer at the Skyland Workforce Center.
I want to keep giving back by providing coaching and consulting that is accessible to nonprofit organizations and their leaders.
So, the end of this story is that my nonprofit journey continues…!