Gearing up for Chamber conference; making transitions in nonprofits | Notes on Nonprofits

From the Tallahassee Democrat

Alyce Lee: Next weekend is the annual Chamber of Commerce conference. I’ll be attending along with over 500 not for-profit and for-profit business, community, and elected leaders. I’m looking forward to moderating a session entitled, “Doing Well by Doing Good” designed to help businesses, for-profit and nonprofit, form relationships that are mutually beneficial.

This session resulted from a conversation I had with Jeremy Cohen of Target Copy Print and Mail.  We discussed the challenges of finding effective ways to invest in the community that result in a win-win for both partners.

We’re excited to explore this topic with conference attendees. Along with Jeremy, participating in the session will be Mandy Stringer, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra; Kelly Dozier, Mad Dog Construction and Chain of Parks Art Festival; and Brooke Hallock, Capital City Bank. These people bring so much experience to the conversation. Our goal will be to share ideas and examples for building reciprocal relationships that help each business grow.

Preparing for this session has been a good reminder we are all askers. We ask for the business, we ask for a gift or sponsorship, we ask for someone’s time, for a date, for a favor, for help.  In this session, we’ll explore ways we can ask each other better questions to form better relationships that help each business succeed.

We invite for-profit and nonprofit business leaders to join the conversation and attend our session on Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m. See you there.

Kelly: United Way recently announced their latest funding decisions which awarded $1.6 million to 20 community programs. This is the culmination of significant changes that have occurred in United Way’s giving priorities, grant amounts, and process for selecting funding recipients. The impact of these changes will be profound, and we promise to share our thoughts in a future column.

Lately it seems there have been a lot of transitions in the nonprofit community.

Lee Wagner stepped down as the ED of Boys & Girls Clubs and Nick Maddox has been named the new ED. Nick left his role as the ED of the Foundation for Leon County Schools so that position is open now. Welcome to human services, Nick.  Rick Minor announced he’s leaving Second Harvest of the Big Bend to have more time for his family and role as a Leon County Commissioner. Rick can be proud of the work he’s done and he is leaving behind big shoes to fill. The position is posted on their website if you are interested.

Last month the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend welcomed their new CEO LaToya Davenport.  Katrina Rolle will be stepping down from her role as CEO of the United Way of the Big Bend to become the new President of the Community Foundation of North Florida. Katrina will succeed Joy Watkins who is retiring after successfully leading the foundation since its inception. Katrina ‘s departure creates an opening at United Way so look for information about that position soon.

Also new to the sector and the community is Kathleen Spehar who has been named the new Executive Director of the Council on Culture and Arts. Her predecessor was Audra Pittman who left for her dream job at Savannah College of Art and Design. We always miss our colleagues when they move on but look forward people to welcoming new leaders into the nonprofit sector.  I feel certain we’ve missed some transitions so please send us an email.

A nonprofit leader asked me to remind her about a story I tell about why clear communication with everyone is so important. The story is from when my husband and I were a new couple. I had a habit of going to the laundry mat every Sunday. So, on the first Sunday I asked if he had anything and he gave it to me, carried it all to my car and then went in to watch football.

This went on for 4 or 5 weeks and I was getting more and more frustrated that he was expecting me to do his laundry without helping. Finally, when I was ready to start yelling, I said something.  He responded by telling me that he didn’t realize I wanted company. He assumed I enjoyed it because I didn’t say anything or ask if he wanted to go.

The lesson I took away from that experience was that you have to be very clear about your expectations and how you communicate. I’ve used that understanding with board members and team members. You can’t expect people to know what you want because you think you’ve hinted around enough. It must work because Scott and I just celebrated 33 years together. He does his own laundry and I do mine.