What’s the most interesting discovery you’ve made since you started leading your organization?
When you run a nonprofit, you are actually running TWO businesses, not one. You’re providing a service to those who cannot afford it — and you are leveraging others to fund that work. They are really two entirely different enterprises that you are linking together.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? We would love to hear a few stories or examples.
I’ve spent my career asking people to ask big questions and not be limited in responses. But when the pandemic first hit and schools shut down, I wasn’t sure how to keep our nonprofit running — Shoes That Fit provides brand new athletic shoes to school children in low-income families — we want to help them stay in school and be active. We work through schools and need access to the kids to measure their feet — so our access points were closing and kids were no longer going to school. And it soon became almost impossible to resource shoes as supply chains dried up. I didn’t want to lay off staff during an economic crisis. It was a very scary time.
What makes you feel passionate about this cause more than any other?
I believe that most people want to make a difference — but the need is so enormous that it’s difficult to know where to start. Provide a basic, immediate and tangible need for a child — providing something that brings immediate joy and access — is a great place to start making a difference in the world.