Client since ‘09
Executive Director, Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area
How did you start down your career path? What was your first job after you finished high school? College?
When I had my daughter and became a mom, it made me look at work and life differently and question how I spent my time. I decided that if I was going to be away from my daughter I ought to make the world a better place and be something she could believe in. 26 years ago, I made the decision to work in the non-profit world. My husband was very supportive of my career change and just wanted me to be happy. For us, money wasn’t the motivator.
When you were younger what did you think you wanted to do with your career?
My first job in High School was at a daycare because I had always loved kids.
What is your source of inspiration?
I am inspired by people who are unselfish, who do things out of the kindness of their heart. If people waved, smiled, were polite, nice and kind I wonder what the impact would be long-term.
How has great service played a part in your professional (or personal) success?
I think service is everything. It’s how you’re treated; it’s whether you feel respected or valued. It certainly applies; we’re in the service industry. Service is fun. I get to be a matchmaker with people who want to feel good and do good. I give them an opportunity to make the world a better place and feel good in return.
What is your favorite book, newspaper, magazine, or business journal you absolutely have to read?
Lesson’s in Living, is a great book by the editor of Ebony magazine, Suzan Taylor. Suzan’s inspiration is that, ‘you have to be independent as women and self-sufficient.’ It’s a great message for women who define themselves by their relationship. They need to remember to be a human being first and to be able to be a sole provider – and that you can overcome abuse, or unhappiness.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to enter the non-profit world?
It’s so easy, become a volunteer. That’s the beauty, test the waters, get a chance to see what it looks like, and see what kind of environment or charity you want to get involved with.
What ways would you like to share with the First Republic Community about how to get involved with Make-A-Wish?
My wish is for more resources. If they have time or treasures, such as funding an entire wish, a small part, joining the Facebook page, or donating something like airline miles. It all depends on the wishes we get, which I never know until I have the requests in hand. What’s great is that fulfilling a wish is mutually beneficial; donors love to see the result of helping a sick child.
Is there a recent wish that Make-A-Wish fulfilled that you would like to share with the First Republic Community?
Kyle has been battling a rare and very serious blood disorder, which has included far too many hospital stays, especially at the tender age of four. While a search has begun for a bone marrow donor to help save his life, his condition is currently controlled with treatment. This remission allowed Kyle to take some time to enjoy his wish – to catch a fish! Kyle had gone fishing a few times with his dad and uncle; but had never caught a fish. As luck would have it, Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area is a beneficiary of a fishing tournament in Northern California, which seemed like a natural place to solicit the help of lots of experts.
On the day of the tournament, Kyle and his family were escorted by a fishing guide who took them down to a quaint cabin next to a freshwater river and adjacent pond. The water was crystal clear and excited to see all the trout, Kyle jumped out of the car. There they were, all huddled together – over 100 beautiful trout with no knowledge of what was about to hit them! With some assistance, Kyle cast his rod into the pond, and we waited…and waited, but nothing, not even a nibble. Kyle’s hook got caught on a log, then some plants, each time forcing him to replace the bait and try again. After a few more casting attempts, our guide noticed that Kyle’s pint-sized beginner’s rod wasn’t able to cast his line far enough to where the fish were. The fishing tournament host, deciding that Kyle should try using another rod, presented him with a custom fishing pole. After his first cast, the bobber went nuts. Kyle had a fish!! He began reeling in his catch, squealing with joy!
Kyle spent the next few days on the lake and his success in catching countless salmon, trout and bass continued. At the end of the fishing tournament benefiting Make-A-Wish, he legitimately won 3rd place in the Jr. Fisherman category! He was awarded a fishing trophy and you could see the pure delight on his face. It was precious. Kyle’s Dad spoke with me after returning home and wanted to thank the entire community that came together to make Kyle’s wish so special. He wanted me to know, Kyle wasn’t thinking of his illness that night. Instead, he slept soundly with his fishing trophy.