- Lead operations, HR, finance, and risk management for organization that has more than doubled in staff size, expanded nationally, and significantly deepened impact
- Strategize and operationalize successful merger with a peer nonprofit organization; directly own HR, finance, and operations; seconded to head all operations and talent functions
- Co-founded Technology Career Accelerator Program, a mentorship and professional development initiative for students underrepresented in technology
- Set vision for organization’s strategy, budget, funding, and messaging as part of the leadership team
- Oversee staff recruitment, talent development, and retention during team expansion
- Direct organization’s fundraising and operations, doubling cash-in through board and individual giving, corporate sponsorships, grants, and earned income
- Design and develop fundraising, forecasting, and revenue operations, implementing and monitoring Salesforce instance, online donations, and digital marketing
A many-hatted man
A growing organization is one loaded with opportunity to hold many responsibilities. Something doesn’t exist? Build it. Something needs to get done? Do it.
Needs consistently exceed capacity and my approach has been less, “that’s not my job,” and more, “how can I fold that into my job?” This, combined with being part of a small leadership team, has provided the opportunity to channel previous roles to support (or own) operations, HR & culture, fundraising.
- Developed community strategy & programming in partnership with organizational leadership
- Set and executed the creative and experiential direction for immersive summits and digital community
- Forged pathways to donors, leading to nearly $30M in yearly team-wide revenue
- Managed all workflows and operations across teams to research, identify, and cultivate donors
- Recruited, trained, and led execution team for large-scale events
The Philanthropic Leadership Circle (PLC) convened a community of some of the most influential voices in education in the United States. We brought together philanthropists, government leaders, and grassroots local champions to catalyze change in the K-12 landscape.
“TFA has organized an important space for philanthropists who care deeply about equity and excellence in education. TFA has created a ‘big tent’ where diverse perspectives and experiences contribute to and push transformational thinking and action.” -Karsh Family Foundation
- Established, oversaw, and evaluated all program operations increasing overall satisfaction by 48 percentage points, and meeting or exceeding all operations goals
- Recruited, selected, and led staff of approximately 40, including 8 direct reports
- Coached and mentored team, enhancing performance, satisfaction, retention, and promotion
- Negotiated and executed $1+ million annual contract with university partner
- Managed procurement of supplies, technology, and transportation in excess of $250,000 per year
- Oversaw $2.0+million budget tracking, analysis, and federal government audit-preparation
- Designed, edited, and executed national operations staff training with 95% staff satisfaction
Why I spent 5 years here
From a teacher preparation standpoint, I genuinely believe that this is the place where we can have some of the strongest impacts on nearly 1,000 beginning teachers, and in effect, their students. We were often times their first experience with pedagogy and teaching; we have the ability to foster the knowledge, mindsets, skills, and culture to truly enable and empower them to do amazing things. Simultaneously, we ran a summer school system – up to 15 schools across the city of Houston – with real students, lives, and families. This amounted to tens of thousands of students and my team was ultimately responsible for maintaining the structures that empowered those nearly 1,000 new teachers and the 150 staff and administrators.
There’s something truly special about the summer training institute environment that I haven’t seen elsewhere. We bring together an incredible wealth of knowledge and expertise from some of the greatest people in the world and everyone is constantly pushing toward the same goal – our students. As a by-product, each person involved in evolving and ends up growing (both professionally and personally) at an incredibly accelerated rate and having a great time in the process. I loved being part of building that culture – through the systems that everyone used as well as by leading my own team.
- Coached a portfolio of new teachers, leading to students to meet or exceed 90% of summer goals and exceeding teacher proficiency targets and satisfaction goals
- Examined student data and teacher actions in order to prioritize ares for growth
- Developed individualized coaching strategies for portfolio, leading to teachers meeting or exceeding all proficiency targets and all satisfaction/level of support goals
My manager that summer was one of the most influential I’ve ever had; she pushed (hard!), allowed staff to take ownership, and was spot on with identifying skills to develop. Professionally, I grew more in those two months than any other similar period of my life.
Collectively, our staff, teachers, and students did some awesome things that summer and I still draw lessons from her about how to empower people, foster creativity, and build a joyful but urgent-acting community.
I had the unique experience of being on staff at the same school where I had taught the previous two years under an administration that operated very differently; it’s still pretty awe-striking to consider the effect my school’s summer leader had in turning around the culture, staff morale, and student achievement.
- Taught middle school science and reading, leading to 79% student mastery of above-grade-level science content and 100% of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading
- Partnered with school administrators to develop the 2007-2008 school wide strategic plans, in compliance with the Georgia Department of Education, leading the school to meet district and federal student achievement goals
- Prepared and facilitated staff-wide workshops on student achievement data-collection and analysis, resulting in school-wide implementation of data tracking tool
- Wrote components of the 2008-2009 Teach For America eighth grade national science curriculum
- Represented Teach For America at fundraising & recruitment events as a 2006 corps member
Why I [TAUGHT] For America
As a country and as a planet, it’s pretty shameful that we haven’t figured out how to ensure that we’re able to provide a great education to everyone. It’s unfair, unjust, and fundamentally wrong that we put up barriers to many basic human and civil rights (including education, medical care, quality food, credit, and safety). More broadly, I believe that access to an amazing education is at the very knotty root of people leading a happy, fulfilling life in a welcoming, safe environment. This is especially true when so many of the solutions and barriers are societally imposed and driven (money, bias, fear, low expectations). Education, truly, is one of the most powerful and impactful means to provide people the power and access to people’s ability to reach a genuine self-actualization.
Notable Leadership Roles
- Teaching Assistant, Department of Communication
- Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry
- Recruitment Chair, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity
- National Communications Coordinator, Residence Halls Association
- LeaderShape Institute participant
- President, Holden Hall Government
- Treasurer, Holden Hall Government
I kind of had it all during my undergraduate experience. I balanced two very different degrees (both with honors), pursued additional interests (such as teaching and researching), worked a few part time jobs, and made a ton of friends. It was a lot, but it was me.
I constantly sought out new experiences because I was – and still am – so interested in a variety of topics and subjects. I loved thinking about societal effects of altruism as much as I did quantum theory, so I decided to study both chemistry and small group communication. Similarly, I worked hard in both my for-pay and other non-academic ventures because I genuinely enjoyed what I was doing – be it schlepping ice cream (I was a shift manager at Cold Stone), leading delegations to conferences across the country (that was a cool gig, too), or throwing a big event.