Something Crazy Happens When You
Pack a Ballroom with
Nonprofits and Project Managers
Max Skolink, who runs Taproot Foundation's Washington chapter, had a zany idea. Why not pair up nonprofits with project managers, who can help “scope out” specific programs that have been particularly challenging and offer pro bono guidance?
Luckily the idea came to him while chatting with Kendall Lott, the 2014 chair of the Project Management Institute, Washington DC chapter and president of M Powered Strategies. It turned into the first-ever project management focused ScopeAThon, held yesterday in McLean, VA, with the help of PMI members, A Billion + Change and HP. (Max was snapped with Georgia Gillette from A Billion + Change, a movement to inspire companies to do pro bono work.)
Over 100 nonprofits participated after Taproot sent a call out to the DC region a few months ago for organizations that may need help with “capacity building projects” like marketing and branding, HR, strategic planning, financial management and IT. Max says the concept of corporate pro bono services, especially focused on project management, can be new and scary for nonprofits, so it took time to sell the event to organizations, but he thinks it could be held annually. Resources were donated, including the Sheraton providing the venue in Tysons and Charity Engine donating a database for applications.
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Association Innovators: Part II
If you recognize BSA: The Software Alliance's Phil Rice (and his adorable sidekick), then you read his profile and several others last week on innovation. It's part of a series that continues below of profiles on innovative people in the association and nonprofit worlds. Help celebrate all of them with Vornado and the Crystal City BID on Jan. 28.
Title: Founding director, Center for the Future of Museums (American Alliance of Museums)
Job: Equip museums with forecasting and trends analysis to make their short-term plans based on an understanding of potential long-term futures.
Organization: The American Alliance of Museums supports 21,000 museums, individuals and companies by developing standards and best practices, providing resources and career development, and advocating for museums.
On the job: With the Alliance 16 years; in current role for 9 years.
Most innovative project: CFM started as a scrappy, counterculture project in a 100-year old organization with a traditional culture at the time. CFM became a globally recognized brand in the museum field by exploiting emerging social media platforms and focusing on what experts from other fields had to say to museums. I'm working on a project that will bring together social entrepreneurs, social impact investors and museums to create financially sustainable products and services.
Why associations career: I was happy working in museums and took a job at what was then the American Association of Museums when I needed to relocate to DC. It gives me the opportunity to help the field as a whole.
Grew up: Cleveland
Current home: Chevy Chase (DC)
Why DC: Followed my husband, who got a great job with an ecological consulting firm.
Schools: Yale, Duke and University of Houston
First job: Diving assistant to one of my college professors, for her research at Discovery Bay Marine Station in Jamaica.
Job in another life: Theoretical physicist (I love reading about quantum mechanics), poet, baker and fencing coach.
Daily habit: Yoga
Favorite movie: Never Cry Wolf
Favorite music group: Stereo MCs
Favorite vacation spot: Home, preferably with the WiFi turned off.
Guilty pleasure: Dark chocolate
Bucket list: Learning to longboard
Family: Married; and two rescue cats
Hobbies: Fencing – I train about three times a week and compete at local and national events.
Startling fact: I deliver public talks wearing four-inch platform shoes. My shoes get more coverage on Twitter and Instagram than I do.
Title: Assistant director, Office of Innovation and Collaboration, American Chemical Society
Job: Promote employee engagement to help foster a more innovative and collaborative environment. Oversee staff of three.
One the job: 15 years with association; 2 years in current position.
Association: Over 161,000 members; publisher of 49 scientific journals; and keeper of largest scientific database of chemical information. ACS has 2,000 employees--700 in DC and 1,300 in Columbus, OH.
Most innovative project: Speaker series that features pioneers in innovation. The quarterly events draws over 600 staff and it's broadcast online to the rest of the staff. The event has inspired people to start applying what they're learning. We also do an innovation fair, challenging staff to come up with their best ideas. The top ideas get funded.
Lesson on innovative: Learn when and how to take a chance.
Grew up: Los Angeles
Current home: Montgomery County
Why DC: Husband was in the Navy and was stationed in Maryland.
Schools: California State University, Long Beach and University of Maryland, University College
First job: Formulated haircare and skincare products as a product development chemist for Schwartzopf-DEP Corp.
Daily habit: Eat fruits or vegetables, drink a ton of water, and think about my (deceased) mother and all the things she wanted me to do.
Favorite movie: Pride and Prejudice
Favorite music: Bruno Mars, Pink, Coldplay and Sam Smith
Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere warm with a beach.
Bucket list: Travel around the world.
Family: Married 16 years; two sons (9 and 11) and daughter (7); and yellow Lab (3).
Hobbies: Pilates, reading and watching Downton Abbey
Startling fact: Played piano 15 years, 15 years ago.
Title: CEO, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Job: Engage the talent of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of staff toward the association's priorities, which are identified on a three-year cycle.
On the job: Since January 2004.
Association: 90-year-old membership, credentialing and scientific organization with 173,000 members and staff of 270. ASHA provides member benefits and services (including certification of individuals and accreditation of graduate programs in audiology and speech-language pathology), professional development and advocacy.
Most innovative projects: Helped to create a culture where people know they can be creative and implemented a restructure to a unicameral mode of governance with opportunities for direct member input.
Association career start: I've been a member since the late '70s as a certified speech language pathologist. I had the opportunity to work at ASHA as a program director in the mid-'90s and then a member of the facilitating team. My predecessor retired in 2003, and I applied for the role.
Grew up: Cranston, RI
Current home: DC, near AU
Why DC: Came in the early '70s to attend GW. Thought I would go back to New England but never did.
First job: Candy striper at local hospital. First paid job was at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Job in another life: Something related to travel.
Daily habit: Exercise at gym or treadmill.
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite music: Musical theater
Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere near the ocean.
Favorite food: Seafood
Bucket list: I've been to all but three of the 50 states – Wyoming, North Dakota and Iowa. I'm going to Iowa in April.
Family: Married 32 years; two daughters (30 and 26)
Hobbies: Travel, movies, skiing and entertaining
Startling fact: There was a brief period of time when I toyed with the idea of taking time off and being a ski bum. That didn't play out.
Title: Manager of Innovation, American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Job: Explore innovative ways to assess medical ultrasound.
On the job: 3 years
Association: Nonprofit founded in 1975 to promote patient safety through certification of ultrasound professionals. Organization (50 employees) supports 90,000 registrants in over 70 countries.
Most innovative project: Worked with point-of-care ultrasound organization to create and deliver assessments on tablets for physicians who use ultrasound at the bedside. Program started in Barcelona and then Hong Kong.
Best lesson on being innovative: The hardest part of innovation isn't the dreaming, it's the execution. If you can't execute on a dream, then it doesn't do any good.
Association career start: Started working with association management companies, giving me the opportunity to learn a little bit about a lot of things. While earning my CAE, I became interested in the process of credentialing and certification and started to focus in that area.
Grew up: Elkridge, MD, NYC and Southern California
Current home: Brookfield, IL
School: Chapman University
First job: Started acting professionally at age 8 and worked until 17. I did Broadway, off-Broadway, showcases, films, after-school specials and others.
Job in another life: Probably back to the stage as an actor.
Favorite app: Move
Favorite movie: Frances
Favorite food: Maryland crabs and La Cuina d'en Garriga in Barcelona
Favorite vacation spot: NYC
Guilty pleasure: Food – I'm a bit of a food snob.
Bucket list: Parachuting out of an airplane and visiting Sandusky, OH, to ride the roller coasters at Cedar Point.
Family: Three sons and one daughter (ages 13-21)
Startling fact: I'm afraid of jellyfish.
Title: President/COO, Building Owners and Managers Association International
Job: We're focused on expanding globally into markets like China. I'm also looking for partnerships, so I circulate to other groups and see where we can collaborate.
On the job: 14 years
Organization: Trade association with staff of 33 focused on commercial real estate. Our members are our local associations––we have 91 in the US and 17 affiliates around the globe. We focus on advocacy, so federal legislation, building codes, and education and training and performance benchmarking tools.
Most innovative project: We launched the 7-Point Challenge in 2007 to drive down energy usage in commercial buildings by 30% over five years. We've gone beyond that and we continue to drive down usage through programs like BOMA 360, a high-performance building designation program.
Best lesson on being innovative: Be open-minded and surround yourself with smart people.
Association career start: I fell into it. I was a communications PR guy and came to BOMA to be the director of communications.
Grew up: Wilton, CT
Current home: McLean
Why DC: Loved politics, so I came to DC to pursue dreams of working in politics.
School: University of Vermont
First job: Press office for Carter-Mondale re-election campaign in '79-'80.
Job in another life: Astronaut
Daily habit: I walk around the office to see what's going on with staff members, what projects are on their desks and to have informal conversations.
Favorite movie: Interstellar
Favorite restaurant: Tachibana in McLean
Favorite music: Jeff Beck
Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere with a beach.
Guilty pleasure: Bourbon
Bucket list: Trip to New Zealand
Family: Married 30 years; adult son, who works for investment firm focused on real estate.
Startling fact: I've been at BOMA for 30 years.
Janet Bandows Koster
Title: Executive director/CEO, Association for Women in Science
Job: Chief cook and bottle washer for small staff association. I'm focused on everything from management of the organization to creative components like communications, outreach, new research and analysis.
On the job: 8 years
Association: Founded in 1971. With 15,000 members, AWIS is the largest association for women in science––70% of members are PhDs, scientists, engineers and mathematicians; 4% of members are men. AWIS is the only organization that has a full-time public policy fellow working at the nexus of STEM and gender.
Most innovative project: Transitioned the national governing board to reflect the organizational diversity. We brought on the first man to serve on the board in the organization's 45-year history. I also recently wrote a book on the best practices for retaining women in STEM, reflecting on the micro-inequities keeping them from pursuing STEM careers.
Why association career: I've been in the nonprofit association arena my entire career, working for large nonprofits like AARP to small service organizations. The excitement in association work is the impact you can have on society and policy.
Grew up: Big Bear Lake, CA
Current home: Arlington
Why DC: Got hired to run international operations for the USO.
Schools: Occidental College, Troy State and DeVry University (MBA)
First job: Cleaning cabins for parents' ski lodge business in Big Bear Lake.
Job in another life: Writer of the next great crime story.
Daily habit: Several cups of coffee first thing in the morning.
Favorite movie: Wizard of Oz
Favorite music: Cecilia Bartoli
Favorite vacation spot: Bullpasture River in Highland County, VA
Bucket list: Visit all the ‘Stans––Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan...
Family: Married 30 years; stepdaughter and two grandsons (4 and 7)
Hobbies: Golf, gardening, fishing and reading
Startling fact: I'm fluent in German and can flip the switch between English and German in a second.