In November 2012, I received a phone call from the then YWCA Board Chair. She offered me the position of President & CEO of the YWCA. I did everything I could to hold in my squeal. I’d just been offered my dream job. I was going to be able to use my knowledge and skills working for a bold mission. I would be leading an organization with a great history and a strong importance in my community. I was going to be a part of a global social movement.
The last four and a half years have been amazing. The work we’ve done has been exceptional. We have made a lot of significant changes and it is time for an even greater shift. I will be stepping down as President & CEO on July 25th. But, as I walk out the door, I need to give my Award Acceptance Speech. I truly won an award when I was offered this position.
Thank you to all of you who have been involved and supported our mission, eliminating racism, empowering women. You have showed up at our events, you have used and critiqued our services, you’ve partnered with us, you have given financial support, volunteer time or just been encouraging. Thank you!
Special thanks to the Board. This Board, you have been hand picked and recruited just for me. Whether you knew it or not, you came on to the Board and became the foundation that I could stand on; the support that I needed. Each of you comes with your skills and alone could take anything I do and increase it 10 fold. But, this Board, you have put these skills together to uplift the YWCA and realize so many things. You’re like the Power Rangers dinosaurs that combine and create this huge thing that battles like a boss. To the Board Chairs, no words can explain the gratitude I feel for the time and energy you have given, above what should ever be asked of anyone.
To my friends. When you’re the friend of a nonprofit executive, you become on-call free labor. You all have been there for me and the YWCA. You’ve been the YWCA’s janitors, movers, receptionists, handymen, recruiters and more. You have case managed me through difficult times and then sit in the crowd when I get rewarded and recognized. I love you all so much and you must love me to have given the way you have.
To my family. Sorry for the time that has been given to the YWCA that should have gone to you. You’ve understood when I’ve missed your special events, when I couldn’t give you attention or when our time was all about me. You’ve contributed in so many ways. You developed me into the person who was right for the position and pushed me further along. Your prayers, compliments and critique fell right when and where they were needed.
To the YWCA employees. AMAZING!! A team of social service Avengers. Good job, all 5s. To you very special ladies who have been right here, by my side, this past year, you’re the best. Your work ethic, your responsiveness, your willingness to keep learning—you are unmatched. I must name you: Shirley, Blanca and Delilah, I appreciate you.
I am so grateful for the time that I have had with this historic and meaningful organization. I am proud to have been a small part of its influence. Catch me next at the Domestic Violence Resource Center. LOVE!