Welcome! Tell us a little bit about your background.
Hi there! Well I am originally from Michigan, but have been working in Milwaukee for three years now. I have my undergraduate degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration from Grand Valley State University and an MPA from Roosevelt University. As far as my professional background, I have experience working with the American Red Cross, The University of Chicago, and Donors Forum (now called Forefront, which is the state association of nonprofits in Illinois). Additionally, I teach for Madison College and am a member of a couple of advisory boards in the Midwest. In my free time I play a lot of golf and am a big college sports fan.
Why do you think BoardStar is evolving into Project Pivot?
BoardStar proved to us how important board governance is to the success of organizations. But, what we also found out is organizations need more than just a knowledgeable board to have real community impact. Pivot will use the knowledge and systems created through BoardStar to work with the organization on a more complete project. So, we see Pivot evolving to help support organizational leadership in total - not just board governance. We will work with boards, staff and other community leadership to problem solve - which we believe will be more valuable for nonprofits.
Can you describe your role with Pivot? Who else is on the team?
My title is Managing Director, I manage the day-to-day operations of the organization, which includes the spectrum of work from grant writing to facilitating our programs. The other person on our team is the Communications Manager, Lauryn Burkhalter. Her role is to oversee the website, communications and project intake.
Are you still providing public trainings for board members? What can we expect from Project Pivot?
The public training model BoardStar has been working with over the past five or so years seems to have run its course. We will still be having public events, but these will be focused around trending topics in the sector. We are moving our model to a more focused, project-based approach. These could vary from working with a corporation and their employees to partnering with a funding agency and their grantees, or even running our own 'public' cohort program.
You've been the Managing Director for BoardStar now for about two years, what are your impressions of the local nonprofit community?
I think the community both locally and regionally is hungry. We hear a lot of the good work going on out on the coasts, but rarely does the innovative and impactful work in the Midwest get recognized. One of Pivot's goals is to work with those communities that have the knowledge and drive to problem solve - and assist to build systems and find resources leadership is in need of.
What are you most looking forward to as Pivot launches?
There are two areas I am really excited about. First, we are moving the BoardStar podcasts back to iTunes. I think BoardStar was a little ahead of the game with the podcasts, and didn't realize how popular the vehicle was going to become when they removed them from iTunes a couple years ago. We currently have around 100 podcasts that we will be releasing over time on iTunes.
Additionally, I am looking forward to working more closely with organizations to problem solve. With the past structure it was more of a transaction, and only training one or two people from an organization. Now, we will either be working with individuals on a longer-term basis or more in-depth with organizations, and that is how I think we can support and drive impact in the community.
Do you have additional questions for Steve? Contact us today!