Five years ago I drove cross-country from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. After six days on the road I rounded a bend on Route 84 and there stood snow-capped Mount Hood sparkling in the sun – it took my breath away. Of course the journey that brought me to Financial Beginnings was longer that that six day road trip.
After more than 20 years in senior banking positions in Maine and Massachusetts, I was ready to leave my banking career behind and try something new. Over a period of eight years I owned and operated three small businesses in very diverse industries, from a sole proprietorship to a $1.4M weekly publication with distribution in Maine and Southern New Hampshire.
From the challenges of growing small businesses, I decided to join the nonprofit sector and accepted the position as Executive Director at the YWCA of Central Maine. During the three years I guided that 135+-year-old institution we were able to expand our child care offerings, make major improvements to the building, and expanded our earned-revenue as a self-sufficiency strategy. The YWCA was located in one of the two poorest census tracts in the state and served a low-income and culturally diverse membership. Sustainable fund development had always been a challenge for this urban organization and earned-revenue helped to fill the gaps in fundraising.
But all good things come to an end and after three years at the YWCA I had to make the difficult decision to leave in order to care for an ailing family member. When my tour of duty ended I headed west to become part of the Platinum City of Bicycling at the Community Cycling Center. I embraced the outdoor life, gave up my car, and became a dedicated bicycle commuter. My position as COO gave me the opportunity to guide the growth of earned revenue at the full-service bike shop, created analyses that provided strategic focus on self-sustaining program design, and mentored middle managers as they developed their own careers.
Joining Financial Beginnings as Director of Operations gives me the wonderful opportunity to reconnect with my financial background. I am delighted to work with staff, volunteers, contributors, and stakeholders to advance the mission of Financial Beginnings and bring my operations and entrepreneurial experience to this vital nonprofit organization. Please reach out and introduce yourself if the opportunity presents itself. I look forward to meeting many of you over the next weeks and months. And, of course, if any of you are interested in joining me for a bicycle adventure, just say the word. I would love to explore more of this wonderful corner of our country rolling along at 15 miles per hour.