The winds of change are ‘a blowing’ in my life. Two posts ago I eluded to some changes in my life that where coming. Since the official press release has gone out I can talk about it via my blog and share it with my readers (which are my friends and family, let’s be real :-)) As of July 11th, I will be the new Executive Director of the WNY Women’s Fund. Words can’t express my excitement for this new opportunity in my life and career.
Currently, I have an amazing job as the lead fundraiser for the largest humanitarian organization in the world in Buffalo, NY. An honor that not many people can say they have had. I have been with the Greater Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross for two years. I have grown, my team has grown, we have raised over $4 million dollars in that time and made an incredible impact. I am proud of our work and legacy.
Then one day a posting came out for the Executive Director of the WNY Women’s Fund. Now, anyone who really knows me knows I have 3 passions when it comes to what really makes my soul sing at work 1) women and women’s causes 2) philanthropy 3) Western New York. I threw my hat in the ring. The Fund and it’s leadership have done some remarkable, and notable, things so to be a part of this movement would be an honor.
Long story short, I got the job. I really can’t express what that feels like. I am just some fun loving, passionate, talkative, driven and happy woman who has now landed the job of her dreams doing what she loves the most- raising money, putting it to work for women and girls, in the region that I love. How does this happen to me? Me? Heather, from Tonawanda?!
And I can tell you how. I stayed true to me. My path is a wacky one- it stretches from sales and marketing to selling postage meters, from Washington, DC to Buffalo, from an Assistant grabbing coffee and making flight registrations to making ice cream cones at Carvel ice cream. Every step of the way, every lesson that was learned, I stayed true to me. And when it wasn’t true to me, I felt it and listened to it. It was like a mega phone in my ear and I would listen, shift and change. When I felt like I was putting my pants on a different way, each and every day, I knew it wasn’t right. And along the way, I have worked my ass off. (Well, maybe not completely off. I am still aiming to lose those last 20 pounds.) From hard work comes great rewards. My Dad and Mom taught me, work hard, don’t quit and “never count on a man for money, make the money yourself.” True quote.
Leaving my current job for a new job is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I work with amazing people, we do incredible work and I am better for having been a part of their family. Yet, this next step is right for me and I am humbled and honored. A dear friend of mine said to me last night, “I look forward to watching you change the lives of women and girls in WNY. You will make them better. I truly believe that.” I can honestly say, that was one of the most inspiring things someone has ever said to me.
So yes, my blog is about being healthy and changing my life. This job change is a major component of that plan. It will be hard work, really hard work, it will be tough but I’m up to the challenge. I have some big, amazing, inspiring , classy and fabulous shoes to fill but I’m honored for the opportunity.
I would like to invite you to join me next Wednesday, June 29th at the “What She’s Made Of” event which is the signature event for the WNY Women’s Fund. It’s a fundraiser, a friend event and the kick off to my tenure as the Executive Director. I’m looking forward to hearing from Jennifer Buffett and how she is impacting the lives of women and girls through the Novo Foundation. I would welcome the sight of friendly faces and new faces, in the audience of 600 from the stage that evening. It will be a special inspirational night for everyone.
As always, I try and always leave you with a thought for YOU to ponder. I ask you, is your job making your soul sing? Do you dread your Monday or race into it? At the end of the day do you feel happy for what you have accomplished? If you say no, then what are you going to do about it? It may not be about an MBA, or maybe it does. It may not be about a job or career change, or maybe it does. All I know is for each day you are not reaching your full passion and potential through your gifts that you share, is a day that you aren’t being true to yourself. The best days for you and others are when you are your BEST you. Believe it, be it.
Listen to your internal mega phone. And then work your ass of. Don’t be mediocre. Be a part of the ‘A’ team.