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An Amazing Meeting of the Minds: The One Spark Professional Advisory Committee

Saturday, March 5, 2016 11:13 AM

It’s been an incredible thing to watch One Spark, as a new organization, get its footing and become part of the fabric of the charitable sector.  One of the things I know for sure is that bringing the work of an organization to life can only happen if people are willing to put their hand up and say, “I will help you”.  We all know the adage that it takes a village to raise a child: it’s no less true about raising a non-profit organization.   We need a spectrum of skills, expertise, perspectives, viewpoints, and experiences to ensure our programs and services are on point and that we are serving women according to the highest possible standards.

To ensure we are providing exceptional programs to assist women to achieve financial independence through entrepreneurship, last year we asked community members to bring forward their unique skill sets and expertise to form the One Spark Professional Advisory Committee.  The role of the committee is twofold: 1) to assess programming and service delivery on an ongoing basis to ensure we are evaluating outcomes, addressing challenges, and dismantling barriers as much as possible; and 2) to serve as direct mentors, advisers, and support systems to women entrepreneurs who may benefit from individual members’ expertise.

What we could not have foretold was the amazing meeting of minds that emerged.  Serendipitously, a fantastically passionate and skilled group of individuals stepped forward to offer their expertise in areas such as legal compliance, new business development, communications, instructional design, and charitable programming and community development.  The most amazing thing about this group is not just that they lend their expertise to One Spark but that they enthusiastically ask the question, “What else can we do?” and before we can answer them, they offer, “Here’s what else I could do…”.  Our small but mighty group is a true micro example of what happens when people roll up their sleeves and commit to bringing their skills to the table.  I’m convinced that what will ultimately and always change things is the generous act of people saying, “Here’s what I can do: how can that be a useful resource for your mission?”.  Indeed, a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens changing the world.

On behalf of One Spark, I want to thank the Professional Advisory Committee from the bottom of my heart.  The work of the committee is young and emerging, but the impact is already being felt in profound ways.  You are change-makers and we are so grateful to have you on the journey.

Corrie Schneider,
Executive Director

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