My Thoughts on our Summer CEO Series

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, just in time for our next upcoming YNPN Coffee with a CEO on August 23rd, I will (finally) update you on the first three meetings we had this summer.  I have no good apologies to give other than the heat has gotten to my brain, which impacted my ability to follow a schedule.  You see, that ability was already sketchy to begin with, and the Cincinnati Summer has really not improved it at all. Now that our annual Pro Seniors fundraiser has passed, I can fill you in on the 3 meetings we have had this summer.

On May 24, 2012, Erika Lehman, Director of The Center for Ethics at BBB, spoke about  A Worthwhile Cause: How to Effectively Evaluate Nonprofits To Know Where Your Dollars (and Career) are Best Spent.

June 28th followed with Peter Bloch, President and CEO of Jewish Vocational Services, discussing  “Nonprofit Mergers and Collaborative Funding.

And, last but not least, on July 26th, Suzanne Smith, President of Flywheel, spoke about  “Cause Storytelling.” 

I will actually begin by mentioning Ms. Smith’s presentation first, because she reminded us of the power of telling a good strong story. As she explained and highlighted, stories are the way that we connect with ideas and themes as children.  People never really lose the desire to hear or tell a good story.  Thus, as professionals working in the non-profit sector, it is our ability to tell compelling stories about the communities and the people we serve that connect our organizations’ missions to the community at large.  We can best express the importance of our non-profit and the impact that we have on clients.  Ms. Smith pointed out that a great deal of non-profit work has become outcome oriented in the past few years.  It is, however, a return to the human element, to telling the stories of the people we serve, that puts a face to our organizations and helps the community see the positive impact that their generosity in great times of need has.  We would all do well to remember that it is all about the people.

The gentle reminder that people connect by and through the stories that we tell and the stories that we hear is a great way to turn the
clock back another month to June and learn about Mr. Peter Bloch and how he came to be in charge of the newly created JVS and Easter Seals Tri-State.

Personally, I first came to know about JVS’s services outside of the vocational work for adults with learning differences when I was looking to make a job and possible career change and someone told me about the Cincinnati Career Network.  CCN was designed to help any adult looking for career guidance.  I went to a meeting there, and learned that CCN was more than I could have hoped for in a guidance service.  They offered multiple job searching boot-camps, as well as one on one career guidance sessions.  In participating in a number of the group and individual sessions, I learned how to brand myself better—so that every correspondence I had represented me and how I wanted to face the world with business cards, note cards, stationery, and resumes.  I learned about networking and the importance of social media in this increasingly fast paced world. I practiced interviewing for new positions.  All of these services provided necessary feedback on how to best present myself in an incredibly competitive marketplace.  I found the services invaluable and to this day I refer people to CCN.  Or, should I say to JVS Career Services.

To be continued…

Amy Kurlansky, YNPN Blogger


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