What better time of year to return from a sabbatical but Spring! A time for renewal, growth, and new beginnings. For the past three months, I have been fortunate to enjoy time away from the office thanks to the McGregor Fund, the HAVEN Board of Directors, and the fabulous team at HAVEN.
In 2013 I was awarded the Eugene A Miller Fellowship from the McGregor Fund. The fellowship is an opportunity, over an approximate 15 months, to learn and grow both professionally and personally. As a part of the fellowship, I had the opportunity to take two sabbaticals, two months in the summer of 2014, and three months this past winter. The time away allowed me to pursue some educational opportunities on leadership, social enterprise, writing, social media, business planning, entrepreneurship, and more. I can now proudly proclaim that I am an alumni (well sort of) from both Stanford University and Northwestern University!
I also had the opportunity to visit a number of best practice social enterprise sites in Chicago, California, Nashville, New Mexico, as well as here in Michigan. I also visited a number of other domestic and sexual violence programs, sharing both best practice ideas and our common struggles.
Thankfully it was not all work as I had many wonderful moments to play as well, including a bucket list trip to Costa Rica, hiking in New Mexico with family, antiquing in Tennessee with my husband, taking in the sights with my son (pictured above) visiting with friends in San Jose and Chicago, and helping my parents in northern Michigan. Keeping my calendar rather open allowed moments of spontaneity including presenting to a group of emerging non-profit leaders in New Mexico, discovering a hidden talent of lip syncing, and taking the leap of starting a personal blog site! Whew!
So I return to HAVEN refreshed and rejuvenated, excited for what lies ahead – our upcoming Gala on May 1st, continuing to raise funds for our programming and new facility, watching our new facility come to life (we have walls!), and leading our team in preparation for our big move at the end of 2015. As always, I hope that you will join us as we continue to serve the community and prepare for change. Great things lie before us.
In the months to come, I will be sure to share lessons learned from my time away. In the meantime, I look forward to reconnecting with you in the weeks to come. Give me a call, shoot me an email, lets grab a cup of tea!