To be of use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls. 

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out. 

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real. 

As Marge Piercy says in this poem, we all wish for work that is meaningful to ourselves and useful to others.  In the past 25 years, I have worked as a nonprofit employee, board chair of nonprofits, philanthropic program officer, and attorney working with nonprofit organizations. I love finding solutions to complex problems and combine first-hand experience with excellent consulting talent and skills to achieve results.

My qualifications include:

  • Being a highly accomplished and creative foundation program designer, developer and director with state, national and international experience in building collaborative relationships, facilitating multiple stakeholder partnerships, and developing programs. 

  • Skilled at providing direction and guidance to stakeholders throughout all stages of strategic design process. 

  • Successful at managing and supporting a large portfolio of grants and contracts.  

  • Analyzing issues, able to identify new opportunities, recognize and support aspirations and achieve results. 

  • Excelling at facilitating relationships, brokering partnerships, facilitating meetings and convening and collaborating with diverse groups.