As Associate Director of Cultivate Kansas City (formerly the Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture), I handled many day-to-day operations and management tasks. This included farm and greenhouse construction projects at Gibbs Road Farm and at the Juniper Gardens Training Farm, scheduling contractors (from cooling technicians to road maintenance crews), vehicle and building maintenance and more.
As the person in charge, I have also supervised budgeting and financial operations at Gibbs Road Farm and the Juniper Gardens Training Farm, supervised employees, conducted annual performance reviews and mediated conflicts.
Being a start-up nonprofit, Cultivate Kansas City has required a very proactive approach to fundraising, especially in the early years of its existence. As co-founder I have worn the hat of fundraiser on many occasions, performing grant research, grant writing, and grant reporting, hosting fundraising events, touring funders through our facilities, and kicking off a series of fundraising cirlces in people's private homes.
It is my experience that many funders welcome an engaging and innovative narrative – a narrative that moves beyond the traditional model of providing services to "underserved" populations and favors a more dynamic model of bringing together different populations across a demographic spectrum, thereby enhancing mutual understanding and compassion.
Strategic planning is a passion of mine. I enjoy analyzing complex situations and charting a course to a specific goal. In my work as nonprofit leader and farm business developer, strategic planning is a necessity and is performed regularly.
I have also been invited to join planning sessions to contribute helpful questions and provide strategic advice. I have worked with farmers, other nonprofits, community groups, monks, university students and others interested in bringing change and implementing projects.
Regular mindfulness practice can help improve the strategic planning process by providing increased clarity about our personal or organizational values and goals.