GUEST COLUMN - Walla Walla Leaders Network helps boost social good locally

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Scroll below to watch a video introducing the Walla Walla Leaders Network.

Break out the bubbly! Walla Walla Leaders Network reached the 100-member milestone in late September.

The Network is an online meeting site dedicated to Walla Walla Valley nonprofits, boards, and leadership. Our purpose is to identify, engage and prepare emerging leaders for nonprofit board service.

Sponsored by the Blue Mountain Community Foundation, the Network is weaving connections between emerging leaders and Walla Walla's current nonprofit leaders, board members and interested community members.

At a recent Network gathering, Horte Hernandez, shared that she has been looking for a way to connect and serve on a nonprofit board.

"I am bilingual and I've done verbal and written translations, Spanish to English and English to Spanish."

Immediately, Augusta Farnum who is the board chair for the Carnegie PictureLab said, "Let's talk!" Connection made.

Horte also shared that she hopes to build a bridge for the Hispanic community to leadership and nonprofit service.

Building bridges and weaving connections is what this Network is about. The Network has 108 members who have joined to develop their individual leadership abilities, be mentored, engage in meaningful discussions about nonprofits and leadership, and network with others.

There are also members representing organizations that are looking for future board members.

This is for you!

As I meet with various members of the community to share the Network's purpose, a number of people have asked is this for me? The answer is: Yes, if you identify with one or more of the following.

Are you ...

  • an emerging leader looking to acquire hands-on leadership development experience?
  • a business leader who wants to offer employees a way to build leadership skills?
  • a community member who has thought about serving on a board now, or in the future?
  • an executive director looking to connect with future board members?
  • a board member who is willing to mentor an emerging leader?
  • a parent thinking about serving on a board in the future?

If so, here are a few ways to participate:

  1. Join the Network at wwleaders.org.
  2. Sign up for the leadership development webinar and learn about nonprofit boards.
  3. Participate in action-learning circles.
  4. Receive mentoring guidance.
  5. Mentor an emerging leader.
  6. Recommend an emerging leader on the Network.

Isn't this just for young people?

Whether you are in your 20s or 60s, your involvement is important. We want to connect the next generation of leaders with you and your valuable life experiences.

You have much to offer this Network. Emerging leaders have told me they are looking for meaningful leadership opportunities guided by people who want to share their wisdom and provide feedback.

Boosting social good in Walla Walla Valley

The big picture is this: Nonprofits will gain access to a pool of prepared leaders ready to step into board leadership roles; emerging leaders will gain valuable knowledge, connections and leadership experience. The whole community benefits by having a nonprofit leadership network that is woven and stronger.

"We need to get the younger generation involved in leadership," said Judy Mulkerin, who has served on a number of boards in 29 years as a Walla Walla resident. "There are so many issues facing Walla Walla Valley," she adds. "People my age aren't going to last forever."

Still wondering?

Please watch a two-minute video at www.wwleaders.org and check out the frequently asked questions on the Network.

Then, join us Nov. 8 from 7 - 9 pm at Kirkman House Museum to learn more! Or stop by the YMCA on Nov.ber 15 from Noon to 1 pm for a repeat orientation.

Amy Erickson is owner of Walla Walla-based Capacity4Good Consulting, LLC. She works with nonprofit organizations and community groups statewide to strengthen their capacity for mission impact. She is project manager for the Walla Walla Leaders Network.


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