We had the good fortune of connecting with Clare Cameron and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clare, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I really believe in the adage “if you don’t succeed at first, try and try again”. I have always been persistent, a bit like a bulldog. It is in my nature, I can’t help it, but it helps when you are raising funds for charity. There is a subtle way of being persistent, knowing how to communicate with your donors. One of the lessons I have learned along the way is that everything you do in life is about people. In nonprofit, it is very important to form relationships with your donors. Show them plenty of respect, and ensure that your organization is a good steward of their donations. This has helped me enormously throughout my career and I have been able to sign up sponsors and get donations for the nonprofits that I have worked for.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was born and went to school in Zimbabwe. My career started out in the advertising world. After working a couple of years, I left to go to the United Kingdom and stayed longer than I anticipated, where I was lucky to get a job with ITV. (At the time it consisted of 16 television stations around the UK). I worked on their quarterly presentations to the advertising and television industry. This led to the writer/director and myself starting our own production company, with ITV as our number one client. I ran the production company for 11 years. I was then introduced to a singer/songwriter and together we made a documentary “Eve Strikes Back” on how women can protect themselves with their natural weapons, i.e. head, legs, hands. We won the Best Social Action of the Year on BBC2 and that spun off into a book, entitled “Taking Control”. When my American husband decided to return to the States, I came over to live in Los Angeles, and quite by accident started to work with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I spent a decade with them as a Senior Director and learned to get around LA and traveled to many states in this wonderful country. Because of the discipline and extraordinary experience I had with LLS, I was able to take that experience to The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute. I have lived on 3 continents and I am sure that my experiences in Africa and the UK, helped me when I landed on the shores of the USA. America has been good for me. Perhaps my English accent has given me a few minutes head start on phone calls, but after that, it is about how good you are at telling your story. My only regret is that I did not get into the nonprofit world earlier. But then my previous experiences did prepare me for the challenges of my current job as executive director of The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One week in Los Angeles. On day one I would take my guests to Malibu as the drive along the coast is stunningly beautiful. Then to lunch at Geoffreys overlooking the ocean with great food. Day two – Regan Library and lunch there. Day Three – Santa Monica and Venice Beach to see all the attractions. Day Four – Getty Center and lunch there. Day Five – Universal Studios. Day Six – Disneyland Park. Day Seven – walk along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and then head over to the Culver Hotel in Culver City for brunch.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have been most fortunate to work with amazing staff members and volunteers. One of our part time staff members has brought so much to the table. Victoria Adams is always thinking about how she can help, and she helps us a lot. She was recently in the ICU at UCLA and believe it or not, she still managed to get some of the nursing staff to participate in our virtual walk. Michael Arlen, is the secretary on our BOD. He has been a mentor to me over the past 3 years and has brought his experience and enthusiasm to our board of directors. I can call on him at any time for his help, and he is always available.