We had the good fortune of connecting with Jerri Rosen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jerri, what is the most important factor behind your success?
For over 31 years, I ran a successful nonprofit organization that helped thousands of people return to the workforce. Our staff had always been small and we were incredibly well supported by the most talented, dedicated volunteers. One of the founding principles I created was that we would always honor and acknowledge the work that volunteers did with us.
That focus helped me grow the organization exponentially, year after year. Volunteers stayed with me, some for decades. In nearly every case, the volunteers gained incredible value from the donated time they spent us our clients and staff. They made an indelible mark on all of us and, for me personally, I learned to value every single volunteer like a piece of gold! That’s exactly what they are.
It was important to me that volunteers know I would only ask of them what I would have done or would do myself. Having a ‘nose’ for talent helped me in so many ways find the perfect role for each volunteer to play. People want and need to feel engaged, involved and valued – so true in all aspects of our life, and ever so true in a volunteer setting.
I found that honoring the volunteers who came to work with us helped me grow as a professional and it also helped me grow my level of compassion and listening ear. I’ve been fortunate to have found deep and meaningful friendships with many of my volunteers, who have enriched my life greatly.
What should our readers know about your business?
After 31 years, ‘driving the bus’ as CEO at Working Wardrobes, I am happily retired/rewired! What I have found is a new rhythm in my life and a way of contributing that motivates me every day. Running a nonprofit is like being on a treadmill that is nearly out of control and I wanted to slow down that speed. I didn’t want to go from 180 to 0; however, just a modest 75!!
My new volunteer gigs are important to me. I’m finding that all the talent and skills that I developed over the years can be put into play with the nonprofits that I’m volunteering in.
1. I can find a grant writer for one group that hasn’t ever asked for grant money before. It’s going to be a game changer for us when the funds begin coming in!
2, I’m bringing my organizational skills to Executive Coaches, listening to as many coaches as I can who tell me they want to formalize processes and be a more professional organization. We can do so much more for so many more nonprofits in our community once we have a better coach/client selection process in place, develop an aggressive outreach program and engage coaches and clients in onboarding programs that keep people involved.
3. As the Vice Chair of the Resident Council in my new community, I’m working with an all volunteer team of Area Reps. They are the most compassionate, tender and engaged people who want the best for the residents in their areas. They welcome new residents, they plan events and they get things done! I’m proud to work with them
In all cases, who I am and what I can do, is a direct reflection of what I’ve learned over three decades of working and honoring volunteers. When people feel involved and engaged, they will go to the mat for you!
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?
This is a fun one! I would most definitely plan a combination of fun, unique and delicious activities. High on the list would be a full spa day – likely at the start and the end of a week. There’s not enough pampering in our world!
I would schedule time to investigate little traveled areas like San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and Dana Point. Then head south to Carlsbad and San Diego, with stops in Temecula for wine tasting. They will be eating, walking, shopping and a lot of chatting involved.
At the end of the week, there would be five less pounds on our bodies, smiles on our faces and that excess space in our suitcases completely filled up!
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?
The volunteer coaches at Executive Coaches of Orange County are remarkable men and women who donate their time to help nonprofit leaders succeed in many ways. The coaches work directly with nonprofit leaders to find answers to the challenges their clients face and with their listening ears, support the leader to find solutions. These partnerships are truly valuable to both the coach and his/her client!
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