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Mindy Atwood: Nonprofit Woman Leader Creating a Better Central Ohio

Community Shares of Mid Ohio is taking the month of March to highlight the women leading our member charities for making a difference in the community as part of Women's History Month.

Mindy Atwood, CEO of Patches of Light, Inc.Head shot of Mindy Atwood, CEO of Patches of Light

How long have you been in your current position?

16 years

How did you decide to pursue a career in the nonprofit field?

Life experience brought me to a point of wanting to help others in similar situations.

What do you see as the barriers, obstacles, and/or challenges? How did you or how do you recommend that these be overcome?

Raising funds and awareness often times becomes a barrier in supporting a mission. There are many organizations competing for the same funding, and/or are the same type of organization creating a complicated competition for funds.

How do you plan to help the next generations?

I hope to help the next generation by allowing families to be together during a child's illness, treatment, and recovery, thus minimizing the impact a critical illness has on the family. It is proven the obstacles created by a long illness can reek havoc on a family.

Would you encourage the young women in your life to pursue a career in nonprofit? Why or why not?

Yes, for I believe women are natural nurturers and find great peace assisting others. However, man or woman, we need to promote helping humanity as a admirable profession. Byron Garrett said it best, "Being a man or a woman is a matter of birth. Being a man or a woman who makes a difference is a matter of choice."

Your best piece of advice for women leaders, now or in the future is:

Don't limit, nor define yourself, by your gender. Take great pride in your accomplishments, not your physical characteristics.


 

Ginger Young: Nonprofit Woman Leader Creating a Better Central Ohio

 

Community Shares of Mid Ohio is taking the month of March to highlight the women leading our member charities for making a difference in the community as part of Women's History Month. 

Ginger Young, Executive Director of The Childhood League CenterHead shot of Ginger Young, Executive Director of The Childhood League Center

How long have you been in your current position?

 3 years

How did you decide to pursue a career in the nonprofit field?

The non profit field pursued me! I was actually pursuing a PhD in Developmental Psychology intending to teach and do research. During this period I took a part time job working in vocational rehabilitation with Deaf/HOH individuals with mental health challenges. The difference I was able to make in the lives of these special people impacted me tremendously. This experience motivated me to roll my sleeves up and work directly with people. It was the best decision I could make for myself as I was able to do my best work in this environment.

What do you see as the barriers, obstacles, and/or challenges? How did you or how do you recommend that these be overcome?

I imagine there are difficulties regardless of the field a person chooses. However, we are constantly faced with financial uncertainty in the non profit world. This can be challenging for leaders in our community. As an Executive Director you have to accept that a very important and significant part of your job is fundraising. Additionally, you absolutely have to run EVERYTHING else. The key to being successful within this dynamic is knowing what your weaknesses are, accepting them and hiring those who can help compensate.

How do you plan to help the next generations?

I give back at every opportunity I can. For example, I am a mentor for The John Glenn Institute of Public Affairs. I also ensure that the employees at The Childhood League Center know I am interested and invested in their career goals, regardless if their plan includes staying with us or pursuing a goal outside of The Center. Everyone should be in a position to do what they do best!

Would you encourage the young women in your life to pursue a career in nonprofit? Why or why not?

Yes, if they are motivated by the kind of work non profits do in our community. However, if she wants to be an engineer, a welder or a cartoonist I would encourage her to give back to her community through becoming a volunteer and philanthropist.  Women are a powerful force in our community and make a difference everyday in a million different ways. I am proud to be counted among them and strive to be a role model for other women.

Your best piece of advice for women leaders, now or in the future is:

I honestly believe insight into one's self is the best advice I can give young women leaders. If you know yourself, you can surround yourself with a team that compliments your strengths and compensates for your weaknesses. When you have the right people around your leadership table, great work happens.


 

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