By Ashley Kasprzak, JVA Consulting
As this is my last week at JVA Consulting (I recently accepted a position as the executive director of Team Fort Collins), I would like to share some of my lessons learned as a writer, trainer and consultant. What a wonderful and educational journey it has been! I started at JVA when my son, Jared, was just four months old. He is now almost 13 and my younger son Brody is nine.
These are some of the lessons I learned at JVA—I hope you can use them as you work to change the world:
Attitude. Always demonstrating a positive attitude helps team projects move along smoothly and fosters positive professional relationships.
Deadlines. We never miss them—something I will carry with me always.
Gumption. Jump in to projects big and small. Use project planning tools to lay out the timeline. Worrying about how all the tasks will get done takes precious time away from the progress that needs to be made.
Honesty. Building successful client relationships is based on sharing information that is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult to deliver.
News. You gotta be on top of it. By knowing what’s happening in the world you can be a better fundraiser, grantwriter and leader.
Professional journeys. Like Christine Marquez, Jay Grimm, Kit Taintor and Guadalupe (Pep) Torres, all former JVAers who are now leading nonprofits, I am going to take all that I have learned at JVA Consulting to be the best executive director possible and make our world a better place.
Plans. Like my colleagues at JVA, I became “plan happy” because plans truly empower people to achieve goals together.
Unique differentiation. Social change organizations are more relevant when they can make the case for how they fit with their collaborators and competitors and what is special about them.
I am excited for the next step in my professional life, and I look forward to focusing on a single cause and one that is so important. In my new role as the executive director at Team Fort Collins—an organization that focuses on community wellness through substance abuse prevention—I am going to promote healthy choices. Living a healthy life is living responsibly and I am anxious to promote that for kids and adults alike. My new email is Ashley@teamfortcollins.org. I look forward to staying in touch with the many intelligent and visionary leaders I have met through JVA. Thank you to my colleagues and clients for the experiences I have been afforded.