EDITOR’S NOTE: Guest author, Kristin Winkle Beck, is the current executive director of Social Venture Partners/Charlotte.
These three letters used to represent my career aspirations – Senior Vice President. Hi, my name is Kristin Beck, and I’m a recovering corporate workaholic.
I spent more than twenty years grinding my way up the corporate ladder to the rank of senior vice president at one of Charlotte’s biggest financial institutions. And yet, once I finally got the promotion, not only was I nearing burnout, but I felt like something was still missing.
Fortunately, my employer encouraged community involvement, so I enrolled in Wake Forest University’s Nonprofit Business Essentials program as a way of exploring how to leverage my business acumen to help make a greater impact in the community. Following the program and several months of discernment, I came to the unlikely conclusion that I wasn’t supposed to simply change jobs, but I was supposed to take an intentional break in my career. Yeah …
Wait … WHAT!?!?!
For a midwestern gal like me raised in a blue-collar farming community where working is practically part of my DNA, walking away from a perfectly lucrative and stable job with a Fortune 100 company to pursue a sabbatical seemed like the most unorthodox way ever to make a career change. But in December 2017, that’s what I did.
And, it was downright terrifying.
For more than a year, I visited family and friends, explored new cities and hobbies and networked trying to discover my next career step. I completed two coaching certifications and started my own coaching practice. I enjoyed helping others accomplish their goals through coaching, but I felt isolated and still was not understanding where I was supposed to be professionally.
The Right Job Opening at the Right Time
About 18 months after I left corporate America, a friend forwarded me a job description for the Executive Director of a local nonprofit organization and encouraged me to apply.
Fast forward nine months to February 2020 and those letters SVP have a whole new meaning for me. I’m honored to be leading Social Venture Partners Charlotte as their new Executive Director.
‘SVP’ has provided me with the dream job I never knew existed – working alongside a small, but mighty staff and a committed Board of Directors. We enable more than 120 local strategic venture philanthropists called “Partners” to invest their money collectively each year in the local nonprofit community, as well as their time, expertise and human capital. Their contributions deeply support our nonprofit investees, making them stronger and more sustainable attacking social and economic inequality here in the Queen City.
I now spend my days leveraging my leadership skills to collaborate and support programs and organizations who positively impact the quality of life for others. My knowledge of talented people and organizations achieving meaningful progress in our local community has increased drastically.
I am blessed to work for an organization that has collectively invested $1.5 Million and countless man hours in more than 21 different nonprofits in our city over the last 15 years.
SVP is preparing to host our ninth annual SEED20 program, which identifies, highlights and connects the community to incredibly innovative nonprofit organizations. Often described as one of Charlotte’s “most inspiring nights of the year,” I want to personally invite you to join our community at SEED20 OnStage on March 31st to support these amazing nonprofit leaders as they share their stories in three minutes or less. I’ve never had so much fun working so hard to make an impact on my community.
Thank goodness I took that break!
Kristin Beck is the executive director for Social Venture Partners Charlotte. You can learn more about SVP at www.socialventurepartners.org/charlotte and their SEED20 program at www.SEED20.org
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