Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Guest Post: Kelly Rowan and YNPN-Twin Cities

Kelly Rowan currently serves as board chair of YNPN-Twin Cities and is Development Manager for the Charities Review Council. Kelly volunteers with a variety of progressive causes, particularly where she can marry her interests in leadership development, civic engagement and engaged philanthropy. She also enjoys tennis, hiking, and camping with her husband and two children.
Mark your calendars fellow change-makers, current and up-and-coming community leaders: it may be several months out, but I for one have been particularly energized this week by several opportunities for collaboration related to the upcoming Nonprofit Leadership Conference sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center at the Humphrey School, to be held June 14th in Minneapolis.

Last year's conference featured Jan Masaoka as keynote speaker. One of the things she talked about then, that I've been thinking about a lot lately - whether in my day job, mother and wife roles, and/or volunteer involvement - is the idea of NOT merely asking ourselves what kind of leader we want to be... but rather what kind of leader our organizations need right now.

I feel pretty fortunate in thinking this through, particularly with regards to my role as current board chair of YNPN-Twin Cities, because I have the opportunity to do both. YNPN is at this exciting point as an organization, where we have been doing the soul-searching to solidify and document our mission and values, and we're pouring all of these sentiments, as well as input from our members, into our first-ever strategic plan. It's been quite an exhilarating challenge for our board to develop and communicate our best thinking about what difference we can really be making for our nonprofit peers and for our communities and the steps we will be taking to get there.

We've made some important strides in establishing the infrastructure that we think will help us pursue our mission in the most effective ways, and we are offering valuable resources, both through online avenues like our blog, and via in-person programming events like our upcoming conversations on Race and Privilege in the Nonprofit Sector. But we still have some weighty challenges ahead, and I look forward to working together with you, our members and peers, to provide the facilitation, resources, accountability and encouragement we need.

Let's all look for ways to support and encourage each other as leaders as we continue toward our vision of stronger communities for us all. As a clever one among us likes to say, 'We are the ones we've been waiting for'.


  1. Props! YNPN is a powerhouse and so excited to see the kind of leadership you can provide among all of the Minnesota Rising organizations. We have a lot to learn from all the amazing work you've been doing to connect with/learn from your membership- and practice what you preach... being the ones you've been waiting for :)

  2. Agreed! YNPN-TC has strong programming, deep intention and thoughtfulness, and such a great cast of cool people involved. Kudos and thanks to both you, Trisha, and Kelly for your leadership in one of the greatest assets to the Twin Cities' emerging leaders community!


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