In my EDL 610 course, which is Visionary Leadership, we are working on developing a leadership platform. This is meant to be my professional experience post as I create this platform.
My background is in nonprofit management, with focus on communication and development. I graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in history and political science, while working as the Public Relations Coordinator for the Fowlerville District Library. I oversaw the communications for the library, interacted with patrons and facilitated programs for the community.
After five (5) years I changed gears and moved to South Florida to work in Undergraduate Admissions at Barry University. In this role I met with and assisted prospective students map out a potential educational path at Barry, and at times, pointed them to other schools where they might find more success or a program that better aligned with their interest areas. I also served on a few boards, working to give back to the community and be involved and engaged in the area.
After some time in South Florida, I moved to the Washington, DC area and worked for several different non-profits. The last stint was with ServiceSource as their Manager, Community Relations. In this role I worked on marketing and communications, along with fundraising and volunteer management. The organization provided opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities. It was rewarding, to tell their story of achieving independence, and of providing resources to ensure this independence.
Originally from Michigan, I found an opportunity to come home through Detroit Public TV and took it. I worked as the Manager, Major Giving for several years, facilitating the philanthropic goals of our donors to the mission and vision of DPTV. Again, all the while, serving the community on several boards, including one that kept me in education. I was serving on the Academy of Arts and Sciences Charter School Board. After a time of change, an opportunity arose to become the CEO for this school and help it weather a unique storm.
I would not be where I am today without the experiences I have had. This path has allowed me to hone by ability to make connections, with fellow staff, with community members, with stakeholders. It has allowed me to understand and appreciate the responses given to questions posed, to reflect and become engaged. It has allowed me to see the big picture, the light at the end of the tunnel, the vision -- and in turn, be able to help others navigate the vision and be truly be part of the success of the organization. It has been a great journey, and there is still much more to come ...
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.