Kristen Mihalko has worked in the non-profit sector for 8 years mainly in program development and coordination. As an advocate for career development and personal growth, she volunteers her time as the Treasurer for YNPN San Diego and Rising Arts Leaders San Diego. She is currently earning a certificate in Arts and Culture Leadership at the University of San Diego.
Kristen is the Senior Manager of Programs and Special Events for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Family Resources with a certificate in Women’s Studies and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications from National University.
Now let's hear directly from Kristen!
What made you want to join the YNPN board?
A number of things made me want to join the board: professional development, wanting to make more connections, and boredom in my professional life. I'm the type of person that needs to be challenged and involved so I took my chances and applied for board service.
What is your favorite thing about your career thus far?
My favorite thing about my career is that it's always evolving. Just a year ago I was a Senior Manager of Program and Special Events and now I'm the Director of Operations. I also get to work in Balboa Park and be involved in the arts and culture - I really love that aspect of my job.
What is something you do during your day that always makes you smile?
I don't know if I do this every day, but I sing made up songs to my animals (I'm laughing at myself just thinking about it). I have three cats and a dog and I jokingly include their name is a random song about something they're doing - laying in the bed, drinking water, or getting into trouble. (Is that weird? Ok, it's a little weird...)
What has been the most fulfilling aspect of being a part of YNPN San Diego?
I'm really happy that I've been able to make an impact in YNPN San Diego. During my first retreat I introduced Trello which I think was life-changing for the board (ok, that might be an exaggeration)... but I think it really helped keep communication open and transparent. There are so many moving parts in YNPN and being able to follow along via Trello has been a great tool for us. The other thing I'm really proud of is getting our financial documentation in order - that was fulfilling because I love being organized and creating structure and systems.
What would you say to someone on the fence about becoming a member, or even joining the board?
I would say, take the leap - but if you do, commit. If you're becoming a member, go to the workshops and happy hours. If your'e joining the board, bring your whole self and the skills that make you awesome.