Employee Engagement Specialist at San Diego Humane Society
"YNPN has given me that safe space in which to meet folx that are in similar positions or industries as me, which has taken away some of the pressure or stress that comes with networking. I have definitely improved my ability to network through YNPN and, as a result, have made some great connections and meet some fantastic people."
What made you decide to join YNPN San Diego?
A coworker of mine has been a YNPN member for a few years and suggested that I attend an event. The first event I attended was “Leading From The Middle,” which was a moderated panel about being a middle-manager. After hearing the panel of speakers and meeting some of the members, I knew that YNPN was the type of networking group that not only had great resources, but also had great people. There was a great energy throughout the room and it was inspiring to be surrounded by other non-profit professionals. I immediately joined following that event.
How has your YNPN San Diego board service impacted your career?
To be honest, I am not good at networking; if I don’t know someone at an event, I am totally fine standing in the corner. However, YNPN has given me that safe space in which to meet folx that are in similar positions or industries as me, which has taken away some of the pressure or stress that comes with networking. I have definitely improved my ability to network through YNPN and, as a result, have made some great connections and meet some fantastic people.
What is one of your top values? How does it play a role in your personal and/or professional life?
One of my top values is adaptability. I think it is important to be able to meet the demands of the current environment or climate. At this very moment, we are seeing organizations and companies reinventing themselves. We as employees must join them on this journey and be able to pivot the work we are doing. I sometimes struggle when policies or practices change that I am accustomed to, but I strive to be able to recognize why those might need to change and how I can help achieve the desired result.
What is a personal strategy or self-care practice you’ve used to cope with the impacts of COVID-19?
Daily walks have been a huge part of my ability to cope with the impacts of COVID-19. I live near a large park and am grateful to be able to surround myself with some beautiful scenery when I need to get out of the house. I have also become a big fan of time away from electronics and have reconnected with some past hobbies.
What has been your organization’s response to COVID-19?
As an animal shelter, San Diego Humane Society is an essential service. We have developed new practices and procedures that have allowed us to continue the life-saving work that we do for the animals, while keeping things safe for our staff and guests. Many services have moved curbside, staff that are able to work from home are doing so, and we have implemented several safety protocols within our many buildings.
What was the most beneficial or meaningful experience you had as a YNPN San Diego member?
Shortly after I joined YNPN, I was asked to deliver a presentation on “knowing your rights” as an employee in the State of California. This was an extremely meaningful experience as it gave me a chance to connect with other YNPN members on what questions and concerns they have as employees, while also developing my presentation skills. It also allowed me to grow as an HR professional as I researched topics or areas of HR that I do not work in daily.
What is a career aspiration you have?
I would like to be able to connect with our National Park system in some way, whether that’s through the work I am currently doing, in a future position, or after retirement as a volunteer.
What advice do you have for someone who is just getting started in their non-profit career?
Ask for opportunities and advocate for yourself. The funds or resources may not always be there in non-profits, but your organization can get creative.
What are you currently working on either in your work or outside of it?
I am currently working on becoming a successful plant dad. I have recently potted some succulent clippings and am trying my best to not over water them!
What are you most proud of in your career?
Finding a home within an organization that aligns with my values and allows me to be my authentic self and for my voice to be heard. I have personally walked alongside our President & CEO in the San Diego Pride Parade, which was an incredible moment. I also was given the opportunity to educate our leadership on gender-neutral pronouns and inclusive language. As a result, most of our staff have their pronouns listed on their email signature and/or intranet profile, which is very cool to see.
If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming Member Spotlight, please email our Membership Team!