It's not often that you get to live out your dreams, but I've created the space to live mine. Since I was born, I followed my sister Candice around, played with her toys, and basically admired her as my older sibling who had it all figured out. And now, she's following me, and is helping me grow Working World LLC as a partner and collaborator with a special focus on developing the impact of our non-profit clients.
A mentor once told me that you always need different animals in the room, talents that are complimentary and when combined produce great results. I'm the passionate one, she is the voice of reason. I see the opportunities, she sees the roadblocks. My head is often in the clouds, her feet are planted firmly on the ground. Together, we see the world just right! Most importantly, our values around the importance of community, the integrity of our work, and a deep belief in shared prosperity guide our lives. When I told Candice I was starting this journey, she offered to help. I'm in the process of building my team, and I can think of no better partner than my older sister who was with me in the beginning, and will be there in the end. So without further ado... I am pleased to introduce Candice Mathew Healy.... Besides being my sister, what qualifies you to work with non-profits and social impact organizations?
Well, I don’t think being your sister qualifies me to work with non-profits…it may qualify me to work with social impact organizations given Dad’s commitment to social justice that was a huge part of our upbringing... As for professional credentials, I earned my Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in social policy and non-profit management from the Maxwell School for Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Since then, I’ve spent my career working with non-profit organizations and government agencies, most notably, running a national conference series on cultural competence in health care for 15 years. Outside of work, I have served on a number of non-profit boards and committees volunteering my time and talent. Joining your work at Working World LLC, feels like a natural extension of my ongoing efforts to improve board leadership, communication, efficiency, and effectiveness.
What is an important lesson you took from our parents?
A few years ago, a friend interviewed me for a paper she was writing for her graduate degree in nonprofit management. She asked a similar question…would you believe it wasn’t until then that I realized all of the ways Mom and Dad modeled the importance of service? Of course, I recognized Dad’s commitment to education and youth and I knew they both had worked for agencies in the Federal Government, but when I began recounting different memories from our childhood, I couldn’t believe the level of community involvement and volunteerism our parents had displayed over the years: baseball coaches at the Boys & Girls Club; Cub Scout den leaders; soup kitchen visits; all of us cooking and serving meals at church events; Mom founding our local education foundation; Dad running for school committee…so, I would say an important lesson I learned from them is to be involved. Be involved in your community, in the lives of others, and in activities and causes you care about.
What are some of the professional accomplishments you're most proud of?
I absolutely loved the core group of people involved with the National Conference Series on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations. Each conference became a reunion of the most active, knowledgeable, committed professionals involved with caring for diverse populations. Working with our diverse, engaged National Advisory Group to develop the content and direction for the conference series was one of my favorite roles. Contributing to the success and reach of the conference series – 8 national conferences with more than 450 sessions featuring more than 1,500 presenters – is the accomplishment for which I am most proud because the conference resulted in improved quality of health care for diverse populations, through direct service impact and policy implementation.
You have a passion for helping non-profits grow their impact. What are some of the common challenges you've seen organizations face, and what tools are you developing to support them?
Most common challenge: There is too much to do and too few people around the table to carry the load, which leads to volunteer burnout. So many good people volunteer their time and talent to help guide the good work of the thousands upon thousands of non-profit organizations, but oftentimes the structure is not in place for the Board to function in its role properly. Instead, the Board finds itself fulfilling the roles of both working board and governing board and committing far more time to the organization than originally intended. The high burnout rate leads to board turnover, which results in wasted time and energy relearning lessons the previous board had already learned, but neglected to document.
On each Board I’ve served, I’ve invested time in reviewing the by-laws and creating standardized documents detailing board expectations and policies. I’ve also developed communication strategies to maximize time spent at Board meetings, by reporting out summaries ahead of meetings and focusing the discussion at meetings on items that require everyone’s input. Now, I am working to create board orientation packets, planning, and tracking documents to be used by other non-profits to streamline communication and maximize Board effectiveness. My goal is to help Boards focus on supporting the mission of their non-profits and minimize the time and effort wasted on putting out fires.
Why are you excited to join Working World LLC? What do you think we can accomplish together for our clients?
I was thrilled to learn you were launching Working World LLC to share your knowledge, talent, networking and facilitation skills to create more opportunities for real social impact. When you suggested we team up to use Working World LLC as a vehicle for supporting non-profit organizations achieve their missions, I was overjoyed. What a terrific way to collaborate and meld our strengths and skills! I’m excited to see how well our skill-sets complement each other and how we can work together to help social impact organizations succeed.