Given all that was going on, I am extremely proud of what our board has accomplished. Facing a pandemic which deprived us of the opportunity to conduct our traditional networking and programming events, we huddled, experimented, and delivered more than 20 events, most of which were virtual, continuing to add value to our 150+ members and many more in the community. Taking in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, we reflected on our role and mission, had deep conversations about our core values and what we really stand for, and developed, in the process, a comprehensive strategic plan, a living document that will hopefully guide us for years to come. Best of all, we recruited seven fantastic new board members who will join the seven returning members for what I am confident will be an impressive 2021.
These achievements are a testament to the dedication and service from YNPN SoNV’s board and members. Whether they have left the organization or are returning, their contributions are at the heart of what we do and who we are. We owe our success, moreover, to the incredible leadership of our departing co-chairs, Liza Golikova and Page Patten, who steadfastly held us together and who will always remain our inspiration as members of the YNPN family.
I would like to lay out, then, a personal vision for YNPN SoNV in 2021, not just as a co-chair, but also as a young nonprofit professional in an irrevocably changed world. The COVID-19 vaccines promise to bring an end to the pandemic, but they will not bring an end to the other challenges at hand: the reckoning with broken promises for a multiracial American democracy, the grave poverty facing millions whose struggles will continue long past the last vaccination, the deep divisions cleaving us apart — and the role in which the nonprofit community can and must play in facing down these monumental challenges.
We must, therefore, step up; it begins now, and it begins by cultivating our own potential as people and as leaders. I see 2021 not only as a year of healing, but also a year of hope, a year of progress, and of hard work to come. I am excited about the passions displayed by our board members both new and returning. I am also excited about the programming that we will deliver, the partnerships we will build, the skills we — board director and members both — will help each other develop, and the friendships and connections we will make. I very much look forward to partnering with my fellow co-chair Noelle to make this vision a reality.
I am confident that we will all see each other in person once more before 2022 arrives. Until then.
With hope and love,