FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Transition to OrgSupport
Contractor Transition & Recognition
Volunteer organizations like the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, rely on dedicated and highly-skilled contractors who keep the day-to-day operations functioning smoothly and professionally, allowing volunteers to focus on their tasks. Since 1993 the Guild has grown to rely on the stability and continuity of specific people who perform critical foundational services. Among the many highly valued persons that support the Guild, there are three who we would like to highlight. They are our Membership Administrator - Sheldon O'dahl, Website Administrator - Danielle Johnson, and Bookkeeper - Louann Rizor.
The Guild is currently in the process of transitioning administrative duties from these individual paid contractors to , an organization which provides coordinated administrative services under one roof. In recognition of this change and the people who have provided these critical services to the Guild for many years, the Regional Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to officially recognize these three member contractors and also introduce OrgSupport, which began working with the Guild in February.
Due to the shifting economic environment for non-profits, the Guild has needed to rethink how to fulfill basic operational needs in order to continue providing valuable services to members and fulfilling its mission. OrgSupport's mission 'to increase the effectiveness of organizations by providing professional support services', and business model of dedicating a small team of full-time professionals to the needs of multiple non-profits with similar parameters, result in their ability to provide a high level of service at an economical rate.
After careful consideration, in January the Regional Board decided that the Guild and OrgSupport were a good match and a contract was signed in February 2013. Through this collaboration, the Guild hopes to provide even greater value to its members, and at the same time release our contractors to move on in their professional pursuits and allow the Board to focus on policy, chapter support, fundraising, and mission. Ultimately, our goal is to create a win-win-win situation. We are very excited for this transition and the potential it has for benefiting all involved. The Board has been very impressed with the enthusiasm, professionalism, and effectiveness of OrgSupport, and looks forward to a long, productive relationship.
Our contractors Sheldon, Danielle and Louann have been on the front line for many years, addressing the non-stop requirements of running the Guild, responding quickly to unexpected events, and in general doing more than was asked of them. More than their contractor label implies, they have provided leadership, strategic planning, historical perspective, business acumen and continuity for the health and benefit of the Guild and its members.
Among our three contractors, Sheldon O'dahl has been involved with the Guild for the longest span of time, coming on board just a year after we started, alongside one of our founding board members and highly valued Green Pages and Green Tour Coordinator, Cate O'dahl. There isn’t a single member who has not been served by Sheldon! He volunteered on the membership database in 1994 and his first paying gig with us was in 1995 doing production and design on the Green Pages Directory. After moving to the East coast for a few years, Sheldon returned to the Seattle area and eventually resumed working on the Green Pages in 2004, moving up to the Production Coordinator position. In 2005 he was asked to help with membership administration/support duties for the Seattle Chapter, and when the Regional Board took notice of his work, we asked him to become the first Regional Membership Administrator.
In addition to this work, it soon became clear that Sheldon was the person with the experience and know-how to provide much needed website management, database management, and streamlined membership enrollment on the website. Sheldon has also been instrumental in the very unforgettable and successful Annual Retreats. We have been blessed that he has stood with us through many growing pains and triumphs, contributing his time, energy and skill to the Guild. His excellent computer knowledge, digital competency, and patience with those of us with less computer know-how have benefited Guild programs and procedures. Beyond all this, for many years Sheldon, along with (wife and partner) Cate O’dahl, have fielded countless emails, phone calls, and mailings – many recognize them as 'the face of the Guild'. Still, no need to panic! Sheldon has agreed to continue helping us on an hourly basis as the Salesforce expert and will be on call to train people and will be a key player in the transition to OrgSupport. Thank you, Sheldon, for the countless roles you have played over the years – we look forward to your continued involvement in different roles!
Danielle Johnson joined the Regional Board in 2005 to take over publication of the EcoBuilding Times newsletter and oversee annual production of the printed Green Pages. From 2005 to 2011 she chaired the Regional Communications Committee. With her experience and talent for communications, she launched our social media accounts and coordinated the development of a new logo package and membership brochure. While some of us still remain firmly in the realm of paper and pen, Danielle has pushed us to adopt exciting new communication tools that increase the effectiveness of the Guild and its mission.
In the midst of coordinating these efforts, Danielle also chaired the Seattle Chapter's 10x10x10 Green Building Slam committee in 2008 and 2009. Then in 2010, Danielle became the natural choice to lead the task force to redevelop our website, and with characteristic calm and cool demeanor, she fielded mountains of input from members, volunteers, Chapters and the Regional Board. After our new website launched, Danielle became the paid Website Administrator, managing and maintaining the website, training volunteers and Board members, responding to inevitable myriad repetitive questions by phone and email with grace, patience and professionalism. At the end of 2011 her paid position converted to a volunteer role, which she will continue doing while also remaining an active member of the Regional and Seattle Chapter Communications Committees. Thank you Danielle, for keeping us connected to each other and the world!
Last, but not least, our CFO/bookkeeper and Board Member, Louann Rizor has provided the rudder for our vessel to remain upright through challenging times and the sail to propel us forward when the winds blow in our favor. Louann became our bookkeeper in 2009 while working for Greenworks Realty, drawn to the Guild by her background in non-profit business management and her interest in buildings and sustainability. Behind the scenes, she diligently whipped our books into shape which we were supremely grateful for; she eventually dipped her toe into the world of board meetings, committees and Chapters and unearthed a whole array of opportunities for improvement, from operations to fundraising to program support.
With a passion for both people and the concrete reality of numbers, Louann has been there to teach, guide, and 'grow us up' financially. Relentlessly patient and compassionate, time and again she has stepped in to lift us to the next level and has never given up on her goals, even to the point of finding OrgSupport for the Guild! In 2011 Louann accepted a position in grants administration supporting diabetes research. We will miss her dearly, wish her all the best, and we know she is destined to continue creating positive change in the world!
Thank you to our Amazing Team of Consultants and Welcome to OrgSupport!
Northwest EcoBuilding Guild - Board of Directors