Three Columbus organizations were experiencing a good problem to have: They were growing to the point that relying on volunteers to run them was limiting what they could accomplish.
This problem was identified in a series of studies, called the Community Leadership Development Process, which was funded by the Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, Cummins Inc. and the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.
The solution: Align the Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic Organization, Leadership Bartholomew County and the Columbus Young Professionals under one, full-time, paid administrator who would manage the daily operations of each organization and work with them on long-term strategies.
That person is Kristin Munn, who has long been involved with the Columbus community — as a workplace initiatives leader for Healthy Communities, as a wellness coordinator for SIHO Insurance Services and as a volunteer with various community groups.
This is an excellent decision for several reasons.
The three organizations have become valuable assets in the community. CAMEO helps welcome newcomers to Columbus and promotes activities that foster acceptance and recognition of all cultures. LBC has helped more than 800 adults become more effective leaders through training programs. CYP helps the under-45 set live, work and play in Columbus through social hours and professional development opportunities.
Essentially, these organizations could produce the J. Irwin Millers of the future in Columbus.
For a growing community, and one that is becoming increasingly diverse, it’s important that these organizations reach their potential. If they do not, neither will Columbus.
Having a full-time employee working for all of these organizations allows their members to focus on larger issues rather than dealing with daily functions that consume their valuable, donated time.
A full-time employee working for CAMEO, LBC and CYP also shows that Columbus takes leadership development seriously and how much these organizations are valued. Munn’s position will be funded by the Heritage Fund, the Cummins Foundation, the Nugent Foundation and contributions from each of the organizations.
Just as important is having the right person leading these organizations. Munn has a background of helping community organizations that should serve CAMEO, CYP and LBC well.
This is a winning move for all involved.
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