Elece Hempel of Petaluma People Services Center wins Nonprofit Leadership Award
Describe your organization.
PPSC's mission is to improve the social and economic health of our community by providing programs that strengthen the dignity and self-sufficiency of the individual. Service areas include: Senior Services, Counseling and Prevention, Employment Training, Housing, and Petaluma Bounty. We provide our clients with vital information, referrals, case management intervention, counseling, rental assistance, job placement, daily hot meals, and access to fresh produce through our Petaluma Bounty farm.
What is your role in the organization?
What achievement are you most proud of?
Growing the agency to better serve the community and providing high quality programs with measurable results for our clients.
What is your biggest challenge today?
Funding first and for most, PPSC as a multi-service agency works with over 10,000 residents a year; funding from most sources has remained flat, while the demand for services continues to increase.
What is the next major project either under way or on the horizon?
Oh I have a lot of dreams of some amazing project and program growth; however when I wake up I know that the next major project is making sure that at the end of the day we have done the work that needs to get done to help our clients. Seeing the demand for programs for seniors, I do hope to continue to build a funding stream that will help us sustain the needs of our elders.
What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?
Staying current with technology is always an issue for nonprofits, cloud technology is making it easier to do our jobs, but having the hardware is always a struggle.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?
I believe that we will see a consolidation of services and service providers.
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Anthy O'Brien, Top Speed Data, she is so passionate about everything she does.
Current reading: “Threeway” by Steve Lubliner – full disclosure, the author is my neighbor!
Most want to meet: Throughout my career I have been lucky enough to meet and work with some amazing people; if I had to choose someone right now it would be Elizabeth Warren, I love her honesty.
Stress relievers: Family, just hanging with them is all I need to make my day.
Favorite hobbies: Crafts and exercise, we have a new puppy; Cuba, and he keeps us all pretty busy.
Social media you most use: Facebook, however I use them all even Snapchat.
Buzz word from your industry you hate the most: Outreach
Typical day at the office: 7 a.m. email and/or meetings and then the days are never the same.
Best place to work outside of the office: We lost our home in the Cobb mountain fire, sitting on the deck was my favorite place to get work done, so right now the kitchen table seems to be my outside the office workstation.
Words that best describe you: Community
Anything you want to add?
I love what I do, there are days when I cry and days when I laugh, but it really is one of the most stratifying things I have ever done. It is all about community!