ACDN: How long have you been serving on the Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits (ACDN) Board?
S.L.: I joined ACDN 5 years ago as a volunteer on the Technology Committee and later on joined the Board as Secretary.
ACDN: Tell us how you initially learned about Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits and what drew you to participating on the Board of Directors.
S.L.: I was introduced to ACDN by Lynda-Ross Vega who was President at the time since we both lived in Texas and she invited me to join the organization over coffee one day. Since she was a personal friend of mine, I accepted the invitation and was happy to know I would be able to contribute my technology skills and join others who were passionate about ACDN's mission.
ACDN: What roles have you engaged in or currently engaged in? What activities on the board are most meaningful to you?
S.L.: I volunteered on the Technology Committee for 2 years, then joined the board for another few years and am currently the board secretary which allows me to use my detailed writing skills to benefit the organization.
ACDN: What makes ACDN special or unique?
S.L.: ACDN is special to me because its mission resonates with me on a very personal level. My mom was a single parent before meeting my stepdad and she would have been a prime client for ACDN. Knowing that my own mother would have been involved in and benefited from this organization and it makes me extremely happy to be able to contribute my time and energy now to supporting our efforts and giving back to the greater community.
ACDN: How has your role affected you?
S.L.: It's all been positive and makes me feel that I'm contributing to something bigger than myself by being involved in something authentic. Being able to help someone in a position my family used to be in a reward in itself. I love that ACDN has spread to many cities and helps people across the U.S.
ACDN: What is your biggest challenge as a Board Member and how are you overcoming this challenge?
S.L.: I work in an extremely busy corporate environment as an IT Project Manager routinely leading five teams daily in the building, testing and deployment of various projects. Oftentimes my work week can end up being 60 to 70 hours leaving little time to fit in my ACDN duties. I love what I do with ACDN and am a perfectionist so it's important to me to keep my commitments and give my all. Unfortunately, I'll be rolling off the board after this year due to my demanding career responsibilities. I would always want to give the best of me and never like to do anything halfway.
ACDN: Tell us a story about a meaningful project or activity you work on for ACDN.
S.L.: When I started, we were just getting the website up and running and I was very passionate about helping upgrade it with more robust e-commerce functionality to allow members to pay dues, register online for events, and capture important information such as email addresses. I really liked helping to replace old antiquated methods, such as a member mailing in a check with snail mail, with faster upgraded technology that was keeping with the times.
Shevy and colleagues at the ACDN National Conference in Philadelphia, PA. October 18-21, 2018
ACDN: My vision for the future of ACDN is…
S.L.: To continue to grow with more organizations joining and benefiting from the knowledge provided while extending our reach to even more cities across America. For example, I'm not sure we currently have Texas member organizations right now but it would be great to continue growing our membership organization base in cities where our board members currently reside. I'd also love to see us do more to sustain the clients supported by our member agencies after they get jobs through increased follow up with a more robust plan to assist with career progression. For example, if someone gets a new job as a secretary how can we help to grow that person so that they can progress to a manager role.
ACDN: If it were not for ACDN,…
S.L.: I don't think I would be as involved in career development as I would want to be. My career is great on its own but I would think "Who are you helping?" I think our lives are worth so much more when we help others and not only ourselves. ACDN has given me a reason and the means to step out of corporate and help someone else with the skills I've attained.
2018 ACDN Board of Directors. Back Row: Susan Walton, Lance Ekum, Patrycja Warda, Connie Golds, Shevy Lindley. Front Row: Marianne Jones, Tamara Pitts, Gina Diaz, Shanna Moody.