I discovered Net Impact Seattle when I googled “board openings seattle sustainability.
It was at a point of uncertainty in my personal and professional life:I had just moved from Boston to Seattle, a city I’d only visited once before, and my only local friends were my cat (Sofa) and my husband (Ross.) Listed in order of importance, of course.
After 6 years as an environmental nonprofit professional, I was starting to think that the career trajectory I was on might not be a good fit. My only hobby was psychically begging laid-back West Coast drivers to get the hell out of the fast lane and let people use it for its intended purpose.
Something had to change.
I’d been on boards before and knew it could be a good way to make new friends with similar interests to mine. Maybe I’d even get a better idea of where I should be headed with my career. At the very least I could find a better hobby than road rage to pass the time. So, I sent in my application, doubting my chances since I had a measly BA and they seemed to be a largely MBA organization. I knew it was a good sign when I was invited to interview for the Net Impact board… at a bar! I’d found my people.
Glass of wine in hand (local and sulfite-free, of course) I circulated from board member to board member, talking about the organization and its goals. Net Impact’s mission—to bridge the gap between sustainability and business—immediately spoke to me. I began to realize that what hadn’t seemed quite right to me about my experience in the nonprofit world (too idealistic, not enough pragmatism) and the for-profit world (too pragmatic, not enough idealism) might be solved with an organization like this. The best part: it didn’t matter what career path I was in. I could be a sustainability leader starting that day! And I could take my new expertise with me no matter what my job title was, championing positive change from within my company.
When I was offered a position on the board, I was thrilled to accept.The funny thing is, the best thing I get out of my experience on the board isn’t why I signed up for it.The best thing is being part of the solution. Rather than bemoan the problems of the world, my Net Impact colleagues and I ask ourselves: “What can we do to make the world better?” Every day we get to use our business savvy to challenge the status quo, forge exciting new partnerships and help other talented professionals find resources to help them do the same. We get to work with local sustainability leaders from companies like Microsoft, Starbucks and Theo Chocolate. We get to provide valuable networking events and programs to our members.
We get to think strategically about our vision and activities, challenging each other to step outside of our comfort level to learn new skills.
Joining the Net Impact Board changed the course of my career and personal life. I hope you’ll join us in harnessing the power of business to affect positive change in your community and the world."