Thursday, April 11, 2013

From Alleyways to Skyways

Thistle Farms was recently the recipient of the Neighborhood Builders® award from Bank of America. The award recognizes nonprofits that have made a significant impact in the community in the areas of housing, jobs and hunger relief. The program pairs leadership training for executive directors and emerging leaders with a $200,000 two-year unrestricted grant. Bank of America started this award in 2004, and since that time, has awarded more than $165 million, recognized over 730 nonprofits, and trained nearly 1,500 nonprofit leaders. We are not only so grateful for the funding that this remarkable grant provides, but also for the leadership training it is providing women in this program.

Here is a first-hand account of Shana's recent trip to a Bank of America Conference for Emerging Leaders:

WOW, Bank of America gave us a Neighborhood Builders grant and we needed a representative to go to Arizona for a conference. As I'm a Sales Rep for Thistle Farms, and Katrina, our National Sales Director couldn't attend, I was asked to go. My response was....when do I leave!  

I was given instructions throughout the months leading up to the trip: set up a Linked In account, register for a Leadership Practices Inventory Assessment (a survey your co-workers do about you), call AAA and make reservations. ALL DONE!  
This would be my first trip by myself. Very exciting -- although the closer the date came, the more anxious I became. Because it was Bank of America, I pictured myself sitting in the middle of rows of bankers in suits. And what is 'business casual' anyway?  
After stuffing the biggest suitcase I could find with too many clothes, I was off. Although I took my first flight ever only last year, I now consider myself to be a pro at airports! 

Upon arrival in Arizona, I met one of my first not-a-banker-at-all colleagues. She was from Arizona and continued to tell me about her organization’s mission and the grant Bank of America gave them. 
There would be 60 individuals from different organizations there that week who all had received grants from Bank of America. We all spent the week in training on how to become a better leader. I met the most incredible people and learned all about their organizations. What an amazing opportunity! 

From alleyways to skyways, I am a true example of how love heals. 

By Shana Godwin
Thistle Farms Sales Rep

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