Lorena Garcia: Non-Profit Executive Director
We were thrilled to have Lorena Garcia, executive director of The Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition and Namlo International, speak to us about the work involved with organizations doing important work for communities in the US and globally. Her passion for helping others is one that started early on and is so evident in the dedication she has for all she does.
WD: Who makes up your immediate family?
LG: My wife Jaimi, our three dogs. My Parents also count and so do my 5 brothers and sisters ;)
WD: What is the biggest challenge in your personal life?
LG: Managing my time, balancing all of my desires with my obligations.
WD: What is the most satisfying aspect of your personal life?
LG: I am rarely bored.
WD: Is this what you thought you would be doing? If not, what altered your path?
LG: Opportunity knocked. I always wanted to be a film director. I was in school for about 5.5 years because I was not ready to go out into the real world and I was not done learning. There was so much more I wanted to learn! When I was finally done, I started to freak out about my prospects so I got a job as a parent organizer for an org that worked with immigrant parents and helping them navigate the education system in Colorado. That basically sealed my fate. My fear to go after what I went to school for led me down this rewarding path that is now my career.
WD: What is your biggest challenge professionally?
LG: Oh geez... I don't know... I think keeping organizations afloat and thriving is the biggest challenge. Non-profits rely on donations from foundations, business, and individuals to operate. And these donations pay for program, salaries, rent, materials, etc. and the majority of donors and funders don't see the connection between needed to pay people to actually do program work. The challenge is knowing that people's lively hood depends on me and my performance.
WD: What do you want more of in your life?
LG: Comics! I LOVE comics and graphic novels and I want to read more. I want to have more adventures and explore more. I want to snowboard more in the winters and bike more in the summers. I want to swim more, maybe join a master swim club. And the best part of all of this is that my wife loves all these things too so we get to spend a ton of time together.
WD: Who are the women who are most inspiring to you?
LG: My wife. first and foremost my wife because she was not afraid to go after her dream. She is an artist and she puts all of her energy into creation. I admire her so much for that and she inspires me every day to do things that I love, not just things I have to do. My mom is also an incredible inspiration. She is passionate and powerful and not only inspires me to be better, but naturally does that to everyone around her.
WD: Who were your female role models growing up?
LG: My mom and my godmother Maria.
WD: What did you want to be as a child when you grew up?
LG: A superhero. I still want to be one. Also an architect.
WD: What is the best advice you've ever gotten?
LG: It was for a job interview. My godmother Maria told "walk in there as if you already have the job" I approach everything like that. If I am meeting with a funder or donor, I walk in as if I already landed the donation, or a potential partnership opportunity, as if we have already signed a contract.