A fast update as I once again roll in, and then out of town.
I have been ROARING across America for the past few months and scary as it sounds to say, I have even more gigs lined up in the next few weeks. But I love it. Why? Case in point—my gig yesterday up in Boston.
I was invited to speak at the annual gathering of the members of the Provider’s Council up in Massachusetts, which is led by a really cool cat, colleague and friend…Michael Weekes. Not only is he a dynamic leader locally, he has been a major force nationally (through the National Council of Nonprofits), and we (as in, me and him) were the Co-Conveners of the first Nonprofit Congress back in 2006.
As part of that visit, I stopped by Pine Street Inn, a legendary homeless program, where I met with CEO Lyndia Downie, the staff and clients for a great lunch, prepared by members of the Abundant Table team. Like DCCK, they have a training program as well as a revenue generating business (it brought in almost a MILL last year!!) and I was blown away by the caliber of the cuisine they put out.
(Sidebar—One of the coolest aspects of my journey, in just about every city I visit, I eat breakfast or lunch at the shelter or food program, and then get taken out to dinner at the swankiest shack in town. I LOVE seeing cities from those two different perspectives!!)
Anyway….if you live up there, make sure to give them your business or tell others about them—seriously…programs like Abundant Table (which was honored with the “Innovator of the Year” award at the Provider’s Council gathering) are the FUTURE, in that they allow you to make your philanthropy the way you spend your money everyday.
While there, I ripped out a little video for your viewing pleasure.
The next morning, I spoke in front of over 1,000 MA based, direct service workers–MY PEEPS—who for lack of a better way of saying this, work eye-to-eye with people everyday. These are the men and women who staff the drug clinics, hospices, foster care centers, homeless shelters, re-entry programs, runaway safe houses, after school programs and they are the professionals who really, truly carry the big bucket for our communities. I was highly honored to speak with them, and to give them big props….as well as push them hard…as they look down the big barrel of a loaded, “the-budget’s-been-shot-to-hell-again” gun.
BUT…what made this gig so amazing—after me, Governor Patrick took the stage. Everyone knew that he was going to be announcing BIG cuts that VERYafternoon, as MA is already back in a deep fiscal hole, only a few months after balancing the budget via massive cuts. Even though he was going to have to disappoint some, he had enough respect for the sector to stand face to face with them and explain what we was going to do. Now that’s leadership. The line I dug—“When I see a budget, I don’t see numbers—I see you”. This is just the kind of relationship with our elected leaders than we ALL need, and the Provider’s Council deserves big props for developing and earning that respect.
Anyway…a real cool day, with a great team, in a great city.
OK…off to San Francisco to give the opening keynote for the Purpose Prize.
I’ll sleep when I’m dead.