An Introduction to Pillar's Network - Mojdeh Cox's Remarks from our Annual Community Connector

Our new Executive Director, Mojdeh Cox provided this compelling address to our network at our 2020 Annual Community Connector looking back on all we have achieved and calling us all to action as we move forward into our next chapter and embark on our new strategic plan and journey of recovery and transformation. Read more about Mojdeh here

First, I must take this opportunity to thank Nicole Spriet our outgoing Board Chair, and our Pillar Nonprofit Network Board colleagues for their leadership.

These uncertain times have revealed to us the true characters of our community leaders: they're bold, charismatic, agile, yet caring and compassionate. In fact, this is how I describe our entire network. After all, it was the input from our community and our network and co-tenant members that played a critical role in co-creating a strategic plan that is both bold and timely.

Speaking of what and who brought us here, I cannot say enough about Michelle Baldwin's leadership and legacy. Michelle's authentic and unapologetic commitment to build community capacity through collective power, reflection and action is something to be recognized. Michelle is so reliable with her authenticity, that for years, if I came across her, I was confident that I would walk away better informed, feeling cared about and invited to share space with her.

Michelle's ability to connect with people across all sectors of our network is just one of the ways we benefited from her leadership. She has galvanized a team of incredible people - the staff at Pillar- to dream big and work hard to see those dreams come to reality. Thank you for your sacrifice, your energy and thought leadership in innovation and doing business differently. Thank you for caring and giving so much of yourself to grow this network. What a legacy!

From all organizational perspectives at Pillar, we recognize that change and transformation doesn't begin and end in boardrooms. The boardroom is, however, where change is guided and transformation is marked by radical accountability measurables to help us continue to build trust across the network.

When we plan for equity, change and recovery in action, what we are committing to is building trust with our community so that we may be just as courageous as we are caring when it comes to the transformation we wish to see.

Our reality today, over a year after everything abruptly changed, is that we must rethink systems in such a way that we challenge ourselves to break out of what we loosely identify as our respective comfort zones. I don't have to tell you that there is nothing comfortable about challenging ourselves and one another. But if we continue on this journey with trust being what we build on to execute our bold strategic plan, we will soon realize that discomfort challenges our egos and taps into our hearts. And when we open our hearts, we give ourselves and one another permission to heighten our empathy.

This is the opportunity I recognized when I first learned about this timely strategic plan: the opportunity to heighten our collective empathy and build power through the love we have for our community. It is what encouraged me throughout the nation-wide search for Pillar's new Executive Director to work hard to become a part of Pillar's plan for recovery.

So here we are today, a community in crisis, but a community who deeply cares about recovery with dignity and hope through impact and innovation.

Lastly, your response to my appointment and the welcome back into the community I love has been deeply moving. Thank you for your energy, warmth and positivity. I look forward to all of your contributions to our journey of transition and transformation.

We celebrate the past 20 years of this incredible network that relies on the gifts you bring forward and your engagement. Now, let's co-create the future we wish to celebrate 20 years from now.

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