Hi. I'm Amy Black, Manager of Special Projects at Colorado Nonprofit Association. I joined the Association team as a result of the 2018 merger of Colorado Nonprofit Association and the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. I am still dedicated to ensuring my Pikes Peak Region colleagues and friends thrive in their nonprofit roles, but I consider myself fortunate for the larger opportunity to impact the health and well-being of nonprofits across Colorado.
I moved to Colorado Springs from Columbus, Ohio in 2017. I had a pretty extensive network in Columbus and wasn't sure how I would build a network in the Springs. Fast forward two years later and I am loving this community and my role in it. As I reflect on these amazing two years, these are the reasons why I love the Pikes Peak Region and how I try to incorporate it into my Association work.
1. Sharing really is caring. My 5-year-old nephew says this all the time, especially when he wants a bite of my dessert. I have noticed many people in this community really care about it. I see it when people are willing to share ideas or contacts to help a neighbor or colleague solve a problem. Sharing ideas helps our community work smarter and become better. It was pretty cool to be part of an organization, CNE, that created those idea-sharing opportunities through their professional development training activities. I love that we can continue that through the Association and spread those ideas across the state. It's so cool to witness those lightbulb moments.
2. Amazing Grace. One thing that stood out to me with this community is that they embrace failing forward and allow grace when you mess up. In Ohio, failure was not an option, which made taking risks really stressful. Here, it's a whole different story. This community empowers you to take the risks, knowing that if you fail forward, you are going to learn something new which could lead to even better outcomes.
3. Growth Spurt. The Pikes Peak Region also supports personal growth. I have witnessed many difficult conversations between people that end on a positive note because each party provides a space for vulnerability and active listening. By witnessing these interactions, this has helped me personally and professionally in how I handle difficult situations. It's another thing to feel safe so you can have difficult conversations instead of sweeping it under the rug.
4. Live Out Loud. This community embraces living your best life and celebrating who you are. People of different walks of life are free to be their authentic selves here. I have the opportunity through the Association to work with people of different backgrounds and beliefs. This type of environment keeps me educated on EDI, which helps me look at potential programs with an inclusive lens.
5. New Kids on the Block. There are a lot of people with the "right stuff" that move here from all over the country. I love how this community embraces new people. So many people are moving here, not only with their physical stuff, but they are also bringing experiences and knowledge to our community. Our community becomes stronger because of it. It shows our community is open to new ideas even if those people aren't from 'round here.
There are plenty more ways why I love the Pikes Peak Region. I believe that the state of Colorado can learn a lot from PPR and vice versa. Through the Association, we can support the PPR community by continuing to bring new ideas, best practices, and sharing connections to make it stronger.