I was just in a great meeting that gave me the seed for my column.  The words lean and focused were mentioned.  I can’t remember what this phrase referenced but I decided on the spot that it should be my new tagline:  “Amy Albrecht, Director of the CVC, Lean and Focused.”  Sadly, after the amount of brownies, wine and ice cream I’ve ingested this summer, lean is going to be hereafter defined as spare and economical vs. lacking in fat.

Let me expound on this concept of leanness as it applies to the CVC before we attempt the focused portion.  When I went to Austin, TX this spring for the Nonprofit Technology Conference, I am certain I was the director of the smallest nonprofit with the smallest staff (1.5 whopping people) and smallest budget from the smallest town from the smallest state represented.  Get all that?  Compared to the World Wildlife Federation, United Way and Humane Society International, the CVC may be considered small potatoes.  Heck, we might not even be considered fingerling potatoes.  Peas maybe.  But the great thing about us is that our leanness means that every dollar that is donated to the CVC is put to good use with results you can see.

Whether it’s bringing national nonprofit marketing expert, Kivi Leroux Miller, to Sheridan for a return visit; co-hosting Study Circles on a Dementia Friendly Community; equipping future leaders as they head to high school; or a host of other initiatives we’re involved in, the CVC is major value for very few bucks.

Now on to the focus.  If you’ve met me, ‘focus’ is probably not the first descriptor that comes to mind.  Loud, yes.  Enthusiastic, definitely.  She of the grand gesture.  Absolutely.  Focused?  Hey! Is that a KU sticker on that car?  Did you say salted caramel ice cream?  What were we talking about?

Right!  Focus!  So maybe I am not as focused in my everyday conversations but when it comes to the mission, vision and work of the CVC, I am like a laser pointer in front of a kitten.  Wait.  Maybe that wasn’t the best simile.  Suffice it to say that my lean staff (also known as Jeriann) and I know exactly what the CVC does and why.  As referenced in a recent column, we have identified our three main priorities (to wit: leadership training, nonprofit support and moving community initiatives forward) and we work very hard not to deviate in our work.  Sure, projects and opportunities come through our door that may stretch the focus but they still apply to our mission – engaging citizens to strengthen our community.

So if you see me on the street, feel free to address me by my new title: Amy, Lean and Focused.  Just don’t offer me brownies or distract me.  Otherwise, I’ll morph into Amy, Chunky and Scattered.