As the Thanksgiving holiday rapidly approaches and the year is nearing its end, I would like to take the opportunity to share with our readers a few of the things I am most grateful for– foremost– The Best Team on Earth. Once upon a time, KFA was a one-woman, three-ringed circus. Today, KFA refers to itself internally (and occasionally via hashtag) as The Best Team on Earth, and we mean it. I could not be prouder or more humbled that this fabulous bunch of extraordinary humans are willing to work with me and together to help nonprofits do more, better.
The KFA team consists of four core ladies, myself, Carla Landreth, VP of nonprofit services, Chelsea Adams, senior editor, and Laura Richardson, grant writer and researcher. I met each of these ladies in a classroom. Carla and I earned our MBAs together while also working together at a state university. Chelsea and I served on our high school yearbook staff together. And Laura, while technically the newest member of the Team, I’ve known the longest, since we met in Kindergarten. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of competing alongside Laura in academic competitions as teammates. Each of these ladies is among the smartest and most talented I have ever met.
Carla has the highest emotional intelligence and is the nicest person of anyone I know. Her pleasant disposition is backed by an extremely sharp intellect, wry humor, a no-nonsense approach and a passion for efficiency. However, even close friends might find it hard to believe that when it comes to good cop/bad cop, it is most often Carla who goads me into the tough decisions. I value her sound judgment and impeccable business sense beyond measure.
Chelsea is the only person I know who I will grudgingly admit is a stronger writer than I am. Her talent with words is incredible and is second only to her talent for running with a small bit of information and rapidly turning it into something great. She has worked with us as a contractor for several years and having her join our team as a regular member is far and away one of the biggest highlights of the past year for KFA.
For most of the past decade, Laura has been teaching English in Japan. We are thrilled to have her join us while she is stateside. Having known Laura for over 30 years, it came as no surprise to find that she is hard-working, dedicated, meticulous and thorough, but it is no exaggeration to say the entire team celebrated when we learned we have a natural-born logic modeler in our midst. In just a couple of months she has already proven herself invaluable, as I knew she would.
Earlier this year, Katie Bradley, our longtime brand manager, accepted a new opportunity. I would be remiss if I didn’t count her among all I am thankful for this year. Katie is one of the best people I know in a pinch. It seemed almost fitting that on her last day, she moved a large event across town in pouring rain– with just 45 minutes notice– and never missed a beat.
In addition to our core team, The Best Team on Earth includes some very important partners– Alex Comfort, our fundraising guru and mentor; Christian Schmid, the incredibly talented graphic designer who makes us and our clients look amazing; Jamie Cyphers, the instructional designer bringing Alex and I into the digital age; Scott Clark, our go-to guy for, well, whatever needs doing; and, Michael Fletcher, our consulting IT director and chief of extreme late night online banter. This year, we’ve also gotten some big assists from Jim Kidd and Shannon Brown, in photography and videography, respectively, for which we are extremely grateful.
Thanks to all of these fabulous folks, we have been able to help a lot of great organizations do more, better this year. From funding some amazing youth services through nearing completion of a capital campaign to reinvent a pre-desegregation Black high school to establishing new relationships with global initiatives, I am proud and truly thankful for all that we’ve accomplished.
My heartfelt thanks to The Best Team on Earth! And thanks on behalf of the entire team to all of the great nonprofits we work alongside!
Where’s the giving? Stay tuned! We’ll be making a very special announcement on Giving Tuesday about how you or a nonprofit of your choosing can win an amazing prize pack sure to help you do more, better.