There is no shortage of hardworking nonprofit professionals in and around Denton County. In fact, many of these pros share a building with us. To recognize our partners and discuss how they Serve Denton, we decided to launch a recurring series about our Local Leaders.
Heather Hutmacher: Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star
Briefly describe your organization and the way it Serves Denton.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides one-to-one mentoring to children who have the need for extra support and a positive role model. Our goal is for every child to have the opportunity to be successful in life and the support needed to achieve their goals.
What made you personally want to work in the nonprofit realm, and what drew you to this opportunity Denton?
I've always valued community engagement and felt a sense of responsibility to make the world a better place through acts of service and kindness. The nonprofit realm is centered on the philosophy of community collaboration, and I appreciate all of the nonprofits I get to work with for the services they provide.
What challenges have you faced that you didn’t expect?
I've worked in the government and nonprofit sector for over nine years. Working at a nonprofit, you have to be prepared to wear many hats and give 110% in order for your mission to be successful. We are a staff of two in Denton County and heavily depend on our community partners and Board Members to help broaden our network and make a bigger impact to better serve the children in our program. I knew walking into the nonprofit sector that there would be some of these challenges, however, you gain a deeper appreciation for the work done in a nonprofit when you experience it first-hand.
How has your approach to leadership changed because of your current position?
Since taking on the role of Executive Director in August of 2016, I've learned how to delegate tasks, identify realistic goals, and collaborate with our partners to create win-win scenarios for the greater good. I've found it's important to take a big picture approach and create balance in responsibilities to ensure you have the resources needed to meet your goals. I hope to continue to make progress in these areas as a leader and continue to learn new ways to collaborate effectively.
In what ways do you hope to improve even more, so that you may Serve Denton as much as possible?
We are building our Board and have developed some great new partnerships this year in Denton County. Our goal is to continue with this momentum to reach more potential mentors and supporters to further the progress of our mentoring programs.
How has partnering with Serve Denton helped you advance your nonprofit's mission?
Partnering with Serve Denton has saved us thousands of dollars a year. It costs over $1,000 for a child and volunteer to be enrolled in the program, matched, and then supported for their first year. Essentially, Serve Denton has made it possible for us to allocate more funds to the children and volunteers needed to help make a difference through mentoring in Denton County.
Author: Tyler Hicks, Serve Denton Communication Committee Member