Now We Are 5

By: Jessamyn Lau

Did we break the record for longest hiring process ever? Probably not, but after 1.5 years of interviewing and searching for the right candidate it certainly felt like we should have earned a world record.

On January 2nd we welcomed our fifth team member, Jayson Morris. Jayson will be heading up our Regional and Global Portfolios. You can read a bit about Jayson on our team page, and he'll tell you more about himself in his blog posts. For now, I can tell you we're thrilled he's bringing a wealth of fund-raising experience to the PF team, and we're breathing a big sigh of relief that we're not stretched quite as thin as we have been recently (I know you all know how that feels). 

Jocelyn, our new Program Assistant joined the PF team in October last year. Jocelyn has been thrown in the deep-end, helping us launch a new website, put together our first outward-facing annual report, prepare for our Annual Board Meeting, and put together several other events. All within a few months. Jocelyn has officially experienced baptism by fire.

Jocelyn and Jayson joined us just in time for our first Team Retreat of 2015. We took the team down to Carmel, CA to get away from the office and our inboxes. We crammed in as much rich, varied, usually on the back-burner, meta-level discussion as possible. In addition to spending time digging in to our 3 portfolios, each of our staff took turns leading a workshop for the rest of the team:

Avani walked us through her fascinating and practical dissertation on the middle school-high school transition in Ravenswood City School District. Several of her recommendations are being implemented and gaining traction.

Jayson introduced us to 10 insights from his 10 years in development (everything from why "Not All Growth Is Good", to "Burnout is real... And Expensive"). If you're interested in any of those, petition him for a blog post on them...

Jocelyn pulled back the curtain on our email habits and volume. She named and shamed the 2am emailers, and encouraged us all to set goals around resisting the temptation to answer email constantly. This information was perhaps the most challenging for us to hear during the retreat. 

I led us through a discussion drawing from "The New Science of Building Great Teams"--a highly recommended read. Did you know that 35% of the variation in a team’s performance can be accounted for simply by the number of face-to-face exchanges among team members?

And Dave weaved Peery Family stories and perspectives throughout the weekend, so our team is freshly infused with a deeper understanding of the Peery Family's priorities and personalities.

All in all it was an exhausting but exhilarating 2.5 days. Next time we're building in nap breaks. We're still figuring out the right content and pace for our team retreats, so would love to hear what works in yours, or a highlight from the last team retreat you attended. Thanks, in advance, for sharing!