Q & A with SVP Partner Laura Lundahl
What are you currently working on, and how do you personally decide which projects to work on?
Outside of my work with Polycom, I am volunteering with an internationally-serving nonprofit called MEDRIX, located in Redmond, WA. MEDRIX focuses on health care and clean water for people living in rural areas, specifically focused on Vietnam. I am working with LaRelle Catherman, their founder and ED to support her in a variety of ways. I chose to work with MEDRIX because while they are small, they are achieving amazing results in a high needs area. Clean water is especially important – it is a basic human right. MEDRIX is using state of the art, affordable systems to make this happen in rural areas. I find the work inspiring. The level help and consulting I can offer is most impactful and effective with organizations like MEDRIX, who are small, growing, impactful, and focused on strategically changing lives, as well as improving (more long-term) systems.
What is one obstacle you face in your current job/project, and how do you plan to work around it?
One obstacle I face currently is working in a “Margin-less” space, where we are available 100 percent of the time, even on time away from work. While this challenge isn’t specifically related to my current job, it is a challenge that many who are engrossed in a technology-driven work environment experience. As one of the many people who have made themselves constantly available via all means of technology, achieving down-time and disconnecting to achieve much-needed time away (such as weekends!) is probably my most challenging and unreachable project yet.
What is one book/blog post/article you would recommend to those interested in social betterment?
One article that recently caught my attention is called, Raising Moral Kids: Nurturing Kids' Character and Conscience, by Malia Jacobson. It focuses on raising moral and ethical children, in a world where morals and ethics are increasingly going by the wayside. She talks about parents and the community's role in raising moral children, and the challenges and solutions related to this topic on King 5 news, too. I think Social Venture Kids is a great way to carry out some of what Jacobson talks about in her article, and I am glad to be a part of an organization that has intentionally created this type of environment for children.
Name two of your past/current mentors, or people you would love to have as mentors.
One of my current mentors is Gabrielle Dudley, who currently serves as one of the Directors of Development at Seattle Pacific University, and previously served at Children’s Hospital for 12 years, and prior to that, in fundraising at my alma matter (and hers), Washington State University. She is a fabulous speaker, project and priority manager, and really is in the charitable fund development world for the right reasons.
Another mentor of mine is John H. West, who just retired (today, actually, January 6, 2012) from decades of service in corporate and foundation fundraising. He was my first high-level client at my business, www.idenadvancement.com, created the position and hired me for my first all-grants related fundraising role, and has been a friend and mentor for many years. I’ve had the pleasure of working for him and alongside him, and even interviewing him on his expertise in relationship building for an article for the Grant Professional Association Journal. I am excited to continue to be mentored by him in the years to come, and to see how his personal philanthropy and ways of serving deep needs within very specific communities grows and develops in his retirement.
Since moving into the corporate sponsorship role at Polycom that I currently have, I would love to have other mentors who work for corporations in similar sponsorship roles, especially at technology companies such as HP, IBM, Microsoft, Google and Amazon. Connecting with other technology-corporate sponsorship leaders would be fantastic.
Favorite Seattle hangout?
Canlis for dessert, where my brother John Lundahl currently works in pastry, under the award winning Executive Chef Jason Franey.
Three people we should follow on Twitter?
@MelindaGates, @Philanthropy, and @SeattleWorks.
How should other like-minded Partners/people get in touch with you?
Laura.Lundahl@polycom.com or 206.554.1568.