Paul Shoemaker, Executive Connector
Paul Shoemaker is SVP Seattle’s Executive Connector. Anyone who’s met him knows why. If you’re out to change the world, he’s there to connect you to the people and organizations on that same journey. (He’s also the boss, so he does a little executive directing as well.)
Paul is committed to work in the community, serving on the boards of several organizations. He is the Founding President of Social Venture Partner International and currently sits on their board of directors, as well as the Board of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation and Partners for Our Children. Past work includes a recent term as Board Treasurer of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (2001-2007), Children’s Alliance in Seattle, (1996-2000) and Treepeople in Los Angeles (1987-1990).
In 2011 and 2012, Paul was named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential People in the Non-Profit Sector” by The NonProfit Times, and in 2013 he received the Red Winged Leadership Award from Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics.
Before coming to SVP Seattle in 1998, Paul was group manager for worldwide operations at Microsoft Corporation and developed a group of 22 direct marketing professionals and implemented a direct marketing infrastructure. Prior to his work at Microsoft, Paul was a Product Manager at Nestle USA in Glendale, CA.
Paul holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Texas and a BBA in Accounting from Iowa State University. Paul enjoys life with his wife and three sons, and is an avid sports fan, especially of his own kids’ teams, and “enjoys” his hobby as a high school basketball referee.
Please feel free to contact Paul for the following:
- Becoming an SVP Partner
- SVP’s strategic development and board governance
- SVP's perspective on capacity building, general operating support, and engaged philanthropy
More from Paul...
Although SVP Seattle has been around for fifteen years, there is so much more room to grow. Paul Shoemaker shares his vision for SVP's future, and why we're just now at the tip-off point. Game on.
Every once in a while, someone will criticize SVP or me for not having a little more fun or taking the time to celebrate along the way. They are right, and if you were there Saturday night, are you satisfied for a while now?! :-) We celebrated our 15th anniversary, filling MOHAI. It was a lot of fun, and two things stood out for me.
We already have a good idea of what needs to be done to create large-scale change. We also already have the funding to create that impact. So, what's missing? In his TEDxBGI talk, Paul Shoemaker shares why we need the big (bad?) corporations to make things happen.
On Friday night of our SVP Conference, we sat and listened to the aspirations and dreams of the SVP founders in India and China-to-be. It was stimulating, very exciting, and … just a little bit overwhelming. If you’d have heard them, you’d think they were sort of channeling that evening in 1997. They really “get it,” even though they are halfway around the world, living in cultures and countries very different from North America.
No hyperbole, our Grand Opening was one of the most unique, exhilarating evenings in my career. In my brief remarks, I offered up the idea that this is not so much a place with an address, but a space with an aspiration for positive change.
For the next two weeks, the SVP staff is “homeless” while we wait to move into our new digs with BGI and the HUB. The potential is awesome, but right now … oh boy. More than once I’ve asked myself the question – so whose great idea was this in the first place?? (Don’t answer that.) I need to remind myself WHY we are moving and hope like heck we get it right.
Each summer, I take a weekend camping trip with one (or more) of my sons. Just so you know, it’s classic open-the-back-of-the-SUV camping, but it’s still a great experience to get out in the wild and open air with my guys. Last year, I used a reflection from that to draw an analogy to our approach to capacity building with non-profits. Something different stuck with me this year.
I got invited to the White House Forum on Philanthropy Innovation last week. Pretty cool opportunity. Just thought I’d share a couple reflections – It reaffirms that there are people all over this country (and world) giving their lives and everything they’ve got to help making the world a better place for everyone.
"That blew my mind. I had no idea that rich people actually cared about poor people, about their community. I had no idea that something like SVP existed.” Those words came from Year Up student, Irving Severino after our last Spring Meeting. I couldn’t get them out of my head. A few days later decided I had to go have a cup of coffee with Irving and try to better understand.
Yep, for the second year running, SVP’s own Paul Shoemaker is named one of The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50! Joining the ranks of philanthropic leaders like Jeff Skoll, Marion Wright Edelman, and Bill Gates, Paul has been recognized as one of the nonprofit sector’s top executives and thinkers.
It's not JUST a new place to work. It’s a new energy and center for connectivity and positive change in our community! SVP is moving down 2nd Ave to co-locate with The HUB Seattle and the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in the historic Masin’s furniture building in Pioneer Square.
In our March newsletter we profiled an Investee with whom we are in our 5th year. That story prompted a long-time Partner and super-volunteer, John Fine, to write back...
Someone on staff had the “audacity” to suggest that maybe we should circle back on some of the blog posts over the last few years that have addressed topics like the need for more cross-silo / connected philanthropy, whether SVP should encourage more competition or collaboration, and some of the daunting challenges involved in taking a “hyper-collaborative” approach and talk about where SVP is today.
I woke up this morning to an email from Chuck Holland at 5:07AM … who the heck is Chuck Holland, right?! Well, here is his inspiring note. Be sure to click on the half-hour interview with Kelly Ramirez, the ED of SVP Rhode Island.
"At SVP we see one thing. Potential." Paul Shoemaker, our Executive Connector, challenged us to think about our own potential, how me might stretch to unlock that potential, and who might be touched by the ripples we create.
The GEO conference reinforced and extended my ideas about working collaboratively and connectedly. BUT it also mixed things up for me in one significant, and very good, way. I will walk away thinking a lot harder about WHO AND WHAT IS “THE NETWORK” REALLY?
Most of us have heard or seen that name this week. It has raised a wide range of reactions, all over the spectrum. I’m not here to advocate one way or another for the content or cause or how they go about it. What does make me kinda nuts is the criticism that some people have laid out – that Invisible Children doesn’t spend enough money on “programs.”
What do Bellevue and Oakland have in common? I found out the other day when I got an email from a former SVP Partner, Joneil Custodio.
The theme for this year's World Economic Forum is The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models. My position is that we need to focus more on harnessing social and human capital (not just financial capital). What do you think? Given the challenges confronting us in 2012 and beyond, what does the social sector have to do to think -- and be thought of -- differently? How can we rapidly change the "equation for social good"?
Last November, 25+ speakers, leaders, artists, innovators, and visionaries spoke at Seattle's TEDx Rainier event. It was a day-long whirlwind of ideas and stories that crossed frontiers, and SVP's own Executive Connector, Paul Shoemaker was invited to speak. Missed the event? Don't worry. You can now catch the presentations online!
Sometimes the connections SVP makes are between new members of grant committees or several Partners that have a common community interest or … life-long friends that haven’t connected for years. Sometimes the connections happen intentionally or as part of a structured group … and sometimes it happens on-the-fly and out of nowhere, like for Cynthia and Meredith.
As the holiday season is all around us, everyone has their wish list for Santa this year. I thought I’d throw out a few things I’d love to find under my 'tree,' starting with a renewed and recharged sense of hope and energy in 2012 for working even harder and smarter at solving our community’s challenges.
I suppose I should’ve written this a few weeks ago, but the holiday season works too… I write a lot of individual thank you notes to Partners when they renew or do something significant. That means I write a lot of notes! But it’s been awhile since I publicly just said to everyone in SVP - THANK YOU!
My response to a Chronicle of Philanthropy article discussing the burden of 12 million new nonprofits on the sector.
So it’s 3:22AM in Chicago, I’m at my sister’s ... I’ve been here for two days at the Independent Sector conference and a reception this evening to launch an SVP in Chicago. That was cool. I’m still up, bleary-eyed beyond words, and getting ready to go to sleep when I check my voicemail quick. There is one message.
If you ask just about any philanthropist, from big-time givers to Joanne Q. Public, they'll tell you there are "too many non-profits." But there is MUCH less talk about funders consolidating or collaborating. Where is the outcry for the sources of capital to better rationalize their philanthropic investments?
Like probably everyone else this week, I’ve been thinking about Steve Jobs, off and on, quite a bit. The world truly feels like a lesser place without him … it is. Jobs was all about “changing the world” and “thinking differently.” The guy was truly one of the Einstein’s of our generation. I just can’t help but think a little bit about how that kind of thinking is so needed in other parts of our world, in the social sector, in the change-the-world-for-the-better sector.
What defines a rainmaker? In their documentary series, Rainmakers.TV seeks out people who have the qualities to make things happen. And that includes SVP’s own Paul Shoemaker. In his interview, Paul talks about what it looks like when you turn philanthropy on its head and change professional success into personal significance.
A few weeks ago, I went on my annual end-of-summer camping weekend (I’m not exactly a big camping fan) with my 10-year old, Sam, at Millersylvania State Park. As we laid in our two-person tent, side by side, we looked up through the mesh roof of our tent. The stars were brilliant, but the real “stars” were the hundreds of huge, tall, majestic pines that surrounded us.
SVP staff are racking up accolades! Lynn Coriano was selected as a PLACES Fellow, Mike Quinn was accepted into Leadership Tomorrow’s class of 2012, and Paul Shoemaker was interviewed in the Seattle Times and is a featured panelist at this fall’s Net Impact Conference. Congrats all around!