Leadership Transition Letter from Hiro Kawashima
After four years, the time has come for me to step down as the Executive Director of Supplies for Dreams. Effective May 28, 2012, a new leadership will be leading Supplies for Dreams to greater heights.
My time with Supplies for Dreams has been exhilarating. We have come a long way since our days as a five-man operation based out of the basement of my home. In the past four years, we provided more than 3,300 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students with backpacks and school supplies, field trips to the Field Museum and Museum of Science and Industry, and one-on-one mentoring. Donations to the organization have increased by more than 400 percent since 2009 and I am pleased to report that even in an uncertain economic environment, Supplies for Dreams is financially healthy.
After a four-month search process, we have selected our new leadership.
Aria Fiat will continue in her role as the co-founder and Human Resources Director of Supplies for Dreams. Since our inception, Aria has been the backbone of the organization and has participated in every major development. She also led the Marketing team and oversaw the first annual Inspiration Gala that raised more than $7,000 for our programs. In her role, Aria will enhance our donor base by developing new networks and strengthening existing ones. She will also oversee our talent management process to ensure that our organization continues to attract the best and brightest to serve our students.
Nicole Bronnimann has been selected to become the new Executive Director. Nicole has been an outstanding leader within our organization; she led the development and expansion of the Award-a-Field Trip program that now serves 300% more students than it did in 2010. In her new role, she will be responsible for attracting new donors and supporters to our organization and working with our partner CPS schools to expand the scope of our programs.
Gabrielle Budzon will be the Operations Director. Gabrielle has demonstrated her capabilities through work on a variety of programs and projects. On our Dream Mentors program, she managed logistics associated with our mentoring activities. She also oversaw the launch of Give Backpacks, a revenue-generating program that if successful, will add significant financial value to our organization. As the Operations Director, Gabrielle will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization and its activities.
I have high hopes and expectations for our leadership. I am confident that Aria, Nicole, and Gabrielle will maintain the high standard of excellence our partners and you have come to expect.
The leadership transition process began almost five months ago and I am committed to working closely with the new leadership through September 2012. In addition, I will be an active board member, working to ensure that our vision and strategy remains strong and relevant.
There is no doubt in my mind that with your support, our organization will continue to grow and impact our students. We will equip minds of students by providing backpacks and school supplies, spark curiosity in our students through field trips to Chicago museums, and unlock potential through one-on-one mentorship. Our students deserve only our best effort and we remain committed to ensuring that every student, regardless of his or her economic situation, ethnicity or circumstance, has an equal opportunity to attain their dreams.
Thank you for the support and kindness you have shown me and Supplies for Dreams during the past four years. We look forward to your continued support and advocacy.
Co-founder & Executive Director
Supplies for Dreams