Interviewed by Kevin Torres ’21
KT: What have you done since leaving Trinity?
EH: Since graduating, I have worked in development and communications for a variety of nonprofit organizations. I worked in Boston for five years for the Trust for Public Land, and then the National Voting Rights Institute. I moved to New York in 2014 to take a job at Global Nomads Group. I moved to the Center for Constitutional Rights where I was for 10 years and then became the Director of Development and Communications at first Citizens Union, then Literacy Partners. Now, with twenty years experience at 6 nonprofit organizations, I am taking a break from a full-time position to explore working for myself as a development, communications and organizational consultant. I am also building a small gardening business in my neighborhood in Brooklyn (Bedford-Stuyvesant) helping people landscape their yards, build container gardens and such.
KT: Is there anything you learned at Trinity that you’ve used/has helped you in your career?
EH: Two big things – one, a major part of my job is writing and my degree from Trinity and the classes and professors helped me to become an effective and strong writer. I learned to love writing at Trinity and the skills learned, I use every day – everything from grant proposals to fundraising letters to e-newsletters to annual reports. Professionally, I spend a lot of my time writing.
Two, Trinity placed a premium on networking and being able to comfortably move around a room – to ‘schmooze’. There were so many opportunities to practice those skills – and another major part of my job is both meeting new people through special events and fundraisers, and figuring out what makes them tick, why they care about the work of my organization. This is also helping me as I build my new business(es).
KT: What is your proudest accomplishment since graduating Trinity?
EH: Professionally, the decade I spent growing the Center for Constitutional Rights is my proudest accomplishment. When I started we had 20 staff and a budget of about $2.5M. When I left ten years later we had close to 50 staff and a budget of over $8M. That is a lot of really rapid growth, made possible both because the timeliness of our work and the compelling nature of our mission, but also through good fundraising and communications. Personally, an accomplishment I’m proud of would be my travel – I’ve been to 24 countries on 4 continents. My favorite recent trip was to Turkey – Istanbul and Bodrum.
KT: What are some hobbies/passion projects, successes, or milestones, that you would like Trinity to be aware of?
EH: My passion, interest, conviction was always to go into nonprofit work/public service. I knew at Trinity that I wanted to go into nonprofit after graduation, which felt extremely different than what the majority of my classmates planned to do and what Trinity’s career services was prepared to help me achieve. I really had to forge my own path to do what I wanted to do. That said, the activism I was engaged in on campus, and the groups I started or ran, definitely helped prepare me for a nonprofit career in terms of experience. Professors were extremely supportive, for instance, when I was starting a chapter of the National Organization for Women on campus. However, in terms of accessing possible jobs, networking connections, tailoring my resume/pitch to get a nonprofit job – that I figured out on my own.