Sorry I will be late … I am behind a tractor

Yesterday I had an opportunity to visit with two of our affiliate boards in one day. I don’t think this is a record, but I was able to have breakfast with the Wake County Community Foundation at 8 am, and then lunch with the Warren County Community Foundation at the Warrenton Armory and Civic Center. We are still in the midst of visits with our local affiliate leaders this summer to gather information from our boards about how we measure success.

Both meetings were opportunities to spend time with strong leaders who have a passion around philanthropy. Both sessions yielded many great questions and dialogue — always my favorite part. These exchanges and their feedback will be so helpful as we move forward.

The short drive and time in Warren County provided me with the opportunity to reflect on the differences between these two communities that are separated by only an hour. Economic factors, population density and employment are just some of the issues that make these communities vastly different. I had to send a message to Kelly Lee, our regional associate for the Coastal Plain North, to let her know I was stuck behind a tractor and I may be late. Her response? Yep, that is the story of this region; you need to always plan for an extra 15 minutes.

Different, yes. But similarities also can be seen among the people and their sincere passion for local involvement in philanthropy. At both meetings we talked about how to bring more people to the table and how to encourage participation and increase visibility of their work.

We also talked about turtles, badminton, trips to Scandinavia, trains, fraternal versus identical twins and television. You would not guess at which meetings any of these topics were discussed.

People are people. All enjoy informal conversations right alongside solid, working meeting dialogue. And you’d never guess who drove up with a tractor. Don’t forget to plan for an extra 15 minutes…