Q&A with Sandy and John Myers: 2020 Harvesting Opportunities Gold Sponsors
How long have you been involved with CWEE?
Sandy: I became aware of CWEE in the 1980s. I am a CPA and one of the professional organizations I belonged to hosted a Dress for Success event (collecting professional clothing for low-income women trying to start their careers), for the benefit of CWEE. Since that time, I have attended the annual events when I was able to do so — and often brought along others whom I thought would appreciate the work of CWEE.
John: I learned of CWEE through Sandy and her ongoing support for the mission. When I began my phased retirement from our company, I had the opportunity to engage with CWEE through the annual Harvesting Opportunities event as well as site visits. The more I have learned about the organization and its mission, the more I have come to see its importance for its clients as well as for the workforce of Colorado. My career has been intimately connected with developing people at all levels in large organizations and agencies throughout the world. I know how much organizations value the on-going development of their people and what they expect from the people they recruit. CWEE provides these skills and competencies to people who may not have had the education and training opportunities that others had.
What draws you to CWEE’s work?
Sandy: I believe there is a great need in our country to provide assistance to those in need of education and to help people develop skill sets that will allow them to provide for themselves and their families and create a better life for their children. I believe that the work CWEE does allows people to do just that and also to grow in self-esteem. I believe in the old adage “Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.” I believe too often our current system cripples our people, keeping them dependent upon government programs. I know I found great satisfaction in much of my work life. I greatly enjoy my retirement but continue to derive great joy in my volunteer work.
John: Having been a single parent for many years, I learned how difficult it is to balance personal and professional life. CWEE offers people a way to navigate these challenges to be successful.
What is your favorite thing about CWEE’s work?
Sandy: My favorite thing about CWEE’s work is that it builds people up, gives them hope, gives them education and skill sets, and gets them out of the cycle of poverty, allowing them to become contributing members of society.
John: I also like the engagement CWEE has with members of the business community and agencies in order to carry out their mission. Such partnerships are critical to having a sustainable organization for the long-term.
Is there any work you have done in your personal or professional life that complements CWEE’s mission?
Sandy: I worked for the Catholic Church for many years. In that work I at times was called upon to provide assistance to people with food, shelter or financial resources. Most recently I have provided an introduction between CWEE and St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVdP). SVdP is the largest lay organization within the Catholic Church which provides assistance to those in need and provides information regarding other resources to help people become more self-sufficient. I believe this partnership will allow both organizations to deepen the good work that they do.
John: As a senior executive in a large global company, my career has been focused on developing people and managing a global training and consulting business. I know how important it is that leaders have the confidence in their people to work productively in teams and interact effectively with employees and clients. Without a solid level of social intelligence, people never are able to rise to their full potential, and I value that CWEE is able to assist their clients in developing these essential skills.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Sandy: I hope that CWEE will be able to continue its good work for many years, though I would be delighted if there was no longer any need for the work CWEE does. I doubt such a day will come. I also hope that CWEE, as well as the rest of the world can return to “live” work rather than virtual – I believe it is important that we are able to reach out and touch one another, share our physical presence and not simply interact virtually.
John: I look forward to watching CWEE continue to expand its services and outreach to future clients and to partners in the business community.