Name, position, organization:
Tyler Adams Manager, Affiliate Relations – Events Make-A-Wish International
Other professional involvement/accomplishments:
I am also involved with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance on the Board of the Association of Certified Nonprofit Professionals. I recently completed my Master’s program in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from ASU, so I am looking to start getting more involved in the community now that I have more free time.
How long have you been a YNPN Phoenix member?
Since July 2017, so less than a month.
Favorite YNPN event or memory?
I am brand new to YNPN and I am looking forward to making some great memories with this organization and meeting some great people who want to make a difference in the community.
Favorite place in Phoenix to grab coffee?
My personal favorite place to grab coffee is Fair Trade Cafe in downtown Phoenix. The coffee is fantastic, the atmosphere is amazing, and it’s a great place to either get some work done or casually read a book.
What was it about your organization that made you want to be involved?
Back when I was in 8th grade, my younger brother was diagnosed with leukemia just before his second birthday. During that time, my family went through a pretty rough time, and many nonprofit organizations came to help us out in our time of need. One of the most notable organizations was Make-A-Wish, where my brother’s wish to go to Disneyworld was granted. He is now a healthy 14-year-old who is very involved in sports and wants to be a doctor someday. I knew then that I wanted to work for Make-A-Wish someday, and I have been there for nearly four years now.
Tell us about one of the most valuable things you’ve learned from working for your organization (or nonprofit orgs in general).
My time at Make-A-Wish International has taught me a lot of cultural competence. Before I moved to Arizona, I lived in a small town in Iowa of only 6,000 people, so I wasn’t too aware on how to best work with people of other cultures. Since I moved to Arizona and have been working for an international organization, I have grown exponentially in this area. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with organizations in nearly 50 countries around the world where we have affiliate offices and have worked closely with a handful of them to plan the logistics for numerous training events. Cultural competence is so important because there is a lot to be considered when working with people of other cultures from around the world. Not only is there a language barrier, but there are also different cultural practices, business etiquette, working styles, and other factors to consider. Building this skill has been incredibly valuable to me and has created a smaller world where I’ve built some great relationships.
Podcasts are my go-to when I am on a road trip or working out. Some of my favorites are TED Radio Hour, Pod Save America, Radiolab, Freakonomics, StarTalk, and the Axe Files. If anyone has any other recommendations, please let me know!
What one piece of advice would you offer someone who’s new to the nonprofit industry?
My biggest piece of advice is to be patient with your work and practice self-care. One thing that many people in the nonprofit sector have in common is that we are incredibly passionate people who want to make a difference in the world. At times it will be very frustrating, the hours are long, and the work can be emotionally draining. Which also leads me to my suggestion on self-care. You can get by with the long hours and hard work off of passion, but you have to practice self-care and take time to recharge so you don’t lose that spark for your work. You will be paid less than your for-profit counterparts, will work longer hours, and have little resources to do a lot of work. Take time to yourself every now and then, be patient with your work, and keep bringing on new ideas.
What do you hope to contribute to YNPN Phoenix as a new board member?
I hope to contribute some of my event planning and process improvement skills to YNPN Phoenix. Back in college and for the entirety of my career so far, I have been an event planner. That is what has interested me improving processes to be more efficient and organized with a team. Hopefully these skills can help our board work more closely together to maximize our benefit to the Phoenix community.