Kate Rose Marquez, most recently the director of development at St. Vincent de Paul Society of North Texas, joined WiNGS as the CEO in January 2020. An old friend with nonprofit organizations, she has worked alongside several in advancing their mission through brand development and fundraising—while also serving on many nonprofit boards.
How are you coping amid the COVID-19 crisis?
We cope by doing what we do best: serving and empowering those in need in our community. We provide a rapid response to urgent needs, a path toward recovery, and a plan for resiliency.
We focus on the most vulnerable—communities of color and those with limited English proficiency, single-income households, women at risk of intimate partner violence and financial insecurity, and small business owners. WiNGS has maintained robust and immediate solutions for our community as we address their urgent and significant needs during the COVID-19 crisis. Through free and vital programs and services, like one-on-one coaching and personalized resource assistance, WiNGS is positioned to help those in need navigate this crisis.
Have you found silver linings in these difficult times?
As an organization, we have been called to imagine new ways of thinking and functioning—pivoting to serve our clients where they are, literally and figuratively. Some of these new strategies and processes are already informing us in the ways we will serve our clients in “the new normal.” Our ability to rapidly adapt has allowed us to continue to walk beside our members, be the calm voice in the whipping wind of change, and reorient them toward their future best selves.
How are you maintaining your company culture?
With every decision and with every interaction, we ask ourselves, “does this align with our mission and our commitment to our community?” By collectively utilizing that litmus test, we are able to preserve that culture although we are physically distanced throughout North Texas. And, just as we meet our clients where they are, it is important that we do the same for our staff. Children, dogs, bad hair, and glitchy technology are part of everyone’s workday. We accept, celebrate, and laugh together.
What will things look like for your company and industry in another six months?
Now, more than ever, the nonprofit community and our philanthropic partners need to focus on a holistic approach to serve our neighbors in need. And, I think that can only be done through collaboration as we address the Venn diagram of insufficient resources for those who experience asset poverty and lack of access to health and social services. We know that often if there is one inequity presented, many more coexist.
Do you have advice for other local companies?
Captain Kangaroo used to read aloud a story called “Stone Soup.” It is a terrific illustration of how we, as a community of corporations, foundations, individuals, and nonprofit agencies, can and should each contribute what we can to ensure those in need are “nourished” by our assets, skills, and gifts. Ask yourself, “what ingredients do my company have to contribute to our ‘Stone Soup?'”