“Star Trek, or Star Wars, and why?”


November is Member Appreciation Month at NTEN. Our staff interacts with our community in different ways, here’s why Julie Tonroy, Conferences and Events Manager, loves our community

“Star Trek, or Star Wars, and why?” Yes, that was an actual question during my NTEN interview process. This was also my first clue into the culture of NTEN and a key indicator to me that I needed to work here.

I started at NTEN last December, and upon arriving at the 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference (13NTC) last April and witnessing the dynamism, the desire to lift all boats in the nonprofit sector, and a little bit of zaniness, I knew I had found my tribe. I laughed at Geek Games, welled up during Mark Horvath’s award acceptance, and I met lifelong friends. Through these experiences I was initiated into the NTEN community.

Our community is different—in a good way. Having produced a fair number of for-profit tech conferences, what sets our community apart is the incredible transparency and the desire to fully share our experiences with our peers—both the triumphs and the pitfalls—so we can help everyone succeed and elevate the sector as a whole. Our members embrace one another, sometimes literally (I have heard stories of weddings that began with registering for the NTC!) Being a member of NTEN is akin to being a member of a guild—and striving for the betterment of all in the space.

Our members are welcoming to new community members, and like others before me, I felt the love.

I must say, I love the love. We are in a mutual admiration society. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I am excited to ride my bike into work (Yes, I am a Portlander!) and get started on the NTC and other events in the pipeline. At NTEN, I find a group of other equally committed colleagues who want the same thing…to serve our community, to help you in your professional development, and to offer up a belly laugh here and there. You motivate me, and I work on your behalf.  Through you, and by helping you with your missions, I accomplish my own goal of improving the lives of others.

So, as the manager of the conferences and events here at NTEN, I am driven to produce the best NTC ever. I want to welcome you back to the event you’ve grown to love over the years—as well as open our collective arms to new folks in the community so they too can feel the love.

I am here to be responsive to the community and to reflect your ideas. Please never hesitate to contact me and let me know how I can make your NTEN event experiences better. I feel humbled to work with you all in this fantastic community!