We’re so excited to welcome our new Content Manager, Steph Routh, to the NTEN team! Steph will be managing and keeping the great online community content flowing, while doubling as one of Portland’s most revered bike & transportation advocates outside the office. You may have also met her at the 14NTC, where she was working with the NTEN team behind the scenes. (see photo below).
1. How did you first become involved with the NTEN Community?
Good heavens, that’s a tough one to pin down. I remember going to an amazing unconference led by Ash Shepherd and Amy Sample Ward a number of years ago in Portland. I’ve basically been (uncreepily!) stalking NTEN since: attending webinars, participating in workshops, etc. NTEN was invaluable to me when I found myself becoming an “accidental techie” at an international development organization; wisdom from the NTEN Community helped make managing our organization’s contact database, maintaining the website, and coordinating our online communications possible. By the way, thanks, team!
2. What are some of the lessons you’ve learned as the former Executive Director of Oregon Walks that you’ll be bringing to NTEN?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned as a former executive director is humility in the understanding that there are a lot of talented people working to affect social change, and if I’m lucky, I get to be part of the ensemble cast. I actually wrote some other lessons learned in this FAQs of a Former Executive Director recently when the Oregon Walks executive director position was posted; I got questions from candidates and decided to answer everyone at once.
Another thing I hope to bring to NTEN is adaptability. In a nonprofit advocacy organization, priorities can pivot quickly in a political environment. The ability to adapt and to turn change into opportunity is a skill I’m still learning, but I think it’s a valuable skill worth cultivating!
Being an executive director is a remarkable experience. It’s a position that exposes your weaknesses to you in no uncertain terms, which is a great gift. How many jobs compel a person to either overcome a weakness or plan workarounds? I’m looking forward to growing as a professional and a person at NTEN, as well as growing with the NTEN Community.
3. If you had to name one piece of advice for nonprofits about managing and creating content on their website and channels, what would you suggest?
The posts and press releases I’ve come to be most proud of have been ones I was genuinely, heart-thumpingly terrified to send. Be bold. Your mission commands nothing less. Also, be wholly and truly yourself. Beyond your affiliation and organization, you are a passionate advocate for social change. Allow yourself to inspire and be inspired. Inspiration is the fuel of social justice.
4. What are you most excited about as you transition into your new role on staff?
This is a brilliant staff. It’s an important mission. Basically, I can’t stop pinching myself, nor high-fiving strangers. So lucky. So so lucky!