Contributed To My Ability To Be Successful
I have been a non-profit leader for almost 25 years. Professional development has been a cornerstone of my career. I have learned so many important lessons. Lessons that were useful at one point and time, and lessons that have served me for many years and continue to serve me and those I interact with daily. My Fieldstone experience is one that I have leaned on since the day I joined the Network.
In 2011, I had the opportunity to provide leadership to a new team in Arizona. I knew my role was expanding and I needed clarity on how to lead this new team in a long-distance relationship where I had to lead through influence and service rather than a direct reporting relationship. Although I had the privilege of having many mentors, coaches, friends, and colleagues invest in me over the years, at this important career juncture I found myself overwhelmed and unsure how to best lead. I was introduced to the opportunity to join the Fieldstone Emerging Leaders Program. I began the program in January of 2012, and this program significantly influenced my career journey since.
First, I had the opportunity interact with two fantastic, seasoned professional facilitators, who gave their heads and hearts to this work. Second, I had the opportunity to have an all-female cohort of other strong non-profit leaders in our community. Servant leaders who cared deeply about being of service. We grew a close relationship and leaned on each other. I am still in touch with several of these women today over ten years later.
I grew as a leader in profound ways during my participation in the Fieldstone program. I have many important learnings from that first 6-month program.
- I learned that you do not always have to be the first person to speak to be heard.
- I learned that sometimes sitting back and observing can be the most powerful way to participate.
- I learned that we often see a problem we think is the problem, but through a thoughtful series of inquiries, reflection, and processing, we can clearly see the problem we are trying to solve.
- I learned that solutions could come in all forms and through a lot of challenging work, but solutions are possible.
- I learned that we need to know our worth and show it to others.
- I learned to put my mask on first.
- I learned that sometimes leaders do not know how to lead and that being surrounded by smart, resolute people helps us all grow.
- I learned that it’s ok to be vulnerable and ask for help
- I learned that nobody should tolerate being treated badly and that there are many bad apples out there, but we do not have to be one or be led by one.
- I learned that a group of smart women can solve any problem.
In 2012, I was promoted to an executive role reporting to a CEO of a local chapter of a national health non-profit. What I learned in Fieldstone contributed to my ability to be successful in that role and go onto 3 significant leadership roles from then, including my current role as Chief Strategy and Implementation Officer at Curebound where I have the total privilege to put those lessons learned over a decade ago to work daily with the most impressive team and the most critical mission.
During Covid I reconnected with Janine Mason and shared with her what Fieldstone had meant to me. She has continually supported me and my leadership growth. This year I was invited to join the Fieldstone Coaching Program. It is now my turn to give back to leaders in our community who are facing tough challenges as they work to solve significant community needs. I feel grateful to have been invested in and to now be able to learn and grow again from the coaching network and to pay it forward.
Fieldstone has meant so much to me and I am honored to have the ability to share what I have learned with hundreds of colleagues, friends, and leaders along the way.
Thank You Janine Mason and Fieldstone! Congratulations on 40 years of impact and cheers to 40 more!
Karen Hooper, Curebound, Chief Strategy & Implementation Officer
Karen Hooper brings 25 years of non-profit leadership experience to Curebound as Chief Strategy and Implementation Officer. She has served in various non-profit leadership roles at the local, regional and national levels. In her current role, she shares her expertise in building lifetime relationships, developing high performing teams and creating and achieving strategic priorities through operational excellence. As the CSIO, Karen is responsible for organizational infrastructure, staff and community engagement and strategic planning. She is passionate about serving the community and is thrilled to be part of the Curebound family.
Prior to Curebound, Karen served as the Executive Director with a Diabetes Research organization where she led significant community engagement efforts resulting in a 90% increase in research applications, exceeding revenue goals and mission delivery investment. Previously, she had a twenty-four year career with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, serving as the Vice President of Program Development and Engagement for four years and creating a nationwide programmatic approach for mission delivery.
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Karen now lives in Rancho Bernardo with her husband Ron, their daughter Karli and niece Bella. She holds a marketing degree from San Diego State University. Go Aztecs!
Each week during our 40th anniversary year, a member of our Network will share what Fieldstone means to them and how being a part of this learning and leadership community has impacted them and the work they do to serve the community.
If you have a story you would like to contribute to our collection, please contact Janine Mason.