As we wrap up our 40th anniversary year, it seems only fitting to add my voice to the others who have shared what Fieldstone has meant to them over the years. As I have anticipated writing this piece, the word that continually comes to mind is everything.
Fieldstone means everything to me.
Fieldstone is the place where I began my career and met wonderful, values-centered people who modeled for me what it meant to lead a business with integrity and adherence to a set of beliefs that guide your actions, even when it might be “easier” not to. As a young adult embarking on an “independent life away from home”, landing at Fieldstone built upon the values and teachings of my parents and, for that reason, it always felt like the place I was meant to be. At Fieldstone, I found my calling and started to do the work I believe God called me to do. And I have been blessed to do it for the past 35 years. This has proven to be everything.
We always refer to Fieldstone as family and I found mine here in so many ways. My husband and I met, or should I say, were re-introduced through Fieldstone. My son is a “Fieldstone Baby”, and anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about him. I also found chosen family – the people I have the honor to work beside and to serve as they work diligently to serve others. So many have become trusted colleagues, faithful friends, wise thought partners and inspired traveling companions. At Fieldstone, I found community.
I am amazed at the magnificence of those I work with. How they respond time and again, often at great sacrifice to themselves or their families, to continually show up when things are hard. To be there to address fires when their own homes are burning…both literally and figuratively. When the world is in bad shape, Mr. Rodgers said to “look for the helpers”. It sounds cliche, but how lucky am I, that for 35 years, I have had a front row seat watching the helpers. It may have seemed that I was supporting them, but it was me who was being fortified. I think this is why the world always seems like a hopeful place to me. Amidst all of the world’s challenges, and we know there are many, I have watch people give the best of themselves in response and take care of those in most need. Without them, our world would be very different. I know this deep down. These people are everything.
All that happens in the world, is touched, in someway, by a nonprofit – food and nutrition, economics, health, education, arts, environment, war, peace, animals, safety, justice, sports, faith, civic engagement, advocacy, even taxes! When I started this work so long ago, I didn’t understand this the way I do today. My Fieldstone friends and this work, have taught me about the world through various lenses not widely available to others. These lenses have challenged me, inspired me, informed me and shaped my view of the world and of life. My work has taken me to hospitals, theatres, jails, class rooms, immigration centers, museums, retreat centers, military bases, international borders, homeless shelters, film sets, concert halls, half-way houses, support groups, universities, other cities, states and countries. It has provided academic opportunities to expand my knowledge and experiences to turn learned theory into practice. I have had moments to reflect, to create, to collaborate and to respond. This has influenced everything.
Fieldstone is the the place where I live out my vocation, build relationships with incredible people and have meaningful opportunities to participate in community in ways that matter to me and, I hope, to others. Combined, these coalesce for me into a meaningful life filled with the very best people I know.
Yes, Fieldstone means everything to me.
Janine Mason, Founder, Fieldstone Leadership Network
Recognized as a convener, connector and cheerleader, Janine has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 35 years. She is the founder and architect of the nationally recognized Fieldstone Leadership Network, a continuum of leadership training and learning opportunities for nonprofit leaders, which she created while leading the Fieldstone Foundation as its Executive Director. She worked with the Weingart Foundation as a consulting program officer, bringing its Small Grant Program to fruition in San Diego County. In 2020, She began consulting with the Clare Rose Foundation and currently leads Fieldstone Leadership Network San Diego as a separate program under its organizational umbrella.
Throughout her career, Janine has served on numerous boards, currently serving as a trustee of the Catholic Community Foundation and the Banck Medical Research Foundation. She has been educated by the University of San Diego, Stanford and the University of Notre Dame.
Janine is an avid reader, tea drinker and Fighting Irish Fan.
This concludes our 40th Anniversary Blog Series, “What Fieldstone Means to…” Thank you to all who have created our communal story of impact by sharing their individual story about what Fieldstone means to them. We are grateful for this time to look back and reflect our on legacy and we have learned much about the power of our Network and the ripples that have spread out because of our work together. As we begin our fifth decade, our work continues. This time turning ripples into waves.