10 Questions or Less is a feature here on the Forum’s Forum in which we get to know regional association staff members a little better—their work, what drives them, and more. This week, Suki O’Kane, Director of Operations at Northern California Grantmakers. If you would like to suggest someone for a profile through 10 Questions or Less, contact Dan Brady.
In your role as Director of Operations at Northern California Grantmakers, what are some of your day-to-day responsibilities?
I often refer to my work at NCG as “Making It Go,” which applies to toasters as well as laptops (they are occasionally indistinguishable), dropping payroll as well as financial forecasting, dynamic IP addresses as well as printing, folding, stuffing, and chasing after the postal carrier, a refreshingly analog experience. There will always be some part of the day imagining the system and infrastructure required to make a bold idea successful, or a process truly elegant. If I square away the toaster/laptop issue early enough, I’m able to make actual progress in the imagination area.
Is there anything you’re working on now that is particularly exciting?
It’s all EXTREMELY EXCITING, but if I had to select a few projects I would have to include an association modeling inquiry that we’re conducting here at NCG (drawing from theories of association, group decision science, movement building and change management).
I’m also working with Forum’s Content Management System project, which continues to strike me with its dramatic potential for impact not just technically, as an enterprise-level Open Source initiative, but as a reflection of the innovative relationships and relevance regionals can have with their members.
I must also give a shout out to Kim (ABAG), Martha (AGM) and Rebekah (Washington Grantmakers) for allowing me to shadow their projects on common grant applications, an outgrowth of our informal learning circle on grants management software. Although we don’t have CGAs in NorCal, we have a highly collaborative network, and I’m leveraging learning with these Forum folks to envision shared technology products that are relevant to the emerging interests of our grantmakers.