Grew up homeless
Married with four children
Loves going on biking trips; has biked through France and looks forward to biking in Spain next
Favorite places: Cape Cod, Washington DC, San Francisco, Vermont
Investment management professional and yoga studio owner
Q: WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW?
A: After 12 years at the same investment management firm, having four kids, and the challenges of work/family balance, I threw in the towel and decided to open a yoga studio exactly 16 months ago. It has been exciting, exhausting, frustrating, and rewarding all at the same time. I will never again look at a small business the same way. The world of small business could not be more different than corporate America. As a small business owner, the buck stops with you; every little item falls on you. At the same time, the rewards and decision making are all yours as well. I’ve hung on to the world of investment management with a part-time position, and am thankful to be able to straddle two very different worlds. As I said to someone recently, “My eggs are no longer in one basket.” It seems to be the best formula for me as I continue to raise four kids, give time to nonprofits that I admire, and have the best family life and friendships possible.
Q: IN YOUR “FREE TIME,” WHICH NONPROFITS ARE YOU PARTICULARLY INVOLVED WITH?
A: Cradles to Crayons has been instrumental in helping my children to appreciate the value of giving back. It is one of the few nonprofits where kids as young as age two can help in a hands-on way. I take my children to Cradles to Crayons’s giving factory regularly, where we help to sort and clean donated items and put together packs for the children who are beneficiaries of the organization.
On February 4th, I’ll be giving a talk as part of a parent-to-parent workshop on instilling the value of giving back in children. I will share my story of growing up homeless, being raised alone by my father, and developing a natural instinct to give back as soon as we were able to transition out of our homeless situation. This lies in contrast with the challenge I have faced in teaching my own kids the importance of giving back, as my children are fortunate to be growing up with many luxuries that I did not have as a child.
Q: HOPEFULLY MANY SHEGIVES MEMBERS WILL BE ABLE TO ATTEND YOUR TALK. AREN’T YOU ALSO A MEMBER OF THE CRADLES TO CRAYONS BOARD?
A: Yes, I am on the family advisory board for Cradles to Crayons. We work to recruit families to join the “family leadership counsel,” a group that commits to donate certain minimums to Cradles to Crayons each year and has special access to volunteer together at the giving factory.
Q: THAT’S TERRIFIC. LASTLY, WHO BROUGHT YOU INTO SHEGIVES, AND WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT HER?
A: Kathy Taudvin. Kathy is one of the best examples of someone who makes all the appropriate sacrifices to be the best parent she can be.
SheGives connects committed, inquisitive, engaged funders with a slate of diligenced nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. We provide members with relevant data about the nonprofits in our portfolio and an opportunity to meet directly with our nonprofits’ Executive Directors and senior staff in small settings that promote in-depth q&a’s and, ultimately, informed giving. Giving is personally driven, but because we give side-by-side our collective impact is greater.
Yolanda’s talk will be held on Tuesday, February 4th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory (155 North Beacon St., Brighton, MA). The talk is adults only. Wine and cheese provided. To RSVP, email Emily White at RSVPfamily@cradlestocrayons.org with the number of adults attending and your town of residence.
WhoIsShe is a regular column featuring an appreciative but sometimes irreverent conversation with a SheGives Member.