Message from our Executive Director, Kristen Lessig

July 08, 2014

Happy Summer 2014!

I hope that you all have been enjoying the start to your summer…and a happy, safe 4th of July!  It’s always a great time to connect with family and friends—as well as an opportunity to celebrate our great country—the US of A!!  Having watched the US perform in the World Cup over the past few weeks…wow, soccer in the US has taken hold and the US TEAM performed amazing against some of the toughest competition ( as you know, we don’t miss a game in my house!).

At any rate, I wanted to take this opportunity at the mid-year point to personally check in with you—as athletes, volunteers, partners, and community supporters—YOU are the FOUNDATION of Sportable…at the core of our mission. YOU are also VERY important to me personally as I have been fortunate to see this organization grow from just an “idea” on paper to a rapidly growing, dynamic nonprofit organization in RVA!!  As it relates to the stages of Nonprofit Lifecycles –we are pretty much the text book definition of an organization in the GROWTH Stage.  Research shows that as organizations transition from stages, there is often a need to adapt and modify your course to meet the changing demands and ensure sustainability long-term.

We are extremely excited about the new staff we have brought on to help us through this next phase in Sportable’s growth, while also acknowledging that without the hard work and dedication of former staff members we would not be where we are today.

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Now that we are in a really strong position from a staffing standpoint, I personally am really sad to have to share with you some bitter sweet news… My husband Kyle was offered an AMAZING “dream” job opportunity at IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton, Florida.  For nine years now he has supported me and Sportable as he knew that my ultimate goal all along was to build something that met the needs of the community and an organization that was sustainable beyond just my passion and enthusiasm for not only adaptive sports but also for the community WE have created…YOU are my extended family in many respects.

Although I would always want “one more year”, I feel that personally for my family, Florida is where I need to be (thank goodness for the beachesJ) –opportunities like this are few and far between in the soccer world for my husband and our daughter is at a key age where transitioning into a new school for kindergarten will be a bit smoother.  I will be on as Executive Director through our 3rd Annual Tailgate Fundraiser on September 20th ( I better see you all there!) and until then will be working remotely for the rest of July and August to prepare for the transition of leadership. I will be coming back monthly for board meetings, etc.

I truly am confident we are in a really great spot as an organization, with a strong Board of Directors, committed funders and supporters, as well as a solid foundation of partnerships to keep us moving forward. Sportable is my first baby in many respects and will forever be a part of me (geez…everything I own is orange and blue?!)—so, I will always feel part of this amazing TEAM …continuing to create opportunities and transform lives!

Our Board Chair, Leigh Sewell, Chief of Staff/VP of Children’s Services at Bon Secours Virginia Health System, has formed a search committee of our Board of Directors and we have hired the HR consulting firm, Warren Whitney, to lead the recruitment process for a new Executive Director. If you are interested in more information about the position after its initial posting on JULY 9TH via Connect VA, VFRA, Monster.com, and other sites, please contact Katherine Whitney directly at kwhitney@warrenwhitney.com

If you have questions or concerns about programming, etc. please feel free to contact me personally by email or cell (804)677-1467.

I will truly miss my Sportable family (thank goodness for Facebook!)…in many ways I am losing part of myself by leaving though I know that this is the best decision for my family right now and truly believe that Sportable’s success will continue for many more years to come under new leadership!

My best,

Kristen (Kyle and Madeline too)

PS- I thought I would share some photos from Florida and IMG

IMGBeach