At Mission Capital, we have an incredible team of knowledgeable and talented consultants who work in partnership with our social sector to strengthen organizations and multiply impact. This summer, we’ve launched our Meet the Consultants Blog Series to introduce you to the hard-working individuals behind the curtain that invest so much of their time, both personally and professionally, in the well-being of our Central Texas community. Next up, Consultant Katelyn Lowrey!
What did you do before joining Mission Capital?
Most of my prior experience was K-12 education. I was formerly a high school teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina through Teach for America. After earning my master’s in social work from The University of Texas at Austin, I was an Education Pioneer Fellow working for Educate Texas, an education-focused nonprofit in Dallas.
Why did you decide to join Mission Capital?
In 2014, I interned at Greenlights (now, Mission Capital) while in graduate school. I was drawn to the opportunity to work with a variety of nonprofits spanning various issues from education (my personal passion) to child welfare, arts and music, policy reform, etc. I also love the work that we do. I find it so rewarding to partner with nonprofits in our community to strengthen their organizations and expand their impact, all with the broader purpose of serving our Central Texas community.
How would describe your consulting expertise?
I most commonly work with organizations on strategic planning, governance building and both facilitating and supporting collective impact initiatives. As a former teacher, I bring my facilitation and education background to all my engagements. Similarly, as a social worker, I bring a level of expertise around social services, as well as creating strong relationships with clients and stakeholders. My colleagues have told me I’m not afraid to ask the tough questions, so I guess I can say I provide a layer of critical and analytical thinking to be sure we’re understanding a consulting engagement from all perspectives.
What do find most rewarding about your work?
In my experience as a teacher, many of my students were affected by circumstances outside of what was happening in school, so I love the opportunity to impact the broader systems and support the nonprofits that are creating change in Central Texas. Also, there are so many incredible organizations and leaders in this community, and I love having the opportunity to support their missions through consulting.
What’s your favorite Mission Capital memory or accomplishment?
A few years ago, we had the opportunity to work with LifeWorks on their strategic plan. As part of the process, we co-facilitated a staff retreat for nearly 100 LifeWorks staff members! We partnered with the LifeWorks leadership team to design a day-long facilitation that was engaging, fun and moved the work of the strategic plan forward. I’ve never facilitated a strategic planning session with so many people before, and I loved the creativity we used to design something that met the organization’s needs. As a bonus, we ended up working with their team to curate a playlist of their favorite road trip songs, tying to the theme of how the strategic planning process was a “journey” for the organization.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Austin is an incredible city, and I love scouting out the perfect coffee and breakfast taco spots! My most recent combo was Fleet Coffee Co. and Tacos Guerro. I’m also an avid gardener and in the midst of growing some beautiful heirloom tomatoes (and I unabashedly show photos of to nearly everyone I meet!) Lastly, I love to travel and spend most of my vacation days exploring new cities, states and on occasion, countries. Next up, I’m headed to France, “Quelqu’un at-il une bonne recommandation de café?”.
What are you planning on bringing to the next Mission Capital pot luck?
Homemade Italian! My mom is adopted and growing up, she swore she was Italian (23andMe has officially negated that fact – sorry, Jojo!). Because of that, I grew up with lots of homemade Italian dishes. Historically, I always make Italian dishes for our annual Pumpkin Bakeoff! So far, I’ve made pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin risotto and pumpkin ravioli. All bets are off for Pumpkin Bakeoff 2018 because I recently received a pasta maker from the 80s, so look out for some pumpkin pasta this year!