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’re launching 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. First up, Associate Consultant Minh Ha!
So, Minh, what did you do before joining Mission Capital?
In true 20-something form, I was figuring it out! I’m only partly kidding. Despite my background in policy and advocacy nonprofits, I moved to Austin to work in cloud sales at a company with a strong culture of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Immediately before I joined Mission Capital, I was an Account Executive for their Social Impact team, which donates cloud-based software to nonprofits and social enterprises.
Why did you join Mission Capital?
While interviewing for this role, I remember saying that I had an “org. crush” on Mission Capital. At the time, I had met various employees at social impact networking events. I feel like everyone has that one friend who is charming, intelligent, kind and extremely passionate about giving back to the local community they come from – and everyone has a crush on them. Mission Capital was the nonprofit version of that for me. It was a no-brainer when the perfect opportunity came up.
How would describe your consulting expertise?
Complicated at first glance! To me, all the little bits make up one very colorful puzzle, emphasis on colorful. I started my career in grassroots organizing, did a stint in state government, dived deep into nonprofit development and advocacy before rounding it out with corporate sales and CSR work. The connective tissue for all my disparate experiences is my identity as a woman of color who grew up in poverty, raised by refugee parents. Everything I’ve ever done professionally has been rooted in the service of others, specifically others who do not have the best resources to help themselves. I like to think that my expertise is helping to advocate for marginalized communities of all creeds, colors, sizes and shapes that cannot advocate for themselves on their own.
What do find most rewarding about your work?
Most people I’ve bonded with in the nonprofit sector are incredibly passionate about their work and, without a doubt, are among the smartest people I’ve met in my entire life. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to take pay cuts and work ridiculous hours in the name of solving society’s most complex challenges. It’s inspiring, it’s humbling and it’s what gets me out of bed every single morning, not my Beyoncé alarm.
Do you have a favorite Mission Capital moment?
I don’t know that I have a favorite, but a memorable moment was when I found out that Madge Vásquez accepted the CEO position. I had only been on staff for a few months and was working on a few projects with Matt Kouri when he announced that he was ready for his own next step, so I personally felt like I was losing a Mr. Miyagi figure. The CEO search occurred during ongoing conversations about the changes facing the Central Texas community, and meeting Madge was the epitome of the heart-eyed emoji face. Something just felt right, like it was kismet. It’s an exciting time to be on board the ship, so to speak, as the captain’s hat gets passed from one amazing sensei to another.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I am one of several Mission Capital pop culture fiends, so I spend a lot of time patrolling the internet for jokes and trivia about sports, music, TV shows and movies. When I’m not deteriorating my brain looking at a screen, I’m rock climbing, cooking, camping, hiking, reading, writing or listening to music.
What are you planning on bringing to our next Mission Capital potluck?
I’m constantly trying to emulate my idol, Barefoot Contessa extraordinaire, Ina Garten, in all aspects of her life. Fun fact: Before she was a domestic queen creating elaborate meals for her one true love, Jeffrey, she was a budget and policy analyst on nuclear centrifuge plants for Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. So, something “fantastic” that likely has a lot of butter in it.
Stay tuned for more blog posts in our Meet the Consultants Blog Series to learn more about our mission-driven team members working behind the scenes!