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Janni's Farewell to the Fellowship

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Janni's Farewell to the Fellowship

By Janni Conrad


As my Fellowship draws to a close, I am very excited to announce that I will be joining a local tech company called BombBomb as a marketing campaigns specialist. BombBomb rehumanizes communication in a digital era through video messaging. It is an intuitive and quick way to record and send video messages, enabling professionals to revitalize their face-to-face communication in emails, texts and social media. My career trajectory, starting as an environmental scientist to being a part of the Fellowship Class of 2018 and now joining the team at BombBomb, demonstrates that while admirable, extensive career planning can be equally beneficial and futile. As a Regional Trustee once commented, “The most important job is the one you have now.” With that in mind, I cannot wait to jump into my new position at BombBomb and embrace the growth, skills and new experiences that await me in the private sector.

One of the most compelling aspects of the Fellowship is the self-awareness built through performance reviews, psychometric analysis, peer-to-peer feedback, the LPI 360 and countless professional development opportunities. When I first joined the Fellowship, I knew very little about the nonprofit sector and myself as a professional. As it turns out, I am a 94 percent accommodator (definitely seek me out on the airplane…I will always trade seats with you). Due to my accommodating tendencies, I believed the nonprofit sector would speak to me on a personal level. I viewed it as a place where you put others before yourself and dedicate yourself to the service of your community. Also unsurprisingly, I was mostly wrong. From El Pomar I have learned that the nonprofit sector is not about accommodating but about advocacy. It has less to do with making more elbow space or listening more intently to someone at the table. Instead, I have found it to be about seeing who is not already there and pulling up a chair for them. We see the power and impact of this approach through the Regional Partnerships program and the 11 Regional Councils representing their communities in El Pomar’s grant making. Through the Fellowship, I had the opportunity to advocate for several communities, both as part of El Pomar’s response to COVID-19 and as a part of ongoing community development work in Southeast Colorado Springs in partnership with the RISE Coalition.

I am so appreciative to El Pomar for the opportunity to join the Fellowship two years ago. As I look beyond the Fellowship, I am excited to find ways that I can be a better advocate and  a better partner while also having the confidence to claim my window seat.