Newsletter Archive

June Cover 2020

June 2020

Since last month’s note, the world has been rocked with protests following the tragic and brutal deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many more that came before them. Some people’s eyes were opened in ways that they may not been in the past.

May Cover 2020

May 2020

Managing any organization through a pandemic presents both unique challenges as well as hidden opportunities, if you are paying attention. With all the pivoting and adjusting come both losses and learning.

April Cover 2020

April 2020

During this global pandemic, many of us have additional time to reflect. We are reminded how little control we have over what happens in our world. And we are also reminded that despite this harsh reality, we retain the ability to choose our response. One of the most impactful books I ever read, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, highlights that people’s ultimate freedom lies in this ability.

March Cover 2020

March 2020

Representation Matters . . .A LOT!

As we all deal with a new normal in the time of the coronavirus, this topic took on an even greater meaning. Watching the responses from officials, companies and individuals around the globe has made this point acutely. Who represents us at the official, local and community level really matters. Yet, too often there are individuals and groups who are not adequately represented which can lead to devastating consequences.

February 2020 Cover

February 2020

We attended OneVibe Kijii Night 2020 for the first time this year as a table sponsor, and Leyla participated in the panel discussion. 

January 2020 cover

January 2020

For me, a new year is always a time for reflection and setting intentions. I have never liked resolutions, because inevitably I fail to meet them; I find setting intentions to be much more effective. 

December 2019 Cover

December 2019

Literacy Has Amazing Power
Literacy is all about stories – the ones we share, the ones we live, and the ones that shape us.   

November 2019 Cover

November 2019

It's Been An Amazing Year. Thank You To All Who Celebrated With Us At The Power In Literacy Gala and Supported Our Efforts Throughout 2019. We Are Excited About What Lies Ahead In 2020!

October 2019 Cover

October 2019

An Accidental Social Entrepreneur

Open Hearts Big Dreams started as a Gala in 2011.  We had returned from our first trip back to Ethiopia and visiting our library in Bahir Dar. I wanted to make a more impactful contribution to Ethiopia through creating a sustainable source of funding for important library and educational efforts. I had only attended these types of fundraising events in the past. But I knew from my NGO board service, these events were a terrific way to share progress and bring in predictable funding each year. 

September 2019 Cover

September 2019

Each act of support ripples out in beautiful ways and sometimes the ripples concentrate... Minneapolis is a city I have visited only a couple times in my life. It has a rich history starting with the Sioux tribe and is now home to a diverse population including a large number from East Africa. But recently, Minneapolis kept popping up for me. First, we received news Minneapolis public libraries were carrying some of our #ReadySetGo books and even better, people were checking them out.

August 2019 cover

August 2019

As I prepare to launch my own consulting and public speaking business, I've been thinking a lot about what I would like to do to help leaders and organizations accomplish.

July Cover 2 2019

July 2019

I have done a lot of reflecting over the years on what ways of giving back are most impactful and motivating for me. I believe since I have had a measure of success thanks to the support of many, I have an obligation to pay it forward.

June Cover 2019

June 2019

We live in a fully-connected world if we pay attention (and I am not talking about the latest in AI).    

WIT Regatta May 2019

May 2019

I recently spoke at the Women In Tech Regatta in Seattle.  It is a wonderful event focused on supporting women in technical career through panels on a variety of topics as well as providing an effective way to network. I love their hashtag #relationshipsarethetruecurrency.

April Cover

April 2019

Our visit was incredible.  We did cool things like climb the Simien Mountains and met great people like the ones I am going to tell you about. 

March Cover 2019

March 2019

In recent reflection, I realized a key theme through out my life is navigating huge differences between myself and those around me.

February 2019

A key goal of Open Hearts Big Dreams literacy efforts is to get our Ready Set Go books into the hands of all of the 4MM first graders in Ethiopia to practice their reading as well as any other individuals just learning to read.  We believe having these books to practice and develop an early love of reading can help boost the literacy rates in Ethiopia.

january 2019 newsletter

January 2019

I am really excited to be heading back to Ethiopia with Leyla in March.  We will meet up with Jane Kurtz and Stephanie Schlatter in Addis Ababa 

dec newsletter

December 2018

I am constantly reminded that the world is connected and smaller than we think when we approach as a citizen of the globe. I caught up recently with dear friend and Advisory Board member Metti Mulugeta over a delicious Ethiopian lunch at Ibix Restaurant.

november newsletter

November 2018

Recently, I got the chance to speak at a number of diverse events.  These included the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Thompson Reuters Conference in Seattle, the Women in Tech Regatta in Amsterdam and the Women in Clean Tech and Sustainability Talks in Sunnyvale. I also shared my thoughts at our Adventures in Literacy Gala as I have each year.  And this week, I also spoke to MBA students at NYU’s Stern School in New York City.

oct newsletter

October 2018

My visit to DC earlier this month combined two passions – empowering people who want to increase diversity and inclusion and empowering kids in Ethiopia – my daughter’s birth-country. I spoke at a Women in Influence, Power and Law conference on the former which took me back to my suit wearing, court appearing days. But my message to the attendees were routed in my research and experimentation in more recent years as I struggled to make sense of the research that shows diversity and inclusion lead to better results on all levels and yet, many still remain underrepresented decades after efforts to increase began.

sept newsletter

September 2018

OHBD is focused on increasing innovative and game-changing efforts. We believe in the power of collaboration across organizations and the power of storytelling to share innovative approaches. Our main project remains Ready Set Go books to increase literacy where we are essentially a publisher.

aug newsletter

August 2018

We started Open Hearts Big Dreams to “Empower Kids to Transform Their Future.” Our focus is on Ethiopia, K-12, and education however, we wanted to be different from many NGOs and run like a business. This is what we do and how we do it! We design to scale and include measures of success. We look for game changers to close important gaps like the lack of enough early reader books. We collaborate with organizations who build local capacity like Ethiopia Reads, Project Ethiopia, WEEMA, Lebawi, Seeds of Africa and MMRTI. We share stories of impact to show what is possible and to inspire involvement and collaboration.