Hiring For Good Ep. 3 with Nicole (Nikki) Chen

Hiring for Good

Today’s Hiring for Good episode’s guest is Equity and Inclusion Consultant, Nicole “Nikki” Chen. Nikki is the Business Partner for the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the City of Vancouver. She partners with the Police, Fire and Public Works departments within the city. Nikki previously spent 19 years of her career working in healthcare. 8 of those years she spent working for Stanford Hospital, located in Palo Alto, CA. Nikki has a skill for creating a safe environment that allows for honest and open conversation. Her joyful and infectious presence is known to leave a lasting and meaningful impact, and you always walk away from her feeling empowered. In June of 2023 Nikki became an ICMA High Performance Leadership Academy Graduate. This academy was designed with a robust curriculum focused on creating high performance leadership professionals within local governments. Nikki uses her leadership platform to lead with integrity, patience, positivity, and curiosity with everyone she encounters. Nikki’s current goal is to follow in the footsteps of her mentor Alicia Sojourner and become a Director of Equity and Inclusion.


Tanis Morris: Director of Business Development at Acumen Executive Search Email: tanis@acumenexecutivesearch.com

Suzanne Hanifin: President at Acumen Executive Search Email: suzanne@acumenexecutivesearch.com

Acumen Executive Search, Portland, Oregon, is proud to present the Hiring For Good Podcast. Join us as we examine the transformative power of leadership. Through discussions with impactful leaders, we explore hiring for longevity, hiring to elevate organizational operations and mindset, and how the effects of exceptional leadership extend far beyond the walls of the workplace. Follow Acumen Executive Search to be notified of new episodes.

Hiring for Good Ep. 3 Transcript

0:00 good morning it’s Tanis and Suzanne with Hiring for Good podcast and we have

0:06 a wonderful guest with us today this is Nikki Chen uh Nikki do you want to tell

0:11 us who you’re with and yes well good morning and thank you so much for having me so my name is Nikki Chen and I am a

0:18 business partner for the Office of Equity and Inclusion in the City of Vancouver and I love every minute of it

0:23 I specifically work with Fire, Police, and Public Works in ensuring DEI initiatives

0:29 and policies in in their everyday work well that’s fabulous I know um Suzanne

0:35 and I were just talking a little bit about you know our goals for for these

0:40 conversations that we’re having and hiring for good means so many different things um you know we were really

0:47 excited to have you on this morning because it gives us a a really interesting dimension or a take on what

0:54 it means to bring you know people on board that make the world a better place

1:00 do you want to elaborate on that well actually I understand Nikki that you have really an incredible journey that

1:07 that brought you to where you are today I would love to hear about that and how

1:13 Corporate nonprofit now government yes you’ve seen it all ah I never thought of

1:18 it that way but thank you I’ll try not to go too far back so we won’t be here all day but if I’m initially starting so

1:24 I was working at Stanford Healthcare I was with Stanford Healthcare for about eight years and I left that position as

1:31 a Health Equity um Project Manager and working in the office of research and we

1:36 were specifically doing work around just how Stanford Healthcare can connect with their local um residents because a lot

1:45 of them felt like they didn’t couldn’t go to Stanford because it was a little too bougie is the word I guess you could

1:50 use right and so uh we wanted to connect and see where was the disconnect and what was missing and expand from there

1:56 and we were just doing research and doing some questions and surveys and we came back with feedback and it always

2:01 comes back to leadership right and what is reflected as well as um what is the

2:07 marketing look like if I don’t see me on your publicities or in your commercials then I don’t feel welcomed and what left

2:15 I left there and did some consulting for myself healing Our Roots is a DEI Consulting and that led me to the YWCA

2:23 here in Vancouver I did remote contract work for them and during that time it was amazing the work that they do there

2:31  is beautiful and I wish everyone would take a look and support because their initiative moving forward is perfect and

2:37 with the representation of Britney LaSain they really have some great opportunities ahead um so I was there

2:43 for almost an entire year during my time there I supported their shelter

2:49 expansion and just different areas um and I got pregnant along there

2:55 somewhere um and in between me finding out I was pregnant they offered me a permanent position and so I packed up my

3:01 family and convinced them to move from the Bay Area California to here in Vancouver um so that way I can truly

3:08 support the YWCA and their initiative during that time I was researching and networking and connecting and I was

3:15 hinted at a possible position at the City um of Vancouver and I couldn’t help but apply out of curiosity it’s not

3:22 every day you get to be a business partner for the City especially doing DEI work and so um getting the position

3:29 and having that one-on-one time with Alicia Sojourner and meeting um them and progressing from there has been a dream

3:36 and I’ve now been at the City almost eight months congratulations that isn’t it funny how our lives never are a

3:43 straight line correct it’s all these curves in life throws you yes throws you

3:48 a lot me a lot of curves at least exactly and so now you’re at the

3:54 City and Vancouver is growing and changing and we were just just talking

4:00 before before the starting of the podcast I would love to hear a little bit of some of the

4:05 initiatives you in particular okay are taking on at the City well I absolutely

4:11 um am I’m going to brag a bit and say I’m doing a lot but in a good way so as

4:17 I mentioned before I specifically work with police fire and public works and so each of those departments are very

4:22 individual and have their own take but at the same time connected in the mission of um having compassion and

4:28 equity for the movement forward of the City in Vancouver and so specifically with fire I’ve been on ride alongs which

4:34 has been really fun I’ve also been on ride alongs with our police officers and because I cannot support them in the

4:39 work they do if I don’t know what they do right and so I’m coming from the perspective of show me who you are show

4:44 me what your day today is and how can I embed DEI within that journey of what

4:50 you’re doing or where can I help you to expand it even more of what you’re already doing right and so um for

4:57 example I have been going out to community events and meeting with different people and being like how can we come back and bring these Community

5:03 connections to the City of Vancouver to expand because bringing community and

5:09 our officers and our firemen together it does nothing but make a safer place for

5:14 all when they know each other right when your officers know who you are you go down the street you’re comfortable with

5:20 them creating that connection eliminates the fear and the walls that have been put up over the expectations or the

5:26 disappointments that have happened in the past so I have a question around that so I think that’s such a beautiful

5:33 idea especially as you know in recent years there’s been a lot of strife uh surrounding even in Vancouver

5:40 you know some some really tricky situations have arisen how with with

5:46 trust as the goal how do you work backwards from that goal to to actualize

5:51 it being authentic being honest and being accountable mmmhmm if we are not

5:58 authentic in our approach and connecting and it and it’s just for show our community members will know that right

6:04 um being accountable for what we have done and acknowledging where we probably

6:10 could have done better and actually being honest about the steps we’re taking to become better um and being

6:16 transparent as well um it’s I don’t see why we have to hide what we’re going doing and what our plans are we should

6:22 just let everyone know hey we acknowledge this is where the need is and these are the steps we’re taking and

6:28 then ask for the patients to get there I like to say that’s why my consulting company was called Healing Our Roots

6:35 you’re planting a seed you’re starting from the beginning with fresh soil and it’s going to take time and in the work

6:40 that I’m doing I’m aware that I may not see the flower at the end of this but I take pride in renewing that soil and

6:46 getting us to a new step that’s beautiful how do you go about helping

6:53 educate the you know the the leaders that you’re working with to to embrace

6:59 those those approaches well as part of the City’s initiative they’ve embed equity in everything that we do and a

7:05 great example of that and I give all thanks to Alicia Sojourner and the work that they have done prior to my arrival um I

7:11 am just following in their lead and taking and supporting them on this journey um we now have an expectation

7:18 for all employees within the City of Vancouver and when I say all that includes fire that includes police that includes everyone um 8 hours of specific

7:26 DEI intentional learning it’s called professional development for the purpose

7:31 of DEI and that has a an array of options um 3 hours of in-person because

7:37 there’s nothing like having that impact of actually communicating with someone and then five hours of self-learning

7:43 whether that’s re-watching a podcast like this watching YouTube videos interacting attending workshops anything

7:49 along those lines our team also offers workshops specifically every week in

7:55 order to ensure that there’s opportunities for everyone in the City to participate and to learn um they’ve

8:01 ranged from um safe zone which is an opportunity to become a safe zone for

8:06 the LGBTQ+ Community um we have race and racism a deep conversation around

8:12 what the history is in America specifically um we have generations in the workplace because we all know we now

8:19 have five different generations working at the same time right now there’s a difference between these Boomers and these GenZs and how do we collaborate

8:26 with each other and those just different opportunities like that to DEI is a lot more than just race and people

8:33 automatically assume it’s a black and white issue it’s a people issue people are

8:40 complex they come with so many different intersectionalities so many different aspects to themselves and in order for

8:46 us to all work our best together we need to be accepting of what that looks like in every way possible and I know Nikki

8:52 you said you were only there for about eight months almost yeah almost eight months but these initiatives started

8:58 prior to that the conversations did absolutely absolutely what you know

9:03 again in just a very short period of time but looking back just in this time

9:09 what are you really proud of oh my team we are only a team of three but I feel

9:15 like the impact we have had has had a ripple effect and I can actually see it

9:20 and there’s nothing like being able to see the fruits of your labor immediately right and so um I’m most proud to know

9:28 that the impct that we’re making is one of people are feeling like they belong or if they don’t they are finding their

9:34 voice to create an environment to belong uh and to know that that’s the work I’m

9:39 doing I’m absolutely proud to do that and again this podcast is hiring for good yes and good means Beyond yourself

9:47 or the organization it’s about the community at large and I’ve heard some very powerful words coming from you You’

9:55 have said authentic voice being heard and so when you look at yourself as a

10:02 leader what are some qualities that that you have that is able to

10:08 embrace others because your line of work it’s not just about

10:13 you um if I’m honest I think it’s because I live the life I’m working in

10:19 terms of my personal life I am married to someone um a man from Taiwan I love

10:24 Taiwan very much I I call it my second home um and our family has a dynamic of

10:30 we speak multiple languages in our house I like to say Spanglish for one being from California it’s hard not to speak Spanish um my husband speaks Mandarin

10:37 and so that is frequently throughout our home as well as just the different dynamics of we both were previously

10:43 married we now have children together as well as separate and having to navigate all of that right that in itself is

10:51 equity and inclusion and I live it right and so um myself considering myself a

10:57 bisexual woman and having having different fluidity as well as my children trying to figure that out all

11:02 of these different section alties are a part of who I am as a person I’m just grateful that now the work I do reflects who I am absolutely and then that’s you

11:12 and your team what about larger in in the eight months besides the training

11:18 and you see the education because I think that’s where it starts absolutely we have has to start with the education

11:24 and and learnings but give an example like a real example of that success and

11:29 the change that is happening um wow um I don’t want to take credit for it

11:34 personally but I can say the City of Vancouver overall is absolutely making strides I think one thing that they

11:40 should be very proud of is the fourth plane um that has been recently opened and I’ve seen nothing but flourishing

11:46 opportunities there I’m getting invitations for um to participate in activities that are open to all of the

11:52 community and the vast community and I think that’s an amazing location that has recently opened the conversations

11:58 that the community is having around um our houselessness community um just

12:04 recently we officially became uh a state of an emergency to address houselessness

12:09 in the City of Vancouver I think that’s a great example of taking an initiative and taking the steps to do something

12:15 about it rather than pretending that it’s not happening we’re actually being upfront about that um the City has also

12:22 um taken the steps to have conversations around raising the flags for first time for example the transgender um a day

12:29 there are we rais the flag for the first time raising the lgbtq flag for the first time and having those conversations when people maybe feel

12:36 uncomfortable with that and being open to dive in deeper and have more about that um we recently are partnering with

12:44 um Vancouver Farmer’s Market to ask them what does that look like to expand and connect and support them and there’s so

12:51 many different opportunities that are there that the City is just making major strides housing is a conversation and in

12:57 terms of what the expansion of that will look like as mentioned earlier the City of Vancouver is going to grow um and so

13:03 we need to ensure that um housing food shelter anything and everything that

13:09 encompasses the basic necessities of the residents of Vancouver is being addressed and is doing so from the lens

13:15 of equity and inclusion well and I think you said it beautifully we’re all people and we’re all very complex

13:22 and it’s not an easy answer and Vancouver itself is growing yes TR

13:28 tremendously and I think I shared with you Nikki I grew up here oh um to see

13:34 Vancouver today and I think people highlight Waterfront and go what an

13:39 amazing area but here you’re bringing up four fourth plane which you know as you

13:45 were talking about it wow it needed uh some some help and some some love yes

13:52 absolutely and it’s just going to keep growing and I also know that they’re taking steps to do Main Street as well

13:57 and focus on our small businesses which a lot of people may not know the City of Vancouver smallest businesses are

14:03 majority female-owned and so what a wonderful opportunity to connect with you know our marginalized communities

14:10 and impact them and Empower them to grow and expand and be supported by the City and are you projecting as much growth in

14:17 the next 10 years as Vancouver’s had in the past 10 years absolutely possible I think more wow believe more they releas

14:25 the new projections projections for sure I think um I do know for a fact the goal is become the

14:32 safest urban City within the state of Washington and we’re going to be the second largest within the next five

14:38 years is that true Vancouver is supposed to be larger than Spokane within the

14:43 next five years correct 5 to 10 wow yes and that’s why the work I’m doing is so important and so special is because we

14:50 want to make sure that all these new people that are coming to us and that they when they get here we have open arms and we’re ready right and they’re

14:57 not going to get here and feel as though we’re still have different mindsets about certain you know cultural

15:03 activities or different events or different personality types no we are prepared and we’re doing the work so when you come you feel welcomed and you

15:09 feel like you belong absolutely that is wonderful and I lived up in Seattle for eight years and again it was probably H

15:17 I hate to say 25 30 years ago but Vancouver was always kind of on the

15:23 sidelines and I think it’s interesting that you’ve taken those Sidelines and now are in the spot

15:29 yes absolutely absolutely with Seattle above us and Portland below us right we’re right in this sweet spot of we

15:35 kind of got away with things for a while you know um but as we’re growing and and

15:40 expanding we’re no longer going to be in the shadow of our Big Brother and Big Sister right now we are going to

15:47 graduate and become our own entity and we hope to do so with pride and we hope to do so with inspiration and inspiring

15:53 others to be like hey I didn’t know they were doing that or that’s different right for example one of the moments I’m

15:59 absolutely thankful for is The Vancouver Police Department H is partnered with the 30×30 initiative we’re trying to

16:05 have 30% female officers by the year 2030 and I love that I get to be a part

16:11 of that work and support that team and helping that to happen because can you imagine seeing more female officers you

16:18 know around and feeling comfortable and confident if you need to go to them I’ve been a part of actual during some of the

16:23 ride alongs where a female officer stepping in would have been a moment that could have absolutely imp the of

16:29 that person on the other side absolutely because it’s representing the community and I have to say as a woman we are more

16:37 than 30% of the population so right you know so we’re looking at at

16:44 what the impact it needs to be reflective of the community and the community at large absolutely I’m

16:51 curious to know if a part of that initiative is furthering women in leadership as well you know not just

16:58 hiring 30% female officers but do they have a goal surrounding leadership absolutely they’ve already accomplished

17:05 that goal in June of 2023 um we actually now have two female assistant Chiefs um

17:10 yes assistant chief Nelson as well as assistant chief Buist and I was there at their saring in and it was a beautiful

17:17 moment of expansion for our team um and I’m grateful for both of them I’ve worked with them so far and we have

17:23 great initiatives and plans together and look what that looks like and it’s just been a wonderful opportunity to see

17:29 female leadership within the VPD do are there any like studies or is there information surrounding uh women in

17:36 leadership for law enforcement is there any yes yes as a matter of fact that’s

17:42 why we were partnered with 30×30 initiative because they were doing a lot of that study and that research to show

17:48 that the impact that has a lot of times it’s not so much that women aren’t willing to apply it’s that when they get there they don’t feel

17:55 welcomed and so that’s why a lot of the work is interal to make sure that our

18:00 officers know when they come to this position when they start to work at VPD they will be welcomed and I’m excited to

18:06 share that in January of 2024 um Vancouver has partnered with Clark College and is now going to have an

18:12 academy so that as a form of being more Equitable um they are no longer required

18:18 to drive two to three hours and four weeks at a time to do their um police training in the north of Washington they

18:24 can now do it right here at home within our City and that alone we were our chief um Chief Mori was absolutely

18:31 thinking about what about our um families who don’t want to leave their children and don’t have babysitters or

18:38 don’t have opportunities or just can’t afford to rent a hotel or stay somewhere for that period of time but they

18:43 absolutely want to be an officer what a great way to expand that by having that here and so um our mayor amazing in

18:51 support of Chief Mori was able to get that accomplished and we’re going to have our first program in January I

18:56 think that’s amazing that is and and being a recruiters it’s interesting when

19:02 you’re recruiting people from out of state into our area we can actually say we walk the

19:09 walk and we talk the talk and there’s now enough evidence and and initiatives

19:16 and movement yes to where people can see it and so as a citizen Nikki thank

19:25 you I truly want to say thank you because it it you know Rising Tides we

19:32 all come up when we are looking at things differently and and I’m sure it’s

19:38 helping your recruiting as well yes yes I do work closely with our HR director

19:44 and our team and just having the conversations of okay how don’t we try this or why don’t we try this for

19:49 example I am a big fan of Partners in Diversity they have a Say Hey event and I’m actually going to be attending that

19:55 next week and bringing HR Representatives with me just to be like hey this is an great opportunity to

20:01 connect with the BIPOC Community specifically looking for positions here in our City here in our in Clark County

20:07 in our area and so um absolutely having those conversations and being transparent we recently updated our eeo

20:15 reports and part of that was to make sure our new initiatives were in there addressing we are looking specifically

20:20 for women as well as people of color here at the City of Vancouver and that is what we do intentionally um

20:28 absolutely and we’ve worked quite a bit with Multnomah County and their number one Initiative for the last number of

20:34 years was to lead with race and all most of their hiring

20:39 decisions were around that and and it has changed that conversation yes and it

20:45 and for us again being able to recruit people into this area yeah it it

20:51 has made our life so much easier absolutely I can see that and so it’s

20:56 funny you mentioned say hey and um and partners in diversities I was thinking we needed to have Jenny here as a

21:04 podcast because that’s evolving conversation as well absolutely because it’s no longer just the BIPOC community

21:12 it’s growing and we’ve been members for a long time in nice in Partners in Diversity but yeah so so let’s talk

21:20 about some leadership qualities and your boss and you speak so highly of all your

21:28 you know um people but what do you think again and and I’m hope I’m saying

21:35 this the right way you have options and you chose to go to Van City of Vancouver

21:40 I did I did why um well I’ll be completely honest I have  some family

21:47 here and I would come to visit them and when I would come to visit I would be in awe and I would absolutely feel like my

21:52 heart chakra and my root chakra were just so happy at the beauty and then also in meeting people

21:59 and being around them and being like oh wow I see the genuine um interactions

22:06 that people have here and um and then to actually attend community events and

22:11 participate in um for example going to Juneteenth or going to different or um

22:17 CVLPs um Community lawyers programs or different events that they’ve had I’m

22:22 talking to community members and they’re like oh my goodness we need someone like you here you would be a great ass set

22:28 here we would support you and now that I’ve officially been here only a year it’s been all true um it was not easy to

22:36 leave the Bay Area I was born and raised there I’ve never moved outside of California or the Bay Area my entire

22:41 life and so it was not an easy decision but it was the right decision and I have no regrets actually a year later because

22:48 I know that being here and I am making an impact it but it’s both ways it feels like a mutual relationship every part of

22:56 me that needed to be around this beautiful nature and these are wonderful people I also feel like I’m bringing the cultural competency that I have of the

23:03 variety of people that I’ve had in my life me as a leader um I have to give

23:08 all credit to all of the many many women that have been in my life no offense to any men that have been supportive of me

23:15 but I cannot say I did not progress without the representations of um managers that supported me um um Roxanne

23:24 Ling, Sarah um all of these wonderful women and now I have Alicia um have done

23:31 nothing but poured into me and I hope that I am doing the same by giving that

23:37 back out to our community um you can’t pour from an empty cup and I am lucky enough to have people that make sure I’m

23:43 full that’s beautiful yeah yeah that’s that’s really powerful and what a

23:49 beautiful way to turn around what you’ve received and and give it and pay it forward yeah um did I you referenced how

23:57 proud you were of your team yes and I know I know you you know I know you to

24:02 be a powerful leader and powerful force um for for change and for good um I’m

24:09 curious did you step into your team or did you get to build it out a little bit

24:14 so um I am the first and only person to be in this position right uh so we are a team of three Alicia was by themselves

24:21 for the first two years almost um and then I had the wonderful Diana Bettoncourt Macias who is our project

24:28 coordinator um they started two months before me and she has been an amazing rock for our team and make sure that we

24:34 stay on track and still liying our every steps and then I came about two months later and as the business partner and

24:42 our team has a wonderful dynamic of being um women of color being part of

24:49 the LGBTQ+ community and being I have never been in a position where my

24:56 leader expected me to be my full self and with nothing less that’s incredibly

25:02 powerful I mean I feel like we should give that I know say that again you’ve

25:07 never had a leader who expected me to be my full self to come into the room as

25:14 nothing more than Nikki and how has that

25:20 affected your performance and the way you feel about your job I would say this

25:27 past year could have been the worst year but instead it’s been the best for that exact reason imagine um when I had my

25:33 baby boy Denzel in January of 2023 he and I both almost did not make it the physician leans over while I’m on the

25:40 operating room table and says I don’t know who’s watching over you but it’s a miracle you and your son are

25:45 alive during that week that I was in the hospital I did my phone interview for

25:50 this position and I said if it’s I’m here for a reason you kept me alive for

25:57 a reason reason and I believe the work that I’m doing is a part of that not just my family and my children but this

26:03 work is epic and it didn’t I had him January and I started this position April I gave myself two months to

26:10 recover and got right into work and as stressful as that could have

26:15 been as overwhelming as that could have been I’ve had nothing but support I’ve had nothing but appreciation and I’ve

26:21 had nothing but someone on my side to make sure that I was okay every step of the way and especially Alicia wow I’m

26:28 tearing up this is amazing because you know we talked earlier about this

26:34 winding path and no straight lines that’s a very clear signal of I am here

26:40 for a reason and I’m going to make a difference yes and what what a you know

26:47 we we talk about it at Acumen no no because we’re all women and there’s something

26:53 incredible and and I always say you know God or higher power whatever gives women

27:00 intuition gives women this Inner strength that if we’re allowed to hold

27:06 on to that strength it’s it’s amazing what we can accomplish I mean yes Nikki

27:13 that is amazing thank you yeah I want to take your words and say not just hold on to our strength but also remember to

27:21 help someone hold on to theirs yeah and give give that strength to others

27:26 absolutely that’s for sure absolutely beautiful oh no I think we’re all crying yes everybody’s crying this has turned

27:33 into a real moment here yeah a year that should have been

27:38 rough was actually I I feel really good about it like you know it’s not easy raising in a newborn with two pre-teenagers

27:45 and a husband and just life so um these are not tears of like sadness it’s tears

27:50 of gratitude yeah absolutely and then looking back and let’s just fast forward

27:55 20 years oh okay yes and because your

28:01 position and what you do is such a big impact if you had this magic wand as we

28:07 were talking about Disney Princesses earlier what does 20 years from now

28:12 Vancouver look like oh wow um a beautiful bridge that connects us all um

28:20 a wonderful community full of I’m so proud of our urban forestry and ensuring

28:26 that the beauty of Vancouver maintains during this expansion um and our children thriving in the community and

28:34 being able to go anywhere with anyone and not feeling fear um um the dream of

28:41 our Chief Mori having the safest City being true um our officers having a

28:48 community-based policing would be my personal dream um where they know the

28:53 children they’re interacting with and um

29:00 being other cities throughout the us being like how did they do that and

29:05 looking to us as the blue blueprint that’s amazing because there’s a lot of nuances

29:11 in what you said the word thrive means different things to different people true the word safe means different

29:18 things to different people and to look at that holistically as a community not

29:25 just an individual that’s power right there and again kind of why we

29:31 wanted you have this conversation because it it’s it’s bigger than us

29:38 isn’t it oh always it’s always bigger than us regardless of what your religious beliefs are or if you don’t

29:44 have religious beliefs at all um the impact you have on someone all starts with the impact you have on yourself and

29:51 for me personally I know that God and the almighty above me will forever and

29:57 always um put me in a place of next steps I just have to be willing to trust

30:03 those next steps and that requires me to do the work of being of meditating and listening and being patient and trusting

30:09 I mean who does an interview in the hospital other than someone that knows

30:14 it’s not my plan it’s yours right yeah I think we need to pause on that way who who does interview

30:22 in a hospital after just having a baby

30:28 like someone who absolutely believes in the um that humanity can do it and I think

30:37 humanity can do it because I can do it and I’m just a reflection of all of you I have an amazing really good friend

30:43 Jazzy Lane Baptist and that is what she always says to me is my friend I am a reflection of you your beauty your

30:50 strength whoever you are and I think of that with everyone I interact with I am a reflection of you if that person can

30:56 do it you can do do it if I can do it you can do it and um there’s no one better or above anyone else we all just

31:03 have different needs to get there absolutely no that’s that’s incredible and and I love again that

31:10 that draw strength from within but to share it out absolutely crop it up and

31:18 that is true leadership yes um you know we talk about there’s a difference between managing people and leading

31:24 people yes and I think that summarizes it incredible you know I again your your

31:33 brand of leadership begins with service and I think that’s so powerful and and

31:39 really um I personally believe that to be the

31:45 the most effective model but absolutely you know you’re in a really unique position because

31:53 the guidance and advice you’re giving and the and the wisdom you’re sharing

31:58 and the education you’re providing is helping shape a community

32:03 um with that in mind the last question we ask of our guests is what does hiring

32:09 for good mean to you oo hiring for good to me means that from the moment I read

32:17 that resume into the moment they their first day I’m already thinking them as

32:23 part of my team and ensuring they are prepared not what can they do for me

32:28 what am I making sure I’m prepared for them um in terms of hiring for good

32:34 looking like and then once they get there maintaining that am I making sure

32:39 that this person feels like they belong here am I making sure this person is feeling seen as who they are completely

32:46 and am I making sure that I am helping them to become the version of themselves that they think is the best version of

32:53 themselves um and if that aligns with whatever comp or group you or nonprofit

32:58 you were with um then I can’t see that nothing but a win-win situation for all involved because what better way to have

33:06 a team with that you are growing I’ll give an example um Ling Chen was one of

33:12 my best mentors and Ling was upset one day because she said leadership is

33:18 saying all of my people are leaving um she goes and they think that means I’m doing something wrong and I said but

33:23 Ling everyone that has left left into a leadership role it just meant that you did exactly what you were supposed to do

33:29 you gave them the tools and prepared them they did not leave because they didn’t like the position they did not leave because you did something wrong

33:35 they left because you elevated them that’s power I think we’re

33:42 done right there that is amazing drop the mic right there yeah yeah no that

33:49 it’s it’s so funny this is a dad-ism of my of my father but he always said how

33:55 do you you can’t get promoted unless you train your replacement and that has stuck with me

34:03 through my entire career and it is about bringing up the next leaders yes

34:08 bringing up those those especially in the five generation

34:14 work yeah so this has been so fabulous and I hope everybody has learned that

34:21 just really how an effective DEI program can work but how it’s a ripple effect

34:29 and how it’s changing and it’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger absolutely

34:35 it’s amazing absolutely you are amazing thank you so much thank you it was really an honor to

34:41 be here I’m grateful for the opportunity that’s amazing we’re thrilled to highlight your powerful work thanks for

34:48 joining us today at hiring for good if you were inspired by our conversation don’t forget to like, follow, and

34:54 subscribe wherever you get your podcast and if if you want to learn more about our Executive Search Services check us

35:00 out at www.hiringforgood.net or our company website Acumen Executive Search

35:08 thanks so much and don’t forget to join us next time for another in-depth conversation about transformational leadership till then have fun