CIANA’s newest Board Member, Derek Sam, has been part of the CIANA team for several months now. In addition to helping CIANA behind-the-scenes as a Board member, he also was a volunteer tutor for our elementary school students before schools closed, and helped promote our #GivingTuesdayNow campaign. Derek is now CIANA’s Board Secretary. Read more about his experience at CIANA so far:
How long have you been a member of CIANA’s Board of Directors?
I joined the board of CIANA at the beginning of 2020.
How did you first hear about CIANA and what made you want to join our Board?
I came across CIANA while doing research on various non-profit groups. There are many great non-profit organizations supporting valuable causes, but the mission of CIANA resonated with me. As a relatively “new American” myself, I liked the idea of supporting people transitioning to a new culture and way of living.
Having volunteered with a number of organizations in the past, the idea of contributing to the organizational strategy as a board member was appealing to me. Supporting a locally-based organization would give me the chance to have a real impact.
How does your professional career tie into your role as a Board member at CIANA?
Working with different teams and representing the organization on the board has allowed me to develop my leadership skills and challenged me to think strategically. Another positive has been the chance to work with an amazing, diverse group of people from different backgrounds. Diversity encourages openness and free thought and given the ever-increasing focus on diversity within corporations, this has been a big positive.
What has your experience been like at CIANA so far as a Board member? What challenges have you faced?
I've enjoyed working with the team and getting to know the others on the board, fundraising and discussing strategies for the future of CIANA. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for the organization as a whole and everyone has had to adapt to a new normal. I’m proud that CIANA has continued to find ways to support our community in a challenging environment.