Leadership Delaware County '20
Name: Jessie Robinson
Hometown: Wallingford, PA
Company: Children and Adult Disability Educational Services (CADES)
Position: Director of Development
Length of time you have been with your company: almost 2 years
Briefly describe your journey, noting both personal milestones and obstacles you may have faced along the way. I attended college in Washington, DC and lived and worked there for about 12 years. I worked in communication, legal marketing, party planning, and catering. I loved it all and was quite the party girl at the time. I returned to Delco to get married and have children (my sister is a midwife here and I couldn’t dream of having anyone but her care for me through those times). My new husband was shipping out with the Army to his second tour in Iraq so it was important to be with my family. When I returned to the workforce after the birth of my first child, I became the Executive Director of a local synagogue, having worked my way into the position through the administrative assistant role originally. It was at this point that I realized I loved nonprofit work. It made me feel way better than I ever had from work before. I felt like I was making a difference. I left that position when my second child was born. I took a long break from working outside of the home to raise my children. Fast forward six years, I was staring down the barrel of a divorce realizing I needed to get a full-time job again. My youngest was attending CADES for their pre-school program and I heard from the Director of the program that they were looking for someone. I went in for an interview and the rest is history.
How did you hear about LDC and why did you sign up to take part in it? I saw it in the Monday Memo. It looked great and I wanted to get more involved in the community and it seemed like the perfect fit.
What inspires you? How does that inspiration play into your professional life? Trite as it sounds, almost anything inspires me. My coworkers, the kids I work for, my family, my kids, music, my boss, other Delco organizations working hard for our county…so much stuff. Sometimes it is overwhelming, to be honest.
Briefly, describe a transformative moment that helped to shift your approach to your career. I think the moment you are asking about is now for me. I can’t quite tell you how it has helped to shift my approach yet, but I can feel it happening. I’m excited (even inspired!) by the learning I am doing and the vulnerability those around me are showing to encourage me.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most? Why? Glennon Doyle for her raw honesty. Ruth Bader Ginsberg for her bulletproof sense of justice and equality. Lizzo for the work she is doing to put a body positive message out to our impressionable kids. Victoria Kulberer who is a new connection who works in behavioral economics and in the fundraising world…she’s a genius…I would love to be her when I grow up.
What has been the most valuable professional advice and/or lesson you’ve received. Try not to take it personally. So far, I haven’t been able to heed that advice, but it is the most valuable thing to remind myself in super tough times.