Amelia first started her winding path to nonprofit management staffing as a campaign and research coordinator with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. After realizing that her passion lied more with the nonprofit sector and less with the arts, she followed her gut and landed with a local firm in Atlanta, where First Step Staffing was a client at the time.
First Step was new to the staffing scene and was just starting to grow. Amelia worked hand-and-hand with the board, founder, and CEO through their rapid growth over the years. Eventually, she recommended that they bring someone in-house because of their increasing size. Amelia unexpectedly found herself being recruited by the persuasive founder to join their team as VP of development and communications. She said yes! The rest is history.
First Step’s mission, centered around helping others, was synonymous with Amelia’s, which only made it easier for her to bring her dual interests of nonprofit and mission to the table. She ran with this through fundraising, board governance, working with community partners and really ensuring that the services they were providing were making an impact.
With her career trajectory top of mind, Amelia reflects on her past mentors and how most of them were very successful women running companies or on boards in the nonprofit sector. She shares how she’s obtained new staffing mentors by being a believer in reaching out and supporting other people. In Amelia’s experience, 100% of the time if you ask, people are willing to help.
When asked what surprises her most about being a CEO, she opens with a personal message about her struggles with confidence and being her own worst critic. Going into the role, she was constantly worrying about the things she didn’t know rather than acknowledging her own accomplishments. She reflects on how her starting time, just a few months ago, wasn’t exactly calming in the midst of the pandemic. She is grateful, though to have a strong team, both internally and through her network, that supported her when circumstances became complex. What surprised her most? That she managed to weather the storm!
As the conversation continues, Amelia and Leslie dive deeper into how she’s managing dual roles as a mother and business leader during COVID, her views on race and the conversations we need to be having with our children, and the valuable lesson her mom instilled in her from a young age: This too shall pass.