I survived the first 90 days! On 1 August, 90 days ago, I officially took over at the Executive Director of a small, but impactful, non profit.It has been an eventful 3 months both in an out of the office. I followed some good advice to seek out ways to hit the ground running and to build momentum to take the organisation from putting out fires to seeking positive growth and expansion.

Ninth Judicial District Family & Children’s Court Services was founded in 1992 and I am one in a line of executive director’s over the almost 25 year history of this advocacy organisation.

There have been some challenges as I have adjusted physically to the hours, workload, and stress level, but the biggest adjustment has been to take on the responsibility of where the buck stops. The challenges of financial, strategic, administrative, human resources, advocacy and organisational management have offered some wonderful opportunities for growth, professionally and personally.

I still have much to learn, but this I do know: I have a wonderful team.

I couldn’t have adjusted the way I have without them. I also wouldn’t be as excited about the future of FCCS without them either. It’s an amazing gift to work with competent, kind, and passionate people.

In addition to meeting with community leaders, sharing our message with community service organizations, and reviewing and revising all processes within the organization,  I had the opportunity to testify before the New Mexico State Military & Veteran’s Affairs Committee. It was pretty daunting, but also a wonderful opportunity to share the challenges that face military spouses seeking licensing and credentialing while their service member spouse is stationed in New Mexico.

Even though the rules in New Mexico don’t permit me to seek admission to the Bar here, it feels like an opportunity to serve the local community and children and families engaged in the local court system. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my place in this community for right now. There’s a saying that is often shared among military spouses, “bloom where you are planted” – this is not always as easy as the pithy cliche would suggest.

One aspect of these first 90 days that has taken me by surprise: I don’t think I quite realised just how much I needed the stimulation and challenge of my own work, and the importance of contributing to our community in my own right. It’s good for me and I believe that it’s been good for our marriage and family.

Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.

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Anna Blanch_Gill Gamble_blogAnna Blanch Rabe is an Australian-born writer and photographer currently living in eastern New Mexico. She is an attorney (not licensed in New Mexico, and not your attorney) and the Executive Director of a non profit. You can follow her adventure on Not A Pedestrian Life, or Facebook. More of her photography can be viewed here. For more domestic things take a look at Quotidian Home or her previous website, Goannatree.



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