This April marks my 18th year at ISAAC as a co-founder and the second Executive Director since November 2011. Sometimes ignorance can unfold hidden potentials although the grueling and laborious work it entails. Pastoral and academic professions did not prepare me to run a faith-based nonprofit work that revolves heavily around fund development, financial competencies, policies, human resources, and personnel intelligence. When the ISAAC board in November 2011 invited me to the executive directorship, I had no idea what it entailed. I inherited less than $2,000 at that time. My learning curb was high in finance and all the government filings. I want to thank Small Business Development Center on the Pasadena City College Campus for pumping me up with all the areas I needed to improve.
My most memorable learning moment from SBDC was my series of discussions with one of their consultants from USC’s business school, Albert Napoli. Having spent much time critiquing neo-liberal capitalism in the classrooms, Albert’s confrontation cracked my deep-seated code–my relationship with money–better to give than ask. At one of the sessions, he retorted, “If you have that kind of mindset, you’ll starve ISAAC.” For this reason, I rolled out a program, “How to Fuel Your Passion: Tangible Leadership Skillsets,” last year for Latina and AAPI women faith leaders, funded by Trinity Church Wall Street. One of the participants assailed her learning and became more than a faculty to an entrepreneur.
Not only implementing ideas but also witnessing the fruit of labor is, indeed, a priceless reward!
Another program is ongoing and we finished the first batch and began four new cohorts this year. PastoraLab for Asian American Women Ministers turned out to be a rare space of belonging for many Asian American Women Ministers. We thank Lilly Endowment for investing in advancing Asian American Women Minsters to thrive in their ministries.