Celebrating in Crisis

Celebrating in Crisis

by:  George Ruotolo


Finding the glimmers of hope and the windows of opportunity within this crisis are vital to our health and wellbeing. Sharing those moments can amplify their power.

As our Ruotolo Associates team has been gathering weekly, via Zoom to check-in and connect, we took a moment to celebrate an incredible milestone. Theresa Shubeck , our Executive Vice President, recently marked her 25th year with Ruotolo Associates.

While we had planned a dinner out following a staff retreat, the required pivot opened an opportunity. Theresa’s daughter, Claire, home from her freshman year at Columbia, surprised her mother by joining our call at the point of celebration. Theresa and Claire are a force together and this a fitting reflection.

As I thought about celebrating Theresa’s years with the firm, it seemed so natural and even essential that her family join us. Ours is not a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday business. As consultants, we become part of the life cycle of our client institutions—Tuesday night Board meetings, weekend retreats, Gala celebrations. While much of these activities are happening remotely these days, for Theresa, a single mother, it has been a deft balance of commitment to her clients while supporting her incredibly accomplished daughter.

Our clients value the tenacity of Theresa’s counsel, the depth of her experience, and her advancement acumen. Her ability to discern the most fruitful strategies to advance mission has kept clients returning for her counsel time and again over the years. Her imprint on the forty-year tenure of our firm is significant. In serving a diverse array of more than 250 clients, she balances problem-solving with the pursuit of opportunities that can be found within the challenges our clients face, with agility and grace.

As a mother, sister, daughter, and friend, she demonstrates that same balance in the care, support, and encouragement she provides all of us in her circle. So, as we acknowledged Theresa’s contribution to Ruotolo Associates, we were also able to share and celebrate the power of her family network as well. An unexpected glimmer of hope in the midst of these uncertain days.

While we continue to navigate what is happening around us and anticipate the months and years ahead, this precedent reminds me of the potential our clients possess. When we are called to pause and rethink our strategy, are we focusing on what is lost or what we have the potential to gain?

At Ruotolo Associates, we’ve been inspired by the possibilities for our clients that we have discovered. As part of our Executive Team, Theresa has been sharing her expertise to help our clients, prospects, and friends identify critical steps to emerge from this crisis stronger.

In early June, Theresa will be moderating a panel at Fundraising Day in New York (FRDNY) on the business of consulting. This virtual discussion will highlight best practices and their application in the nonprofit arena, along with exploring the exciting ways our industry is innovating to leverage the opportunities opening up as a result of this shift in our world.

I invite you to join the discussion at FRDNY or reach out to Theresa directly to offer your congratulations on her recent milestone and tap into her expertise to take your advancement program to the next level.

Congratulations, Theresa!