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A Heartfelt Farewell...

The New Year has always been a signifier of change. That change may come in the form of a gym membership or to-do list. While some of us will be grunting in gym floor mirrors lifting 10lb weights, others—like our outgoing YNPN-TC board members Tom Basquill and Cat Beltmann—will be letting go of weight of a different kind. I recently caught-up with these two to talk about their overall board experience and what’s next. 

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Vitals: Tom Basquill; Age: 32

1.  When did you join the board? August 2008

2.  What’s your most memorable moment while serving on the YNPN board?

The trip to the YNPN National Conference in Grand Rapids, MI this past spring. Meeting so many passionate nonprofiteers from around the country was incredible and the discussions during the 10-hour roadtrip with fellow YNPN Twin Citians was a lot of fun and very inspirational. It allowed me to get to know many of my fellow board members on a different level. Spending that much time together in a car will do that.

3.  If this interview was your confessional room, what mistake would you reveal (minor or major)?

One mistake is not trusting in my fellow board members enough. I often felt like I wasn’t able to ask for help in accomplishing some of the tasks I was working on. It wasn’t that I didn’t think they could do it, it was the fact that I was afraid I’d let them down if I had to ask for help. I learned that asking for help is really important. When you’re surrounded by such talented people, if you don’t ask for help, you aren’t taking advantage of the resources available to you.

4.  If you could do it all over again, how would you have changed the way you approached your board service?

I don’t know if I would change the way I approached my service on the board. I definitely learned a lot from the experience, and if I changed my approach, I may not have learned the same lessons or had as great of an experience.

5.  Have you ever had a TMZ moment because of your board service—you’re recognized or approached (at a non-YNPN event) because of your affiliation to the board? If so, what was the circumstance?

I had a meeting at Edison High School in Minneapolis for my job, and the person I was meeting with recognized me as a YNPN board member. She had been to a few events, but we never officially met at those events. I felt very proud to be associated with YNPN Twin Cities.

6.  What’s different about you today versus when you joined the board?

I feel much more confident about my knowledge of the Twin Cities nonprofit scene, which is incredibly strong and does some amazing things that I don’t think most people recognize. I also have gained so much knowledge of how effective nonprofits do/should operate.

7.  As part of the original crew of board members, what’s different about YNPN-TC then and now?

The easy answer is “everything.” It is incredible how much has changed since I joined the board. We used to be a group of people who worked in the sector and enjoyed meeting up for casual networking happy hours, but now YNPN Twin Cities has become so much more with our focused programming events, our blog, our social media presence, our involvement of members as volunteers, our committee structure, our development of strategic priorities, our member database, our surveys and evaluation system…the list goes on. The most important aspect to me that has changed is our reputation in the community. I think we are seen as providing a lot of wonderful and impactful opportunities for our members, and leaders in the nonprofit sector are recognizing the value we provide.

8.  What’s up next for you?

I’m going to spend some time enjoying being a regular member of YNPN Twin Cities. I am also going to keep an eye out for my next opportunity to serve on a nonprofit board, but I will always be an advocate for this organization! 

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Vitals: Catherine (Cat) Beltmann; Age: 28

1.  When did you join the board? Hmmm…Spring of 2010 or was it 2009??

2.  What’s your most memorable moment while serving on the YNPN board?

ROAD TRIP… YNPN National Conference. Having the opportunity to really bond with other board members on the trip was awesome!

3.  Name one thing you did or accomplished that you never imagined doing as a result (directly or indirectly) of your board service.

Writing a blog post!!! I never would have wrote one were it not for the board. I’ve definitely become more comfortable with my writing as a result of being “forced” to write blogs.

4.  If you could do it all over again, how would you have changed the way you approached your board service?

Challenged myself more by getting involved with board activities that weren’t in my comfort zone. I do a lot of events for work and they are something I’m comfortable with. I wish I would have stretched myself more. I also wish I would have spent more time getting to know all the board members well.

5.  What’s different about you today versus when you joined the board?

“I’m all grownup”...well kind of. I feel much more comfortable in my professional skin. I know what skills and assets I bring to the table and have a better sense of what skills and personality deficits I need to work on.

6.  What would your fellow board members say you were most known for at board meetings?

Oh, god...probably talking and having an opinion...hopefully, adding some humor to meetings on occasion.

7.  What reality show would you compare your board experience to and why?

The Amazing Race!! A super fun adventure, full of challenges and team work…definitely involved work, but was also able to have fun along the way. I just wish we were given $1,000,000 at the end of our board service.

8.  We tried and failed at getting you to go back on Twitter. Will you ever tweet again?

Ha! This will be the piece of baggage I’ll carry with me post YNPN Board. I would love to get on Twitter at some point... I was told I need to change my Twitter handle, and am currently working with my husband to take his handle—the downside of having the same initials as the person you married—until then, people can find me on Facebook.

9.  What’s up next for you?

I’ll be focusing on school and working on having a better work, life, and fun time balance. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to explore new professional and personal development opportunities and having a little more unstructured personal time. Of course, I’ll still be involved in YNPN-TC.


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