So, I am now approaching my 9th year as executive director of Veriditas.
I spent 23 years working in local government while I raised my two children and worked my way through graduate school for my doctorate degree. It was my intention to move into a second career as a professor when the Veriditas opportunity came along. I had attended a Women’s Dream Quest and met Judith Tripp. It was Judith who contacted me and encouraged me to apply for the executive director job in September of 2006. My first interview was with Gary Petersen as the Board chair. Gary and I hit it off immediately with great simpatico around Margaret Wheatley’s work on emergent order and managing budgets in local government. My second interview was with Lauren. She asked me what I was looking for and I responded “I am looking for work that is creative and spiritual.” Lauren said “Have I got a job for you!” I began in December 2006 on a very part-time basis for six months while I finished up commitments at my County job, and began 70% time in May 2007.
I felt as though I brought a deep understanding of the nature of our work as well as my organizational ability to hold a broad scope of activity. Initially my goals were to shore up the administrative core of Veriditas. With my professional and educational background, it felt like a great fit. It felt like I had synchronistically landed in the right place.
Since I came on in 2007, so many things have improved and grown. My role has been steward to this process. Everything has been collectively accomplished by our Founder, our staff, our Master Teachers, our Board, our Council and our volunteers working together in service of the labyrinth.
Chartres and Facilitator Trainings are two unique, excellent quality programs that define Veriditas. Program evaluations reflect excellence in our programming. Facilitator Training Manual has gone from a few handouts to a professional manual. The Master Teacher Program was launched so that others are doing the work that Lauren began. A Facilitator Subscription Program was developed, along with a Webinar series. A Facilitator Training Scholarship Program was begun enabling us to train folks with a financial need who will bring the labyrinth to underserved populations. An Advanced Facilitator Training was developed. A Labyrinth Construction Class was added and built into a Labyrinth Summer School Program.
We moved in 2009 from a small office on the third floor of a building in the Presidio without access to a labyrinth to offices on a 200 acre retreat center where board, staff, and volunteers immediately installed our home labyrinth (The Deer Heart Labyrinth).
The website continues to evolve with more and more functionality. The overall look of all Veriditas materials has improved. Event marketing has become more strategic with a Marketing Plan. A more comprehensive database has been created to consolidate several different systems used to track program registrations and donors. Certification Amnesty was implemented that has brought facilitators back to the Veriditas community. A “Veriditas Approved” Qualifying Workshop Program with Advanced Trained Facilitators offering programing is just beginning
The Legacy Labyrinth Project began, at first as a fundraiser and then as an ongoing program to bring and connect more labyrinths dedicated to healing into the world. Two Legacy Labyrinths have been completed in Argentina (!) and Florida, with a third underway in Ohio, and now a forth in the wings.
The staff is stable, talented, dedicated and productive, working (in very small space) always to maximize the resources we have. The Sustaining Giving Program was launched to help stabilize our cash flow. We have a strong base of loyal, long-time donors. The revenue and expenses are well-managed. We survived in some of the most difficult economic times when almost a quarter of all non-profits closed or merged.
We are having more of an international reach. The Facilitator Manual was translated into Spanish and the first Facilitator Training was offered with a Spanish translator. The Women’s Dream Quest are traveling to Poland, Wales, and Australia. Participants are coming from more and different countries to be trained, from Sweden to South Africa and beyond…
And so much more which I will address later in the program….
It is amazing what a group of people working collectively can accomplish in service of something larger than ourselves –the labyrinth, a symbol for me of wholeness in these changing times.
The vision of our work to transform the human spirit through the labyrinth experience is a big one and I think given the state of our world, there is an urgency in our times to accomplish everything as quickly as possible. We are all here in service of a larger vision, and grounding that vision in the world of business has at times been challenging. We who are Veriditas have a passion about the work we do and bringing individual passionate voices together in service of a collective goal is a great but very worthy challenge.