Inclusion Fusion

Marci's Column - December 2017

tonyrobbins.jpg

This year started off with unfortunate events and many challenges. In January, we lost community activist and former EDI Executive Director, Alan Sugiyama. In February, when we closed our applications for 2017, we found ourselves with our lowest enrollment since the recession, having to put our Leadership Navigation program on hold. 

The strength of our EDI community helped us turn our challenges into opportunities. We know that in order to ensure EDI’s growth, we can no longer continue doing what we’ve always done. We must think outside the box, get creative, embrace change, and step out of what’s comfortable for us. These are all the elements of leadership that we emphasize to our participants in our programs and this is what we embraced and implemented at an organizational level this year. After all, we must practice what we preach!

As I look back on 2017, I’m amazed at how much we were able to accomplish! We took so many ideas that have sat on paper for a long time and brought them to life. Here are a few examples:

  • Creating our Alumni Ambassador Board in Puget Sound & Portland and launching our Network @ Nite events.
  • Elevating our fundraising efforts through GiveBig & Inclusion Fusion: With the help of the EDI Board and the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation we were able to get donations matched and raised more money than we ever have.
  • Getting more savvy on social media: more videos, more content and going live on Facebook!  If you haven’t tuned into Mind Hack Live, check it out here. You’ll find amazing live interviews from leaders around the Pacific Northwest.
  • New sponsors & partnerships: Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, Thrivent Financial, Zillow, Business & Professional Women (BPW) network and much more!

These are just a few highlights and we have exciting things on the horizon for 2018 that we can’t wait to share with you. This includes new offices, new program offerings, and new partnerships. We will unveil these in January/February next year, so keep an eye out for that.

Of course, the sustainability of EDI is centered on our core leadership programs. As of today we are 65% to our enrollment goal for 2018. We ask for your help in getting in applications by December 31st. We are confident that all of our programs will be up & running again next year. Thank you to everyone who has referred candidates. Keep them coming!

We are so grateful to all of YOU for your support. You stepped up in ways that we couldn’t even imagine and helped make this year a truly successful one. THANK YOU! We look forward to celebrating 25 years of EDI with you in 2018. Here’s to building a community of #DiverseGlobalLeaders.

Happy holidays!

Marci's Column - October 2016

Congratulations to the EDI Class of 2016! Thank you for taking us on this incredible eight month leadership journey with you and we can’t wait to celebrate your accomplishments on November 10th & November 17th. We invite everyone to join us at graduation to cheer on the graduates. We have some exciting things planned that you won’t want to miss!!! 

We are now in the midst of filling our classes for 2017. This is going to be a milestone year as we will surpass the 1000 mark of participants that have been through the EDI program. What started as a class of 11 people in 1994, will now be over 1000 alums strong. That is truly amazing. Help us keep this momentum going by enrolling individuals into our 2017 program.  Application deadline is November 30th.

The last few months have been event season here in the Puget Sound area. In September we held our annual Inclusion Fusion fundraiser in which we surpassed our goals and raised over $110,000. We were overwhelmed by all the support and are already looking forward to planning 2017. We had the opportunity to attend many other galas including, Densho, ACRS, El Centro de la Raza, NW Asian Weekly and many more. We are extremely grateful to be part of this larger community and we love running into so many EDI alumni wherever we go! 

In Portland, our Executive Director Emeritus, Alan Sugiyama, put together a happy hour event and it’s great to see our Portland EDI community growing. We had over 25 in attendance including Board members, community and corporate leaders and Portland alums from the 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes. You can read more about this event and how Al has been doing in this newsletter. We hope to do more events like this in both Puget Sound and Portland.

See you at graduation! 

Marci's Column - July 2016

Left to Right : Marci Nakano, Brittany Ryerson, Poe Wongpa (Class of 2015), Tomo Nakano, Vivian Huang, & Kelly Verbicky (Class of 2016) enjoy tasty Thai food at Poe's restaurant in Auburn, Gor Gai Thai.

Left to Right: Marci Nakano, Brittany Ryerson, Poe Wongpa (Class of 2015), Tomo Nakano, Vivian Huang, & Kelly Verbicky (Class of 2016) enjoy tasty Thai food at Poe's restaurant in Auburn, Gor Gai Thai.

July is the time of year for EDI where everything intersects. We have our current programs starting to wind down; we are actively recruiting for our 2017 programs; we are in the midst of preparing for Inclusion Fusion; and starting to plan for graduation. Although it’s the busiest time of year for us, it’s also the most exciting.  

So much has happened since I last wrote in April, I wanted to highlight some of the significant things we have going on right now at EDI. 

FUNDRAISING

INCLUSION FUSION – It’s just around the corner. This year’s event will be like no other as the alumni will be the focus throughout the evening. We’ll have alumni stations where alums will be sampling some of their own products and sharing with you their leadership stories.   There are several new twists that we will have that will incorporate our theme, “Let Your Leadership Fly” so you’ll have to attend to find out what they are! You don’t want to miss this.

STAFF

In last month’s newsletter, we introduced you to Tomo, our new intern from Bellevue College.  He’s on a one year exchange program from Japan and is spending 10 weeks with us. Thank you to EDI Alum, Mark Watanabe, for referring Tomo to us. He’s eager to build his leadership skills and has been attending our program sessions. As someone new to EDI, he’s been providing us valuable feedback that we will use to improve the quality of our programs and the participant experience. 

I’d also like to congratulate our Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Vivian Huang, on her graduation from UW in June. Vivian has been with EDI since October 2014 working part-time. After a month long vacation to Europe, Vivian is now back and transitioning into a more full-time role.  We’re grateful she decided to stay on at EDI as she’s the hub of all the communication points for us.    

ALUMNI

Be sure to watch this month’s Alumni on the Move video with Poe Wongpa. Our alums are constantly inspiring and amazing us with all they do in their careers and in the community.  Poe just opened his very own Thai restaurant, Gor Gai Thai, in Auburn. He made his dream a reality and we are so proud and excited for him. I admire his courage, ambition and energy. I’ve already been to his restaurant three times, plus he’s catered lunch for all our program sessions in the last month. It’s the best Thai food you’ll find in the area (and I’m not just saying that because he’s an alum).

For those alumni who want to stay connected and/or help out with EDI – here’s an opportunity for YOU!  We have a new initiative that’s in its beginning stages called the EDI Ambassador Board. This is a board of EDI alums that has been formed to help put strategies in place for alumni engagement, fundraising and recruitment. We have a core group of alums already enlisted and soon they will be reaching out to recruit more members.  If you are interested in being part of this initiative, please email me at marci@ediorg.org                       

RECRUITMENT

We are recruiting for our 2017 programs and our goal is to have 90 participants enrolled before the end of the year. If you know of anyone that has interest in the program, please send them our way. If you want us to come to your company to do an information session or need us to meet with someone one on one, let us know.  

Hope to see all of you at Inclusion Fusion!  #DiverseGlobalLeaders

Marci's Column - July 2015

ALUMNI OPEN HOUSE….HISPANIC ALUMNI REUNIONINCLUSION FUSION2016 RECRUITMENT….Wow, lot’s going on for EDI in the next couple of months.  The EDI staff is busy getting ready for all of this and we need your HELP & SUPPORT!

We are now halfway through our program year which means only one thing….it’s time to start recruiting for 2016. We have officially opened up registration for our Discovery and Navigation programs and applications are available on our website. Please help us to fill our classes so 2016 can be our largest class to date. Know someone interested in the class or have a company you want us to meet? Send them our way!

Did you know that program tuition only covers about 55% of the total costs to run our programs?  We keep our tuition at a competitive rate so that we can maximize the number of individuals that are able to participate.  Fundraising helps to ensure that we can keep all five of our programs running.  Our annual fundraiser, Inclusion Fusion, is just around the corner on September 17th. Registration is now open and we have limited space so you’ll want to register soon. Keep checking in on our website and Facebook page for regular updates.  We’ll start revealing a new surprise each week.

In last month’s column I mentioned how I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with many alums over the last few months and that the alums truly are the core of who we are and what we do at EDI.  Everyone always asks where are EDI alums?  Our Alumni on the Move is a great way for us to showcase what alums have been up to.  But, I also know that alums are out & about because I run into them EVERYWHERE!! Seriously, at restaurants, events, even on TV – everywhere I turn there’s an alum.  So starting now, I’m giving a special shout out to everyone that I randomly run into – it’ll be at the bottom of each of my columns so keep an eye out.  Plus, this is also a test to see who reads down this far :) Here’s my shout out to Jenny Lau (2004), George Alabi (2004), Doreen Ramsuta (2013) and for those that missed it – John Chen (2008) was on TV!   

I hope to see many alums attend our upcoming events – July 21st Open House and August 20th Hispanic Alumni Reunion.  I look forward to seeing and catching up with all of you.