Meet Beatriz Oesterheld, Executive Director and CEO of Community Affairs and Resource Center, and our featured #MMMYL leader! Learn more about Beatriz, how she leads using the 6 Cs of Nonprofit Sea Change and how she got into the nonprofit world!
1. How do you navigate the 6 “C”s of Nonprofit Sea Change? (Capacity, Curiosity, Conversation, Collaboration, Creativity, and Compassion)
The C’s that stand out most to me are conversation, collaboration, creativity and compassion. Community Affairs and Resource Center (CARC) has been building capacity for the last 11 years – since I started my role as executive director. We have worked very hard to empower the community by promoting self-sufficiency through education, advocacy and collaboration. CARC has expanded its services to meet the needs of the community its serves.
Creativity – We have been very creative in our programs to attract a diverse community that we serve. We have employees from 15 different countries that speak eight different languages. While we started out serving only Monmouth County, we now serve four counties from Middlesex to Atlantic.
Compassion – You have to have compassion to serve in the nonprofit industry. You can’t just put a Band-Aid on an issue and walk away. You have to walk with those you serve – it’s not just a day of help and that’s it. Empowering others and helping them become self-sufficient is key.
Conversation & Collaboration – Being open to having conversations with other organizations has helped us increase out impact. Collaboration is so important and also help us get necessary funding to carry out our programs. When funders see you are building relationships and partnering with other organizations to serve the community, they will be more likely to provide critical funding.
2. When did you realize you wanted to work in the nonprofit world? Tell us about this journey.
I was working in the corporate world and one day I realized that I wasn't happy with my job and resigned. I stayed home for 3 months and suddenly recognized that I wanted to work helping people and to use my second language. I worked for several years in a nonprofit agency and was invited to become a board member for Community Affairs and Resource Center (CARC). After a couple of months, the executive director resigned and the board asked me to apply for the position. I was hired, but I decided to stay on for only one year to help CARC in its transition to finding a permanent executive director. Eleven years later I'm still here!
We have gone through many changes, but all positive and we have grown immensely and are still growing.
3. What’s your favorite fun activity to do at the Central Jersey Shore?
I was born and raised on an island so my favorite thing is the shore. I love it, especially in May and September when it’s not crowded.
4. How do you practice self-care/stress relief?
I'm learning to take time for myself. I love reading, traveling and spending time with my grandchildren. Every year we try to take a very relaxing week just – with my children and their family.
5. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
“Every day may not be good, there's something good in every day.” Alice Morse
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I'm possible’.” Audrey Hepburn