Though London is my home, The Runyon Project’s name is inspired by the hiking trail behind my ‘home away from home’ in Los Angeles, CA. It was there that I gained physical and mental strength, where I hiked with friends or my headset – learning aother language, practicing a speech, listening to new music or just being mindful in nature.
I have had a long and fulfilling professional life across the for-profit world of private equity and NGOs working toward a better world. I wouldn’t trade any of it. And, the experience and treasure I have gained from that have allowed me to experiment with an entirely new way of working and living. To become more mindful and intentional and design my life and work around how I want to feel each day – creative, mindful, healthy, inspired, helpful, grateful, curious, aligned.
How you live each day is how you live your life.
…and then an unexpected career move found me when a talented and ambitious coach posted a request on a community Facebook page seeking administrative support. Interesting. Why not? I started right away and as my client list grew, a niche formed supporting practitioners and missions focused on humand and planetary wellbeing.
Evolve / align / adapt
Living in alignment with my values has been very much a part of my life and the choices I make moment by moment. With hindsight, the practice of living in alignment, and the intuition that flows from that, has contributed to my overall sense of peace, health, and satisfaction with my life. There have been wobbles and I’ve played with my boundaries, stretching to feel into what else I can learn from life. This practice has been part of me long enough to settle more into a more constant state of alignment.
Social Impact is also important to me. Close to my heart, I have spent nearly 30 years working with refugees. Getting my masters in refugee studies and community development and working with so many fascinating and inspiring people from around the world have been amongst the highlights of my life. Of course, the reality is that these opportunities, mainly each person along the way, have given me so much more in return. There is a lot of talk about self-care in the wellness world. Equally important is care for others. Often times an hour with my refugee bike buddy will do far more than a bath of bubbles or gongs. Click here if you want to find out how you can get involved.
Professionally, I have nearly 30 years of experience and demonstrated success in fundraising, event management, membership growth, operations, executive support and working virtually with teams around the globe. It’s amazing how relevant and impactful these experiences continue to be in all aspects of my work as a virtual assistant.
• MA, Refugee Studies and Community Development // University East London UK
• BA, Major: English Literature; Minor: Psychology // Indiana University USA
• Post Graduate Diploma, International Humanitarian Psychosocial Consultation // University East London UK
• Post Graduate Certificate, Eco-psychology // Pacifica Graduate Institute and Viridis
• Diploma, Vegan Permaculture Design
• Certificate, Systems Theory: Systems View of life with Fritjof Capra (Capra course Alumni Network)
The Refugee Bike Project, Ourmala, Permablitz, The Migration Foundation, International Rescue Committee, British Red Cross, International Study Abroad, Refugee Transitions, and The Phoenix Women’s Group for Asylum Seekers.
My skills, experiences, friendships and networks along the way have been formed at these outstanding mission and profit-driven organisations:
The Runyon Project, self-employed freelance – Global/Virtual/UK (2014 – present)
Provide virtual support to practitioners and project of human and planetary wellbeing. All aspects of project management, admin, diary management, events, social media, podcasts, scheduling, web updates and strategy. In additional to client work, my most recent mission has been to organise logistics and support for over 24 MAPA, Fridays for Future young delegates from the Global South to attend the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow November 2021 so their voices can be heard at this pivotal event.
Avaaz – 42 million member global campaigning organisation – London/Global/Virtual (2013 – 2014)
Provided virtual and online global campaign and operations support in a fast-paced mission-driven environment dedicated to narrowing the gap between the world we live in and the world most everyone wants.
British Future – Think tank – London (2011-2013)
Alongside a small brilliant team, I helped launch this new organisation that was recently awarded think tank to watch in 2015 by Prospect; managed a hugely successful launch event to a packed house; chaired a panel discussion on migrant re-settlement at the Edinburgh Festival of Politics; and all while leading its operations, governance, HR and executive support functions.
MA, Refugees Studies and Community Development – London (2009-2011)
Full-time coursework, University East London
Took break to study, volunteer and raise my young son – LA (2007-2009)
Diploma International Psychosocial Consultation; full university course load studying International Development, Sociology and Ethnic Relations; volunteer at Refugee Transitions, International Rescue Committee and British Red Cross.
Texas Pacific Group – Private equity firm – London & San Francisco-based (1999-2006)
Worked in the demanding and fast-paced environment of private equity, providing international high level support to some truly brilliant Managing Directors in the US, UK and across Asia. Expenses, visas, international travel, presentations, board meetings, events, correspondence, email and diary management – straight up executive level support with a positive can-do attitude.
California Pacific Medical Centre – San Francisco (1997-1999)
Worked in the executive office of this major medical centre supporting the CFO, Board and Finance committee as well as the CEO and COO. In this highly charged environment I was the face and voice between the CFO and executive office to the doctors, nurses and department heads.
The Health Museum – Cleveland (1991-1997)
Trail-blazing museum focused on promoting health and well-being, I increased membership and individual donations year on year; managed the Museum’s most successful fundraising event in its 50-plus year history netting US$150,000; implemented and managed a new highly sophisticated donor database; and wrote grant proposals to fund a variety of projects and exhibits. I also managed volunteers and headed donor and member cultivation.
Indiana Arts Commission – Indianapolis (1990-1991)
Government grant-making agency to support the arts where I designed and contributed to its quarterly newsletter; advised grant applicants on funding opportunities and applications; and provided board and executive support.