At Mission Capital, we have an incredible team of knowledgeable and talented consultants who work in partnership with our social sector to strengthen organizations and multiply impact. We’ve launched our Meet the Consultants Blog Series to introduce you to the hard-working individuals behind the curtain that invest so much of their time, both personally and professionally, in the well-being of our Central Texas community. Next up, Katie Popp, our Senior Consultant on the Learning & Leadership team!
What did you do before you worked at MC?
I got my start in the professional world as an Americorps VISTA with Habitat for Humanity San Francisco. After that, I joined Great Place to Work Institute as a project manager assigned to lead the application and selection process for Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. I settled in for the long-haul at Great Place to Work, spending 12 years in various positions in the organization, and falling in love with the concept of trust-based workplace cultures.
What led you to work at Mission Capital?
I came to Mission Capital (or Greenlights, as it was known at the time) in 2015 as an intern while completing my master’s degree in Organization Development at St. Edwards University. I was quickly struck by the fact that Mission Capital’s clients and members wanted to build teams and talent in their organizations—and that I had knowledge and experience to help them. I was convinced that working for Mission Capital was the next step in my professional journey, so I hung around until they gave me a job!
How would describe your expertise?
I’m a workplace culture enthusiast, and I’m eager to help organizations create work environments where people thrive. I specialize in strategic talent management and talent development. Which is business-speak for: I help organizations figure out how to best attract, retain and grow their people.
What do find rewarding about your work?
For decades, the for-profit sector has been working to actively engage its employees—with time, energy and money spent on crafting intentional, thoughtful workplace experiences. In fact, many companies have also begun to incorporate social missions into their work. Two data points sit side-by-side in my mind: one that shows the rise in for-profit employees’ expectations that their companies will make a difference in society, and one that shows a dwindling commitment of nonprofit professionals to stay in the nonprofit sector. I’m passionate about drawing the attention of nonprofit leaders to the importance of workplace cultures, and about creating engaging nonprofit workplaces in order to retain our people and build a healthy pipeline of future leaders. Doing this work on a daily basis is the most rewarding part of my job.
Your favorite MC memory/accomplishment?
I love working with all of our members and clients, but the project that holds a special place in my heart is my first, a workplace culture assessment that I did with Mission Capital’s staff. It became my Master’s thesis—and allowed me to do two things: 1) begin to apply workplace culture concepts from the business world to the unique world of nonprofit—which became the basis for the Workplace Experience Model Mission Capital now uses with our clients and 2) make an impact within Mission Capital’s workplace. I love working for an organization that holds learning as a core value! It gives us permission to use ourselves as guinea pigs and try out new concepts (like workplace culture assessments) before introducing them to clients.
What do you enjoy during your free time?
When not at work, I can usually be found chasing my toddler, working in my organic backyard garden, or practicing yoga (and sometimes, all three things at once– see above image). I also continue to support Great Place to Work by serving as a part-time workplace culture evaluator for Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for.
When we have our MC potlucks, what do you bring?
Generally, I tend to be the person to bring in something whole food-y. If timed right, it’ll include something from my garden.
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