CAPErs: A Collaboration Between PwC, Taproot Foundation, and CAPE

 In Michelle Green Arnson, The CAPE Blog

Over the past few years, CAPE has benefited from an array of high quality pro bono services provided by the Taproot Foundation in Chicago. The Taproot Foundation, through their Service Grant program, has matched our organization with teams of professionals in the areas of marketing, design, human resources, and management.  In 2015, CAPE was able to take part in Taproot’s new Pro Bono Board Seat Program.

“To deepen our service to nonprofits, the Taproot Foundation launched an innovative training program for business professionals interested in serving on nonprofit boards, which is a high impact form of pro bono.  We felt confident recommending CAPE for this program because, through our previous work, we know that it has a strong mission and sound management,” explained Jaime Guzman, Taproot’s Executive Director in Chicago.  Taproot worked with PwC, a global assurance and consulting firm, to identify and train PwC executives and place them on Chicago boards.  Through this program, CAPE has welcomed three PwC employees to our Board of Directors: Gene Boehm, Shaun Goldfarb, and Debra Mazloff. We spoke with them about their interest in serving on a nonprofit board and their experiences with CAPE so far.

Debra Mazloff, Director at PwC
“I have always volunteered but was looking for an opportunity to really have an impact.  I am very lucky with my life- not everyone is as fortunate.  From the beginning, I loved CAPE’s mission.  As a former teacher, who always looked for new ways to make learning more engaging, I was so impressed!  I love to see the learning process and hear from teachers and students- you see the impact firsthand and it’s amazing.  At CAPE’s annual student art exhibition, I was impressed by the quality and sophistication of the students’ work.  I’m am not sure I could even answer some of the questions they addressed.”

Gene Boehm, Director at PwC
“I’m very excited to be a part of CAPE. It fits well with my interests in art and education. I was especially appreciative of the opportunity that PwC presented to get engaged with CAPE. Through Taproot, there were a number of non-profit opportunities. I appreciated the thoughtful approach that Taproot used to connect me with CAPE. Once connected, CAPE leadership did a great job of ensuring that CAPE would be a good fit for me and provide me an opportunity to contribute.”

Shaun Goldfarb, Senior Manager at PwC
“I moved to Chicago a few years ago and finally felt like it was home, so I wanted to have more of a connection with my new home and contribute more than just living in the city.

This sounds cliche, but the children really are our future. We need to educate and empower them beyond the normal boundaries to show them what they are capable of. CAPE plays an integral part in doing that for those that may not normally have such opportunities. I have always been a big believer in the arts and think it helps bring certain topics to life, so CAPE definitely was appealing to me.

Seeing how the kids react to what CAPE brings to the table is inspiring. It is hard to describe in words, but it makes you realize that what CAPE does is important on a broader scale….it’s really just about humanity and helping people achieve their best and provide them a platform to help drive future success.”

Amy Newkirk, Greater Chicago Marketing Leader at PwC, added, “By providing our expertise and service to nonprofit boards, our PwC partners and staff learn about the unique challenges that face our community.  The Taproot Foundation provided us with a unique opportunity to both train our people on non-profit organizations and connect us with a network of nonprofits making an impact.  CAPE stood out to our people because of its mission to weave the arts and creativity into public education.  We are proud to have three members of the PwC staff serving on the CAPE Board.”

If you are interested in learning more about serving on our Board of Directors or volunteering in another capacity, join us at our office in the loop for the CAPE Field Trip! The Field Trip is how we introduce new supporters like Gene, Shaun, and Debra to our work and our impact, and we’d love to see you there!

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