After 37 years with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), Valerie Bailey (pictured) could say she grew up with the national nonprofit whose mission is to engage children in conservation. But the day came when the call of something new and exciting mandated she leave the nest and venture out on her own. The result? A solo practice consultation practice called Crossroads Consulting, LLC, where Bailey offers services such as interim executive director leadership, strategic planning, organizational assessment and human resource expertise to nonprofit organizations. And she does this all with an eye towards “service to others and challenging ‘what is’ to create ‘what might be’” according to her web site.
A long career in nonprofit
Bailey started with SCA in 1978 at its office in Charlestown, New Hampshire. The organization, dedicated to engaging youth in conservation, was the precursor to the Youth Conservation Corps, now a federally-funded program. “(My job) actually started out as a threemonth temporary clerical assistant and by the time I’d left the organization, I’d served as the senior executive in two different CEO transitions and was the executive vice president for a number of years prior to my departure,” she says. Today, the organization engages 4,000 to 5,000 young people each year in conservation opportunities, lasting from two weeks to 12 months. SCA now has offices in New Hampshire, Virginia, California, Illinois, Alaska, Pennsylvania and Washington State
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