Q&A with Danielle Decatur, Newest Board Member
3CF recently welcomed Danielle Decatur to the board. Danielle has spent 10 years in consulting, providing Change Management and Lean Six Sigma expertise across many industries while employed by Microsoft and IBM. She also worked in Environmental Sustainability for AREVA while obtaining her MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She hails from upstate New York, where she also attended college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She has lived in Dublin, Washington, D.C., Louisiana and Phoenix, and now calls Seattle home.
1) What interested you in joining the 3CF board?
I feel very passionately about poverty alleviation and first learned about the world of international development, particularly microfinance, about ten years ago while living in DC. I have been working for large corporations my whole career and went to business school to focus on how companies can drive social and environmental good through corporate social responsibility initiatives. Gwen Straley, 3CF Executive Director, was my roommate at Thunderbird, where we led our Net Impact chapter and worked together on international development initiatives. While in business school, I led a project for an indigenous community in the San Blas islands of Panama, the Kunas, in writing a business plan for them to start an eco-tourism business. Even though I was only there a short time, we were embedded in the community, and my experience with them was very powerful. I am very excited to get more involved in the on-the-ground work that 3CF does, as well as the more strategic aspects of running a foundation like 3CF.
2) You’ve got a lot going on with your job at Microsoft, plus citizenship and sustainability initiatives you drive at the company, and now your responsibilities as a 3CF board member. How do you manage to juggle it all on a daily basis?
I am a task list- and calendar-management junkie! But seriously, it does help to be very organized and structured about my day. I know that impact-related initiatives energize me, so I build time into my evenings and weekends to make sure I get to these things. I also know that momentum is a very powerful thing, so doing a little bit every day to keep things going, while reserving the time necessary for strategic thinking that requires a lot of focus. Being aware of my own rhythm – i.e. early mornings and later in the afternoon are great for focus time and mid-mornings to early afternoon are great for knocking out things on my task list.
3) Any goals you've set for impact over the next few years (either related to 3CF or external)?
I’d like to help Gwen and the other 3CF board members build and execute a communications strategy, as well as support the growth of their impact investment portfolio.
In my job at Microsoft I lead our corporate chapter of Net Impact, which connects employees to our corporate citizenship and sustainability initiatives. I hope to continue to grow that program and, in the near-term, launch an employee-driven project around climate action.
4) What are you most looking forward to over the next few years during your role with 3CF?
I’d really love to visit a project and meet with the people who are delivering on 3CF’s goal to create economic independence!
5) Favorite place you've ever visited?
My recent trip to Tanzania is, hands down, my favorite travel experience so far. My husband and I went on an 8-day safari, and the up-close experience with the animals was truly special. We also had fun trying to learn a bit of Swahili, and we became quite close with our guide and his family. He provided the opportunity for us to learn about the Tanzanian people, specifically the Chagga people to which he belongs, as well as the Maasai who are the primary residents of the areas we visited.
On the way home to Seattle from Tanzania we stopped over in Amsterdam and were absolutely charmed by the city! The biking infrastructure and way of life there is delightful.
6) Favorite activities outside of work?
My husband and I love to travel, to visit our family and friends across the US and the world. We relish new experiences both in new and vibrant cities and in remote natural areas. We also love food and drink and we insatiably seek out restaurants and wineries. In order to balance our lavish habits we are also very into fitness! We are in the gym or out on the trail most days of the week.