Describe your role at Perigee Fund.
In leading a young philanthropic organization, my role has been to build the early partnerships and team that makes up Perigee Fund. I find joy and challenge in forming connections and partnerships, in bringing visibility and resources to the intersectional issues that impact the well-being of caregivers and babies, and in making sure that we operate in a way that fuels our partners’ progress.
What are you passionate about and/or what is the philosophy you bring to the organization?
I hold a core belief that when communities and networks of leaders come together, they can transform how we see both problems and their solutions and deepen the ways in which people work together to bring about change. Due to longstanding racial, gender, and economic injustices, many of the issues we care about at Perigee Fund are invisible, undervalued, and deeply under-resourced. But we are all connected, all caregivers, and all dependent upon the well-being of future generations. If we come together and are led by the insights of those most impacted by inequities, we can do so much better.
Tell us a little bit about your professional background, starting with your most recent position.
I spent over 15 years as a founding staff member and managing director at FSG. I learned a lot working alongside philanthropic leaders in diverse communities across the U.S. – listening to partners, weighing hard choices, and exploring different pathways toward meaningful social change. I am also a mother, and began my career toggling between corporate work and grassroots community service. I think that both of those things help me look at how change happens from a lot of different perspectives.
Meeting Perigee Fund’s founder, Lisa Mennet, in 2017 changed my personal mission. I more deeply understood the power of foundational early relationships between caregivers and infants at the root of human well-being. We know that our brains and bodies change in these early relationships, but we fail to invest in the security and well-being of families during this time.
What excites you about working with Perigee Fund?
What doesn’t excite me about working at Perigee Fund? I am most humbled by the opportunity to work alongside people who dedicate their time and talent to alleviating suffering, caring for families impacted by trauma, being a voice for babies and caregivers, and advocating for justice.
What is your favorite way to develop early connections with the babies and young children in your life?
Nothing beats a snuggle or a game of peekaboo, but many of my favorite moments of connection with my daughters as toddlers were about making something together – a pile of fall leaves, a block tower, or a messy baking project. I am also forever grateful to the child care providers in our lives who made early connections around music, dance, and language.