Welcome to Founder Spotlight, where the founders of Raise HECK answer five questions.
This week, get to know Charlotte Kresse.
1. Where do you call home?
Rhode Island – I grew up here and after college and 10 years in DC I moved back in 2011 and absolutely love it.
2. Tell us about your family.
I am the mom to two boys, Henry (9) and Tucker (6). They couldn’t be more different. Henry is smart, curious, obsessed with the Buffalo Bills and could tell you any stat going back years. Tucker is funny, a ham, determined, and full of energy.
I’ve been married to my husband Ted since 2008 and couldn’t imagine anyone better to go through all the ups and downs of life. He is the youngest of 8 siblings, so the boys have 19 cousins on Ted’s side.
We have two dogs. Lenny is a mutt we adopted in DC and he just turned 14 and Fiona is a yellow lab we adopted from Guiding Eyes this March.
I’m the oldest of three siblings. My sister Cat is less than a year younger and she moved back to Rhode Island recently from San Francisco and my brother Stu (2.5 years younger) lives in Springfield, PA with his wife and twin girls.
My mom lives nearby and I love having her so close. She took care of the boys 2 days a week until they both went to Kindergarten.
3. How did you get involved in nonprofit technology?
Good question because if you asked me in college, as a Psychology and Sociology major, what I’d be doing now it wouldn’t be in nonprofit tech. I’ve always believed in and supported progressive causes. So my first two jobs out of college were in a small nonprofit startup in Providence and then in Senator Jack Reed’s office in DC. Both were entry level positions and when I started looking for my next move I knew it had to be with a cause I supported.
I ended up getting a job in 2005 at NARAL Pro-Choice America. I care deeply about a woman’s right to choose, but the job responsibilities I had to learn on the job…I managed their affiliate email communications. I would produce, segment and schedule their emails using a tool called GetActive. I would also produce materials and webinars on digital marketing best practices for their affiliate network.
Little did I know that the early and mid 2000s were the beginning stages of nonprofits using and prioritizing the digital marketing space. Organizations just started understanding the need for multi-channel programs and yet many didn’t have the experience or tools to meet their needs. I feel fortunate to have had this initial opportunity as the entry way into a variety of roles in this industry and to experience all the changes as it has evolved.
4. What’s your favorite kind of project?
Despite working in technology, I’m not a technical person. I’m a people person, and I like understanding people’s unique challenges and aligning that with solutions to address them. So my favorite kind of projects do just that. I like doing technical or staffing assessments and change management projects. I like listening to people and providing recommendations to address their needs.
5. What do you do when you’re not raising heck?
I like being outdoors and Rhode Island provides a variety of ways enjoy nature. I love open water swimming (when the water is warm enough) and I participate in a two mile swim for Save the Bay every summer.
In the winter I love taking advantage of being in New England and skiing. I went to UVM for college and used to ski three times a week…I don’t do that now, but love doing it as much as I can…now with my family.
I also love reading and watching all the great TV series that are now available. Let me know if you have any suggestions for new shows to watch or books to read!
Connect with Charlotte Kresse
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