How does the president of The Forbes Funds spend her week? This is a big one for the dynamic Kate Dewey, a force in the region who lives with her husband, Tony Florence, in Rosslyn Farms.
“I have a great job as president of The Forbes Funds finding ways to help community nonprofits be resilient and nimble, provide more effective services, manage the challenges of limited capital funding, and having to adjust to an ever-changing set of social issues,” says Kate. “Most of my weeks are jam-packed connecting with this wonderful array of people. This week has a special twist because we will officially launch The Forbes Funds 2016 Social Innovation Challenge called UpPrize. In our second year, we have three great partners. BNY Mellon—our founding partner—and Bridgeway Capital are our challenge partners this year and Comcast has signed on as our Media and Technology partner.” Interested? Check it out at UpPrize.org.
Monday, October 3
Every Monday, Cheryl Poston, receptionist extraordinaire at The Pittsburgh Foundation, always starts my week with her great laugh. This week will get jumpstarted with Rick Stafford who heads up Carnegie Mellon University’s Metro21 initiative devoted to addressing the challenges facing metropolitan areas. Sam Balbier, executive director of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP), and I will be exploring with Rick how we can work together in support of this mission for our region. GPNP is part of The Forbes Funds and represents a coalition of more than 450 nonprofits.
In the afternoon, I will have the opportunity to meet with our UpPrize partners—BNY Mellon, Bridgeway Capital and Comcast—to finalize the details for Thursday night’s event.
I will wrap up my workday with a nonprofit serving veterans facing the challenge of finding new space for their work. Tonight is a quiet night at home with Tony, my daughter Kayce and her partner, Nick.
Tuesday, October 4
I am sure there will be a number of last-minute details to nail down for our Thursday night launch party for UpPrize. In the morning, Michelle McMurray—The Pittsburgh Foundation Program Officer to our organization—and I are meeting to have our quarterly catch up.
Eating lunch at my desk, I will participate in a two-hour quarterly call with people nationwide doing work similar to The Forbes Funds.
Later in the afternoon, Sam Balbier and I will meet with Joni Schwager, executive director of The Staunton Farm Foundation, about an issue of joint concern: the undercapitalization of behavioral health services in the region.
Tonight I am meeting an old friend from Philadelphia at Altius up on Mt. Washington for dinner. Can’t wait to cut into one of their pork chops—the best in the city.
Wednesday, October 5
Today The Forbes Funds kicks off its two-day training session on rightsizing strategies for human services and behavioral health organizations at the Hill House Association auditorium. Connecting with agencies gives me great energy so I am looking forward to being there. After making the introductory comments and participating in the lead discussions, I will head back to the office with an out-of-the-way drive by to Arnold’s Tea on the Northside to grab a Matcha Marathon.
For the afternoon, Chris Millard of AlphaLab Gear and I will be devoted to reviewing applications for the UpPrize/Hardware Cup Fellow.
In the evening I will attend the reception and dinner celebrating Teresa Heinz’s 25 years of outstanding leadership in philanthropy at the Heinz History Center.
Thursday, October 6
My goal is to keep this day rather “zen” because of tonight’s big UpPrize event. It’s the final prep day. Mid-afternoon I will go back to the rightsizing sessions still going on at the Hill House, to introduce my predecessor and friend for 20 years, Diane Bucco, who is now president of The Buhl Foundation. She will be wrapping up the two-day session.
Then it’s over to AlphaLab Gear to get ready for the big UpPrize launch. It’s a sold-out event with more than 400 people attending. I checked out the RSVP list and the audience is an amazing representation of who we are trying to reach: nonprofits, government, start-ups, tech firms, accelerators and community residents interested in learning more. However, I will be nervous until people start coming through the door at 6. There will be a short program involving all three sponsors and a small selection of presenters from last year’s cycle: Construction Junction with their online inventory control system for reuse materials; Application Verification’s volunteer clearance service; and Rorus. The rest of the night will be devoted to pure networking.
Tony and I will end up at Paris 66 for a light dinner and then return home to sit on the front porch to decompress.
Friday, October 7
This is a day of returning calls, cleaning up the inbox, and holding internal meetings. I might even get my desk organized, but I doubt it. Haven’t done that in three years. But it will be a meaningful day as new light will have been shed on the terrific entrepreneurial tide swirling around our city. I am heading home early to ready for tomorrow’s surprise.
Saturday, October 8
Tony has planned a getaway for today. We have to be out of the house by 6 a.m. and return tonight. His special journeys are always interesting.
Sunday, October 2
I have so looked forward to this Sunday. Hopefully I can squeeze in the first half of the Steelers game before I head with friends to Chop, WOK and Talk! in Friendship to prepare and eat a Tuscan meal from beginning to end. I am sure there will be a nice bottle of wine awaiting us as well. What a week!