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Celebrating 15 Years – Partnering with a Powerful Project

Apr 5, 2012
By Roger North

Categories: Leadership & Organizational Development Non-profits & Ministries

Celebrating 15 Years – Partnering with a Powerful Project

April 5, 2012

Celebrating 15 Years – Partnering with a Powerful Project by Roger North with guest blogger Mara Creswell McGrann

April 1st marked North Group’s 15th Anniversary. I don’t know where the years have gone, but I do know I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity our firm has had to serve our clients through the years.

I remember our first two years in business. Beyond simple financial survival, our first milestone was to have enough cash flow to hire an assistant. We were fortunate. We reached that point in 18 months. We were also fortunate that a friend referred us to a lovely and very capable young woman, Mara Creswell McGrann. Mara served us extraordinarily well until leaving after several years for a very good reason, the birth of her first child.

Mara and John now have a lovely family of five. With all three children in school, Mara has taken on a new challenge – Executive Director of the Power Packs Project.

In recognition of our 15th anniversary, North Group is partnering with Power Packs Project. This high impact organization is working to eliminate weekend hunger for school children in our community. As our way of giving back, North Group is providing financial and volunteer support.  We are excited about this new partnership and have asked Mara to contribute a guest blog today to share with you, the compelling mission of Power Packs Project and importance of supporting this worthy cause.

Power Packs Project logo


Guest Blogger Mara Creswell McGrann:

Thanks for this opportunity, Roger!

I’m thrilled to introduce Power Packs Project, a nutrition and education program that began seven years ago to address the weekend nutrition needs of children who rely primarily on the breakfast and lunch program at school.  Many families struggle with impossible choices – to pay for electricity or buy food.  This food insecurity becomes apparent on Monday mornings when children appear in school nurses’ offices exhibiting secondary signs of hunger. You can imagine how hunger impacts a child’s ability to learn.

At Power Packs Project we live our mission every day:  To partner with eligible families to provide food and nutritional education so that families are empowered and children thrive.

We serve over 650 families a week in five local school districts. We have a part-time staff of three and over 200 volunteers. The program has grown to serve 25% more families in the past year, and we are expanding through our Affiliate Program into communities around Lancaster County. This year we will offer our first summer program.

Please go here to get the “full story” about how we supply weekend food and combine it with a unique educational approach that has a long term benefit.

I’m so grateful to each of you who will join us in providing food for children…..and to North Group for giving me a great leadership start as their first employee!

Fifteen years ago I was casting about for a new career.  A former customer gave me a tip: There’s an opening with this new consulting firm. I knew nothing about Leadership Consulting, but thought Roger North and his business partner were extremely interesting and nice – and they had a fantastic vision.

As it turned out, this new organization (now North Group) was like none I’d ever been part of before. Part of me couldn’t believe that a workplace like this really existed. I noticed that treating others as they wish to be treated, giving extraordinary service, asking good questions (and listening to the answers!) weren’t only principles to be shared with clients; they were practiced every day in our business. What I learned made a huge impact on me personally and professionally.

North Group’s support of Power Packs Project (and of me as a leader) is very humbling. Now as I serve as Executive Director, I use my leadership lessons learned years ago from North Group.  Whether I’m working with schools, church groups, families or businesses, I’m reminded that people and organizations are much more the same than they are different. And as Power Packs Project grows, I come back again and again to another leadership lesson – the core importance of our Mission, Vision and Values.

Thank you to everyone at North Group Consultants – I can’t wait to see what the next 15 years hold for us all!

A note to our readers: More detailed information will follow about what North Group is doing (and how you can join us) to partner with Mara and Power Packs to eliminate weekend hunger for school children in our community.

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