We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrian Jamieson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adrian, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Phoenix is a diverse group of individuals working to create a thriving, resilient, and inclusive social sector here in our community. Our members are “young” in many ways. Some are young in age, some are young in their work experience, and others are young to the Phoenix area. But we are all connected by this shared vision. The nonprofit sector works to address community needs that are unmet by other established support systems. Our work is often seen as supplemental to those services offered by the government or by the business sector, but that is not necessarily the case. All too often, the nonprofit sector is addressing our most complex and urgent community needs. Our work is truly solution-orientated, unclouded by competing needs for public appeal or profitability. This means that we need to not only recruit the most passionate among us, but also the most intelligent, driven, and diverse. But our sector is by no means perfect. Our funders and leadership do not always reflect the communities we are looking to serve. Inequities continue to exist in hiring and compensation practices. And a scarcity mindset prevents strategic collaboration from taking place. All of these factors contribute to a workforce that is, although passionate and highly skilled, also overworked, overwhelmed, and burnt out. YNPN thinks that we can do it better. Here in Phoenix, our YNPN Chapter has around 100 members, serving in all aspects of nonprofit work. Through our trainings and programs, YNPN Phoenix is equipping these professionals to confidently advocate for change within their own organizations, the nonprofit sector, and the community as a whole. Just as important, YNPN provides a network of support for these “young” professionals as they navigate complex issues from wherever they sit in their organization. Whether their mission is in environmental policy, healthcare, or youth development, the work of our members is making our community a better place. And with the support of YNPN Phoenix, we hope that they will be well equipped to continue this important work for years to come.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My bachelor’s degree is in History. I went to college thinking I would be an Indiana Jones -style professor. But much like Indiana, I don’t much care for snakes… or spiders. And as it turns out, I also don’t like sitting alone in libraries for long periods of time either. What I do like, is working with others to solve a problem. And our world is full of problems to solve. In 2013, I moved to Arizona to get my Masters Degree in Public Administration with a focus in nonprofit management. While there, I learned about this idea of a “wicked problem.” A “wicked problem” is one that can not be addressed without addressing a hundred other problems. Take, for example, education. The effectiveness of an education system cannot be evaluated without also addressing healthcare, food security, child safety, community culture, etc. The list goes on and on. It is these types of “wicked problems” that I decided I wanted to tackle in joining the nonprofit sector. Since then, I have contributed professional and personally to many missions connected to child welfare, nature conservation, civic engagement, and social justice. Today, I serve as the Director of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona and as the Vice President for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Phoenix. In every role I take on, I hope to act as a conduit for others to engage in the work with me. It is true what they say about time, talent, or treasure; everyone has something to give. And we truly need everyone to unravel these “wicked problems.”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Phoenix as some amazing restaurants! Every time I get visitors, we seem to schedule the whole visit around where are going to eat for dinner (pre-COVID at least). I live in Mesa so our regular go-to’s include Indian Oven on Southern and Gilbert, Simi’s Cafe on Gilbert and Baseline, and Vito’s Pizza on McKellips and Lindsey. When we were are really looking to do something special we visit Prado at Omni Scottsdale Resort or the Arrowhead grill.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Board of YNPN Phoenix is brimming with passion, talent, and compassion. I am honored to work with such an amazing group of leaders.