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Q&A with Talent Connect

“What’s your ODN volunteer experience been like?”

Talent Connect team
Pictured, clockwise from top left: Joni Truss, Erin Hachtel, Kelly Gangl and Sarah Lawrence.
The Talent Connect Team gathered together to reflect on their experiences gained as a result of participating on this team. The members participating in this interview: Team lead Joni Truss, Erin Hachtel, Sarah Lawrence and Kelly Gangl.

What prompted each of you to volunteer for the OD Network?
Joni: It started with a call from Erin (who was currently volunteering on the Welcome Group Committee) who asked me if I would be willing to facilitate a Welcome Group. Joni agreed to co-facilitate a Welcome Group and during that call both Sarah and Kelly were new members.

The Welcome Group experience was such an engaging and warm conversation that both Sarah and Kelly wanted to get involved in some way to continue the connection. Joni mentioned during the Welcome Group that she planned to start up a Talent Connect team and needed members to help her to develop this process. Both Sarah and Kelly agreed to serve on this team. Erin was volunteering for the Welcome Group Team with Marco and enjoyed this role due to the opportunity to meet OD professionals in a variety of different settings as opposed to just the graduate program from which she had recently graduated.

How did you find the Talent Connect Team?
Joni got involved with the Welcome Groups and continued to hear about the changing needs and new ideas springing up within the OD Network. The new strategy was in development but there was not a formal process to connect members with the OD Network volunteer needs. Joni had a lengthy background in recruiting and suggested the Talent Connect idea. The board members agreed and the Talent Connect team was born. As mentioned above, Sarah and Kelly both had experience in this area and wanted to get involved with helping to grow this concept from the ground up. Erin learned much during her experience on the Welcome Group Team but she felt her background and skillsets were a better match on the Talent Connect Team and wanted to join in to help with the development. Erin has prior experience working for a non-profit and her expertise was much appreciated.

What do you enjoy about participating on this team?
All of the team members shared that they appreciate the strong chemistry provided by the team dynamics. Each of us bring unique and diverse backgrounds and collectively have been strategic and tactical as needed. We all bring our best selves to the work. This has continued to build the capacity and trust on the team. Overall, the team expressed a sense of pride in having the opportunity to make the OD Network more vibrant.

Describe in your own words what the Talent Connect Team’s purpose is?
The members collectively shared that they believed the purpose is to serve as a mechanism that allows members to learn about and take on volunteer roles within ODN. It’s also a central body that ODN leaders can lean on for support (i.e. finding volunteers) with the projects they’re working on. Essentially it’s about connecting the people with meaningful opportunities and that promotes growth for the members, the Network and the field.

What are you most proud of that the team has accomplished so far?
We’re proud of the way we are now able to recruit volunteers via the website. We collaborated as a team to develop this process. We also are proud of the way we work together; we offer input and then execute which is often not easy with a handful of people! As Joni shared, we have great chemistry. We’re very forgiving of our busy lives and support each other through these challenges. Overall, we all feel honored to be a part of a team that works so well together.

Due to the Network’s growing needs, the Talent Connect has growing needs as well. The team now needs two new members to join this fabulous team. Please visit the Volunteer page on the website if interested.

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