Sample Application: Sharon Afforde, 2010 Candidate
What are you most passionate about in the burner community?
I am passionate about connecting people. Throughout my life, I’ve always put myself into the middle of people and projects in hopes of promoting the cause as well as the needs of the individual. Working is a fact of life; I am skilled at helping people find meaningful work or finding meaning in the work that they do.
What are the best projects you ever worked on?
One of the best projects I worked on was SeaCompression 2009. I stepped into that role as a newbie in the community with the goal of getting over 100 volunteers. I wanted to expand the volunteer possibilities and to bring people in who had never volunteered before.I felt that I met those goals due to the feedback received. It was that energy that encouraged me to become the volunteer coordinator for another soon to be amazing event, Critical Massive.
How do you think the burner community is different because you’re in it?
What I bring to the table is the business side of building our community. The ability to get things done. To take a project, an idea and gather a group of people to achieve a shared mission. To motivate, cajole and literally arm-wrestle participation. I speak “Conservative”, it is not a four letter word and it has its place on the board. I am tenacious. I know how to build consensus, negotiate and establish an agenda that supports issues for the good of the whole. I enjoy navigating business and government – especially when I know that the purpose is bigger than myself. I joyfully share my knowledge of networking and the job market and try to help community members understand the world of work.
Are you involved with any other groups, ie DPW, Rangers, theme camps?
So, that is an interesting question. I entered the community after finding it online, running into people at other events, after actually doing research. I lurked on the bc-wa list for a LONG TIME before I stepped into the fray. I am not a part of a theme camp, so I look at everything with a fresh eyes perspective; this gives me a unique opportunity to intersect with the community. I know what it feels like to be on the outsider looking in. This is a big reason why I want to sit on the board. I am not part of a specific camp, coven or clique, I am part of Ignition Northwest, whether I am elected to the board or not.
What skills do you think you would bring to the board?
I have an insane passion for connecting people – to other people, to businesses and job opportunities because I listen to what they say they want or need. I strive to make the necessary connections to help build the community. On the surface it doesn’t always make sense;I have found that in the chaos things emerge that bring about necessary change. I’ve sat on non-profit boards and community boards, I enjoy herding cats, being the leader and being the team member. I am not afraid of the phone, public speaking, leading debates and making decisions. I studied Non-Profit Business Management at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff,Arizona, volunteered on James Turrell’s Roden Crater Project, the Toronto Metropolitan Zoological Society and currently am part of the local American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure fundraiser. During the 9-5, I am a recruiter and business developer. For the last 12 years living in Seattle, I’ve worked with information technology, manufacturing, logistics, insurance, and business management operations. This breadth of experience is useful to the board in that I know a lot of strange and wonderful people. While being from the Eastside isn’t a skill, I do bring a perspective and community connections that are not yet represented.
What do you think the Ignition Northwest board does, or should be doing?
The board should increase their visibility to the general population with more communication. Sustainable art projects into the general community. Intersect with other organizations for shared purposes, potentially partnering with other groups for mutually beneficial events – craft fairs, fund-raising events for disease, homelessness or other community related causes. Continue with KICKass parties. More scholarships and educational support. I think INW has the potential to be a thought leader and focal point in Seattle and the surrounding communities when it comes to setting the community arts agenda.
Why do you want to be on the board?
I am interested in running for the board because I have this crazy love for the burning man community and the patience, energy, and business experience to want to move it to the next level. I am interested in sustainable economic development, working with local government, local businesses and the arts community to bring about change. I sound really serious and I am…as well as being incredibly silly and bodacious.