Toni PergolinThe Power of Passion

I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know much of anything about Bancroft when I agreed to take the CFO position there 15 years ago. What little I did know was that the organization was in financial peril and that as CFO it would be my job to either fix it or close it.  I didn’t know the profile of the people the organization served and how many of them there were.  I didn’t know how many people it employed or the work they did. And I certainly didn’t know that it was too important to fail.

My job was to know the numbers. The financial picture was bleak, cash was tight and payroll was being made on a prayer. I knew I would have to turn over every stone to find out what was going on and the clues to fixing it. While the numbers certainly told a story, it wasn’t yet a human one for me.

Boy, have I come full circle.

It started with a conversation with the parents of a young girl we served who talked about the difference Bancroft made in her life…and in theirs.  There were many more stories after that, stories that opened my eyes and my heart and allowed me to see that the numbers did tell a story, one that changed my whole approach.  The stories, the people, helped me understand that organizations like Bancroft are essential, and often, they are the lifeblood of families for their loved ones.

They sowed the seeds of passion for the mission – to serve and support people to help them live their best life – that made my job even more difficult.  Every business decision I made had to be balanced by the impact it would have on the people served or the issues for which we advocated. It’s so much easier to make the hard decisions, if you didn’t have to worry about the repercussions. 

Passion for the mission evolved into a fierceness to help it find its way, help it succeed and grow and ensure it would be here for the people we served today and for generations to come.

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