Photo: Ellie Friedman Sacks. Photo by Karianne Munstedt.
Photographer Karianne Munstedt did a photoshoot with Ellie Friedman Sacks, Executive Director of Jewish Free Loan and then featured her in her Women in Business Spotlight. The following is a Q&A Karianne shared:
𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆?
I think a part of me always knew that I would work in the nonprofit field. The idea of being in an industry that allows me to feel like I am helping people and making a difference has always appealed to me and my career path happened very organically. I was working for a wonderful for-profit company when I was offered the opportunity to enter the nonprofit field. After much consideration, I took the leap of faith and have been fortunate enough to work for both direct service providers and funders of nonprofit organizations for nearly 25 years.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀?
I believe what sets me apart from others is that, for me, working in the nonprofit sector really is like being a part of “the family business.” My dad worked for and led nonprofit organizations from the time I was 10 years old and my mom has been in the nonprofit field for as long as I can remember. She is currently the Director of Philanthropy for an arts education organization. (Interestingly enough, she and I have worked for two of the same organizations – at different times!) My brother is very active in a volunteer capacity with nonprofit organizations in his community and works for a very philanthropic-minded company. Having a family that understands the unique challenges and opportunities that come with nonprofit/communal service is truly a blessing and I really appreciate having the opportunity to learn from their experience as I continue to grow within my chosen field.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳?
There is a lot of responsibility in life. BUT… you cannot do everything and be everywhere all the time. You have permission to do less than what is humanly possible.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻; 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘂𝗽 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗳𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱?
My biggest motivation is definitely my kids. I want to make sure that I am leading by example for them and continuing the legacy of community service that my parents fostered in me. I want to know that I am doing my part to make the world a better place for my kids, my family, my friends and my community – as well as their friends and future families. Last, but certainly not least, I want to be sure that my kids understand that they are part of a bigger picture and that it is incumbent upon all of us to look out for one another and do what we can to make a difference – no matter how big or how small.
JFL is a nonprofit organization that provides interest-free loans to help support the needs of Arizona’s Jewish community. The interest-free loans provided help people maintain and secure safe housing, pay for utilities and other basic needs, assist with medical and dental expenses, and so much more. Learn more at jewishfreeloan.org.
Karianne Munstedt is a portrait photographer, inspirational speaker and coach. For more information, visit kariannemunstedt.com.