Jun 30, 2021
A native of Winston-Salem, Katherine Perry has dedicated most
of her professional career to the non-profit sector across the
state of North Carolina, including roles in public relations,
development, volunteer management, event planning, and community
engagement. Before assuming the role of Executive Director,
Katherine served Leadership Winston-Salem as the Program Director
from 2017 to 2021 and recently led the organization in its pivot to
a virtual environment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
ensuring the continued education and growth of community
1. Community engagement is the best way to expand your network
and create meaningful relationships that will help you improve your
community and provide opportunities for advancement. "I don't care
what you know until I know that you care"
*-LWS provides networking opportunities for alumni to connect
on a personal level, make new friends, find support groups, as well
as learn of other career paths (to name a few examples).
2. Community engagement goes a long way towards providing an
example of your ability to work with diverse populations. Leaders
that embrace these opportunities on boards and committees are
likely to work with a diverse spectrum of people from different
professional sectors and personal backgrounds. Working with people
who have different perspectives than you is the best way to learn
and grow and companies recognize this as a strength.
3. Both For and Non-Profits want employees that are committed
to and immersed in their community to ensure longevity. Their
investment in a new employee is for naught if they leave for
greener pastures less than a year after being hired because they
aren't connected to their community.
4. From a corporate perspective - community engagement is
critical to being respected and trusted by your constituents/
members of the community.
5. Increasing your network by engaging in your community
allows you to be a connector. This can catapult your worth in your
community as well as within your network. The ability to make
connections between people with resources and community
opportunities is an invaluable skill/ resource.
6. Community engagement is a great way to facilitate positive
change. If you love your job but loathe your community, you will
likely leave. Changing jobs means having to start over again
building equity with your employer and your community. "Bloom where
you are planted!"