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Business Partner Highlight: Erica Penner

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland

SVP Business Partner Brighton Jones is a financial wellbeing company that works with families and individuals to align wealth, passions, and purpose, so that the clients can pursue a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. They joined our Partnership in 2020 because they are a philanthropically-minded organization that wants to give employees opportunities to engage with SVP and our Community Partners. Erica Penner was one of its first employees who was eager to engage.

Q: What is it like to be in a Business Partnership with SVP?

A: Simply put, it provides opportunities to create meaningful impact in the community and connect with wonderful people across Portland who are passionate about making a difference. During our onboarding we learned from Rose and Matt what it looked like in action to be a Business Partner. They shared all the ways we could engage in the community, support SVP’s various projects and programs, and how we could pair our expertise with existing needs.

Q: How have you engaged at SVP, and what do you enjoy about the Partnership?

A: Coaching is a passion of mine, so I was excited when I connected with Jodi Hummer, an SVP Partner and coach, and she told me about the coaching skills training opportunity that she was leading. I’ve enjoyed the feeling of being able to immediately jump in and contribute, as well as the opportunities to connect with Partners in a variety of ways.

Q: How were you involved with the coaching team?

A: During the first part of 2021, I supported the coaching skills training program initiated by Jodi. With so much rich content to cover, we worked together with SVP Partner Dick Eaton to create a training experience that was available to all SVP Partners who were interested in participating. Once the training culminated, we asked what SVP Partners needed to keep momentum going, and the answer from everyone was: practice! So, we created a Community of Practice where we have a safe space to try coaching skills and learn from each other. These will be ongoing, with a mix of those with no coaching experience and those with exposure to these skills. The hope is to launch another training next year to continue sharing this valuable skill set with more SVP Partners!

Q: What have you gained through your SVP engagements?

A: I have personally gained the opportunity to connect with others in the community who are passionate about making a difference. I have had the privilege to learn about the wide variety of backgrounds, expertise, and careers of other SVP Partners along with the phenomenal organizations that we support as a collective. And lastly, through rich discussions and time spent working on projects and trainings, I have gained wonderful friendships along the way!

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