31 Days of Gratitude - In an attempt to publicly express my gratitude for the people that have impacted me in some way in 2015, I'm setting out to write one post a day sharing what I appreciate about them or what moment that marked me. Some of these people I know well, some I've only met, and some I'm just getting to know. There is no ranking to these posts and they aren't meant to put anyone on a pedestal. They, like you and I, are imperfect people with their own flaws, some you may have experienced. Despite those flaws, I believe we all need to have our positive characteristics called into light and celebrated. This is that attempt. 

Coming from an advertising agency background where resources and creativity flowed widely to a no-budget nonprofit organization has continued to be one of my greatest frustrations at NL. I'm constantly dreaming up ideas on how to better position NL in the community from a marketing, branding, and communication perspective. It matters greatly to our growth and success, and I'm always feeling limited in what I can do. However, I've been capable of doing a ton of great stuff because so many people have invested their time pro-bono or at a significant discount over the years to help us. There are many I'm grateful for when I think about it. 

At this time last year, creative work for our website, Team NL, and a whole host of other NL projects was backing up. It was going to be too costly and the timeline too short to hire it all out, so I had the idea of hiring a design intern, which I had never done before. It turned out to be one of the great decisions of 2015 because of Lily Fenoglio. We had some other great candidates, but I connected to Lily because of her natural ability, desire to work and learn, and something in her spirit that I  knew connected to the position we were in at NL at the time. Lily was the perfect fit and she did a ton of great stuff for us. 

I'm grateful for Lily far beyond all the "work" she did for us, which was great. I appreciated how she wanted to jump right in on design projects as well as a volunteer on projects. Her creativity was a breathe of fresh air every day in the office and the fact that she was accomplishing everything I wanted to be working relieved some of the tension I have with feeling constantly under-resourced in the communication realm of NL. Lily ended up interning for us for a solid 5-months of time and became a part of our team. We were sad to see her head to Ashville, NC in May, but knew it was the adventure she needed as a person. 

Since then, Lily has run her first half-marathon on behalf of Team NL and raised some dollars for us, which helped fund a roof. She's an advocate for our work and will always be a member of our NL team. Thank you, Lily, for being exactly what NL and I needed in 2015. Like everyone else you've impacted in FW, we wish you were still around, but are glad to see you doing well in NC. 

AuthorAndrew Hoffman