Emily Goodstein: The warm workplace
Emily Goodstein, Betsy Gressler’s employee, is a 29-year-old “client success manager” for Blackbaud, named by Forbes magazine as one of the 100 best small companies in America in 2010.
One recent Monday afternoon, Goodstein took over a medium-size conference room at the sprawling Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in Prince George’s County. Her job was to moderate a panel called “Out of the Box — Advocacy Superheroes,” in which nonprofitworkers discussed using software to attract and educate donors in tough economic times.
This was Goodstein’s first public appearance for Blackbaud. She was hard to miss in a bold, black dress with white polka dots, cinched with a bright red belt. As she encouraged panelists to talk about their online fundraising experiences, she doled out tips to the audience on making Web sites more donor-friendly. She had asked a friend to tweet updates about the panel and checked her smartphone frequently for tweets and hashtags during her panel and throughout the day.
A little over two years ago, Goodstein realized she was getting tired of working at a nonprofit women’s health organization where she had spent four years. As she puts it, “I had lost the Elvis.” She sought a professional coach to help her figure out what she wanted to do.
The coach suggested she spend a week searching newspapers, magazines and the Internet for her dream job. She came up with an eclectic mix: social manager for Blue Bunny ice cream? Not on the East Coast. Zappos, the shoe discounter? Based in Nevada. Too far and she’d spend her whole paycheck on boots, she joked.
A friend posted on Facebook a job opening at Convio, a computer software firm (purchased this year by Blackbaud). Goodstein was intrigued. She had graduated in sociology/human services from George Washington University in 2005 and had a soft spot for nonprofit organizations.
She also knew that work schedules tended to be more flexible at technology companies. That was important, because she enjoyed several side pursuits: commercial photography, the board of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, her personal blog and collaboration on a cookbook featuring recipes from Washington chefs, “Washington, DC Chef’s Table.”