Meet Kayla Lemmon of Executive Director, Inc. - Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC)
YNPN Milwaukee's February Featured Member
Kayla (Badger) with her Michigan sisters
What is your experience in the nonprofit sector?
My experience in the nonprofit sector began mainly as volunteer positions. I served a term as a founding board member of Sisters By Grace Foundation (SBG), an alumnae run non-profit organization in direct support of the sisters of Sigma Alpha Omega, Christian Sorority, Inc.® At the same time, I held a board position in my local chapter of Interfaith Older Adult Programs, helping to organize fundraising efforts and outreach to support the elderly community.
After serving my first term for SBG, I was then voted in for a three year term to sit on Sigma Alpha Omega, Christian Sorority, Inc® Board of Directors, serving my first year as Vice President (mainly managing and directing our philanthropic and service activities sorority wide) and my second year as Expansion Director (reaching out to universities and helping to start and found new SAO chapters).
My experience continued to grow as I accepted and currently hold a position at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), an organization managed by EDI (an association management company) in their education department. Specifically I work to develop their scientific programming at their annual meeting, in collaboration with leading researchers and oncologists in the field.
I look forward to continued work and volunteering in the nonprofit sector!
What is your favorite nonprofit event or program?
While I do enjoy networking and social opportunities with other non-profit professionals, I must say that my own non-profit’s meeting (SITC’s Annual Meeting & Associated Programs) is my favorite! While I may be biased because I spend my entire year planning for its implementation, it is a great time for me to grow professionally – making note of what worked, what didn’t, things to improve, etc.
Who do you look up to as a professional mentor or role model?
I look up to Nadine Couto as a role model. I’ve had the privilege of working with her for almost two years and learn something from her almost every day. Whether its questions to ask while planning a program or how to remain cool, calm and collected in the midst of program implementation, she has been a true inspiration. Seeing how she started at EDI in 2002, was a founding member of YNPN, juggles other volunteering efforts and being the Director of Meetings for SITC, I am truly honored to work with her and continue to learn from her.
How has networking proven beneficial to you?
Networking has been a necessity in helping to advance me in my career. It has helped me to connect with other professionals in the nonprofit and education sector which has allowed me to share ideas in terms of program formation, best practices, and more. In terms of professional development, networking has allowed me to engage with younger professionals that are in similar stages of their career path and has cultivated a community that helps each other develop the goals and skills that will move us forward in our industries. The most beneficial part of networking, however, is discussing how to further our professional development in terms of certifications. It has been fun researching project and program management certifications with colleagues and peers, discussing next steps and what we feel is important to obtain from these certifications.
Why did you join YNPN Milwaukee?
I originally heard of YNPN from Nadine Couto, but decided to join after Ilona Gonzalez, a fellow SITC colleague, introduced me to the opportunities that could be found by joining YNPN. I look forward to exploring membership within the organization and hopefully joining a committee and providing any help if needed!
Connect with Kayla on LinkedIn!