Time to Connect

Posted on Apr 28, 2014 by Gwendy Donaker Brown


Last week Opportunity Fund held our first-ever all staff retreat to give our statewide team a chance to build stronger relationships, learn from one another and have fun. With a team of over 60 people spread across California, more and more of our team work is done virtually. So it’s even more important to invest in making sure we are connected by actually spending time physically together.

So who makes up Opportunity Fund?
We are a diverse group - more than half our team is fluent in Spanish and we also speak another 9 languages.  We are recent immigrants and lifelong Californians. We are salespeople, accountants, financial coaches, fundraisers, operations specialists, advocates and more. Together we bring our microfinance theory of change to life – small amounts of money and large amounts of time to help our clients achieve lasting economic well-being.

When you get so many diverse and passionate people together, great things happen. With special thanks to Microsoft who generously hosted our retreat at their Mountain View conference center, the event was as unique as our organization. Everyone dug deep to share their personal story of where they come from and why they do this important but challenging work.

An assortment of staff and volunteers led sessions including:

- Understanding Opportunity Fund’s Financial Statements

- Mindfulness: Be Here Now

- Changes to the Small Business Lending Landscape

- Effective Teamwork

- How to Answer the Question “Where Do You Work”?

And towards the end of the retreat we had some much needed fun time together, making four mini-movies titled The Game, Impact: Change the GameGenesis and Micro Fantasy.  The Game  was the top winner of the night taking home the awards for "Best Performance" for Miguel Angel, "Best Soundtrack" for Erica and Danielle and "Best Movie". Genesis was close second winning "Best Director" for Stephanie and "Best Movie".


I'm constantly amazed by the creativity and willingness of my coworkers to do what it takes, whether it’s to make their first short film or help an enterprising family achieve their goals.

All Staff Picture


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