Meet A Member: Tawny Alvarez

 Tawny Alvarez is a long-time Brick & Beam member and serves on the Membership & Programming committee.

Tawny Alvarez is a long-time Brick & Beam member and serves on the Membership & Programming committee.

Meet Tawny Alvarez, member of the Membership & Programming Committee, and Attorney at Verrill Dana, LLP. Let her share #WhyIBrickAndBeam

Q. Tell us a little about yourself (Born Mainer? Career? Off-time finds you…)

I’m a transplant from the granite state, but spent a lot of time in Southern Maine as a child and ultimately went to Thomas College in Waterville and fell in love with the breadth of the state and the people in it. Despite loving the state, I left for a decade before returning, experiencing New York, Pennsylvania, and Iowa, before ultimately returning and setting down roots. I’m a partner in Verrill Dana’s labor and employment practice group and when I’m not there, I’m likely visiting a local brewery, reading, or playing with my daughter on the beach.

Q. How did you hear about Brick & Beam? / How long have you been a member of B&B?

I learned about Brick & Beam through an informational session with Emily Hopkins. Everything she said about the group was exactly what I enjoyed doing, but at that time did not have an outlet to do it, and I was excited to see the direct impact myself and a group of my contemporaries could have on the local community. I’ve been a member for the last two and a half years.

Q. You’re a part of B&B, clearly you’re a doer— what else are you involved with in our shared community? How do you lean in?

I’m a board member of VISIT Portland, which focuses on tourism and marketing the great State of Maine to people who may be uninformed of its amazingness! I’m also on the Steering Committee of the Portland Museum of Art Contemporaries and a member of the Victoria Mansion Gaslight League. I believe that our community’s museums provide an amazing educational and cultural opportunity for our youth and simultaneously enjoy being a part of such amazing organizations. As to leaning in, if we treat each other and our environment with respect and take ownership of the things within our control (which often involves first educating ourselves on the issue), we help to make the world better— brick by brick— and that’s what really gets me through the day. It’s cool to be involved in an organization that does just that.

Q. Lastly, #WhyIBrickAndBeam, what would you say to someone on the fence of joining this dynamic group of doers? / How can they get involved?

Check us out and see if we are your people. There is a diverse group of people involved in the organization, but we all simultaneously are looking to be active members of the community we live and work in. We know how to laugh and have a good time while moving the ball forward and accomplishing important and necessary tasks in the community. Everyone’s time is valuable, and this group not only understands that, but accomplishes the goals it sets forth for itself.

Meet A Member: Emily Hopkins

 Brick & Beam Society member, Emily Hopkins, co-chairs the group's Steering Committee as well as co-chairing the Membership & Programming committee.

Brick & Beam Society member, Emily Hopkins, co-chairs the group's Steering Committee as well as co-chairing the Membership & Programming committee.

Meet Emily Hopkins, Co-Chair of the Membership & Programming Committee, and Senior Project Manager at Vets First Choice. Let her share #WhyIBrickAndBeam

Q. Tell us a little about yourself (Born Mainer? Career? Off-time finds you…)

While I’m not a born Mainer, I’m about as close as you can get, from right over the bridge in Portsmouth, NH. Coming to Maine 7 years ago, it quickly felt like home. Most recently, any free time I have is spent with my new puppy exploring the Eastern Prom and neighborhood that we call home. Lots of time spent running free on the beach, while we still can!

Q. How did you hear about Brick & Beam? / How long have you been a member of B&B?

Through my former position at Unum, I was connected to the United Way of Greater Portland to assist in some project work. Through many passionate conversations about what might be possible in this area and what our young leaders might be looking for, I found myself as a founding member and co-chair of the steering committee. I was part of a similar program when I was living in South Carolina experienced the connecting power a group like this can have. I was all in from the beginning!

Q. You’re a part of B&B, clearly you’re a doer— what else are you involved within our shared community? How do you lean in?

For me, Brick & Beam is my focus— it lets me explore new areas of my community I haven’t come into contact with, many in my own backyard. It allows me to flex my leadership skills and learn how to lead in a non-profit environment, as well as get my hands dirty with different volunteer and fundraising activities. Co-chairing the Steering Committee and Programming Committee has let me experience all aspects of this program— not just for myself but in helping build something sustainable that other peers can take part in and lean into as well.

Q. Lastly, #WhyIBrickAndBeam, what would you say to someone on the fence of joining this dynamic group of doers? / How can they get involved?

The piece for me that is most impactful is being able to see a difference in the community where we live and work. It is so easy to give globally— technology has helped us understand and be able to support needs around the world, which is a phenomenal power. But with that I feel like we lose focus on the immediate community we live in. Going to one event, volunteering or buying gloves for our mitten drive— you can have an immediate impact on the people we share this community with. That’s a powerful driver for getting and stating involved. Working on the micro level lets you have big impacts, and this group is a great platform to do that through!

Meet A Member: Ashley DiPietro

 Brick & Beam Society member, Ashley DiPietro, co-chairs the Membership & Programming committee and sits on the group's Steering Committee. 

Brick & Beam Society member, Ashley DiPietro, co-chairs the Membership & Programming committee and sits on the group's Steering Committee. 

Meet Ashley DiPietro, Co-Chair of the Membership & Programming Committee, and Development team member at Maine Medical Center. Let her share #WhyIBrickAndBeam

Q. Tell us a little about yourself (Born Mainer? Career? Off-time finds you…)

One of my favorite stories to tell about myself is that I was born in the hospital that I have since spent my entire career in. I find it especially fitting now, as a member of the Philanthropy team at Maine Medical Center, to know that my work each day positively impacts (among so many others) brand new babies and their parents who are starting their journey together as a new family – just as mine did so many years ago within the same walls. When I’m not at Maine Medical Center, you can find me eating up every precious minute with my 5 (!!) year old son, Levi or enjoying one of Portland’s many amazing happy hour spots.

Q. How did you hear about Brick & Beam? / How long have you been a member of B&B?

I first heard about Brick & Beam in its inaugural year when I was serving as a Loaned Executive for United Way of Greater Portland (learn more about the program here!) and I was immediately drawn to every single characteristic of its mission and overall purpose. The opportunity to come together with likeminded “doers” in my community to make extraordinarily tangible opportunities possible in support of early childhood education and childhood poverty in our area is one of the most rewarding things that I’m fortunate enough to be part of. This is my second year as a member and I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon.

Q. You’re a part of B&B, clearly you’re a doer— what else are you involved within our shared community? How do you lean in?

Within Break & Beam, I co-chair the membership and programming committee with Emily Hopkins and also serve on the Steering Committee. Outside of B&B, I am a member of Maine Medical Center’s United Way Campaign Cabinet and I sit on the Board of Directors at The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine which is my other great passion in life. Aside from these formal volunteer “jobs” I am lucky enough to have, I volunteer whenever I can – especially where the opportunity exists for me to bring my son along to partake in the activity.

Q. Lastly, #WhyIBrickAndBeam, what would you say to someone on the fence of joining this dynamic group of doers? / How can they get involved?

The barrier I hear most from peers and colleagues my age or in similar walks of life is the worry of time commitment. Brick & Beam is such a perfect emerging leaders group in that you have the flexibility to be as involved or not as your schedule allows. For example, I sit on two committees, both of which meet once a month from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM – this is doable for me. If it weren’t, I would be welcomed to be a member and enjoy all the perks – networking, membership events, various volunteer opportunities, etc. for as long as I wanted. If you’re on the fence, I encourage you to join us for events and/or reach out to any current member who I’m sure would love to tell you all the reasons why s/he continues to show up for this amazing organization.

Brick & Beam Society's Inaugural Annual Meeting: Laying the Foundation for 2018

Thank you for those who were able to join us last month at our event titled Brick & Beam Society's Inaugural Annual Meeting: Laying the Foundation for 2018. We hope you enjoyed our speakers on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the leadership of Brick & Beam on the year-in-review! 

One of many key takeaway from Dr. Steve DiGiovanni and Rebecca Brown, LCSW was [that] this remains "a message of hope" (PDF of slides are available upon request, full video available here).

Brick & Beam, again was honored to be hosting Dr. Stephen DiGiovanni and Rebecca Brown, LCSW as our keynote speakers discussing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs, we know, have a direct relationship to our work within early childhood with regards to health and learning impacts.