An impressive career that included stints as an attorney, administrative law judge and Chair of Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission, honed Beverly Jones Heydinger’s analytical and management skills. That combination of experiences made her a valuable resource to YWCA St. Paul’s Board and leadership team.
As the former Board Chair, Beverly was drawn to YW’s mission and work of eliminating racism and empowering women. “I’ve had a long-term commitment to women’s empowerment issues, as well as racial justice,” she explained. “When I was asked to join, I could see that the organization would benefit from a stronger Board and I enjoyed striving to have a leadership path for younger women of color to gain board experience.”
Attracting younger and more diverse talent to volunteer work is a priority for Beverly. “One of my goals as Chair was to ensure that board service doesn’t overwhelm you; it needs to be ‘doable’ as people juggle work and family, in addition to volunteering. My goal is to ensure that being retired is not a prerequisite for serving as Board chair.”
Board service isn’t the only way you can support a nonprofit, advises Beverly. “I tell people not to be afraid – just jump in and start volunteering for an organization that has a mission you care about. If you have the passion and the skills, it will be recognized, and you will be asked to take on greater responsibilities.”
Beverly sees the year-end gift to YW from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott as a “huge opportunity that needs to be leveraged” and she views it as a way for the organization to expand its reach in a sustainable way. “Even though my term as Board Chair has ended, I remain very enthusiastic about continuing to support the work of YWCA St. Paul!”