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Mission Matters

Business & Economics Podcasts

This is the Mission Matters podcast, where we feature successful, mission-driven leaders committed to creating a positive change in the world. Our mission with this channel is to inspire other leaders by providing industry insights, new ideas, and inspiring stories from the pros!


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This is the Mission Matters podcast, where we feature successful, mission-driven leaders committed to creating a positive change in the world. Our mission with this channel is to inspire other leaders by providing industry insights, new ideas, and inspiring stories from the pros!




Nancy Wiersum of Loaves & Fishes Community Services

Nancy Wiersum is the Executive Vice President of Advancement for Loaves & Fishes Community Services, an anti-poverty, hunger relief agency providing food and leadership to the Naperville and DuPage areas. With a wealth of experience in nonprofit leadership, she has held executive positions at renowned organizations such as the Robert Crown Center for Health Education and 360 Youth Services. Nancy is also a seasoned speaker and writer, having authored columns in multiple publications simultaneously and hosted NCTV17’s television show spotlighting nonprofit organizations for eight years, interviewing over 1,000 individuals. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Nancy has received prestigious awards such as the Paul Harris Fellowship award and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce “Woman Who Inspires” award. In this episode… Over time, food pantries have evolved to meet the changing needs of communities, yet there remain gaps in access and resources. How can programs like these overcome such challenges and work to bridge the divide? Food pantries like Loaves & Fishes play a critical role in supporting communities and providing essential resources to those in need. Community advocate Nancy Wiersum has witnessed firsthand how the organization addresses community needs while striving to create long-term solutions by offering vital services to individuals and families facing food insecurity. One of Loaves & Fishes' standout initiatives is its CARES programs, which provide comprehensive support to individuals and families, including access to nutritious food, financial assistance, and educational resources. These programs alleviate immediate hunger and empower individuals to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith hosts Nancy Wiersum, Executive Vice President of Advancement for Loaves & Fishes Community Services, to explore the profound impact of food pantries on communities. Nancy delves into the mission of Loaves & Fishes, highlighting its services and CARES programs. She also shares valuable insights gained from navigating the challenges posed by the pandemic, highlighting the organization's resilience and adaptability.


Mike Briggs of Little Friends

Mike Briggs is the President and CEO of Little Friends, a nonprofit agency supporting the needs of individuals and families dealing with developmental disabilities and autism. With over 35 years of experience leading private and nonprofit organizations as President, CEO, and COO, Mike has a proven track record of success. His expertise spans various sectors, including manufacturing, where he oversees end-to-end operations. Beyond his corporate roles, Mike serves on multiple boards and as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Millikin University. In addition to his strategic finance, sales, and marketing expertise, he is renowned for his expertise in lean manufacturing disciplines. Recently, Mike's leadership was honored with his selection as one of the Titan 100, which recognizes top executives in Chicago. In this episode… Intellectual disabilities have far-reaching implications, affecting individuals and their families. Given that all parties involved have distinctive struggles and challenges, how can comprehensive support and services be designed to address these needs effectively? Top executive Mike Briggs highlights organizations like Little Friends, which offers a comprehensive approach to support, mainly through its family care team and various support groups. These resources provide invaluable assistance and guidance to families navigating the complexities of caring for loved ones with intellectual disabilities, offering a network of support. Moreover, Mike emphasizes Little Friends' commitment to assessing and measuring its impact on the community. By implementing robust community impact measurement strategies, the organization can gauge its effectiveness, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that its programs and services continue to meet the evolving needs of individuals and families facing intellectual disabilities. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith sits down with Mike Briggs, President and CEO of Little Friends, delving into the organization's profound impact on individuals with intellectual disabilities. Mike navigates through his career trajectory and transition into the nonprofit sector, shedding light on Little Friends' mission, its extensive range of services, and the pivotal role of the family care team and additional support groups.


Jung Family Painting: A Community Partner

Bob and Judy Jung are the Founders and Co-owners of Jung Family Painting, a family-operated painting and decorating business offering paint products, doors, fences, crews, and more. Specializing in interior and exterior painting for residential and commercial properties, they extend their expertise to staining decks, doors, fences, and more. Commemorating two decades of service, Jung Family Painting's primary area encompasses the Western suburbs of Naperville and nearby regions. In the spirit of community engagement, Judy and Bob are marking their company's 20th anniversary by offering $20,000 worth of complimentary painting projects to local nonprofits this year. Their commitment to philanthropy also includes supporting Little Friends through three annual fundraisers, reflecting their passion for giving back to the community. In this episode… Navigating the complexities of business is a perpetual journey, and even the most successful ventures encounter challenges. Whether grappling with leadership obstacles or mastering the delicate art of delegation, the question remains — what proven strategies can businesses employ to triumph over hurdles and forge a path to success by learning from past mistakes? In an open and insightful discussion, veteran entrepreneurs Bob and Judy Jung unveil their leadership challenges on their business journey. Their conversation delves into the pivotal role of a business coach, shedding light on the progressive impact such guidance can have for business owners. As the narrative unfolds, the Jungs share intricate strategies they've employed to drive business growth, emphasizing the importance of delegation and operational procedures. Furthermore, they emphasize the power of expanding business horizons through strategic networking groups and cultivating partnerships that contribute to mutual growth and community philanthropy. On today’s episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith engages in a dynamic conversation with Bob and Judy Jung, the Founders and Co-owners of Jung Family Painting. Beyond the strokes of paint, the Jungs unravel the art of community engagement, discussing their philanthropic endeavors, leadership triumphs, and the transformative role of a business coach in the entrepreneurial journey.


Ride Assist Naperville

Ashley Abraham is the Executive Director at Ride Assist Naperville, which provides seniors with affordable and dependable transportation to and from medical appointments. She joined RAN in 2021 and leverages her extensive background in working with nonprofit organizations. Over the past decade, Ashley has accumulated experience collaborating with small and nonprofit businesses. Beyond her professional pursuits, Ashley shares her art and marketing talents as a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. In this episode… As individuals age, they may face difficulties in driving due to health issues or other constraints, limiting their ability to commute to various destinations independently. How can society address these challenges and explore potential solutions? Communities across the United States are recognizing the importance of ensuring reliable transportation services for seniors, with programs like Ride Assist playing a crucial role. Seniors advocate Ashley Abraham sheds light on the unique design of Ride Assist, emphasizing its commitment to providing seniors with accessible transportation, particularly for medical appointments. While the primary focus is on healthcare-related travel, Ride Assist demonstrates flexibility by occasionally catering to a diverse range of services, showcasing its dedication to meeting the varied needs of older individuals in the community. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith welcomes Ashley Abraham, the Executive Director of Ride Assist Naperville, to delve into the program's mission, services, target audience, and future goals.


NAMI DuPage - A Leader in Mental Health Support

Geri Kerger is the Executive Director of NAMI DuPage, a national organization providing support, advocacy, and education for people with mental illness and their families. As a dedicated nonprofit executive, she brings a wealth of experience in program management and administration to her role. Geri excels in resource development for nonprofits, employing strategic and innovative methods to communicate an agency's message and amplify its impact effectively. Beyond her executive responsibilities, Geri contributes to academia as an adjunct faculty member at National Louis University in the Greater Chicago Area, specializing in human services and law courses. Her multifaceted expertise reflects an unwavering commitment to advancing the mission of NAMI DuPage and supporting the broader nonprofit community. In this episode… The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the United States. Its unique model is committed to hiring individuals with lived experiences to facilitate key programs. This combination of firsthand experience, training, and education contributes to the organization’s distinctiveness. How does NAMI stand out as a mental health advocate trailblazer in DuPage County? Geri Kerger’s dedication to mental health advocacy is rooted in a personal commitment to making a difference in individuals and families facing mental health challenges. Her decision to work with NAMI reflects a shared vision of fostering understanding, support, and resources for those navigating the complexities of mental health. From educational programs to support groups, NAMI addresses the diverse needs of individuals affected by mental health conditions. One of the noteworthy aspects of NAMI DuPage's initiatives is its focus on mental health programs tailored for children, such as Ending the Silence. Beyond direct services, NAMI DuPage engages in advocacy programs that work towards influencing positive change in mental health policies through forming alliances with the local court system. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith welcomes Geri Kerger, Executive Director of NAMI DuPage, for an in-depth conversation about the organization. Geri provides valuable insights into the diverse range of programs NAMI offers and sheds light on DuPage County's impactful role as an advocate and support system for mental health initiatives.


The DuPage Foundation: DuPage County's Philanthropic Leader

Michael Sitrick is the President and CEO of the DuPage Foundation, a charitable organization established to improve the quality of health, education, and human services in DuPage County. In his roles, Michael spearheads efforts to expand the organization’s capacity and influence. Additionally, he helps shape the foundation’s strategic vision by forging community partnerships and assisting individuals in realizing their philanthropic objectives. With a wealth of leadership experience, Michael’s background is rooted in philanthropy and community engagement. He is a dedicated community connector and volunteer leader who actively engages in volunteer work, further strengthening his ties to the community. In this episode… The DuPage Foundation is a beacon of community development and philanthropy. Established to enhance the quality of life in DuPage County, how has it significantly impacted the community? As a certified fundraising executive, Michael Sitrick explains the foundation has awarded over $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in DuPage County. These grants have funded many projects, including early childhood education access, affordable housing, environmental protection, and arts and culture. The foundation has also played a key role in supporting the development of DuPage County's parks, trails, and other recreational amenities. Additionally, its grants have helped improve thousands of lives in DuPage County. Its charitable acts have also helped create a more vibrant and sustainable community. The DuPage Foundation’s efforts have strengthened communities and created a long-lasting impact. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith welcomes Michael Sitrick, President and CEO of the DuPage Foundation, for an in-depth conversation about the foundation. In addition to sharing the foundation’s mission and its growth over the years, Michael expounds on the DuPage Community Transformation Project and the challenges of implementing year-end giving initiatives.


Serenity House Programs and Leadership

Mark Buschbacher is the President and CEO of Serenity House Counseling Services, a substance abuse and community-centric support system helping addicts develop innovative processes to approach life to gain freedom for a fresh start. At Serenity House, Mark leverages his background in operational efficiency, talent acquisition, and performance management to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. Mark is a leader and business partner who effectively drives improved efficiency, cost management, and strategic growth. He participates in due diligence and integration of mergers and acquisitions that significantly position organizations for success. His background spans from P&L management roles to HR planning and implementation in retail, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. In this episode… In the fast-paced and often stressful world we live in, the need for substance abuse support has become crucial. Serenity House Counseling Services emerges as a beacon of hope, providing compassionate and professional services to people pursuing guidance and support on their journey to wellness. How does Serenity aim to break silence and stigmas while empowering generations? Serenity House Counseling Services started as a humble endeavor, operating out of an abandoned farm and staffed by over 600 volunteers who openly express vulnerability. Such passion and commitment continue to be the foundation for the organization today. Serenity offers residential care and recovery home programs for adult men and women. Unlike traditional recovery programs that typically last 45 to 90 days, Serenity works with its clients for up to two years. Facility head Mark Buschbacher explains that longer recovery periods increase the chances of lifelong sobriety. While in residential care, Serenity staff helps clients find employment and provides transportation to and from work. After completing their stay in residential care, clients are released to a halfway house, which helps them take the next steps to reintegrate into society as healthy, happy, and responsible individuals. On today’s episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith converses with Mark Buschbacher, the President and CEO of Serenity House Counseling Services. Mark delves into Serenity’s dedication to aiding long-term substance abusers to achieve and maintain sobriety through a holistic approach. He also shares what attracted him to joining Serenity House’s team, the facility's services and programs, and how they differentiate themselves from other recovery programs.


The American Hearing Research Foundation

Joan Wincentsen is the Executive Director of the American Hearing Research Foundation, a 67-year-old nonprofit funding hearing loss, balance disorders, and cause prevention research. Joan possesses over 20 years of nonprofit experience, including association management, where she’s honed her skills in fundraising, budget management, program development, and marketing. Before joining AHRF, Joan was the Executive Director of Conquer Myasthenia Gravis, a patient advocacy organization. In this episode… Hearing loss is the third most prevalent issue among older adults, affecting an estimated 40-48 million Americans. Of that number, 28.8 million could benefit from hearing aids. How can we increase awareness of this issue and help more affected people? The American Hearing Research Foundation aims to raise funds and awareness for hearing loss and its many causes and symptoms, including imbalance, vertigo, and tinnitus. Joan Wincentsen, a leader at the organization, explains that hearing impairments can have far-reaching consequences, such as the inability to learn or perform well in school or at work. Furthermore, disorders and debilitating diseases like Ménière disease that cause hearing loss can lead to isolation and suicidal thoughts. Join Paul Feith on today’s episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, where Joan Wincentsen, Executive Director of the American Hearing Research Foundation, joins the show. Joan shares her inspiration for joining AHRF, the organization’s mission, and why research and funding are imperative to curing and treating hearing loss.


Thinking Like a 21st-Century Non-Profit Leader

Rick Lochner is the President and CEO of RPC Leadership Associates, a leadership and business consultancy that helps develop entrepreneurs, executives, nonprofit board members, and professionals. He honed his skills while serving 11 years in the military, leading soldiers in challenging environments worldwide. Upon leaving the Army, Rick spent the next 18 years in corporate leadership, ranging from front-line management to senior executive management. He successfully led organizations in Fortune 100 corporations and privately held entrepreneurial ventures in various industries. Rick is a revered coach, facilitator, and workshop and keynote speaker. He has also authored seven books, including Finding the Missing Piece: The Impact of Effective Communications on Sustainable Success. Rick graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. In this episode… Because foundations hold agencies more accountable for their budget spending, the idea of feel-good funding is less prevalent. So how can nonprofit business leaders operate a sustainable organization and serve their target demographic? Rick Lochner, a thought leader in charitable organizations, argues that nonprofit directors must adapt their thinking to the 21st century. One way to do this is to adopt the following five pillars: social enterprise, storytelling, social media, partnerships, and measures of success. Social enterprises differ from traditional charitable agencies in planning operations and seeking financing rather than relying on grant allocations. It is, therefore, imperative to create impactful narratives that will amass more donations and partnerships. Organizations can use social media to share these stories and connect with potential donors and partners. Finally, nonprofit leaders must establish measures of success so that they can track their progress and make necessary adjustments. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith once again welcomes Rick Lochner, President and Head Coach at RPC Leadership Associates, to discuss the five pillars of thinking like a 21st-century non-profit leader. Rick explains the difference between thinking versus doing, the social enterprise model, and why storytelling is essential to a nonprofit’s mission.


Healthy Aging and Ageism

Suzanne Kinsey is the Executive Director of Fox Valley Community Services, an organization assisting seniors with homemaker services, adult day care, transportation, home delivery meals, and more. She brings 30 years of healthcare experience to FVCS, including leadership roles in various nonprofit organizations, such as Regional Vice President at Help at Home and Assisted Living Director at The Holmstad in Batavia. Suzanne is also experienced in working with deaf people and is fluent in sign language. Additionally, she’s trained in crisis intervention and supporting individuals with Alzheimer's and in-patient psychiatric programs. In this episode… Statistics show over 600,000 US citizens will be older than 60 in the next 10 years. In addition to biological changes, aging is often associated with other life transitions, such as retirement and moving to more suitable housing. How does this influence healthy aging? According to healthcare professional Suzanne Kinsey, health is multidimensional, encompassing physical, mental, and cognitive well-being. Social interaction and economics also contribute to overall health. As people age, they may experience ageism, creating challenges such as finding well-paying jobs. This can lead to poverty, making accessing healthy foods and healthcare difficult. Additionally, older adults may not be able to afford medications. Suzanne asserts that more resources are needed for aging populations as the number of older adults increases. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith welcomes Suzanne Kinsey, Executive Director of Fox Valley Community Services, to talk about ageism and how it affects individuals’ abilities to age healthily. Suzanne shares what leadership represents, contributing factors to aging positively and negatively, and the resources Fox Valley Community Services provides.


Leadership in Rotary

Rich Tatara is an active member and President of the Rotary Club of Naperville, a worldwide network of people in action triumphing over community issues through leadership and community building. He is an experienced global leader in telecommunications and IT and a retiree at Tellabs, where he worked for 22 years. Throughout his Tellabs career, Rich held several senior leadership positions, including Vice President of Global Marketing, Vice President of North American Sales, and General Manager of the Global Services Business Unit. Rich spends much of his time giving back to communities. He’s an active member of the Three Fires Council and Boy Scouts of America, Chairman of the Voters Assembly at Bethany Lutheran Church and School, and a Tax Aide for the AARP Foundation. In this episode… The Rotary Club has a long history in Chicagoland, particularly in Naperville. However, despite having four locations, its leadership still faces challenges in recruiting new members and spreading its mission. So, what is the Rotary Club, and what are the benefits of joining? Rotary clubs are known for being the world's oldest and most prestigious service club. They connect a network of people of action to provide humanitarian services, promote goodwill, and encourage high ethical standards. Rich Tatara, an active organization member, explains Rotary offers various committees for individuals with diverse talents, including finance, membership, public relations, youth service, and fundraising committees. In addition to making a difference in their communities, Rotarians of the Naperville chapter can sharpen their leadership skills via its leadership program, which hosts several annual events. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith welcomes Rich Tatara, President of the Rotary Club of Naperville, to discuss the organization and its mission. Rich also shares the Rotary Club’s contributions to society, the challenges of leading Rotary, and how people can benefit as members of the organization.


Processes in Leadership

Adam Russo is the Founder of Reliable Coaching and Strategy, a coaching consultancy helping organizations manage people, processes, and strategies. He’s also the Founder of Edgewood Clinical Services, a full-service mental healthcare provider for all ages. Before exiting the company after 16 years, Adam grew the organization to eight figures in revenue, 140 employees, and served thousands of clients annually. The quality of care, combined with business strategy for growth, resulted in Edgewood being twice as listed on the Inc. 5000 list for the fastest-growing businesses in the US. In June 2020, Adam partnered with LifeStance Health, where he led 1,200 employees across four states and was responsible for $100 million in revenue. In this episode… The people-process framework is a methodology that balances people and processes to drive action and achieve business growth. However, the success of this strategy is dependent on the leader. What should leaders consider when implementing this type of structure? As business leader Adam Russo explains, executives in leadership roles should focus on employee work ethic, workplace culture, and business operations. And even though there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to measuring work efficiency, organizations should be able to determine a value for the dollar in terms of meeting deliverables and deadlines. In addition, businesses incur costs when there is high turnover, but a solution to employee retention is creating a safe and engaging work environment. Having standard operating procedures in place, such as processes for onboarding, an overview for the initial two weeks, and job duties, also aids in retention. Adam also advises updating SOPs, which significantly impacts business growth regarding inaccuracies and productivity. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith welcomes Adam Russo, Founder of Reliable Coaching and Strategy, to discuss a purposeful people-process strategy. Adam shares his career trajectory and what inspired him to start his coaching consultancy. He also talks about work ethic, employee motivation, and compensation in the wake of inflation, and how workplace culture and operations impact business growth.


Thinking Differently About Non-Profit Leadership

Rick Lochner is the President and CEO of RPC Leadership Associates, a leadership and business consultancy that helps develop entrepreneurs, executives, nonprofit board members, and professionals. He honed his skills while serving 11 years in the military, leading soldiers in challenging environments worldwide. Upon leaving the Army, Rick spent the next 18 years in corporate leadership, ranging from front-line management to senior executive management. He successfully led organizations in Fortune 100 corporations and privately held entrepreneurial ventures in various industries. Rick is a revered coach, facilitator, and workshop and keynote speaker. He has also authored seven books, including Finding the Missing Piece: The Impact of Effective Communications on Sustainable Success. Rick graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. In this episode… A 2018 published report revealed that approximately 7% of charities become insolvent because they lack business acumen. How can nonprofit agencies fulfill their mission without being confined to budget limitations? Seasoned leader Rick Lochner has over 20 years of experience leading companies, including Fortune 500. After noticing a gap in the management of nonprofits, he wanted to offer his expertise while helping charities change the world. Most philanthropic organizations operate within an allotted budget, which is a non-scalable business model. While nonprofits focus on a mission, exploring alternative sources of revenue generation can help bolster scalability and impact. Rick coaches nonprofit leaders and boards to help them work within the confines of a traditional business that generates revenue. Rick also explains that charitable groups are more likely to succeed by formulating a growth-oriented strategy. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast with Paul Feith, Rick Lochner, President and Head Coach at RPC Leadership Associates, discusses alternative methods to lead nonprofit organizations. Rick shares his leadership background and how he became involved in nonprofits, the differences between social enterprises and traditional charities, and why nonprofits should operate like conventional businesses.


Pillar-Based Marketing

Paul Feith is the President of Paul Gregory Media, a mission-based digital marketing agency that offers services such as branding, marketing campaigns, social media management, SEO, advertising, and fundraising. Paul is a self-described computer and technology nerd who started his first entrepreneurial venture as the owner of Compu-Tech, a database programming company. After a long career in corporate America as a new media manager for various dot-com startups, he founded PGM. Paul uses his passion for volunteering at mission-based organizations by sharing his expertise in technology and marketing at various nonprofit organizations, including serving on the boards for Habitat for Humanity of Illinois, Giving DuPage, The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Social Responsibility Chicago. He is also active with The Rotary Club of Naperville In this episode… Pillar-based marketing — which has evolved over the past years — is a hierarchy of landing pages and blog posts built on SEO strategy. How can your company benefit from this marketing strategy? Upon its inception, only large conglomerates could afford pillar-based marketing, which cost between $20,000-$30,000 per month. Thanks to modern-day technologies like AI and other content automation tools, it’s affordable for nonprofits and small to medium organizations, ranging between $3500-$8000. With the assistance of content automation, AI identifies keywords, topics, bullet points, and heading tags, giving marketers ideas for blog posts. So, not only is pillar-based marketing cost-effective, but it’s also time-effective, cutting research by 90%. Although this type of marketing is attractive, it benefits companies utilizing SEO for at least two years and produces results within 30-90 days. As Paul Feith muses more on the topic, these are just some of the many advantages of pillar-based marketing. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Chad Franzen of Rise25 once again flips the script to interview host Paul Feith about pillar-based marketing. Paul discusses the costs of using pillar-based marketing, how AI enhances marketing research, and how companies can benefit from pillar-based marketing.


The Three Challenges Leaders Face Today

Sarah Grycko-Oprzedek is the President and CEO of United Way of Will County, an organization that champions the self-sufficiency, health, safety, and education of the residents in Will County. She’s been a loyal servant leader of the United Way for 17 years, beginning her career as a Community Relations Manager and progressing up the ladder into senior leadership. Before United Way, Sarah worked in Human Resources and Employee Relations at Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions. Through her HR experience, education in psychology and social work, and commitment to making a difference, Sarah found her passion within corporate social responsibility and community relations to benefit the greater good. In this episode… A career in the nonprofit sector can be a rewarding experience, as it allows one to impact communities in need positively. However, leaders of philanthropic organizations face many challenges daily. Sarah Grycko-Oprzedek, a seasoned fundraising professional, explains that nonprofits face an unfortunate phenomenon known as "David versus Goliath." Under this pretense, legislation threatens charitable businesses with lawsuits to return illegally donated funds, also known as clawback donations. Another challenge leaders grapple with is employee churn caused by lack of funding. This results in ineffective disbursement of duties, inundating staff with heavier workloads. As a result, maintaining a healthy work-life balance becomes arduous, as leaders and staff members exceed the standard 40-hour work week, sometimes clocking 50-60-hour work weeks. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast with Paul Feith, Sarah Grycko-Oprzedek, President and CEO of United Way of Will County, discusses the challenges leaders face every day. Sarah talks about clawback donations, employment challenges within the nonprofit sector, and the complexities of achieving a work-life balance.


Digital Sustainability: Crafting a Digital Climate Plan

Tim Frick is the Founder and President of Mightybytes, a Chicago-based digital agency and Certified B Corporation helping nonprofits, social enterprises, and purpose-driven companies. He is also a speaker, community leader, and author on sustainable design and has published four books, including Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services. In addition to his work at Mightybytes, Tim is a former board member and board president at Climate Ride. He’s also a board member at Alliance for the Great Lakes, Co-chair at W3C’s Sustainable Web Design community group, and the Co-founder and Community Organizer for B Local Illinois, a foundation helping local and regional organizations attain social and environmental goals. In this episode… In many ways, the Internet makes our lives easier by providing instant communication, accessible information, online payment platforms, and the ability to work from home. But are you aware that the Internet pollutes the environment? Over the years, our reliance on electronic devices has led to the creation of digital waste — obsolete devices that have reached the end of their life cycle. Unwanted computers, cell phones, and other electronic equipment account for 60 million pounds of landfill waste and 3-5% of global emissions. However, according to Tim Frick, a pioneer in digital sustainability, we can decrease our digital footprint by practicing digital sustainability. Beyond donating and recycling older gadgets, Tim advocates for using energy-efficient web hosts. Individuals and companies can also create performance-enhanced digital products and services by reducing data payloads, optimizing smaller images, and decreasing page size. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast with Paul Feith, Tim Frick, Founder and President of Mightybytes, discusses digital sustainability — the process of incorporating environmental, economic, and social stewardship practices into digital products and services. Tim explains how digital waste impacts the environment, how the internet can be more sustainable, and provides nonprofits with ideas on supporting digital sustainability.


The Top Five Frequently Asked Questions About Hiring an Agency

Marissa Schmidt is the Marketing Director at Paul Gregory Media (PGM), an award-winning marketing agency driven by purpose. In her day-to-day role, Marissa interacts directly with clients and oversees the entire project lifecycle, from ideation to execution. She has over five years of digital marketing experience, including content strategy, graphic design, social media management, and effective communication. Beyond her project management duties at PGM, Marissa volunteers with PGM’s client partners and various community organizations, such as the Naperville Ribfest Sponsorship and Feed My Starving Children. In this episode… Mission-based marketing agencies like Paul Gregory Media (PGM) typically serve nonprofit and for-profit clients. Although these types of businesses generally have contrasting goals, they usually have similar questions and concerns, including brand awareness, various donation platforms, and the cost of hiring a marketing agency. Are you shopping for a freelance marketer or a full-service agency? How can they support your marketing needs? Whether the establishment is monetary or philanthropic, experienced marketer Marissa Schmidt explains that social media, blog posts, and email campaigns are the most cost-effective and organic methods to optimize brand awareness. Compiling a well-crafted message across all three touchpoints is essential to build trust and credibility. In terms of online or donor fundraising, platforms like DonorPerfect, Network for Good, and GiveWP allow nonprofits to collect and process donations securely. Additionally, these platforms can generate a donation history and an IRS tax receipt. When hiring a service agency, consider your budget and long-term goals. Although full-service agencies may perform one-time projects, purchasing a retainer between $2,000 and $12,000 is the best option since surplus funds roll over to the next month or year. However, regardless of each customer’s unique needs, a reliable agency will carefully guide them through the entire process from conceptualization to implementation. On today’s Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith sits with Paul Gregory Media’s Marketing Director, Marissa Schmidt, to ponder potential clients' common questions. Together, they address effective methods to promote brand awareness, leading donation platforms, the costs of building a website, and how marketing agencies charge for their services.


Lessons From a Leader

Shefali Trivedi is the Founder, President, and CEO of A Better We, a platform committed to empowering individuals and communities via resources, services, and curated events. With 30 years of experience in marketing, sales, and project management, Shefali has held various roles in the government and nonprofit sectors, including the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Before founding A Better We, she served as Giving DuPage’s Executive Director. Under her leadership, the organization increased volunteer engagement by 250% and launched its first-ever Giving Day event at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shefali is a prominent speaker at chambers, colleges, faith organizations, and community groups. In 2019, the Daily Herald Business Ledger recognized her with the Most Influential Women in Business award. In this episode… When working for charitable causes, it is essential to comprehend the risks associated with fundraising events. For instance, the weather may not be favorable, or, as in the case of 2020, an unforeseen pandemic could occur. How do you conquer these challenges without losing sight of your core mission? Shefali Trivedi has extensive experience in leading mission-based organizations and has learned valuable lessons in her previous roles, including the importance of persistence, changing organizational culture, taking risks, knowing your business model, and sales. She navigates her career with the mindset of understanding the trends in philanthropy and developing a business plan rather than relying on government funding alone. In some cases, it takes changing the organization's culture by proposing new plans. To plead one’s case, one must do their due diligence by conducting research, attending webinars, and having data and budgets to back up the proposals. Although transforming a culture may not happen expeditiously, being persistent and steadfast in your vision can help make substantial headway. These lessons have prepared Shefali well for her current role at A Better We, and now, she opens up about some of her greatest insights. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith interviews Shefali Trivedi, Founder, President, and CEO of A Better We, about the lessons she’s learned as a servant leader and the importance of having trust in your business model. Shefali shares her career trajectory, the challenges she overcame in her previous roles, and A Better We’s mission.


Programmatic Advertising: A New Frontier Into AI

Ashley Kratschmer is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Paul Gregory Media (PGM), a mission-based marketing agency dedicated to serving clients’ altruistic values. In her role at PGM, Ashley oversees all digital marketing tasks and is responsible for generating impressions, leads, and awareness for the agency's client base. Ashley’s five years of experience in the industry has allowed her to work on various marketing teams in consumer goods, higher education, and health and wellness. She enjoys using her marketing skills to help organizations in need. In this episode… Programmatic advertising is a type of digital advertising that uses software to buy and sell ad space. So why is this type of promotion more effective? Programmatic ads target specific demographics, interests, and online behaviors, making them more likely to be viewed by people curious about the advertised product or service. This leads to higher conversion rates, as more individuals who see the ad will likely take action, such as purchasing. Though Google Ads focuses on shoppers ready to make immediate purchases, programmatic ads promote products and services for future sales. So besides being cost-effective, programmatic ads are time-saving since marketers can automate them. In addition, you can measure campaign results by tracking conversion rates and investment returns. By monitoring these metrics, companies can see how well their campaigns perform and make necessary adjustments to improve their results. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith interviews Ashley Kratschmer, Digital Marketing Coordinator at Paul Gregory Media (PGM), about programmatic advertising. Ashley explains when and how to use programmatic ads, the difference between geofencing and retargeting, and when to optimize campaigns.


Insights From a Social Media Expert

Katrina Syrris is the Social Media Manager at Paul Gregory Media (PGM), a mission-based marketing agency dedicated to serving clients’ altruistic values. A self-described social butterfly with a flair for communication, she acquiesced to hone her social media skills. Katrina’s hands-on experience and efforts make her an asset at PGM. When she’s not creating content, Katrina can be found building theatrical production sets or in a forest preserve. She serves as the Commissioner for the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission and is the Founder and Artistic Director at Goodly Creatures Theatre. At Goodly Creatures—a modern theater company bringing literature to the stage—Katrina writes, produces, and directs productions for indoor and outdoor venues. In this episode… In a world where the public increasingly demands transparency from companies, social media platforms provide a window into a business's personality and values. This information helps consumers decide whether to work for or do business with a particular organization. However, in terms of reaching an audience, is social media a sales or marketing tool? Social media manager Katrina Syrris explains that social networking provides brand awareness but still supports conversions. Nevertheless, using social media effectively is crucial to achieve your desired results. If your business’ conversion rates continue declining, the next step is to start tracking analytics or refine your strategy. Social media is a powerful tool to position your brand as a cultivated thought leader and build a relationship with a desired audience. When used correctly, these platforms exhibit a company’s significance in the community. Additionally, social media allows brands to interact with the public and gives them a voice to address positive and negative feedback. Social media is constantly evolving, so adapting your strategies as needed is essential. In this episode of the Mission Matters Podcast, Paul Feith interviews Katrina Syrris, Social Media Manager at Paul Gregory Media (PGM), about how businesses can benefit from social media. Katrina shares strategies for successful campaigns, preferred management tools, and discusses the differences between using social media as a marketing tool and as a sales tool.