Volunteer Spotlight: The 48in48 Women!

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When determining which volunteer 48in48 should spotlight this month of March, also known as Women’s History Month, we decided it would be fun to choose some (not nearly all!) of our strong female volunteers who dedicate time and energy to 48in48 year-round. And so, we present to you some of The 48in48 Women volunteers who make it all happen behind the scenes. 

48in48 puts on several hackathon-style weekend events throughout the year, but it takes a whole lot more than a weekend to make those happen. These women highlighted today contribute with planning, logistics, coordination, design, social media marketing, content writing, website redesigning, email campaigns, recruiting and managing Volunteers and Nonprofits, Sponsor efforts, and much, much more. While today we’ve got eight talented women to showcase, there are many more who contribute in various ways. We’ll plan on revealing more about the rest of our 48in48 Women in a future post.

Who are (some of) The 48in48 Women?

  • Natalie Blakeney is a Marketing Program Manager by day, and she leads the 48in48 website redesign efforts on the Marketing Committee in her spare time. Natalie says, “I volunteer for 48in48 because I love the mission. I want to help local communities and visionaries to THRIVE now more than ever before. This work does that.”
  • Denise Denson is a Producer/PM for IBM, while she simultaneously serves as a Marketing Committee member and as the Women’s Event Planning Committee Lead. Denise shares, “I love coming together with a positive group of professionals, all working towards the same goal to positively affect nonprofits, who are in their communities positively affecting them. It’s also a great opportunity to gain the confidence to lead through hands on experience.”
  • Lauren Gibeaut is a Content Developer who has been heavily contributing to 48in48’s Social Media presence since she joined the committee last year. Do you feel like you’ve seen more from 48in48 on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn? You can thank Lauren for contributing to that! Lauren volunteers “because it feels good to give back to organizations that give so much. As a young professional, I am learning a lot from the strong leaders of 48in48 and the Nonprofits.”
  • Sanaya Khambatta is a Senior Technical Consultant at IBM and an Event Project Manager (EPM) for 48in48. Sanaya says, “I love knowing that we may have only given up a weekend, but this will help all our Nonprofits leave a lasting legacy to go hand in hand with the wonderful work they are doing! Some Nonprofits did not even have a website to begin with, and some had a basic site that did not articulate their mission clearly or allow the functionality to gain additional funding and donations and we have made a massive impact in helping them make the world a better place. I also love working with my 48in48 family and the support, fun and enthusiasm each and every single volunteer has!”
  • Bee-Lian Quah is an Associate Partner at IBM, and for 48in48 she serves as the Global Team Lead for IBM (a longtime 48in48 sponsor). Bee-Lian shares, “Volunteerism has always been a huge part of my life. I love doing what I can to help others, as well as inspiring others to give back to their communities. Small actions that we each take can contribute to much larger impacts to make the world a better place.”
  • Emily Schneider is a Scrum Master at State Farm while she participates as a Program Director for 48in48. On her love of volunteering, Emily explains, “There are many reasons I love it. From the impact we can make on our communities, learning new skill sets and the experiences I have. But what I enjoy the most are the people I meet and relationships I build; these I cherish.”  
  • Amanda Thompson is COO at Setup while serving as the Content Lead on the Marketing Committee for 48in48, organizing the Volunteer and Nonprofit Spotlight blog posts and the standard monthly newsletter. Amanda enjoys “feeling like I’m contributing in one small way to making the world a better place. I also love being inspired by our many Volunteers and Nonprofit Leaders who I get to interview.”
  • Kirsty Wood is a Consultant at IBM who serves as the UK Lead for IBM for 48in48. Kirsty loves “engaging with Nonprofits I’ve never heard of and I love bringing people together to achieve things they didn’t know they were capable of. I’m increasingly aware in the past year of digital exclusion, and it’s important to me how we try to level the playing field for Nonprofits furthering their causes.”

Who inspires our 48in48 Women?

When asked about who in Marketing or Technology inspires them, our Volunteers each responded with a female name, and I find that incredibly fitting and wonderful as we march through Women’s History Month and celebrate women in various ways. Women inspired by other women – yes! The women who inspire our 48in48 women include Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Technology Officers and Mathematicians. So our strong and smart women are watching other strong and smart women and aiming high to impact the world. Bozoma Saint John, Wendy Frazier, Ginni Rometty, Jacqueline de Rojas, Moira Vetter and Katherine Johnson – we salute you and thank you for inspiring us to be our best selves out here in the world of Marketing and Technology!

What are recent books our 48in48 Women have read?

These volunteers are reading fiction and nonfiction, escaping to other countries/times/places, learning about history, expanding business knowledge and everything in between. The last books read by these eight women are: 

  • A House Divided by Donna Hill
  • The Last Lecture: Lessons in Living by Randy Pausch
  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
  • Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
  • What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School by Mark McCormack
  • F*cking History: 111 Lessons You Should Have Learned in School 
  • A Burning by Megha Majumdar 
  • Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Superpower Time

Wonder Woman Invisible JetWe asked these volunteers “If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose?” Six of our eight women would definitely choose to fly, while two favored the ability to be invisible. Natalie asked, Does flying Wonder Woman’s invisible plane count? If so, that’s what I’d pick.  But I guess I’ll pick flying over Atlanta traffic any day of the week.” Agreed! Meanwhile Sanaya shared, “Invisible everyday – think of all the spying you could do on people…” And that’s true, too. Watch out if these powers are ever granted!

Thanks to our Volunteers

48in48 is incredibly lucky to be powered by women like these eight representatives we’ve shared about today. The dedication they show to help Nonprofits and activate marketing and technology Volunteers through 48in48 is amazing, and they are making a difference in this world.

Sign up to volunteer with us today!