Skip to main content

Katie Gets Acquainted with the ENF

by Katie Graves
Lodge Grants Programs Coordinator
Hello! My name is Katie Graves, and I am excited to be one of the new Programs Coordinators in the Community Investments Program office.

I graduated from Valparaiso University with a degree in English and Secondary Education with a minor in Social Work in December 2018. I spent the next six months building and growing my small online vintage clothing business, working retail at a Swedish furniture store (any guesses?), and searching for a purposeful job that I could fall in love with that would also allow me to move from southeastern Wisconsin to Chicago. When I landed the Programs Coordinator position at the Elks National Foundation, I was ecstatic to begin this journey both professionally and personally. I was moving to my dream city, and I was going to be doing a job with purpose focused on helping passionate groups of wonderful Elks do good in their communities with CIP grants.

I became a part of the ENF family at an exciting time of change and renewal for the office. The CIP office of three was down to one incredible person, Programs Coordinator Meaghan Morris, prior to my arrival. Four days after my first day, Doug joined our team as well, meaning lots of new faces and perspectives for the office in a very short amount of time!

While it would have been easy to wait and lump Doug’s and my introductions and trainings into one, the ENF staff took time to make sure that we were individually welcomed and introduced, acclimated to our surroundings in this beautiful Elks Memorial building the ENF calls home, and lead through the various programs and processes that we use daily in the CIP office. Meaghan and Assistant Director Debbie Doles continue to spend many hours patiently teaching me the ins and outs of the program and answering my many questions.

My favorite part of my first week was a tour that Debbie took me on my first day. She guided me to the many beautiful parts of the memorial building, explaining the significance of the breathtaking architecture, different memorabilia, and pieces of history housed in the rooms. I saw the portraits of past national presidents, gazed at the ornate dome, viewed the intricate replicas of Elks parade floats, and learned about the BPOE’s rich history.

My transition into my position has been fun and exciting, and I am getting the hang of the way we do things around here. Every day, I learn something new, connect with Elks across the country, and play my small part in the amazing work that Elks do in their communities every day.

I am so thrilled to be a part of the Elks family and cannot wait to continue to grow with you all!



Comments

  1. Welcome Katie Graves!! I live in Galveston, TX Elks Lodge #126 and your name caught my eye. My granddaughter's name was Katie Graves until she married in 2016. You look like an energetic personality just like her. Best wishes to you in your new adventure!
    Kris Graves

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Labels

Show more

Popular posts from this blog

What is Zoom?

by Jim O'Kelley Director, Elks National Foundation Zoom--It's like the Brady Bunch , but without Jan. (This is the first in a series of articles about the need for Lodges to be relevant during the pandemic. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant .) Every crisis seems to have its breakout star. This one has two, so far—Dr. Fauci and Zoom. If you’re not familiar, Zoom is a remote video-conferencing tool with a free basic package. In these days of social distancing and sheltering in place, Zoom is also a godsend. At the O’Kelley household today, we had three concurrent Zoom meetings going on at one point—Meghan, me, and Jane with her Panda Room preschool pals. In our new teleworking reality, the ENF staff has been using Zoom through Microsoft Teams for check-ins, standing meetings and impromptu discussions. These conferences have helped us stay connected and feel like we’re part of a team despite our isolation. A couple of we

See you at the Julebukking

by Jim O'Kelley Director, Elks National Foundation (Earlier this week, I started a series of posts on the need for Lodges to stay relevant during this time of isolation. This is the second post in the series—technically, the series became a series when I posted this. Anyway, read the first post here . To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant .) Humans have a fundamental need to connect. Scientists, psychologists, therapists, they’ll all tell you the same thing. Our culture may celebrate individualism, but we are wired to be around other people. How else can you explain the existence of organizations like the Elks? It’s certainly not the dated titles or the jewels of office that go along with them. It’s not the many meetings that demand so much of our time if we want to rise through the ranks. It’s not even the desire to serve our communities. The Elks have been around for 152 years because people need other people in our lives. Local Lodges s

Scary Spooky Scholars

 by Grace Roebuck, Elks Scholar Fellow  Grace at the 2016 MVS Leadership Weekend You know, when I first heard about the Elks Lodge, I just thought it was a restaurant in my town with a really bopping bingo night. Little did I know, bingo nights like those would soon be the reason I attended the college of my dreams debt-free and recently accepted a dream job, even after graduating into a pandemic-ravaged world. While I’ve enjoyed every experience I’ve had with my Elks Family, I have to say my love for the Elks really boils down to the scholars I’ve met and connected with throughout the years. In my new role as the Elks Scholar Fellow, I’m tasked with figuring out how to adapt to our new virtual world, which is sadly devoid of scholar service trips. In their place, thanks to the help of our scholars and the ENF, I’ve started to organize events for our Elks scholars to convene and have fun together. In my favorite event so far, our Spooky Scholar Halloween Party, we had scholars j