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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!



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