My Possibilities Welcomes Karen Wald as New Chair of the Board
Executive Director of My Possibilities, Michael Thomas, Announces Karen Wald New Chair of the Board and Discusses 2022 State of My Possibilities
PLANO, TX – Feb. 2, 2022 –
On Jan. 28, My Possibilities (MP) hosted a virtual 2022 State of MP, sponsored by Bank of Texas, and introduced the new Chair of the MP Board of Directors, Karen Wald. This is the first transition of Chairs since the organization’s inception.
Following her announcement and introduction, Karen shared that her predecessor and founder of MP, Charmaine Solomon was an incredible trailblazer for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) community. Knowing she has big shoes to fill, Wald noted she is thankful that Charmaine trusts her as a good steward for MP. “Whenever I talk about My Possibilities, one of the things that I always say is that you never leave a meeting or have a conversation with staff that you don’t hear the ‘what-ifs.’ What if we did this? What if we could do this? That is who My Possibilities is, and it really started thirteen years ago when three very passionate moms decided they needed to pursue a different way for their children when they left the Independent School District,” Karen states. Wald wants to help lead MP to success by expanding MP’s strategic pathways. These pathways will help all aspects of MP and expand into the IDD community. Some of her goals are to enrich and expand the programs and the campus, increase HIPster engagement in the workforce, and address the residential needs of our Hugely Important People (HIPsters) and the IDD community. Karen Wald officially assumed her role as Chair of the Board on Jan. 1, 2022.
“What an honor it has been to serve as Founder and Board Chair for the past 12 years, and I remain committed to serving My Possibilities as a board member,” said Charmaine Solomon, Founder of My Possibilities. “Karen Wald and I have worked very closely since 2018. I consider Karen a trusted advisor, friend and excellent leader. I could not think of a better person to hand the Chair role over to. I am very excited to see what Karen’s leadership and professional skills bring to My Possibilities.”
Karen Wald retired from Alliance Data as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief of Staff. She oversaw initiatives that protected and enhanced Alliance Data’s enterprise reputation and stakeholder engagement across internal and external groups. A long-time Board member for LaunchAbility, Karen has held a seat on the Board of Directors for My Possibilities since the merger of the two organizations in 2018. She is passionate about workplace inclusion and is an advocate for hiring adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“We are so excited and thankful to have Karen in the chair seat,” said Michael Thomas, Executive Director of MP. “She has been a long-term supporter of our organization and helps provide us with the vision and strategy we will need to drive My Possibilities into the future.”
At the start of each new year, My Possibilities hosts a State of MP to recap the exciting accomplishments of the previous year and to share what MP’s plans are in the year to come. This event is traditionally held in person; however, due to COVID-19, the last two years’ events were held virtually. Sponsors, donors, partners, foundations, and other individuals get a first look into what is planned for the new year to further the support of individuals with IDD.
President and CEO of Big Thought, Byron Sanders joined Michael Thomas for an invigorating discussion about the nonprofit space and the difference between creativity and innovation. Notable takeaways from the event include Byron’s take on creativity as “a basic human trait that, if it [was a] muscle [and strengthened], it could lead to innovation.” Thomas and Sanders discussed further the importance of creativity and innovation in organizations and how if we are not changing, then we are not growing. “I would like for us to start to think about nonprofit as research and development. We should be thought of as the R&D space for society’s most intractable issues. We should be thought of as the experts on how to fix some of these things.” Byron stated. “Don’t just fund, partner” Michael points out. In parting words of wisdom for the community, Byron shared, “The thing that I would love for you to take away is innovation. Innovation is so much better when you have a range of voices in the room, including the voices of those most affected by the thing that we’re trying to innovate.” Thomas added, “You’re talking about equitable engagement in innovation and whether you are a corporate partner, a foundation, a donor, or within the organization, having everyone on the same page. Our best ideas, our best creativity, our best innovation will not happen without the people we serve acting as a voice in the process.”
“Byron is ahead of everybody in the nonprofit space and it was an absolute pleasure to speak with him about innovation in the charitable sector,” said Michael Thomas. “His thoughts and insights were invaluable to our organization and I’m sure to everybody else who participated in the event.”
To view the recording of the live event, visit https://bit.ly/StateOfMP2022.
There are many different ways to get involved and help make a difference in the IDD community. Do you know of a career opportunity for our Hugely Important People (HIPsters)? Contact Career Services Manager, Sonia Martinez at email@example.com.
About My Possibilities
My Possibilities is a North Texas for-cause 501(c)(3) organization that serves as a pioneering leader in vocational education for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities throughout North Texas. To learn more, visit mypossibilities.org.