Charla Everhart Lum, Vice President of Talent Management, recently stepped back from her position after ten years at Community of Hope. Charla provided leadership in all aspects of staff development as we grew from a staff of about 40 people at two locations in 2006, to about 200 people at seven locations in 2017. We are so grateful to Charla for her vision and leadership, and for ensuring a smooth transition by developing an internal leader to fill her position. We are pleased to share these reflections from Charla about her journey at Community of Hope:
Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos says, “For organizations, culture is destiny.” This statement is so true. Community of Hope has been intentional about creating a culture that advances our mission and energizes our staff. In 2015, we began our One Community, One Hope campaign to nurture an organizational culture across now seven sites and many programs that support our shared goals. Each quarter, we focus on one statement from our staff-generated Culture Compact with fun activities that challenge managers and staff to actively incorporate it into our work. That intentionality has paid off – Community of Hope has twice been awarded a Washington Post Top Workplaces honor, and approximately 90% of our staff recently reported that “My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful” and “At Community of Hope we do things efficiently and well.”
It has been an incredible privilege to be a part of the team at Community of Hope over the past ten years. Throughout all of the growth and change, we continue to meet the needs of those we serve with a strengths-based, compassionate, and respectful approach. How? We remain strongly grounded in our mission, and we nurture an organizational culture that supports it.
When it comes to maintaining our focus, we are intentional. We make big decisions about direction and growth thoughtfully, utilizing a consistent framework for decision-making. We ask questions like, does this fit with our mission and strategic plan, how will it impact those we serve, does it excite us, and can we do it well. This approach allows us to grow and expand our services while continuing to ensure positive outcomes for those we serve.
I’m so thankful to I’ve had the opportunity to work with such a dedicated team of professionals serving many of our amazing neighbors here in DC, and I can’t wait to see what Community of Hope will accomplish in the future!