ARTS & BUSINESS: A Tech Connector for Main Line Art Center
Editor's note: This is presented as part of a content partnership with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia.
Company / Title: North Highland
/ Senior Manager
Bachelor of Science in Printing Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology
Organization: Main Line Art Center
FK: Tell us about the project you completed through Technology Connectors (TC) with the Main Line Arts Center.
JT: I was paired with The Main Line Art Center by the Philadelphia Arts & Business Council’s Tech Connectors
program to facilitate the creation of a strategic technology plan for the center. For 75 years, the Art Center has served the community inspiring and engaging artistic creativity for all ages and abilities; it was my honor to help develop their first ever strategic plan. Over the next year, regular sessions were held with key personnel at the Art Center and included external subject matter experts who came to contribute their talents and perspective in pursuit of developing a plan that would not only meet the needs of the Center, but allow it to grow and expand in the future.
FK: Why do you think this work was important to the organization?
JT: With expansion, remodeling and additional classes all planned over the next few years, the timing was right to consider development of a strategic plan that would marry the needs of the Center and the requirements of planned growth.
FK: How do you know your volunteering is making a difference?
JT: When you can see problems great and small disappear as a result of your efforts or the relief on the faces of others when a previously impenetrable technology issue is handled it’s easy to see that we Tech Connectors make a difference.
FK: Technology Connectors volunteers often work in teams, consisting of a project manager and multiple subject matter experts (SME). The Main Line Art Center project teamed you with two SMEs, Stan Coplan and Richard Wright. What was your experience working with other TC volunteers toward a common goal?
JT: Working with Stan and Richard was a great experience. I found that we approached problems and solution design from different angles and from our previous experiences and it’s those unique learning exchanges that helped me to grow as a professional as well.
FK: How did the training, matchmaking and project support from the Arts & Business Council help you succeed as a volunteer?
JT: Tracey Sisko, who leads the Tech Connectors, does a tremendous job matching volunteers and organizations, arranging training, and providing leadership and support. It’s easy to feel prepared and supported in the environment Tracey has helped cultivate.
FK: How have your professional skills grown as a result of participating in Technology Connectors?
JT: I believe that my communication skills got a boost over the course of the project as I regularly needed to take complex technical ideas and distill them into easily understood terms. These sorts of challenges strengthened my consultative approach and ensured that ideas were understood and accepted and ultimately played a role in delivering a strong final plan.
FK: Who specifically do you admire at the Main Line Art Center and why?
JT: Thomas Scurto-Davis, the center’s Director of Finance and Operations, is such a fabulous partner to work with. Thomas has tremendous energy for the job and moreover his command of the financials, the big picture and love of the smallest details are, I believe, part of success story of the Main Line Arts Center. Thomas is a larger-than-life personality and his enthusiasm for the center is infectious.
FK: How have you witnessed Main Line Arts Center positively impacting the community or helping it grow?
JT: The mission of the Art Center is to inspire creativity for all ages and abilities and I’ve seen the bright smiling faces of the students who come to the Art Center to learn and enjoy what they have to offer. Organizations don’t last for over 75 years without doing something right, and the Main Line Art Center is an integral part of the fabric of the community.
FK: What's one program or event you’ve participated in at the Main Line Art Center that inspires you?
JT: Walking through the door of the Main Line Art Center inspires me every time. To see the artifacts of the creativity and inspiration of others in incredibly energizing to me and I appreciate feelings of both strength and community the Art Center brings.
THE ARTS & BUSINESS COUNCIL OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA helps drive the cultural vitality and economic development of the Greater Philadelphia region by strengthening the partnership between business and the arts and cultural community.