Member Spotlight

Meet Liz Blake!

Meet Liz Blake, an Altru user  with the Mariners' Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia!
Meet Liz Blake!

This week's Community Corner spotlight shines on Altru user, Liz Blake, with the Mariners' Museum and Park.

Liz Blake's Community Profile>


About Liz:

Tell us about your family (fur babies count!) "My family consists of my obvious blood relatives and extended family I've acquired through the bonds of life. (However, I aspire to be a well-balanced cat lady :-D.)

Where do you live? "Newport News, Virginia."

What do you like to do for fun? "I love to learn! Seriously, don't judge me. To me, learning is adventure and exploration. I'm highly inquisitive, and once I have a question in my mind I look for answers. Looking for the answers; research is the fun adventurous part for me because you literally never know what you'll find despite how many others have researched the same topic. In a more common sense, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling, thought-provoking conversation, fine arts, world culture, ancient history, outdoor festivals with live music, culinary arts AKA food and wine! Binge watching X-Files and Star Trek  (again don't judge me). I feel like I need to say that I enjoy 'long walks in the park' now..."

What’s a life achievement you are particularly proud of? "Learning how to follow my passion in life. I was doing it all wrong for so many years. Something so simple, yet so incredibly evasive. I haven't figured it out completely but I'm clearly on the right track and it feels great!"

What’s one memory that always makes you smile? "There are so many memories that make me smile, but I'll group them into two: Childhood shenanigans with my little sister, and teenage debacles with my friends. Whenever we discuss them we end up in gut-busting laughter that brings us to tears!"

What is one interesting fact about yourself most people don't know? "I love to be alone. I am a social butterfly but I absolutely adore and value my alone-quiet time. In fact I require it to recharge. People are often surprised to learn that about me because of how much I talk!"


Tell us about your organization: "The Mariners’ Museum and Park's mission is to connect people to the world’s waterways through exploration and engaging experiences. Located in Newport News, Virginia the museum is nestled in a 550 acre nature park which is home to Lake Maury and the Noland Trail; a five-mile shoreline trail with fourteen bridges. Designated as America’s National Maritime Museum by Congress, it is one of the largest maritime museums in North America. Within the Museum you will find 90,000 square feet of exhibition galleries including the prestigious International Small Craft Center, and the award-winning USS Monitor Center. The state-of-the-art exhibition and conservation lab houses 210 tons of artifacts from the Civil War ironclad Monitor, which were recovered from NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. The museum was founded in 1930 by Archer Milton Huntington, son of Collis P. Huntington, a railroad builder who brought the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway to Warwick County, Virginia, and who founded the City of Newport News, its coal export facilities, and Newport News Shipbuilding in the late 19th century."

What’s a typical day like for you? "Switching hats like a one-man band sideshow with his pants on fire and talking to myself like Gollum while multi-tasking! I imagine myself as the Hindu goddess with the many hands!"

What’s the best part of your job? "Working in a museum! And having something new to learn about the database every (single) day. I like the feeling of using the database to help my co-workers and the museum achieve their goals. I was called a Wizard yesterday! I also actually enjoy troubleshooting; sometimes I feel like I'm in a fencing match with the database where it becomes some sort of welcomed challenge. We have a sort of Charles Xavier and Magneto relationship."

What advice would you give someone starting out in the non-profit field? "Firstly, be sure that you are authentically connected to your work or you'll just feel tortured from the soul. Non-profit work is typically not a cushy job. Be prepared to work HARD. Secondly, you will never know everything because no one does. Therefore, you always need to be learning about the ever-changing non-profit business practices. I'd also recommend volunteering with organizations other than your own. This will diversify your understanding of non-profits and also service to others evolves you. Further, non-profits rely on one another and often work together within a community. You'll probably need each other down the line and you will build valuable relationships.  "

What do you love about the Blackbaud Community? "The Blackbaud Community is soooo helpful! The diversity of perspective is absolutely invaluable to me. I sincerely appreciate everyone's input." *group hug*
Finally.. if you had 24 hours before the asteroid hit.. what would you spend your time doing?  "After realizing that the flight to Greece would absorb too much of the 24 hours left to live, I realized that I would be perfectly happy sitting around a beach bonfire with all of my family and friends reminiscing and telling stories about our favorite times."
Posted by Crystal Bruce on Nov 16, 2016 9:00 AM America/New_York

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