Member Spotlight
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Meet Peter Gulka!

Meet (and friend!) Peter Gulka, an Altru and Raiser's Edge User, with the University of Calgary.
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Meet Peter Gulka!

This week's Community Corner spotlight shines on Altru and Raiser's Edge user, Peter Gulka, with the University of Calgary.

Peter Gulka's Community Profile>

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Tell us about your family (fur babies count!) "My ex and I have 4 kids, and I have one cat. He's pretty great - sleeps a lot."

Where do you live? "High River, AB, Canada."

What do you like to do for fun? "Now that spirng has sprung in my part of Canada, the motorcycle is ready for another season of touring.  More often than not I spend my free time noodling around on a guitar making noises. Not music exactly, but pleasing noises."

What’s a life achievement you are particularly proud of? "I was able to escape the high-demand religion I was raised in with my mental health in disarray, but have spent a year pulling my life back together. Life is pretty rosy when I look forward."

What’s one memory that always makes you smile? "Meeting BB King after a concert and getting his autograph. I think that I'll be able to justify spending money on concert tickets for my kids so they have memories like that to look back on."

What is one interesting fact about yourself most people don't know? "I used to run a Blackbaud user community from 2006-2010 that got some notoriety."

What are three things on your bucket list? "Motorcycle road trip from Alaska to Florida, play guitar in a band and put on a concert, raise functional & contrbuting adults."
Tell us about your organization: "The University of Calgary offers students a high-quality educational experience that prepares them for success in life, as well as research that addresses society’s most persistent challenges. Our creation and transfer of knowledge contributes every day to our country’s global competitive advantage and makes the world a better place.

We do this in Calgary – Canada’s most enterprising and caring city, where the Western can-do spirit, sense of family, and youthful energy permeate everything we do. We're pioneers at heart, innovators by necessity and desire, community-builders because it’s in our DNA. We see potential where others balk at challenge and we know how to cooperate to "git’er done."

What’s a typical day like for you? "Check email, respond to requests for data or training, update or write new documentation for procsses, meetings to discuss process development and strategy, check email again."

What’s the best part of your job? "Feeling like I am part of a team that really wants to do their best to help the University acheive it's fundraising objectives. We understand why we are here and how we fit into hte big picture."
    

What advice would you give someone starting out in the non-profit field? "Ask lots of questions. Job shadow as many different roles as you can - find out where your roles fits into the larger context of your organization.

Challenge people - someone who is new is not burdened with "This is the way we've always done it" thinking. If there's a good reason for why they do something, you'll learn it, or find no one really knows why."

What do you love about the Blackbaud Community? "It provides a way for us to connect to each other, rather than Blackbaud staff being the only touchpoint we have to the product. We all use the software differently, and that perspective is really helpful in getting new ideas for my organization."
Finally.. if you had a theme song when you walked into a room - what would it be? "Theme song: The Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin. I really do come from a land of ice and snow. Everyone I meet needs to be made exquisitely aware of that fact, so I may garner their pity."
Posted by Crystal Bruce on Apr 26, 2017 9:00 AM America/New_York

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I love your advice to newbies to challenge people by asking why things are done the way they are. It's amazing how many times I've asked that question and find nobody knows the answer, in which case the next question is, "So are there reasons why we should change how we're doing that?"
  • Posted Mon 01 May 2017 09:56 AM EDT
Your story about BB King makes me super jealous! Really enjoyed reading your spotlight!
  • Posted Mon 01 May 2017 11:56 AM EDT
An all around interesting and profound profile. Words of woidom I will share with others on our most challenging days are "life is pretty rosy when I look forward." Wishing you safe spring bike travels!
  • Posted Tue 02 May 2017 12:46 PM EDT