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2019 November Career Management: Volunteering for Good: Giving Back During Transition
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2019 November Career Management: Volunteering for Good:  Giving Back During Transition

When: Wednesday, November 6, 2019
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: Bickford's
325 Montvale Ave
Woburn, MA  01801
United States
Contact: Makenzie Howard

Online registration is closed.
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Volunteering for Good: Giving Back During Transition

Candidates in transition can be reluctant to assume a volunteer role . Reasons include everything from "I need to devote all my energy to my job search" to "Why would an organization want someone who's unemployed?" However, volunteering can not only allow you to give back (perhaps in an area you never had time for before), but also offer important connections.  Join our panel of volunteers as they explain how you can "bridge the gap" by giving back. 



Beth Kurth, Partner, Conway Communications 

This panel will be moderated by Beth Kurth, Partner,  Conway Communications, a strategic communications firm focused on Investor Relations and Financial Public Relations. Her volunteer activities have included everything from informal roles with local service organizations to leadership roles with professional associations. 















Joann Noble, Executive Vice President, Radius Bank

Ms. Noble brings a unique perspective with over 25 years of executive experience in both financial services and the technologies that serve it. In her role as EVP of Radius Bank, she used her knowledge of data analytics and technology management to launch new products and services, including the Virtual Bank.  In addition to her digital expertise, Ms. Noble is well-known for her talent management and leadership skills. Prior to Radius Bank, Joann held senior positions with Fidelity Investments/Veritude and with Getronics, Co., a global technology company, where she led a $25 million contract with one of the nation’s largest banks.


Ms. Noble founded BankIQ, LLC which specializes in the research and analysis of Financial Services information for public sector clients.


Joann holds a Masters and undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University.






Peter Brau, Vice President Finance, edX

Peter Brau holds the role of Vice President Finance at edX.  Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) provider, offering high-quality courses from the world's best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.  With more than 130 global partners, edX is proud to count the world's leading universities, nonprofits and institutions as members. 


Peter has more than 20 years of reinvention under his belt moving from nascent start-up, to a PE backed hyper-growth firm, a stint with the largest non-university/hospital non-profit in New England and now a hybrid service as a platform non-profit.  Bringing inquisitiveness to each opportunity and taking both the good and bad from each role and place to inform where he is going next. He has enjoyed playing with career moves and has moved in and out of industries and career paths including higher education.






Paul Ryan, CFO, Interaction Associates

Paul brings over 30 years of experience in finance and operating leadership, including his most recent role as CFO of Interaction Associates, a leadership and development professional consulting firm, based in Boston.  Paul’s prior experience includes CFO/senior finance roles in financial services, non-profit healthcare, and technology in the private and public sectors.  Paul has extensive experience building and scaling financial and administrative operations in both global companies and, more recently in smaller/early-stage firms.   


As a volunteer, Paul has been actively engaged on several non-profit Boards, including Interaction Institute for Social Change, Financial Executives International (FEI), Boston Chapter, and has been a long standing volunteer with the MIT Sloan CFO Summit Organizing Committee. Paul is also actively involved in several local 501c3 organizations, including Above The Clouds and Rodman Ride for Kids.


Paul is a native of Boston and has degrees from Boston College, and an MBA from Bentley University.

Here Is What You Missed

2019 November Career Management - Volunteering for Good:  Giving Back During Transition.  Panel moderated by Beth Kurth.


November 6

FEI Panel Shares the Value and Impact of Volunteering for Good

There are many things most of us don’t expect to experience while in transition.  Among those is how you can build new connections, hone your skills and influence your attitudes by volunteering during a career transition. 


“You learn a lot about how other organizations do things,” said Joann Noble noting her volunteer efforts.   Peter Brau added, “You’re trying to help, but you’re the one who gets most of the reward.”


The FEI Boston sponsored panel:  Volunteering for Good:  Giving Back During Transition was moderated by Beth Kurth, Partner at Conway Communications, with panelists Joann Noble, President, BankIQ, Peter Brau, VP Finance at edX, and Paul Ryan, CFO at Interaction Associates. 


Approximately 63 million Americans - 25% of the adult population - volunteer their time, talents and energy to making a difference, according to the Non-Profit Institute.  Reflecting a broad range of experience, the FEI panelists shared stories why you don’t need to devote all of your energy to job search activities and instead can allocate some time to an organization or cause that is of interest. 


Overall the panel’s advice was to embrace volunteer opportunities while keeping priorities in mind.  Below is a summary of what this looks like in practice. 


Expand your network and perspective while balancing other commitments


-          A volunteer position can ‘bridge the gap’ if you’re considering changing industries or want to focus on developing new competencies. 


-          Make sure you strike an appropriate balance of time spent volunteering with time spent on other obligations including professional and personal.  


-          Consider how much bandwidth you can give back after you have landed your new job.   The organizational needs and your availability will evolve.  Always evaluate how you will sustain your volunteer effort. 


-          Be prepared to diplomatically say ‘no’ to a volunteer role.  It’s a two-way street, you don’t want to undersell the organization that is asking for your help.  If you don’t think you have the time, consider introducing the organization to a colleague who may be a better match.



Practice and hone your skills


-          “You will hone your soft skills as you discover how to persuade volunteers to action as opposed to having a formal supervision authority to direct the efforts,” said Paul Ryan.  Expect to learn new skills and new ways to practice your old skills while making an impact. 


-          Appreciate where the volunteer opportunity sits in the organization.  Board commitments are much different than what is expected as an individual contributor.  At the Board level, you will manage disagreements, and have to negotiate situations and do so with a fiduciary responsibility to the organization. 



Do something you enjoy and keep your attitude positive during your transition.


-          Occasionally you may find a job through volunteering, and that is great when it happens. 


-          The enduring value of volunteering is how the experience can refresh your attitude during a job search.  Your energy will show itself during interviews and enrich your discussions at networking events.


-          “It’s all about attitude, its infectious!,” Joann Noble concluded. 


Photographs and videos of attendees are taken at FEI Boston programs. By registering for this program, you are giving FEI Boston permission to take your photograph or video and use it with or without your knowledge and permission on FEI Boston promotional material including but not limited to our newsletters and conference materials, social media, publications, and our website.



This meeting qualifies for 1.5 CPE credits.

Field of study: Business Management & Organization

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this meeting.

Advance preparation: There is no advance preparation require for this meeting.

Type of delivery method: Group-Live


Financial Executives International (FEI) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


For FEI CPE credits, one credit hour equals 50 minutes according to NASBA guidelines. Some states boards may differ on how many minutes constitute a credit hour. Contact your state board for more information. Available in all State except those that do not accept web-based self-study credits. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaint and refund, please contact our offices at 978.364.5134.


s have included everything from informal roles with local service organizations to leadership roles with professional associations. 

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