Traci Rivera joined The Night Ministry in the newly created role of Chief of Staff in 2020. With an extensive career in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, she brings her deep knowledge and experience to bare in helping to guide decision making and implementation across the agency. We asked her to share about her background and her role at The Night Ministry.
Please tell me about your professional background. My background is in health care, culture, relationships, and making things happen. I was in the for-profit sector for some years and have worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 10 years. I've worked to oversee and direct operations and optimize productivity and break silos across various environments from social services, health care administration, and higher education. I have always been adept at identifying problems, resolving issues moving forward, and attaining goals. My niche has been working primarily with organizations that bring services to children and families in need.
What led you to join The Night Ministry? I joined The Night Ministry because of its history in helping our clients. I believe in its mission.
What about the agency's mission appeals to you? The Night Ministry accepts people as they are who might be experiencing homelessness. Many places have some specific criteria or limitations, but The Night Ministry aims to be a bridge and provide resources and connections to the clients we serve.
What does your role as Chief of Staff entail? My job entails being an internal versatilist, meaning I apply my breadth of experience and knowledge to different areas across the agency, doing a lot of listening and peeling back the onion. I work behind the scenes to address challenges before they reach the desk of our President & CEO, strategically delegating authority to enable staff to do their jobs well and increasing the lines of communication to help complement the President & CEO. My role is essentially a CEO's right hand, helping to drive strategic initiatives.
What are some of the challenging aspects of your job? There is a challenge of balancing not being seen (because I'm good at what I do) and not being recognized for what I am doing. Demonstrating my social and emotional intelligence skills is critical in this role but also challenging as it requires diplomacy and tact when negotiating through and finding solutions with staff for complex problems across The Night Ministry.
What are some of the rewarding aspects of your job? I enjoy the variety that comes with the job and thrive on challenges and change.