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All of the great nonprofit organizations in the Southwest Washington area would not be able to run quite as smoothly without their board of directors. Organizations’ board of directors are made up of people in the community who volunteer their time, knowledge and guidance to these organizations in addition to continuing to work their “day jobs.”
Adam Roselli, vice president/managing broker with Fuller Group CRE, is one of those people in the Southwest Washington business community who volunteers his time with numerous boards. Currently, Roselli is the president of the Share Executive Committee.
The Vancouver Business Journal caught up with Roselli to talk about his involvement with Share and how it goes hand-in-hand with his professional life.
VBJ: Tell me a little bit about your involvement with Share. When did you first become involved with the organization? How were you first involved? When did you become president of the board? What duties does that position entail for you?
Adam Roselli: I first gained familiarity with Share by attending one of their galas with my parents more than 20 years ago. It was a fun event surrounded by people within our community who I knew and respected and they were all there for a cause that I was already passionately interested in and involved with. I was in college at the time and after graduation I returned back to Vancouver and was fortunate to have an opportunity to get involved further with the organization by joining their board. Within a few years I was graciously asked to serve in more of a leadership role and when the board president retired, I was asked to throw my hat in the ring to be president. In that role, I run the board meetings, meet with and discuss pertinent issues with the executive director, am involved with volunteer opportunities and fundraising events and I occasionally interact with staff, clients, volunteers or donors when appropriate.
VBJ: Aside from Share, are you currently involved with any other nonprofits? Have you been involved with others in the past?
Roselli: The other nonprofit I am most passionately involved in is the Rotary Club of Vancouver. I am a past president of the club and have been involved as a foundation board member, a club board member, the sergeant at arms and have worked closely with our Santa Clothes program and the Festival of Trees where we light our community Christmas tree at Esther Short Park each year. In the past, I have been a Lunch Buddy with the Vancouver School District, a mentor in WSU Vancouver’s MAP program, board member at Innovative Services Northwest and on the business growth committee at the CREDC. I have also been involved with my alma maters through Jesuit High School’s Alumni Food Drive and the St. Joseph’s Golf Tournament.
VBJ: How do you balance being the president of the Share board and your professional life?
Roselli: Balancing life is always hard. I can’t imagine there is a person on earth who feels they have excessive time on their hands. Just like with everyone else, it comes down to priorities and luck and I am blessed with a flexible job that allows me to have a career while still having time to invest in my community and be with my family. Volunteering is an important part of the mix. I want my community to thrive and a community who adequately deals with challenging issues like homelessness and hunger is a community better positioned to have a thriving commercial real estate sector. All parents also want to set a positive example for their children and I want my kids to see me involved and have volunteerism and community be ingrained in them from a young age and Share and Rotary help me accomplish that. This is also a chapter where I was able to spend more time in leadership positions at Share and Rotary but that will undoubtedly shift towards volunteering at my kids’ school and coaching.
VBJ: Do you have any advice for others in the business community who might be looking for opportunities to give back to the community?
Roselli: Say yes. Get involved. It doesn’t matter where or how much. The need is everywhere. And if you have personally and/or professionally benefited from being part of our community, I can’t see how it isn’t incumbent upon us to give back. One of my quotes is, “when you make it to the top, be sure to send the elevator back down for the next person.” If you feel fortunate for where you are, help the next person in line.
VBJ: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Share? What have been some of the biggest challenges that have come out of this ongoing pandemic for the organization, and how have you worked through them?
Roselli: The pandemic hit Share in a very unique manner. The need in our community has never been greater for meals, rent assistance, shelter and other services. This then got coupled with not being able to hold our two major fundraisers, which of course affected finances. But that is truly when tragedy becomes triumph in a community like ours. Donors stepped up and gave to Share like they never had in the past. Sponsors of our major events insisted on having us keep their donations even though we weren’t able to have our events. Community members who had never given to us in the past stepped up in numbers we had never seen. Public officials earmarked funds for needed grants and programs. And our incredible staff gave more of themselves than ever, working longer hours with evermore challenging work all with the fear of catching COVID present in their minds. We had greater need in our community, which was met with greater funding and greater support of the community that allowed us to grow at a level we had never seen in our organization’s history.