By Tamara Lucas Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
I always heard from my friends that I would know when it was time.
They were right. After a few years of carefully thinking it through, it is time for me to retire. I have advised the WRAG Board and staff that I plan to retire at the end of the year.
I joined WRAG in September 2006. Twelve years have passed quickly. Over those years, I learned to use my voice and the platform that I had more effectively to elevate issues that were/are important to me and to the region. I am proud of the work we have done, particularly in the areas of housing affordability and racial equity. I am confident that WRAG is positioned to continue to do great work to positively impact the region with a core staff complement and a board that are truly exceptional.
Some have asked if this is the right time for the organization even if it is the right time for me. I believe it is. Next year, WRAG will undertake a process to determine its direction moving forward. That next strategic vision will be announced at the 2019 Annual Meeting. I remember how important it was for me to participate in the 2007 Year of Engagement as we listened to the views of members in developing our strategic plan for 2008-2011. Next year will also be the year in which several organizations come together to host a regional summit on race, racism and the future of Greater Washington. This is not, as some might think, a culminating event, but the launch of the next phase of the work to broaden the region’s commitment to racial equity. I feel that it is critical that WRAG’s next leader be in place for this event and for the strategic planning process.
Now, what will I do? I’m really not sure. I just know that my inner voice says it is time to enter that next phase of my life. Whatever that next perch is – even if it is just sitting by the Bay for a bit – I hope to be a contributor to the greatness of this wonderful city/region that I call home. Thank you for being such an important part of my life’s journey.
Note: The Executive Committee of the WRAG Board will meet soon regarding next steps. Stay tuned.