What Happens After Storm the Boardroom?

Interview by Garrett McCord

Name: Allison Post Harris

Career Role:  Attorney at Trainor Fairbrook

What board did you join at the previous Storm the Board?

I joined the Sacramento Tree Foundation through Metro Edge’s 2015 Storm the Board event. [The Sacramento Tree Foundation] was looking for a YP’s perspective on their operations. Usually, board makeups consist of more established people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who want to give back to the committee; but YPs offer a fresh perspective that often isn’t represented.

What lead you to board?

I’m kind of a tree nerd. When I’m taking a run or simply taking a break from work I take a look at the spaces around me and see where trees could be planted. There are so many benefits from trees health-wise, property value, and so on. This organization really helps me follow my passions. Passion is required to be part of a board and you’ll learn a lot more with it.

Have you served on other boards? If so, where and how long?

I have. I’m on NAIOP, a commercial real estate organization since early 2015. And Sacramento Tree Foundation asked me to join after an internal vetting process in November 2015.

What’s been your favorite part about joining?

Connecting with likeminded individuals that I might not have otherwise met, and giving my time, money, and energy to something I really believe in.

What are some benefits to joining a board as a YP?

You’re seeing the high level perspective on business operations. It is also a great learning opportunity for YPs on so many levels because it expands your network beyond people in your industry or who you would meet through Metro Edge events. These people are from many industries and they’re great contacts.

How has being on the board impacted your career?

Well, I haven’t been on too long, but my employer loves it because I’m out representing the company and developing goodwill in the community.

What advice or tips would you give to someone looking to join a board?  How do you know it’s a good fit?

Join a board of an organization that aligns with your values, but also one that is well organized and well established. The Sacramento Tree Foundation has a mentorship for new board members that helps orient you and bring you up to speed about their programs and what they offer to the community. An organized board offers a better experience.

How do you think being a YP has/will impact the board?

Your world perspective and the way you approach problems can be very different from others who may be more set in their ways. You can offer new points of view and skills.

How do you juggle your responsibilities?  Tell me about your best practices for time management?

The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a very active board. If you want to be on a board you will make time and you have to know that you’re going to commit sometimes 5-10 hours a month of time in the form of meetings, attending programs, fundraising, and so on.