Words of Wisdom with Bree Cahill

Bree Cahill
Executive Director, SVP Sacramento (Social Venture Partners)

What are three things you wish you’d known as you embarked on your career?

These answers are not so much ‘things I wish I’d known’ as ‘things I know now and try to follow’:

  1. When you do the ‘extra credit’ in your work / personal / and professional life, doors will open for you … if you’ve done the extra credit right, you won’t have to force any doors open that you want to walk through.
  2. Do something you believe in – it makes work fun and draws others to you and your cause.
  3. Bounce your best ideas off of someone you trust and respect – they can help you sort passion from potential.

Did you have a mentor? If so, what was the most important piece of advice they gave you?

Yes – and still do! Best advice I ever got? Find something you love … and do it well. My work with SVP certainly fits the criteria. I LOVE what I do – impacting local students and strengthening impactful nonprofits. It makes waking up every day an adventure; I can’t imagine doing anything else and truly enjoy every chance I get to connect with SVP Partners and the community.

How did/do you handle work/life balance?

I’m much more interested in ‘work’ than ‘balance’ – but I always get my cardio in which keeps me balanced and ready for more work!

Do you have any suggestions of books, articles, websites, etc. that might help a young professional?

‘Can’t Not Do’ by Paul Shoemaker, founder of SVP International, is my current read – and it’s shifting the way I view my work and philanthropic engagements. Definitely a game changer – a book that is helping me shape my own giving philosophy.

How important is it to be involved in organizations outside of work (church, networking, philanthropy, alumni, athletics, etc.)? Why?

Engaging in the community keeps me balanced – yes, my life is nonprofit work, and I cannot imagine doing anything else. Helping others – BEING the change I want to see – is what keeps me grounded. Volunteering and engaging beyond work allows me to practice what I preach – and I LOVE it. SVP Partners are local corporate and community leaders – and they give up their limited time selflessly. They inspire me to be BETTER and to ENGAGE more deeply in the local landscape.

What do you love about Sacramento?

Everything. We all feel it – Sacramento is on the verge of greatness (just tipping itself over the EDGE, I’d say!) It is the perfect balance of friendly and corporate, with plenty of fun activities, restaurants, and ways to engage. My favorite thing? Maybe the zoo … big city animals, little city access!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the 40-and-under business professionals in our region?

JUST DO IT. Passion inspires action.