Partner Profile: Jon Adams
Partner Profile: Jon Adams
This month we spoke with Jon Adams, a four-year Partner along with his wife, Pam Conover. A resident of Shaker Heights, Jon is an avid cyclist and rower, and when he's working, he leads Smart Hotels Group, a firm he founded developing campus-based boutique hotels. (Learn more about Jon and his pursuits at the October 29th Friday Forum on the Rivergate Park development!)
Jon also has led CSVP's engagement with Adoption Network Cleveland since 2007, and shared some insights he's had as a Lead Partner.
Q: You’ve had success as an entrepreneur founding a wireless communications business, among others. How did your past work experience prepare you to step in and help Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC)?
A: I started and helped build a technology company that grew quickly from 5 to 125 employees. This helped me understand some of the growing pains that ANC, an organization which had also grown quickly, was experiencing.
Q: What did the CSVP engagement allow ANC to do better?
A: I hope ANC benefitted from the CSVP engagement through the completion of several projects involving a number of CSVP partners:
- CSVP partners helped develop a marketing message for those outside ANC’s core constituency of birth mothers, adoptive parents and adoptees. This enabled ANC to approach new donors more effectively and begin to recruit new board members.
- CSVP partners helped develop a simplified means of directing and tracking incoming calls to assure ANC was being responsive and conducted staff training to assure effective implementation.
- At CSVP’s urging, ANC documented an innovative and successful ANC-developed process dubbed “Child Centered Recruitment” for finding adoptive homes for hard-to-place foster-care kids (over 11 yrs old and/or in sibling groups). ANC began to export this process to clients outside Cuyahoga County using a fee-based business model that made the distribution self-funding.
- At the beginning of the engagement, ANC was using several different legacy databases which created operational and outcome-tracking difficulties. CSVP partners helped ANC define and document their database requirements which enabled them to explore database product options, select a new database solution and convert from multiple legacy systems to a comprehensive single solution.
- A CSVP partner conducted executive coaching for ANC executive staff.
- CSVP partners are lending expertise to help ANC identify alternative revenue streams.
Q: What did you learn from the engagement?
A: I learned about the wonderful work ANC is doing, particularly in finding adoptive families for foster kids who would otherwise be left without a family or support system once they aged out of the system at 18 yrs. I also learned that non-profits face many of the same ‘capacity building’ challenges faced by their for-profit counterparts: mission creep; human resource issues; IT challenges; board recruitment and others. Because of this, the outside eyes and ears of people like CSVP partners can be helpful even when they have had little or no direct experience with a non-profit’s programs or mission.
Q: What did you both gain?
A: ANC is a wonderful organization that provides myriad services in the adoption world not provided by adoption agencies or others. Hopefully as a result of the CSVP engagement, ANC’s ability to fulfill their mission in the future will be enhanced.