This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine. I’m partnering with Folgers® at Walmart through the Share A Cup & A Story campaign to create personal connections within my community
To prep for our coffee date I headed to Walmart because we were running low on coffee, no surprise there. I also wanted to have fresh flowers and some fun mugs with tops so that we could enjoy our Folgers coffee outside too. I love using our bar cart for all parties so I set it up by the front door so we were ready to enjoy our coffee as soon as we got together.
A Cup of Coffee with Renata Sans de Negril
I have had the good fortune of working closely with Renata over the last 3 years. She is a consummate professional. She is extremely organized and dedicated to improving our community. Her project management skills from her career cross over perfectly. She is level headed and a forward thinker. She is the type of person you want to spend time with. You always feel better after speaking to her because she has a great skill of helping to put everything into perspective. Having a chance to connect with her over coffee was such a treat. So often as moms we are running from place to place. It was so nice to have an opportunity to simply sit down just the two of us and catch up. I also realized that while we know each other well I had never asked her about how she learned about the organization and about her goals for her presidency.
Tell me about yourself:
Renata is from the coffee capital of the world, Brazil, the land of the red soil. So she loves coffee and knows a lot about it. She moved to the states in 2000 for a manager in development program at a hotel. Renata earned her MBA in International Business from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. She met her husband in the states and they have 2 boys, Pietro (5) and Phillipo (2), and one more on the way (arriving in October).
When did you start volunteering:
Renata grew up volunteering. Since childhood Renata and her sister have been giving back to their community. Their parents had a tradition that before every Christmas and birthday they had to do a toy clean out for those less fortunate. If you did not, then Santa would not come or they would not get any new birthday gifts. Over the holidays their parents would dress them up like little Santa helpers. They would go to a local orphanage and to people living in rural areas to deliver gifts. For Easter they went to the country to deliver chocolate eggs to the less fortunate. From those experiences she started to organize food and clothing drives, in her classrooms at school. When she was 14 she joined the Rotary, Interact club. She learned about this organization, from her boss, while living in LA. She was working and studying so she waited to join until she moved back to Florida.
Favorite Volunteering Experiences:
Previously Renata served as the co-chair of child welfare, overseeing the Diaper Bank and the Self Esteem Committees. She was drawn to the role because she believes that children are our future and that a good education is everything. Education is also the one thing that no one can take away from you. In order for children to succeed they need good role models and a good support system which we are able to provide them through volunteering.
She also recalled her favorite success story. She met a little boy while volunteering to help with homework for kids living in a local migrant camp. Even though the little boy’s parents were illiterate he dreamed of going to college. With the support of homework helpers, like Renata, he did really well in school. And he was able to fulfilled his dream of going to college. He started at Miami Dade College and eventually was accepted into MIT. These success stories really make her believe that anything is possible and pushes her to dedicate her time to volunteering in her community.
Goals as President:
Her goal is to focus on the mission of developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. These trained volunteers will be able to serve on committees, like the Self Esteem Committee, to personally impact the kids in our community. She would like to see everyone develop their leadership skills and learn what the community needs are. Her long term goal is to have members serving the community either as leader in the organization or through another nonprofit. The organization is filled with very powerful women who have given not only to the organization but to the entire community. The Diaper Bank has distributed 2 million diapers, but we can do more. With trained volunteers we can continue to grow our impact in the community and share with other organizations how they can successfully recreate our programs in their community.
Most Proud of:
She is most proud of our members. They are unbelievable, especially with what they have done for our community. Many members learn how to efficiently make an impact in the community and then they move on to volunteer with other organizations. Some have opened consulting agencies, started political careers, and become huge contributors to the community. When you attend, Women Volunteer of the Year, (their largest fundraiser) you can see how our members make a difference in our organization, and also throughout the community through other nonprofits. They are the longest standing organization of women empowering each other. The organization has evolved so much, since we were founded, throughout the United States, Mexico and London. Today most of the women join to learn about the community and give back. All of this is on top of other priorities like full time careers and families.
Most Excited About:
To see members grow. Renata wants to nurture people and empower them to feel they are capable to take positive actions. The most rewarding part of the league is to help people grow in the organization and in the community. Her goal is to give them all the resources and tools to create professional volunteers. Thank you so much to Renata for taking the time to sit down with me. It is always a pleasure. Who would you want to share a cup of coffee with?
Pin for Later: A Cup of Coffee with President, Renata Sans de Negril