This is an exciting post to write! I am so thrilled to be joining the Solve ME/CFS Initiative as the new engagement manager. But let me begin at the beginning… My name is Leigh Reynolds and I come to the Solve ME/CFS Initiative as my next step in serving the nonprofit community. For two decades I have worked to make a real difference in my corner of the world, while instilling and fostering this drive in others. My father used to say, “Do what you love and the rest will take care of itself.” I have tried to follow his sage advice.
My greatest joy comes from helping individuals and organizations find their clearest voice and tap into their highest strengths, so that their goals may be more readily met. There is always a way to get it done… If Plan B falls through, go on to C, D or F; the journey itself can build new strengths. I have a wealth of solid non-profit, marketing, management, training and leadership experience. While I have learned a lot from successes to which I’ve contributed, I have also learned through disappointments and failure. I am excited to bring all those valuable life experiences to my work on behalf of the CFS community and the Solve ME/CFS Initiative .
I guess I should qualify my hopes with a bit of my history… Most recently, I served as the vice president of communication and engagement for a small event management and consulting firm whose client base is almost exclusively non-profit organizations. In this role, I helped build a new national engagement and fundraising campaign for an orphan disease, led an effort to rebrand and re-launch a national fundraising effort and served as part of the team to help exponentially grow a number of existing events. Prior to that, I worked on the staff of a small national group, the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, more than doubling its national walk event revenue. I’ve also run with the big dogs, serving for nine years with the National MS Society in a local chapter and as a national fundraising consultant. Regardless of the organization, size and scope of the patient population or breadth of the mission, it’s the people – patients, family members and volunteers – that I have always connected with and continue to learn from.
From managing existing communication efforts, like brochures and websites, to launching new social media campaigns, to building volunteer councils and cultivating a strong community of engaged advocates, I make an organization’s mission my passion. I am eager to learn more about CFS and all of you.
As the Solve ME/CFS Initiative’s engagement manager, I will work to broaden and deepen understanding and awareness of CFS. I hope to help build an even stronger CFS community that will empower patients and engage greater numbers of people in the cause in meaningful and powerful ways. I am excited to share news about ways in which the Solve ME/CFS Initiative is driving and supporting CFS research investment, as well as fostering academic, government and industry involvement to solve CFS. This work all begins with listening and learning; so please, tell me your story so I can help tell the world.
I feel as though so much in my life has led me to this place; brought me to this point in time with CFS and the Solve ME/CFS Initiative with a distinct purpose. So many exciting things are underway and even more are on the horizon. I have grabbed hold of the mission to solve CFS and will bring all I have to bear on this effort, and I am humbled to be invited to join the CFS family.