Role at MMG: VP of Talent and Culture
Gretchen’s professional passion: “Even when they were small, my daughters learned that our motto is ‘We help,’” Gretchen says. “When you can make a difference, you do — it doesn’t matter if it’s at work, at home or in the community. I am passionate about helping.”
What drew Gretchen to MMG: Gretchen was happily employed with Edward Jones, with great flexibility and under great leadership, when she first heard about the opportunity at Mission Matters Group. “In fact, I thought I would retire from Edward Jones, but I believe strongly that God had a different plan for me,” she says. “As much as I tried to ignore this role, it weighed heavily on me after a friend mentioned it to me early one morning at the gym.” Ignoring the opportunity was like a game of Whack-a-Mole, she says. “It would pop into my head and I would smack it down.” But eventually, Gretchen inquired.
The more I learned about Mission Matters and about this role, it became quite obvious that this was a perfect role for me, one that I’ve been unknowingly preparing for my entire career, she says, pointing to her purpose-driven approach and project management experience. I am humbled to be part of such important work.
Favorite part of her role: “The thing that most excites me right now is the ability to drive progress. I get to work with really smart, technical people and help push us toward meeting the goals of our clients who are doing really important work,” she says. “I feel like I am part of something bigger than me.”
What drives Gretchen to serve nonprofits:
I am one of many strong, independent women in my family who have always been willing to get involved. I have three daughters and I want them to see me doing important work I strongly believe in.
She says. “Nonprofits do such important work, but often aren’t resourced to be as impactful as possible. I know because I’ve been there, as both a board member and executive director of nonprofits. If MMG can remove one obstacle or provide more resources, we are helping really important work happen.”
Education and career highlights: “My entire career has been focused on performance improvement and leveraging the potential of people,” Gretchen says. She holds undergraduate degrees from East Central College and St. Louis University, as well as an MA in Human Resource Development from Webster University and an MBA from Fontbonne University. Gretchen’s career achievements are many, including HR learning and development leadership at Edward Jones, leading East Central’s Center for Workforce Development as Executive Director and serving the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation as Executive Director.
Family: Gretchen is married to Brad, and together they have three daughters — Meredith, Eleanor and Lillian — as well as two dogs, Rudy and Millie. They live in downtown Washington, MO, where they have lovingly (and sometimes not so patiently) restored a 115+ year old Victorian home and recently built and moved into a riverfront brownstone.
Outside MMG: “Most of my free time is dedicated to running my three cheerleaders to and from the gym, school, games and competitions,” Gretchen says. “I’m an avid reader, a mediocre runner and adventurous cook.” She also enjoys spending time on the water at the Lake of the Ozarks with family and friends. As if all that isn’t enough, in 2018 Gretchen successfully campaigned and was elected to serve as a member of the Washington, MO City Council.
Hidden talent: Gretchen loves to cook, but doesn’t use recipes or cookbooks. “I browse Pinterest and read cookbooks for inspiration, but I don’t like measuring and I’m not very good at following instructions!” she smiles.
A cause she loves: Gretchen is particularly passionate about women’s rights. “Until women of all backgrounds, colors and nationalities are afforded the same privileges and rights as all men, we have a substantial burden to educate, advocate and make a difference,” she says.