In this episode, Adam Salgat sits down with newly appointed CEO Misty Janks to cover the expansion of programs, including virtual classes happening at CFCC. They also discuss her excitement level moving into her new role and the heritage behind the official name change that took place about one year ago.
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Welcome to the listen first podcast brought to you by the Chapman foundation for caring communities. Our vision and mission is to strengthen relationships and build stronger communities through listening, leadership, care and service to create a truly human connection. Learn and partner with us as we imagine a society in which people care about each other. And listen first.
Adam Salgat 0:38
Hello, and welcome to the listen first podcast. My name is Adam Salgat. And with me today is the brand new Chief Executive Officer of champion foundation for caring communities. Misty Jenks, welcome to the podcast, Misty.
Unknown Speaker 0:52
Thank you, Adam. I’m so excited to be here with you today.
Adam Salgat 0:54
Thanks. I’m excited to have you on, as I said, their brand new CEO of our organization, told me a little bit about your history with the organization and what you’re so excited about in this new role.
Speaker 2 1:08
So I have been with the organization for six years, and it has just been a tremendous journey, that I have grown alongside the organization, way back in 2016. I started as a facilitator with the organization, I was actually leading a different nonprofit at that time. But I was so inspired by my personal class experience that when the opportunity came to be that I could join the organization full time I jumped right on that. Yeah, so I started off early on in my career with a CFCC, as a chapter leader, for the state of Michigan. And from there, I had the opportunity to transition into the senior leader of strategic engagements where I got to work with the different chapter leaders, and different partnerships all across the US. And now finally, I’m in the role now as the CEO. And I’m just super excited to continue to build relationships well beyond what the opportunity that I had to before and also continue to develop our team internally, because it is really, truly an amazing team to have the opportunity to lead. I think the most exciting piece for this is we have really reinvented ourselves as an organization. With the pandemic, we have really been able to step back and adjust our deliveries. So previous to the pandemic, we only had the one class that was in person, we have pletely evolves now, where we have a wide variety, of course offerings in the virtual format, plus in person whenever we’re allowed to have those currently.
Adam Salgat 2:47
That’s awesome. So we’re gonna step into what those look like. So I’m glad you didn’t give everything away. And that’s in that first comment, because there’s definitely more to come and explaining what those look like what they are, and everything coming here in 2022. But speaking of 2022, we’re about one year from the name change that our organization went through changing from our community lessons to the Chapman foundation for caring communities. And I think it would be a great time to once again, kind of touch on why that name change took place, what the goal, what the hope is there. And I also want to have you touch on the new vision and the new mission of CFCC.
Speaker 2 3:27
With the name change, it really was perpetuated by that we will be trying to become a sustainable and scalable organization. And most of our listeners know us from the our community listens experience, or what was formerly called the communication skills training course. So that three day community experience that are most everyone has had the opportunity to attend.
Adam Salgat 3:53
Yes, as you just stated, most everybody has had the opportunity to attend and that is how they know us and how they’ve gotten to know CFTC. And as things have changed, we are like you said, and we’re gonna get to it in more detail, more virtual coming up. Again, I want to bring up the vision and the mission statement. So can you touch? Can you read those off and then comment on those? For our listeners?
Speaker 2 4:14
Yes. So the vision for the Chapman foundation for caring communities, is we imagine a society in which people care about each other first, all of our work really tries to get us to this mission and focusing on that truly human connection and truly human leadership. So being able to see the individual and show them that they matter and they our work has value. So our mission is to offer transformational learning experiences that strengthen relationships, align teams and build stronger communities.
Adam Salgat 4:47
That’s awesome. And obviously, we’re really focused on trying to create that truly human connection. In the initial comments that you made. You talked about scalable and sustainable. Can you touch on that a little bit?
Speaker 2 5:00
Yes. So when we become scalable, the main point that we’re really trying to get to here is the original 3d experience could sometimes have been a barrier for participation, it really is a privilege to be able to take three days off of work and invest that time into yourself. But that could be a hurdle for individuals, too. So over this year, we’re really focusing on how can we make this course available to anyone that wants to come and learn with us. So we’re really excited to announce that we will now have a virtual our community listens experience become available in April.
Adam Salgat 5:41
Awesome. So that’s really exciting. And I know there’s a lot of work being done to get that ready to go. So that means if you’re an alumni listening right now, and you’ve always thought to yourself, Man, I wish maybe my spouse went through this, or I had more coworkers to kind of talk about this communication style, this should open up that avenue quite a bit to give them the opportunity to do it from wherever they are, if they’re at home, or if they’re working still in the office, they could do it virtually.
Speaker 2 6:06
Absolutely, that is the exact thing that we wanted to be offering to everyone. And the other barrier that it gets over is typically you would have to be in one of our regions to be able to attend one of our community classes. Now you can really be anywhere in the world and come and learn with us.
Adam Salgat 6:23
That is pretty amazing. And I know the pandemic has changed a lot of our lives. And but this is one of those elements that we can really look at and and be thankful for the idea that people are a lot more people are comfortable learning online, connecting online.
Speaker 2 6:37
And the other great thing that we have learned with our experiences over the past year is you can still create those connections in a virtual environment, I was really skeptical in the beginning. And I was actually kind of doubting that that would happen. But I’ve been able to sit in on a few of our pilot classes. And those classes still come out just as connected as the ones that in person. And that’s such a beautiful thing. Because the skills then resonate, no matter what environment that you’re in.
Adam Salgat 7:04
Yep, I have a couple of Internet gaming friends that would say connections via online is not something new to them. Because I have a buddy who plays games with guys in Minnesota, and feels like best friends with him. He’s never seen him in person, but they’ve been playing games together for a decade now. And it’s just that online connection, it can exist. And so that’s what we’re trying to build, talk a little bit more about scalable and sustainable and talk about partnerships with organizations around around the US.
Speaker 2 7:32
So that’s the other opportunity that the past year has really given to us. Since we haven’t been able to offer as many community based classes where you’re bringing individuals in, we’ve really focused in on growth through partnerships. So where are people already coming together, where they already have those communities of care, that we can focus in and deliver these skills and just help those relationships become even better. So we now have the opportunity to go in and work with different organizations all across the US and build the better and stronger teams in those environments. And so if anyone is out there, and they are interested in hosting dedicated class for the org group, we can now do that.
Adam Salgat 8:16
Let’s touch a little bit more on partnerships, told me, you know, what partnerships we have in place now? And also what is the organization who is the organization looking to get connected with,
Speaker 2 8:27
we’re really hoping to make a difference in multiple areas. One of our focus areas for 2022 will be in education, we know that with the pandemic and with COVID. Our teachers are really feeling the strain, and that our teachers are really just having a struggle and a different set of challenges that they’ve never experienced before. So with our program, we really focus in on the relational skills for teachers, how can we teach them the social emotional skills that we are expecting them to teach the children in their span of care, and that’s all through modeling those behaviors. So we have a research project currently going on with Central Michigan University and showing the linkages of when the teachers are trained with our community listen skill set, that the impact that they have in the classroom is higher, because they’re actually role modeling the behaviors that we want the kids to learn. So that’s really exciting. So that’s one focus area, or target market that we’re going for in 2022. A second demographic that we’re starting to work with is policing across the US. So we have been kicking off partnerships and relationships with really forward thinking police chiefs on how can we help them through providing the listening skills so they can better connect with those that they are serving. So we We’ve worked with different universities in different cities, and really starting to see some of the impacts that the class is having in that space. We have heard about suicide rates and divorce rates of police officers, and how can our skills affect and make an impact not only on those that they serve, but in their family lives, too. So really switching from that command and control environment into the space and transitioning back into their home lives, how can they make that switch? How can the these skills really help them develop that, and then our third target area that we are working with our nonprofits, so nonprofits really cover a lot of broad area. But if you are interested in bringing the skills to your nonprofit, we are very excited to help do that. And you could fill out a form on our website to become one of those partners. Talk a little bit
Adam Salgat 10:55
about growing beyond just the three day our community listens experience, we are keeping the name our community lessons as our main course right. So talk a little bit about the some of the numbers that you have in that area, and anything else you want to add in that space.
Speaker 2 11:13
So we have over 11,000 alumni of the art community listens program. And that is just an amazing number that cannot wait to continue to grow. With all of our alumni, we see that they utilize the skills in different aspects of their life, whether that be as parents, in their committed relationships, or in leadership. So we now have curriculum focused for those specific development areas. So if you wanted to have a skill snippet, so you can log on as listen to a podcast regarding those different topic areas. So we now will have monthly offerings all through 2022 in each of those focus areas. So if you’re interested in developing the leadership skills, the parenting skills, or the committed relationships,
Adam Salgat 12:02
that’s why I was gonna ask that to reiterate those one more time parenting, committed relationships, and leadership, those are our three main focus areas moving forward.
Speaker 2 12:10
Yes, so those are our three focus areas of how we apply the skills. So we’ll still have different course trainings on different areas of empathy and listening. But those are actually the areas that were applying the skills and will then be able to help you focus in on that aspect of your life,
Adam Salgat 12:33
that’s a really good way to put it. Because I know, as a parent of young ones, I know that it’s really nice to hear Mickey Gibbs, our Director of Family Programs talk about parenting. And, you know, as a young parent, I’m always looking for more tips. I’m always looking for more ways to connect with my kids.
Speaker 2 12:49
And so what’s really great about our parenting and committed relationships is typically when somebody experiences the skills for the first time, this is where they go home and test out those skills in those areas. So with your significant other, or as you said, with your children, and once you see the skills work, then you’re more likely to take them into that work environment, because you have a little bit more trust maybe or forgiveness in those spaces. So that is why we offer that focus area, because we know if we’re growing at home, it will then come into our work lives and make us better leaders.
Adam Salgat 13:27
And I think that’s the evolution that I’ve seen of this organization is that when I initially went through the three day class, and when I started the podcast, there was definitely a lot of talk about getting it in front of leaders, and also organizations and businesses. So everybody within job, you know, within their job was talking on the same level had the same communication style, or they had the same communication knowledge working on one playing field. But I have seen it filter into my everyday life, right, like we just talked about. And truly that’s a little bit of where this name change comes from. Right the growth, the heritage of this organization. Let’s talk a little bit about
Speaker 2 14:11
that. Yes. So talking a little bit about the heritage. So Bob and Cynthia Chapman started this organization, way back 11 years ago now. And it really was born out of the fact that as Bob and Cynthia were going around and visiting the different manufacturing plants for Barry Wehmiller, which Bob is was the CEO of they would hear all of the impact stories about how this business class, save their marriage, help them be better parents or repaired relationships. And they were really surprised by this outcome, but they just kept hearing it. And that’s when Cynthia said to Bob, Bob, we can’t just keep this internal to our organization. We have to share it with the world. We have to continue to have that impact on the communities where our Our plants are, and that was the birth of the our community listens organization. So keeping true to that heritage is really why it’s so important for us to keep those focus areas of the parenting and committed relationships, because it will also then go into our leadership.
Adam Salgat 15:19
Yeah, it’s almost like no matter what lens, you have your first contact with us, whether it’s through a parenting class, or a parenting Roundtable, a potential of a committed relationship course, or a leadership course, or your organization just brings the communication class to you if you know through a partnership, so no matter which lens you have your first contact, it definitely bleeds through and makes its way into different parts of our lives.
Speaker 2 15:46
Yes, absolutely. We’ve all heard you, who you are, is how you lead. And you lead in that same way in all aspects of your life. And so I think that’s why it all comes together so brilliantly.
Adam Salgat 15:59
Misty, is there anything else you want to add about the organization moving forward here in 2022, or anything, you can tell our alumni to get them, you know, pretty geeked, or excited about the opportunity to either reconnect with us, or get new people connected with us.
Speaker 2 16:15
As alumni, we are going to continue our monthly offering. So you will now see different trainings or On Demand trainings, also, where you can learn from your own space and at your own time. So look for those monthly offerings connect when you can just continue to utilize the skills, because the more you engage with them, the more second nature or they just become a part of you. And that’s really the important piece. As we continue on this learning journey.
Adam Salgat 16:47
I know one thing I’m looking forward to is a online community that we’re hoping to build here in this year, where would allow us who you know, that have been through the course. And we have the same knowledge base to connect, and kind of learn from each other on how we’re utilizing the skills?
Speaker 2 17:02
Yes, I think that will be a beautiful addition for our alumni and also for our internal team. It is amazing to hear the stories of how the skills are being utilized in different spaces. And that will be the true beauty of this, that it’ll just continue to expand and give us new experiences. Because no matter how many times I facilitate the class, it is always a unique experience because of the members in the class in how they make the skills come to life. And that’s what now our alumni will be able to see and feel.
Adam Salgat 17:39
Well, Misty, thank you so much for being on today’s podcast. I hope we you know, got everybody a little bit excited about what’s coming here in 2022. Lots of class offerings, lots of knowledge to be shared, lots of connection to be made, whether it’s virtual, or getting back into three day in person classes in regions that we can that we can move forward with that so we’re really looking forward to all of it.
Speaker 2 18:02
Yeah, so hopefully we will see some of our alumni in our upcoming classes.