20 Questions

Mike Westby

  1. How would you describe yourself in 3 words? Husband,  father, and boss
  2. What was your first job, and what lesson did you take from it that you still use today? I was a laborer on my dad’s construction sites at 15. I learned how to carry plywood, clean lumber, wheel concrete, drive a tractor, and drink coffee. I still drink coffee to this day.
  3. Who do you wish you could meet again for the first time? Patti
  4. What inspires you to do your best work? Our clients and our staff.
  5. Is there a humanitarian that has left an impression on you? There are several: Ray Hickey, Ed Lynch, Ed Firstenburg, George Propstra
  6. What is your Enneagram type? Type 3 – The Achiever. The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious.
  7. How do you describe what you do for a living to family and friends? We help non-profits think and act strategically, so they are more successful.
  8. What could you give a 30-minute presentation about with no advance preparation? Helping nonprofits think and act strategically so they are more successful.
  9. What’s one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit? Daily workouts (always!).
  10. Where are you in birth order (oldest? middle? youngest?) and do you think it affects your personality? Youngest (of eight) I learned patience. I still have to practice it daily, though.
  11. What do you like about working at WAI? I like what we do. I like the types of people we get to work with. I also like our people.
  12. What’s the most inspiring part of nonprofit work? Moving the needle / making a difference.
  13. What’s one professional skill you’re currently working to improve? Conversion to the Cloud and technical proficiencies and knowledge around that.
  14. Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work? My dad. Also, my wife, Patti. My dad taught me how to work hard and set high standards. Patti taught me how to find balance and joy.
  15. What personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why? My desire to understand and communicate. It is at the core of everything.
  16. What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it? I started a company before I met Patti and learned balance. I nearly worked myself to death. I had to go back to working for organizations for five or six years before I was ready to do it again (with WAI).
  17. If you could add one thing to WAI office, what would it be? Triple pane glass.
  18. What’s one of your favorite memories from your career? Making the move onto Officers Row 15 years ago.
  19. What are three items you’d take with you to a deserted island? A water purification system, a fishing pole, and a hunting rifle
  20. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? Tell the truth. Work hard. Find joy in your work.

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