This month we would like to introduce you to N Street Village staff member Tim Fretz. Tim grew up in southern Ontario in Canada and went to University of Guelph, Ontario. He worked in international development in Bangladesh and Ethiopia before coming to D.C. in 1990. Tim joined N Street Village as the Manager of Foundation and Government Giving in October last year, as a part of the merger with Miriam’s House, where he had worked since 1998. Let’s get to know Tim:
NSV: What do you do on a daily basis at N Street Village?
TF: I’m responsible for foundation and government grants, so a lot of reading, writing, and arithmetic. I have a rolling calendar of applications and reports to foundations. The government grants have monthly invoices to be assembled. I work a lot with program staff and the finance department, as well as the rest of the team in the development department.
NSV: What have been some of the most obvious changes you have witnessed since Miriam’s House and N Street Village merged together?
TF: Seeing Miriam’s House residents around the N Street Village flagship building as they come in for the programs and services. N Street Village is gaining more recognition in the world of AIDS service organizations. One of the regular volunteer groups at N Street Village included working in the Miriam’s House garden as part of their service day. And…I’m not doing building maintenance anymore.
NSV: How did you manage to go through the merger process – shift roles, join a new team, move to a new work place – and stay so positive? What is the secret?
TF: It makes a difference to believe in the mission and vision. The journey is as important as the destination. My life has been full of challenging times, and I’ve learned lots along the way; I try to use that experience in whatever the next challenge is.
NSV: What story about a woman we have served has stuck with you most?
TF: The stories in the dramatic presentation that our women did at The Kennedy Center were amazing, as was the entire performance. It was an intense reminder of the healing power of community, an affirmation of who we are and why we do what we do
NSV: What was your greatest accomplishment of the past year?
TF: I feel the merger was a huge accomplishment (and a huge amount of work). It was successfully completed, is a major improvement for the residents of Miriam’s House, and is good news for N Street Village.
NSV: What’s one lesson you learned in your [time] at N Street Village?
TF: It doesn’t matter how big or small the organization, communication is central.
NSV: Describe working at N Street Village in 3 words or less.
TF: Challenging. Collegial. Community.