Financial expert and problem-solver extraordinaire Chris Dedow joined Taproot looking to continue his volunteerism and take it to the next level by using his professional experiences to strengthen nonprofits in the Los Angeles community. As a financial analyst at Disney, Chris Dedow is also a member of the company’s VoluntEARS Leadership Council, helping lead fellow Disney employees in community engagement opportunities. With Taproot, Chris enjoys being able to step outside of his day-to-day role and work with professionals in other fields, gaining new perspectives on different business processes and industries. Chris served as a financial and strategy analyst on his first Taproot project: an Annual Report for the Council for Watershed Health, an environmental action organization. Of his initial experience with the Taproot process, Chris said:
It was humbling for someone to look at you as an expert in your area. It adds pressure, but a good kind of pressure.
Rudy Shutta, Account Director on the Council for Watershed Health project, was impressed with Chris’s skill and dedication. Not only did he prove to be an expert in his field of finance, mentions Rudy, but Chris also had valuable input when it came to the design, editing and presentation of the annual report. And when a volunteer had to withdraw from the project, Chris stepped in as a project manager. “I felt that he could step into other project roles if something went wrong,” says Rudy. The Account Director also notes that Chris did a great service to the team by providing a balance between working and having fun: “Chris is a fun guy to be around, which is important on these projects.”
Stepping up to the next challenge
After demonstrating his incredible leadership abilities on the Council for Watershed Health project, Chris was promoted to a Project Manager and is now leading the day-to-day aspects of an Annual Report project for Outfest, a media arts organization that promotes LGBT equality. Chris explains that this project has been a learning experience for the nonprofit as well as him, as he takes on the challenge of keeping in mind the big picture of the project -understanding the nonprofit’s need and making sure his team is communicating and staying on schedule – in order to make the project a success.
I like attempting to tackle difficult problems.
This achiever and go-getter attitude made him a perfect consultant to participate in Taproot’s Disney sponsored Powered By Pro Bono workshop. The Powered By Pro Bono Workshop, held in March, was a wonderful event where Taproot pro bono consultants supported nonprofits in learning about scoping, securing, and managing pro bono projects, and how it would directly apply to the needs of their organization now. Faced with a time crunch and the task of understanding what his nonprofit client wanted to accomplish, Chris stepped up to the challenge and was able to guide the nonprofit in the right direction toward solutions for the organization.
Anyone can get involved
For Chris Dedow, volunteering for Taproot has been a great way to understand his Los Angeles environs. Having been here for just over a year, he feels grateful for the chance to get involved in the community and receive valuable professional and personal advice from his peers. He encourages others to find their passion and take a chance by trying something new and volunteering on a Taproot Service Grant project.
Thank you Chris for all the work you do with Taproot to make LA a better place! You MAKE IT MATTER!