Five Questions with Lauren Visher of Naper Settlement
By Hilary Decent For The Sun October 6, 2011 11:44AM
Updated: December 6, 2011 4:45AM
As a young girl, Lauren Visher enjoyed volunteering at the Naper Settlement giving tours of the print shop to visitors. Thirteen years later, she’s their special events coordinator, responsible for six large annual events.
Like most people in the nonprofit world, Visher isn’t in the job for the money, having discovered there are so many other more important rewards. Here she answers five questions for The Sun.
1. Did you have aspirations of working at the Naper Settlement as a child?
Visher: (Laughing) “It never crossed my mind. I enjoyed theater and thought acting was what I wanted to do. When I left Naperville Central, I did musical theater at North Central College. Now I only use it (acting) for fun. I decided I really wanted to do something worthwhile. Before this job, which I started in May, I was assistant director of development at the YMCA for the entire region for three and a half years. I fell in love with nonprofits.”
2. What’s an average day like for you?
“It really depends on which event I’m working on. I spend my day working on logistics, working with committees and volunteers. I spend a lot of time answering questions. I try to make the pieces of the puzzle fit together.”
3. What events are you currently working on?
“All Hallow’s Eve is on Oct. 21 and 22 when the Naper Settlement turns into a fright fest. Each building has something different. This year we have old favorites like the Mummy’s Tomb and Dracula’s Lair, plus a torture chamber and haunted mansion.”
4. Are you involved in any other community organizations?
“I’m part of the Jaycees and the Young Professionals of Naperville, which is part of the Chamber of Commerce. This year I’m on the boards of both. I’m very busy all the time. Since I spend most of my time trying to raise money, it’s very rewarding getting to give it away through the Jaycees. The Young Professionals help us to grow as leaders. It’s my generation that will take over for the rest of my life.”
5. You’re just starting your career. What long-term goals do you have?
“Long-term I would like to stay in nonprofit, and I would like to have a greater impact. At the YMCA, I was responsible for bringing in half-a-million dollars that we could use to help over 5,000 families. To have an even greater impact would be fantastic. Eventually, I would like to be a consultant. It’s really about helping people and making a difference in the community. Helping people is the reward. What I do make has allowed me to enjoy my life. I’ve never been motivated by money.”
To learn more about Naper Settlement or to volunteer for All Hallow’s Eve, visit www.napersettlement.org.
Know someone who should be featured in 5 Questions? Email readers’ editor Heather Pfundstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.