I’ve always believed in the quote from Paulo Coelho ‘When you want something the universe conspires with you to make it happen.” And boy did the universe conspire with me to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Co-founders Kate, Shelley and I thought, “How cool would it be if we could help save just one woman’s life!” And with your help we have done so much more than that. Whether you have supported us from day one or today is your first experience with us, together we have created a legacy that has impacted thousands and thousands of women’s lives and their families.
I liken what we have done together to the birth of child - something magical and a beautiful blessing. And just as it takes a village to raise a child it takes a village to raise a non-profit. With both there comes a time for the mother to let her child soar on their own and experience the world with other influences to take them to even greater heights. I knew this time would come for Check for a Lump at some point.
A year ago in January, I was unsure if our baby “Check for a Lump” was ready for the world without me, however, I love the many different chapters life has to offer, and I was starting to get anxious to prepare my exit and pursue something new of my own. I was feeling guilty to jump ship. All our hard work would sink without a committed captain with integrity and passion.
And what do you know, just as the world conspired with me to begin Check for a Lump the world started to conspire with me to kick me out. The first wisp of conspiracy came from the Queen of kindness, Mrs. Billie Jo Herberger. She shared with me, “Holly, this does not have to be your badge of courage forever.” She gave me the blessing to begin preparing my exit. Next, I hired back Ashley Plum, who proved to be more than an outreach director and deserving of Director of Development and maybe even something greater.
My new conspiracy was beginning to churn. My husband and I always dreamed of getting back to the beach where our souls belong. Thanks to Covid we all learned we could do a lot of our work remotely. Our girls were out of college, that meant a big raise for us! They were also out of the house, so no need for our big home. Then the housing market skyrocketed in Phoenix, and remained steady in California, so one year ago we made the courageous leap, sold our home, and moved to a townhome in Carlsbad, Ca near the beach.
I have been working remotely and also going back and forth twice a month for the past year. I would come to town and view our team thriving without me and following Ashley’s lead. It felt like our little baby was all grown up and ready to fly. During the past year I have been training Ashley to become me and I dare say she is better than me. I possessed the skills to take us to this level, however I know full well I don’t have the skills to take us to the next, and Ashley does. Ashley can bring new skills, new operations, new ways of leading, while keeping the Check for a Lump prized culture of integrity, gratitude, compassion, passion, and, of course, some fun. It is time I let Check for a Lump fly to great heights without me. It’s time for me to pass my baby, our baby, to Ashley Plum.
It has been a blessed fourteen years as CEO. There are not enough words to share my gratitude for your enthusiastic support, entrusting me with your generous donations, joining my crazy ideas like our Wig Out to raise funds and infuse some lightheartedness in the serious subject. I have so many treasured memories thanks to all of you, our supporters, our sponsors, our clients, our board and our staff. I can’t BELIEVE what we have accomplished together and the impact we have made! I will forever cherish my time spent as CEO for Check for a Lump. You all have my eternal gratitude, respect, and love. Together, we created a beautiful legacy for us all!
Now it's time to pass the torch to Ashley Plum. I wouldn’t hand over our baby over to just anyone. Ashley's passion inspired me. Her optimism wowed me. Her dedication to help Check for a Lump soar won me over. Ashley Plum earned the title of Executive Director. May she steward with the upmost integrity, show immense gratitude to our beloved supporters, share our message and programs with compassion, lead with passion and keep the bright pink light glowing with ridiculously fun creativity.
Ashley Plum is now crowned the 'Big Wig' of Check for a Lump! Please welcome Ashley Plum as the new Check for a Lump Executive Director!