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A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:

  • December 23, 2012 - 2:19 PM

A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:

PEGGY SHAW FINK URBAN VENTURES

Title: Vice president of advancement

Peggy Shaw Fink is continuing her career in nonprofit organizations as the new vice president of advancement at Urban Ventures, a Minneapolis nonprofit that offers programs in education, parenting, mentoring and job-readiness.

Fink oversees communications, marketing and development and will help organize events next year to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Urban Ventures' founding.

Giving back to the community has long been a priority, Fink said, underscored dramatically when she and her family lost most of their possessions in a house fire five years ago.

"We had insurance, family and friends, but we didn't have a toothbrush or a place to put our heads," Fink said. "You start thinking differently about people who chronically don't have those kinds of things or don't have access to services that we take for granted."

The educational focus of most of Urban Ventures' programs appeals to Fink, as does the coffee available through the organization's CityKid Java program, in which youths learn entrepreneurship through training in management and sales. Coffee sales have raised more than $1 million for Urban Ventures since the program's launch 10 years ago, Fink said.

Fink previously worked as director of development at the Union Gospel Mission after serving on its board. She also was director of the annual fund and special projects at Northwestern College. Fink has a master's degree in communications from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree in speech and psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

QWhat goals do you have at Urban Ventures?

AThis role consolidates the functions of fundraising and development with communications and marketing, so we're taking a look at a number of programs. ... We're putting together a new direct-mail program, looking at revitalizing our endowment plan so that we have long-term sustainability. We also are going to rev up our planned giving program. We have our work cut out for us but I've got a young and active team.

QWhat interested you in this opportunity?

AI really love the education piece here -- the Learning Lab after-school program, the Hub youth mentoring program, the sports programs. I also really like the Center for Fathering. That's something that especially our inner city has been lacking. I'm just privileged to be in a position to help raise funds for those programs.

QWhat has led you to spend your career in nonprofits?

AThat's where I started and it's been my comfort zone. I have felt that I've been able to make a difference in people's lives. When you work for an organization that you have a passion for, you don't talk about finances. You talk about offering people an opportunity to make a difference and to make their own lives more fruitful.

TODD NELSON

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