In our Meet the Member series, we showcase the creative professionals in The Shop’s vibrant community who are making an impact in their industry. From non-profit organizations, to software developers, design firms, and more– our members represent a diverse range of backgrounds and businesses.
Your next personal or professional connection might be working in the Commons area right next to you. We’ll help you discover them.
Growing up without a father is a challenge facing thousands of boys in New Orleans. For too many of them, the challenge will prove overwhelming. That’s where The Shop member Allen Smith, Donor Relations Manager at Son of a Saint, steps in to help make an impact. Son of a Saint is a New Orleans-based non-profit that exists to enhance the lives of fatherless boys through mentorship, emotional support, development of life skills, exposure to constructive experiences, and formation of positive, lasting peer-to-peer relationships.
We spoke with Allen to find out about his transition from mentor, to Son of a Saint employee.
How did you first become involved with Son of a Saint?
It was about five years ago, when I realized I wanted to do more impactful things for the community in New Orleans. I wanted to become a part of something greater than myself. I started at Son of a Saint as a mentor, and within five years I became an employee!
What does your day-to-day look like at your organization? Has The Shop’s coworking environment impacted your work?
I am in partnership meetings all day. The Shop has definitely impacted me, even if it’s just by seeing and talking to new people regularly in the space. As a development manager, that helps form relationships with new partners for Son of a Saint.
What’s your favorite thing to do in New Orleans?
I like to go to music festivals; French Quarter Festival is my favorite.
What are some exciting projects you or your org have coming down the pipeline?
Our upcoming annual Son of a Saint Gala in partnership with The Ritz-Carlton will be our largest yet. It’s our major fundraiser of the year and provides a large percentage of our annual operating budget. This year, we’re growing from 250 to 400 attendees.