Listen and You Will Learn
It's amazing how much you can learn by listening to others. I recently had a wonderful experience at a luncheon meeting. I invited a philanthropist to join me for lunch, and all I did was ask questions and listen. I didn't have an agenda or end game in mind. I just wanted to ask questions to someone special and learn how someone with such rich experiences has been promoting philanthropy for so many years.
Lorene Burkhart is a noted author who often speaks throughout the state of Indiana. Her business career spans more than 40 years, and along the way she broke not only the glass ceiling but also traditional barriers for women as the first female executive in all her jobs.
Her background includes being a teacher, broadcaster, writer/publisher, and marketing and public relations executive. She has written seven books — three for children and four for adults.
My reason for asking Lorene to lunch was to talk to her about writing a book. I quickly realized that it was more important to use our time together as a springboard to understanding how she had had a successful business career and is also a passionate philanthropist.
Lorene grew up on a farm in southern Indiana where each family member was a part of the family business of farming. Lorene's responsibilities included being her mother's assistant for cooking, canning and other household chores. She also fed the chickens and gathered the eggs. Her three brothers drove the tractors, planted, and learned to manage a farm. Lorene's father was often away working in agriculture organizations both statewide and nationally. His last position was under the Secretary of Agriculture during the Truman administration.
Life on the farm would have been lonely during the summer if not for 4-H. Beginning at age 10, girls learned skills such as sewing, cooking, etc., while the boys had their animal projects. During her eight years as a 4-H member, Lorene also learned a variety of leadership skills as well as public speaking — and most importantly, how to win and lose.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.