Finding Yourself at the Library Foundation

Episode 25 - Tracy Phillips

September is National Literacy Month

In this episode, I interview Tracy Baron Phillips, the Chief Development Officer of a library foundation in Zionsville, Indiana. Tracy is a passionate supporter of anything related to learning, and she’s especially fond of her local library.

So often we think of libraries as places where we borrow books; however, for many, the library is so much more. It’s a connection to the internet; it’s a place to learn a new skill; it’s a place to gather with like-minded members of the community; it’s a place to pick-up legal documents like voter registration forms and tax forms.

What is the impact when a local library closes it’s doors due to a pandemic? And how does a library pivot to continue serving the community through a crisis? Check out this fun video Tracy made in late May 2020.

Towards the end of our conversation Tracy reveals something very personal about her own leadership journey, and we talk about what it means to live an authentic life—and what to do when you realize that you’re not able to be yourself at work. It’s a little deep, but so, so, so good! You’ll be glad you listened to the whole episode. 

Allow me to introduce you to Tracy Phillips, the Chief Development Officer of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Foundation, winner of the “Dang, that’s a Long Name of a Nonprofit” award. 📚😊

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About Tracy Phillips

Episode 25 - Tracy Phillips
Tracy pictured here in the middle of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Foundation

Tracy Barron Phillips is an experienced leader in nonprofit and volunteer organizations for over 30 years, with skills both analytic and creative. Effective as a relationship and advocacy builder, a Public Relations strategist and social media consultant, and a proven fundraiser. Able to navigate both established events and strategies as well as creating ground-breaking programs, moving nonprofit organizations to the next level of performance.

She began her career at her alma mater, Butler University, creating the admissions recruiter position for their College of Arts. Marriage to an Air Force officer took her to San Antonio, Texas, where she was a grant writer for a performing arts presenting organization.

Episode 25 - Tracy Phillips
🔗 Connect with Tracy on LinkedIn

During eleven military moves and while raising their daughter, Tracy took a professional hiatus. Yet, she remained active in the nonprofit sector, serving on six boards morphing from the arts to social service to education. Ten years ago, she returned to the nonprofit professional life and was Executive Director for two organizations.

Coming full circle, Tracy is creating her current position as the first dedicated employee in the 20-year history of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library Foundation and fundraising again as their Chief Development Officer.

As her Twitter profile states, Tracy is:
“Lauren’s Mom. CDO of @HMMPLFoundation. Advocate for teachers. #booklover. @butleru alum. @GirlScouts life member. @NASA enthusiast. #Nerdfighter.”


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What's your reaction?


  • Tracy Barron Phillips
    Posted October 1, 2020 7:39 pm 0Likes

    One last thing to add from “Trace.” After Laura and I talked, I continued listening to “The Book of Joy” (I highly recommend it!) and came across something I think all nonprofit leaders need to hear. After our discussion of how we as nonprofit leaders can lose ourselves, I heard this in the book and want to share it with you:

    Narrator: This question comes from Mica in South Africa. She asked how can you be of service to people, nature, and causes without losing yourself completely to a crisis mentality. How can we help the world heal and still find joy in our own life? This question is for people who feel that interdependence profoundly and are so compassionate that it makes them world sick and heartsick this person wants to know how she can find joy in her life while there are so many who are suffering.

    Desmond Tutu: As an old man I can say start where you are and realize that you are not meant on your own to resolve all of these massive problems…. remember you’re not alone, and you do not need to finish the work. It takes time, but we are learning, we are growing, we are becoming the people we want to be. It helps no one if you sacrifice your joy because others are suffering. We…must be filled with joy so that others recognize that caring is not a burden….Give the world your laugh, your service, your healing, but you can also give it your joy.

    • Laura
      Posted October 2, 2020 1:45 am 0Likes

      Thanks, Trace! And thanks for sending me the best sugar cream pie I’ve ever had in my life! Yummo!!! 😊🎉🙌🧡

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