ACT Awards Celebration

On June 15, 2021, the Stanford Alumni Consulting Team held its annual Volunteer Recognition and Appreciation Event — online like all ACT activities during the time of COVID.

Stanford Alumni Consulting Team: Celebration of Volunteers & Conversation with Lecturer Emeritus David Bradford
Stanford Alumni Consulting Team: Celebration of Volunteers & Conversation with Lecturer Emeritus David Bradford

Celebration of Volunteers

The event was kicked off by Celine Teoh, chair of the ACT Management Board, followed by Susan Austin, the director of ACT, recognizing ACT volunteers over the past 18 months. Despite the challenging times, ACT ran a total of 50(!) projects during the time of COVID — 39 in the San Francisco Bay Area plus 11 more in Dallas, Pasadena, and Monterey, with the support of 186 GSB alumni volunteers! We joined together virtually to celebrate the volunteers who made an impACT in a time of special need.

The past year has been one of great upheaval. In the spring of 2020, our clients faced major disruptions due to COVID. ACT teams pivoted to provide critical client support by conducting all projects online. We became masters of zoom. Later that spring, the Stanford GSB committed to making lasting, positive change toward eliminating bias and racism beyond the GSB campus. ACT plays a critical role by committing to 50 projects by the end of 2025 for organizations supporting racial equity and inclusion.

Henry Lippincott, MBA ’13.

Henry Lippincott, MBA ’13.

Susan recognized ACT volunteers working in the variety of ACT roles — project screener, team member, project leader, management board member, racial equity and inclusion screening advisor and those providing Expertise on Demand. Some volunteers participated in two — and one, Jon Castor, even three — projects over the course of these three rounds. Two volunteers were recognized as New Project Leaders of the Year, based on top evaluations from client and team members – Henry Lippincott, MBA ‘13, co-leader of Save the Redwoods League and Diane Russell, MBA ‘95, Leader of WANDA II. As Henry wrote:

“Working with ACT was fun, educational, and a great opportunity to develop relationships among GSB alumni and within an industry that matters to me. It was a meaningful experience that unexpectedly enriched other facets of my personal and professional life.”

Conversation with Professor David Bradford

Dr. David Bradford, high-performance leadership and interpersonal dynamics guru, was next on the agenda. Dr. Bradford was the primary driver of the ever-popular Touchy-Feely course at the GSB. Recently he and colleague Carole Robin wrote about the lessons of Touchy-Feely in Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends and Colleagues. David shared many ideas that can be useful to ACT teams. For example, start meetings with a warm-up that helps team members connect as people. When there are problems, mention specific behaviors, “stay on your side of the net”, be curious and encourage participants to name their feelings. See video of David Bradford’s tips for ACT teams.

The event was memorable and these volunteers greatly appreciated!