Reid began her professional career working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a Hazard Mitigation Planner, assisting communities in the development of long-term plans aimed at reducing their future risks to natural disasters. This experience reinforced her appreciation of the necessity for working directly with communities and their constituents in the development of implementable common strategies.
After two years in the field, Reid recognized her desire to work directly with individuals who experience traumatic events, beyond the realm of disaster relief, would be best realized outside of the agency. In February 2010, she began volunteering for Art from Ashes (AfA), a Denver-based nonprofit created to facilitate poetry and spoken word workshops designed to empower struggling youth. This work provided the perfect space for Reid to merge her skills of planning with her interest in the arts and belief in the power of community. Many elements of mitigation planning are transferable to the processes of both nonprofit strategic planning and community engagement. Across all sectors, the need for a clearly defined and agreed upon unified vision is essential to generating change.
Over the years, Reid increased her time and commitment to the AfA, and transitioned from a volunteer to Executive Assistant, and after two years assumed the roles of a Lead Program Facilitator and Director of Operations.
In 2012, Reid audited Richard Male’s graduate level course on Governance and Nonprofit Leadership. She found the course material to be easily translatable to her position at AfA. Using what she learned in class, Reid began focusing her attention on Board Recruitment and Development to grow AfA’s Board of Directors. After working closely with Rich as a client, Reid made the natural transitioned to RMA’s team of Associates.