Tell us about you. I am Mike Baum, the Executive Director of Keep Virginia Beautiful (KVB) since 2010. I have worked mostly in the nonprofit sector since 1993. I am a native Virginian, and have a BS and MS degrees from Virginia Tech. I live in Midlothian with my wife, Sharon, and three children, Jack, Brian, and Carly.
What is the focus of your work? Keep Virginia Beautiful seeks to engage and unite Virginians to improve our natural and scenic environment. We offer individuals, families and businesses the opportunity to make a difference in communities through litter prevention, recycling, and beautification.
What do you find most rewarding about your work? The ability to have an impact in creating vibrant communities in our own backyard, in RVA, and throughout the Commonwealth is gratifying. One of our most successful programs, “30 Grants in 30 Days” has empowered over 150 organizations with a variety of projects that they may not have been able to implement without KVB.
What are some major challenges you have faced? As with most nonprofit endeavors, there is a constant juggling of duties and responsibilities, and we are always seeking more resources and volunteers to expand the initiatives we have in place.
What’s coming next for you and/or for your organization that really excites you? Shiver in the River is the coolest winter festival in RVA! You can cleanup, walk or run in a 5K, jump in the chilly James River – or do all three – on January 30, 2016. Individuals, families and companies can participate on their own or by forming a team.
How are you leveraging the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence to achieve your mission? We use the Community Calendar to post our events on ConnectVA. We also use HandsOn Greater Richmond to recruit volunteers. Unfortunately, there is always litter and the need to improve our neighborhoods and workplaces. HandsOn helps us find the many hands that are needed throughout the year.
Anything else you would like to share? You really can make a difference by giving a little of your time. Look for volunteer opportunities at HandsOn, visit our website at www.KeepVirginiaBeautiful.org and check out the latest on our winter festival at ShiverintheRiver.com.