NAME: Sarah Thompson
HOW SHE SPENDS HER DAYS: Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Advocates for Addiction Recovery
FIRST JOB: Sales Assistant at Forever 21
FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP FOR WORK OR MEETINGS: Café Brioso on Gay Street
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE SHE EVER RECEIVED: “When you are young, never say no. Always say yes to any opportunity because you never know what will come.” – Doug Kridler, President and CEO of The Columbus Foundation
FAVORITE RESOURCE FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Levo League, www.levo.com
The Bad Bish Network was just an idea when Sarah Thompson joined the team. She’d met Erin Scott (our Head Bish in Charge) at Ohio State and the two quickly bonded. When Sarah heard about Erin’s plan to start an organization that would allow young professional women to meet and promote each other in a safe space, she knew she wanted to be a part of the project.
“I didn’t have any expectations of what it would be like but I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.” During the development stages, she helped Scott curate her ideas and put them into action. You could say Sarah was our first real member of the Bad Bish Network!
Sarah is passionate about nonprofit organizations, community development, and enhancing the experiences of all people in an effort to better society. Currently, she’s the Executive Director of Ohio Citizen Advocates For Addiction Recovery, a statewide advocacy organization for individuals in recovery and organizations that are providing services to those in recovery. This is her first time in a leadership role, and it’s an opportunity she learned about from an amazing woman she met at the Bad Bish launch party in August.
Sarah shared: “Had I not been involved with Bad Bish, I never would have met Sarah Nerad and I never would have gotten this opportunity.”
The two Sarahs (ha!) met at the August event and quickly realized they had a lot in common, professionally and personally. “You not only are going to develop professional connections. I have--from personal experiences--developed a best friend. We connected on a professional level first then became close friends.”
At Nerad’s suggestion, Thompson applied for the opening at Ohio Citizen Advocates for Addiction Recovery in the fall of 2015. She admits it was a big step. “It was a reach for me. I’ve never been in a leadership role before and they took a chance on me and they’ve given me the opportunity of a lifetime and I’m so thrilled!” She started with the organization in November.
For Sarah, Bad Bish is more than a way to network. She’s been onboard since the beginning and has seen the organization grow into a reliable resource for young women in Columbus. “Having a platform to listen to strong women in our community and how they’ve given back and built their careers, the empowerment you feel is fantastic. It’s been so beneficial to listen to these women.”
The LEAP professional develop series has been Thompson’s favorite part, especially now that she’s in a leadership role. “You can hire a leadership coach or join Bad Bish and every other month have real conversations about leadership and empowerment. That right there is worth it times ten fold.” She’s looking forward to 2016 and the new programming opportunities that will be available to members. “A lot of times you think an individual can only get out of it what they put into it, but Bad Bish is so much more than that.”