Why Me?

Warren Pfohl Headshot.JPGLike many of you I have a morning routine that helps me enter into the day. I get up, grind my coffee beans and make the coffee. While the coffee is brewing, I put out my vitamins for the day and set out everything to make oatmeal later in the morning.  I pour and bring Brenda her cup of coffee, and then I settle into the couch upstairs or out on the lanai to check my email and to stalk all my friends on Facebook. Today as I opened up Facebook I found my picture staring back at me. My first thoughts was, “Wow! I am really going bald!” As I read on I realized Kate had posted the announcement that I am being honored at a Non Profit Awards ceremony for “Outstanding Board Leadership.” I wanted to share a couple thoughts about this honor.


  1. My first thought was, “Why me?” There are so many other incredible well run nonprofits and leaders in the Syracuse area that deserve this honor as much as I do. Much of what I have learned and put into practice has come from other leaders in the nonprofit world. In the early years of our development I stumbled along with the other board members learning from our successes and failures. I surrounded myself with men and women who are passionate, smart, and committed to our mission. Each of these individuals are worthy of this award as well.
  2. My second thought was, “I am grateful!” If this were the Academy Awards Ceremony I would be clutching my golden Oscar with tears running down my face thanking the following people:
    • God: His love for me, my family, our staff, and the families we serve motivates me to want to do the same. He took the brokenness of David’s disease and death and transformed it into the beauty of David’s Refuge. I will forever be grateful.
    • Brenda: Brenda is my wife and best friend. We share the title of Co-Founder for David’s Refuge. We labored and dreamed together to create a place of respite for other moms and dads just like us. No Brenda, No David’s Refuge and No award for “Outstanding Board Leadership.” Thank you Brenda.
    • Staff: Thank you Kate Houck, Rory Lawrence, Morgan Pipes, and Sarah Watson. You make our jobs as board members easy. I especially want to thank Kate for taking on the role of Executive Director and for her nomination of me for this award. I don’t think there is a more challenging role than becoming the Executive Director while the founder is still active in the organization. She did it with excellence and grace and beauty. Thank you!
    • Board of Directors: I am so thankful for the other six men and woman who serve on the board with me. Kent Gillis, Adam Mastroleo, and Donna Richards are founding members with me. Lizzette Donivan, Lori Mccrohan, and Amy D’Ambrogio have joined the board in the last year. Each of these incredible friends are also worthy of this award.
    • The Leading Element: Susan Burgess and Katie Doucette, both Executive coaches from the Leading Element have taught, encouraged, and supported David’s Refuge for the past several years.  Their insight and coaching helped our board grow into a cohesive well organized group.  Thank you Susan and Katie.
  3. My third and final thought was, “Who else will join me?” David’s Refuge is growing in leaps and bounds. The only way we are going to keep up with our current growth and maintain the same level of excellence is to grow our board. We are looking for people with skills and knowledge in finance and banking. We would love to find someone who is entrepreneurial and has had experience in the expansion or franchising of a business. It would be great to find business leaders in Rochester NY, moms and dads of children with special needs, social workers, and people skilled and comfortable in donor development. Do you know someone who might be a good fit? Maybe it’s you? Give me a call.