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TRACEY FLOWER

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Tracey has a Bachelor's degree in Writing, which led her into nonprofit work through a communications internship at the Vail Symposium (Vail, CO) over a decade ago. That internship led, eventually, to the Executive Director role at the Vail Symposium, and to a career in the nonprofit sector. Since then, Tracey has also served as Executive Director for Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (Grand Rapids, MI) and, most recently, as Grants Manager for Emily Griffith Foundation (Denver, CO). Tracey's passion for education equity was sparked by dinner table conversations with her family, who are all public school teachers, social workers, and nonprofit leaders. That passion was fueled by her work with Emily Griffith Foundation, where she secured grants for programs and scholarships for students at Emily Griffith Technical College. Tracey
believes equal access to education and career opportunities is a critical, foundational component of building a more equitable society overall.


Tracey loves running, hiking, camping, reading, and traveling. She also enjoys visiting Michigan, her home state, to spend time with her parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews. Her Bachelor's degree is from Grand Valley State University. In addition to her work with nonprofits, Tracey has also worked as a freelance features writer for several different magazines, newspapers, and websites, including BizWest and the Vail Daily. Tracey is a member of the class of 2021 for the Institute for Leaders in Development at the University of Denver.

 

Favorite College Experience: "I went to college in west Michigan. One year for my birthday, my
roommates and I were trying to figure out where to go for dinner to celebrate and we decided,
on a whim, to drive the three hours to Chicago for dinner. None of us knew Chicago very well,
aside from the touristy areas, so we ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was a blast, though, and
such a memorable birthday! I loved that feeling of realizing we could just make a decision like
that and go for it."

 

Advice for High School and College Students: "Keep your options open, explore the opportunities that come your way, and don't worry if you try something and later realize it's not a right fit for you. My career path hasn't been very linear. I've worked in restaurants and coffee shops. I did a brief stint at a law firm. I chased a journalism career for a while. Along the way, I pursued paths that seemed interesting to me and said yes when people offered opportunities. Trying all of these things helped me figure out what I really wanted to do and, probably more important, what I did not want to do."

 

Favorite Food: Tacos!