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Getting to know: Nell Nutaitis with ChildSavers
Getting to know

Getting to know: Nell Nutaitis with ChildSavers

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Title: Vice president of development at ChildSavers, a Richmond nonprofit that uses a prevention and intervention model to prepare children for school, address mental health and recover from trauma.

Born: April 1983 in Haddonfield, N.J.

Education: University of Mary Washington, bachelor’s degree, 2005; University of Pennsylvania, master’s degree, 2006

Career: development assistant, University of Pennsylvania’s New York Major Gift Office, 2006-07; development associate, East Harlem School, 2007-09; annual fund director, George Mason University, 2009-15; major gift officer, director of development and chief development officer, American Red Cross in the National Capital Region, 2015-19; vice president, ChildSavers, August 2019-present

Where in the metro area do you live?: Glen Allen

Best business decision: “I always had a desire to be a front line fundraiser. When my career path started to veer in another direction I made a concerted effort to find a position that would allow me to follow my passion. It was by far the best decision I ever made and has gotten me into the fabulous role I’m in today.”

Worst business decision: “I allowed a former boss to convince me to hire a colleague into a position I knew wasn’t a good fit. Six months later she left the role and I was left to start over again. I lost all the time and energy I’d expended training her in this position and also missed hiring another person who might have been a better fit all along.”

Mistake you learned the most from: “Don’t keep quiet. There have been times where I’ve convinced myself my ideas are silly or off-the-mark and not worth sharing because I was inexperienced, not familiar enough with the subject matter, etc. I’ve always regretted not sharing my input and at the least, having my thoughts known. Whether it’s the direction you go, you should feel good knowing you’ve provided your thoughts in the best interest of the organization.”

What is the biggest challenge/opportunity in the next two to five years: “ChildSavers is an incredible organization with a rich, almost 100-year history of serving this community’s children with mental health and child development services. We have a tremendous opportunity to make this city more aware of the work that is happening and the tremendous impact we’ve had on building the resilience of some of Richmond’s most vulnerable children.”

First job after college: A research associate at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “I wish I had spent time abroad in college. I am so envious of anyone who can speak another language, and I think there’s no better way of doing this than by immersing yourself in the culture of another place.”

Movie or book that inspired you the most, and why?: “The Pillars of the Earth,” by Ken Follett. “In spite of the enormous obstacles that had to be overcome to construct a medieval cathedral, the characters always had their goal clear in their minds. It was inspiring to read again and again how they rose from utter and devastating failures to build achieve such an engineering feat, learning and adapting all the way.”

Favorite and least favorite subject in school: “I always loved history, particularly American history. I just could not get into physics.”

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