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Hey Doug!

by Doug Wise
Lodge Grants Programs Coordinator

My name is Doug Wise, and I am the newest Programs Coordinator to join the Community Investments Program office.

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in December 2012 with a degree in History and moved to Chicago in the summer of 2016. I have spent the last few years working in restaurant management and am very excited for the change of pace in my new position. The opportunity to work for an organization that seeks to enable people to achieve philanthropic endeavors is one that I was delighted to take.

The first few weeks working at the ENF have felt like taking a condensed course in Elks Studies. I have learned about the Community Investments Program, scholarships, Hoop Shoot, Communications, and Grand Lodge history. As a part of the Community Investments Program, I have become familiar with each type of grant that we offer and the ways that Lodges are putting them to work. My fellow newcomer Katie Graves and I are very lucky to have the knowledgeable Meaghan Morris in the office with us to guide us through a busy first week and answer our questions as they arise.

I received tours of the Elks historic memorial building from Assistant Director Debbie Kahler Doles, Elks Scholar Fellow John Kavula, and Director Jim O’Kelley. Through these tours, I learned quite a bit about the building and its history, and I have met nearly* all the people who work at headquarters. Dana Burdenski, HR Manager, provided all recent new employees with puzzles and gave one piece to each member of the staff. I know that I have not met everyone yet because I am still missing several elusive pieces!

This past week I had the privilege, along with my fellow CIP office mates, to support Elgin, Ill., Lodge No. 737 with their Step It Up project, which provides shoes for children in need in the Elgin area. We helped unload boxes, ready shoes, and display them on tables so that the kids would have an easy time finding the perfect pair. The best part of the experience was meeting the many dedicated Elks members who were spending their time on a worthy cause. I am hopeful that next year I will be able to be there to see the happy kids.

I am lucky to be stepping into the world of Impact Grants, where we help Lodges complete some of the Elks most significant projects across the country. I have become acquainted with many of our existing projects through reading quarterly reports, and am looking forward to reading Lodge’s creative ideas when we begin accepting new applications!

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