Ambassador Spotlight: Whitney Swander

When Haven Ambassador Whitney Swander (she/her) chose to leave her full-time job to start her own business, she leaned into the collective and community energy of The Haven. After joining our coworking space at the height of the pandemic, Whitney found a sense of belonging both professionally and personally.

When and why did you join The Haven?

I joined The Haven in August of 2020 when I started a new job as the only remote member of a small team. I knew that I would need a place to “be” and “belong” outside of my home office and I’d been an enthusiastic supporter of The Haven from the development phase!  

What type of work do you do?

I’m newly an independent consultant providing evaluation, research, and data-strategy services, organizational and program strategy, and results-based facilitation for people, processes, and projects.

I have spent the last 10 years leading complex, data-informed, and transformative regional projects and processes with cross-agency and cross-sector partners to advance equitable outcomes. I’m super excited to apply my expertise and insights in new ways to support clients in their pursuit of improvement and equity. 

How do you use the space?

I love to host my colleagues and clients at The Haven! The space is so beautiful, inspiring, and welcoming. There is an energy in the space and the vibration says: good and important things happen here. I love to tap into that energy and let it fuel my own work.  

You’ll find me at The Haven 1-2 days a week, pecking away at my keyboard in The Refuge, loitering in the kitchen, or walking quickly to a chat room or phone booth!

Do you have any new projects in the works?

I’m currently working on a participatory program evaluation with a team of incredible bilingual and bicultural educators and leaders from the Juntos Aprendemos program. We are learning together and conducting an implementation and early outcome evaluation of the program, which is a culturally-specific and family-focused early learning program.

But, it’s also a leadership program, a community-building program, and so much more. The questions we are holding are rich, complex, and important. We plan to release our findings and report in September 2022.      

Favorite Bend spots and activities?

I love the many places to get out for a walk in Bend! I never tire of visiting Riley Ranch, walking different stretches of the Deschutes River Trail, or the Cascade Highlands Trail – the Overturf Butte Lookout is one of my favorite spots. 

Also, I live for warm afternoon park happy hours. We have a picnic bag always at the “near-ready” at our house – just add beverages and a few snacks – and out the door! Pioneer Park is my absolute favorite spot!

What’s your favorite feature/space/resource in The Haven that you want new members to know about?

The Haven’s “idea rooms” are one of my favorite spaces. It’s the perfect place for a productive work session with a client or a private lunch appointment. The whiteboard and butcher paper are the perfect touches.

Where can members learn more about you and your work?

I’m in the early stages of setting up my consultancy and so the best way to learn more about me and my work is through a personal connection! So far my clients and work are connected to prior professional relationships, but I’d love to expand. 

My professional superpowers are seeing the humanness in data and processes, and being guided by intuition and emotional intelligence to help synthesize complex information. I love helping people connect with their data, tap into their knowledge, and seek impact! Let’s connect!

Meet the author

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