COO Jillian Spindle's Acceptance Speech for "Community Impact Award" at VIVA MEDA! 46

At ¡VIVA MEDA! 46 on Oct. 3, COO Jillian Spindle was honored with a “Community Impact Award” for her decade of work at MEDA.

Following is MEDA CEO Luis Granados’ introduction to the award, plus Jillian Spindle’s acceptance speech.

Luis Granados

It is my great, great pleasure to present the next award to my colleague, Jillian Spindle.

Jillian and I have worked together for over 10 years. When I think of MEDA’s trajectory and growth during that time, I can honestly say that MEDA would not be here without Jillian.

Initially, Jillian joined MEDA as our Director of Development. In that capacity, she secured many federal grants: JOLI, Prime, BTOP, CED and the CDFI Fund, among others.

Of most importance to MEDA and to the Mission, she was instrumental in obtaining the $500,000, the $30 million, and the $3 million Promise Neighborhood grants. Those are just the federal grants.

She is by far the best fund development person I know.

Now, Jillian is MEDA’s Chief Operating Officer. And, her accomplishments in her current position are just as notable.

Jillian clearly gets the big picture, and puts in the hard work.

She is also a great person to work with, generous with her time, giving people the benefit of the doubt and bringing people along to her strong vision.

Jillian has made the Mission better.

Jillian has made MEDA better.

Jillian has made me better.

Please join me in congratulating Jillian for this “Community Impact Award.”

Jillian Spindle

Thank you  — this award means so much to me, and I’m so grateful to have spent the past decade at MEDA. 

When I started MEDA ten years ago, I couldn’t have imagined that our organization would be where we are today — growing our asset building programs, launching the Mission Promise Neighborhood, becoming a housing developer, a CDFI lender, our policy and advocacy work and now sharing our successful models with other communities. Looking around the room, I remember the many conversations that became shared visions that are now realities. It took the hearts, minds and persistence of so many of you here tonight to make it all happen. 

I want to thank my MEDA colleagues: Your brilliance, leadership and dedication to this work inspire me every single day

And thank you, Luis. I’m grateful for your mentorship and your friendship. You are one of the most visionary and courageous leaders I know.

So I’d like to share this “Community Impact Award” with all of you: clients, community members, nonprofit partners, government officials, funders, MEDA staff and Board, and my friends here tonight who have supported me and MEDA along the way. We have definitely shown that together we can make anything happen.


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