Thursday, October 25, 2012

We're Heating Up!

Olya Surits reporting

What an exciting time we're having here at InStove. We have just hired a new development director, Tim Armstrong, who will be a key player in our ongoing growth. Tim's credentials include over 20 years of experience working with non-profit organizations. Most recently, Tim was the director of a sustainable funding program for the Habitat of Humanity in Eugene, Oregon.

Tim's experience living and working in Turkey and Indonesia is quite applicable for an organization like InStove that works with many different cultures abroad. Tim also teaches non-profit business management courses at the Non-Profit Management Institute at Lane County Community College's Small Business Development Center. This knowledge will be instrumental in the work that our team has ahead of us. We're fortunate to be building a team of such well-rounded professionals and are only expecting more growth from here on out.

In another big move, after months of decisions and developments, we have chosen a logo that we believe incorporates our stove's core design principles (symbolized by the fuel shelf), vibrancy, and holistic approach to business  We really like the sleekness and simplicity of the design, and hopefully our followers do too! Our logo was donated by Cawood in Eugene, OR. Liz Cawood, President, and Cari Ingrassia, the art director, graciously donated their time and expertise. Our sincerest thanks go out to them and the rest of the Cawood Team. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

University Outreach

One of our main goals this year was to reach out to university students and get them involved in spreading the word about the issues abroad that InStove is working to solve. On Thursday, three of our members ventured north to connect with students in the hopes of building advocacy groups on college campuses around Oregon.

Interns Garrett and Olya, presented to Net Impact, a student group at the University of Oregon that works with organizations such as ours to create connections between local sustainable businesses and the university. Many students stayed after the presentation to ask questions and offer to help build an InStove student advocacy group on the U of O campus.

Many students were not aware of the heath and environmental hazards caused by age-old cooking methods such as three-stone fires that millions of people in developing countries use to cook food. And they were shocked by the contrast of the institutional cook stove's small carbon footprint and efficiency. The members of Net Impact were eager to learn more about our organization and the work that we are doing. With their help, we are on our way to begin creating an advocacy group in Eugene.

Meanwhile, Stella visited Western Oregon University in Monmouth for two days. She started off the tour with an information table at the heart of the campus in the university center. With a stove on display, Stella spoke to interested students, professors, and community members about internship opportunities and explained InStove's mission.

On Friday, Stella spoke to three different classes about InStove's impact – globally and locally. The classes were studying public relations, comparative politics and immigration politics. Each of the class's topics corresponded well with information about InStove. Following this campus tour we are hoping to have continuing events at the WOU campus.

InStove values educating the next generation of leaders in global events and advocacy. InStove representatives are available for presentations at all education levels.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Growth!

Stella Strother-Blood reporting

As we continue to grown and expand to meet the ever-increasing demand for institutional stoves throughout the world, InStove would like to introduce two more team members: Laura Panella and Laurie Strother. Laura Panella, our new finance director, graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Managerial Economics. Laura has been working in the nonprofit realm for many years and has a heart for the cause.

Laurie Strother, our operations director, graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Political Science. She has owned her own business with multiple Oregon branches and has volunteered her time as a child advocate. Laurie has been involved in nonprofits and with the University of Oregon community for years. We are excited to welcome both directors to the organization!