Member Spotlight with Valerie Moore

Valerie Moore

Tell us about your current role.

My previous position was a hybrid of special events and fundraising, with most of my work on the corporate side. This was appealing, as I was looking to transition from being a special events technician to a more traditional fundraising role. Due to my previous department’s restructuring, I don’t yet know if it worked!

I’m looking to put my skills to work in corporate giving or prospect research in the performing arts or museums side of the nonprofit sector.

How long have you been involved in YNPN Chicago?

I have been involved with YNPN for the past year and love the doors that are opened to young people as a result of the relationship building.

Why do you like working in the nonprofit sector?

My goal was to have a career with meaning. At the end of my undergraduate degree, I had a heart to heart with a music professor about the next step and had originally been eager to go on with a career in academia, specifically music history. I came to the conclusion that while that was a worthy career path, it wasn’t the one for me. In the meantime, I watched my hometown symphony, the St. Louis Symphony declare bankruptcy and was moved to help other nonprofits avoid such a fate. This led me to enroll in a master’s program at Columbia College Chicago for nonprofit management.

What is your favorite place in Chicago?

When I used to walk from the bus stop to work at The Field Museum, I would pass over the Metra Electric tracks and get a wonderful view of the skyline. Even in January, when the wind went straight through my coat, it made me proud to live in such a vibrant community.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I was attending a summer music camp as a teenager, I got the chance to meet my idol, Itzhak Perlman. I didn’t have the nerve to ask for his autograph, but a friend did. He wrote, “always practice slowly,” and then of course his name. While this advice is intended for the discipline of music, it is applicable to life and, of course, work. When you are learning something for the first time, it is far better to take a slow and mindful approach and as I say, put the right cogs into place, rather than rushing. In fact, even once you master something, there is real wisdom in taking your time.

Member Spotlight is a recurring series that recognizes YNPN Chicago’s dedicated and accomplished membership. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured, please email using the subject line “Member Spotlight.”