Harmony House Finance Director Cathy Hubert says being busy is her typical pace. Monthly billings and biweekly payroll, along with taxes and audits, are just a few of her responsibilities for the nonprofit that serves survivors of domestic violence, though she says the payoff outweighs it all.
Hubert says the most rewarding aspect of her role is the staff: “My co-workers make every stressful and busy day worth it.”
She says she most enjoys being a team player and staff resource even though her job requires her to be a stickler for rules.
“No one ever died from an accounting error, but they do go to jail,” says Hubert. “I wholeheartedly believe in procedure manuals.”
Through the years, Hubert says she learned that rules are examples of what to do instead of an anchor holding her back. From there, she says her mindset and management shifted to a servant-leadership style. Rules can add a barrier when trying to accomplish things, but Hubert says sometimes thinking outside the box while using the rules can help find a better solution.
She says her approach to servant leadership means understanding that the smallest things can make a difference, adding she sends fun emails to the staff for a milestone or birthday. She sometimes adds inspirational quotes at the end of pay stubs to recognize an employee’s work anniversary.
When faced with hurdles, Hubert says she tries to always do something because any positive action helps take things in the right direction.
One initiative Hubert has started to help with staff connection is creating a Getting to Know You form for new employees, which includes their photo, preferred pronouns and favorite snack, along with other facts. Hubert says this creates an instant connection with other staff. Harmony House has nearly 50 employees.
To keep the Harmony House’s domestic survivor phone hotline open 24/7, there are three employee shifts, and sometimes it’s hard to get to know everyone. But Hubert says this small thing has helped staff put faces and personalities with names.
A special part of the crew is the volunteers, says Hubert.
“We are very blessed in Springfield to have so many people who are willing to support us,” she says.
Hubert says there are many people in the community who go out of their way to donate materials or give their time to nonprofits. She has had young kids run a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds, and one insurance agent delivers 10,000 rolls of toilet paper twice a year for people staying in the shelter.
Sometimes, it’s not only Springfield-area residents who donate, says Hubert. Once, a family driving through saw a billboard with the items Harmony House needed and bought some items to donate.
Although each volunteer and donor has supported Harmony House in different ways, Hubert says they all have come together to make a lasting impact.
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