NPO 018: Ann Rhomberg (Solidarity Bridge)

Today's Guest: Ann Rhomberg
Ann Rhomberg grew up in a big Iowa family, and became part of an even bigger family when she joined Solidarity Bridge as Associate Director in 2007. She has been Executive Director since 2012. What most drew her to Solidarity Bridge was their visit of helping those in need within the context of mutuality. "We all have needs and this work challenges us to think differently about who's helping who." Ann is passionate about expanding the message and mission of Solidarity Bridge, creating an effective day-to-day work environment, and strengthening our infrastructure for years to come. Her prior work included social work, healthcare administration and management consulting.

Nonprofit Spotlight: Solidarity Bridge
In a spirit of mutuality, Solidarity Bridge builds a healthier future for the people of Bolivia and Paraguay through domestic and international partnerships. They train and equip their medical communities, empowering them to provide high-complexity surgery and other health care for those living in poverty. The Solidarity Bridge Facebook page.

Lessons Learned:
Ann shared some of the major lessons she's learned over her last ten years with Solidarity Bridge. She began by sharing how they have been able to cultivate and maintain a positive and productive office environment. From office culture to accountability, Ann shares the importance of office norms, the effectiveness of weekly check-ins and the impact weekly staff meetings can have on your organization. She also shared how they have engaged interns, volunteers and board members in meaningful ways to help strengthen Solidarity Bridge.

Story of Good: The Ripple Effect
While Solidarity Bridge began with the goal of mission trips bringing complex surgeries to Bolivia and Paraguay, the organization has grown to focus on training local doctors and now, those local doctors are bringing their surgical skills farther out into rural communities. As Ann shared, when the two week mission trip is done, the American medical volunteers return to the U.S. Now, with this increased layer, their wonderful impact in Bolivia doesn't have to stop when the medical volunteers return home.