RBBB sat down with Program Director Tammy Paz-Combs to discuss what she’s learned since starting with us two years ago!
Describe your role and background.
“As the Program Director, I am responsible for ensuring RBBB programs are implemented in accordance with established standards. I am also responsible for planning, implementation, and management of the Program Department, as well as recruiting, leading, and managing the program staff. I have over 25 years of community development and community relations experience and bring to the organization my ability to strategically align, engage, train, and facilitate diverse groups of community members, stakeholders, and staff members.
My personal and professional interests of providing support to communities in order to ultimately have a positive impact on the lives of children, youth, and families aligns well with my role as Program Director with Read Better Be Better.”
What excites you the most about your job?
“I very much enjoy any opportunity I have to be in a classroom to see Readers and Leaders sitting side by side working through our curriculum. Being able to observe their interactions with one another and really witness a Reader understanding what is being read to them/what they are reading is incredibly exciting. I missed that this past year, but hearing positive feedback from caregivers about their student participating in the At Home program is just as exciting.”
How do you prefer to start your day? End your day?
“I like to start my day by doing my best to say a quick hello to everyone in the office as I make my way to the breakroom to drop off my lunch. I like to end my day by reviewing my to-do list and schedule for the following day. This allows me the opportunity to prepare any materials and/or make notes for meetings and/or tasks.”
What energizes you?
“Simple acts of kindness are of great importance to me to show others how much they are valued and appreciated. I am energized when I have those opportunities. Throughout this past year especially I have tried to do acts of kindness for my team by giving them handwritten notes, small tokens of appreciation, and team-building activities. I enjoy being crafty and when I have an opportunity to share something I have made it makes me happy.”
What is something that surprised you about working at RBBB?
“I realized very early on that RBBB is an organization of passionate individuals who truly believe in the work we do. Teamwork, creativity, innovation, trust, and communication are all inherent to all of us working so well together. Every aspect of the organization—program design and implementation, technology, data, marketing, fundraising, budget, processes—are all recognized as integral parts in accomplishing our mission.”
What is something you have learned in the past two years that you might not have working somewhere else?
“Salesforce! I think I learn something new every day about the way in which RBBB utilizes Salesforce. Our ability to monitor information/data in real-time and how every department is integrated allows staff to be efficient and timely.”
What is the best book you have read in the past two years?
“My father wrote his memoir, ‘Crazy Blessed’, this past year while in lockdown during the pandemic. I have just begun reading it but it is by far the most meaningful book I have ever read. The book is vulnerable, inspiring, funny, educational, and faith-filled review of both my dad and mom’s journey. I am learning things I never knew about my dad and mom along with remembering so many things (both good and bad) from my childhood as well as an adult through his storytelling. It is such a gift he has given our family and friends.”
What are your professional goals for the next two years?
“I would like to continue working with the Program Coordinators on their professional development—working with them individually on their own personal development goals but also as a team in developing them into stronger leaders, communicators, and collaborators. The program team is adding two new Program Coordinators and I see this as a great time to focus on them. I’d also like to be engaged with the work and professional development of the Program Coaches in the coming school year.
Another goal that I have for this coming year is to enhance my relationships with my district key contacts. A very specific thought is to invite them on-site visits with me to see the program being implemented at one of their district schools.”
We appreciate you and all your hard work on the Program Team. Cheers to many more years, Tammy!