"Team" is a concept that seems to be very hot in corporate-speak and self-improvement; and I sure use it every chance I get.
The team of volunteers, donors, board members and staff that make the German Village Society special is truly a gift that keeps on giving -- to me, to the neighborhood.
For 4.5 years, Mark Weiss has been a critical member of Team German Village Society.
He's leaving us but not before I take a chance to help you understand all that he has left for us.
Mark started in January 2014 as a part-timer with a hodge-podge of job duties, including coordinating the needs of our German Village Business Community and handling rental of the German Village Meeting Haus.
We gave him 20 hours a week, and he gave us a whole new presence on social media, improved our support of Visitors Center volunteers and just wholly improved our overall customer service game by about 900 percent.
His title at the time was "assistant for visitorism," and he hated that title.
Over the years, he had at least four more titles and five more revisions of his job description.
I spent so much money on business cards, it's lucky he was also a gifted fundraiser.
Why did we keep investing in Mark?
Because he just kept finding more ways to be valuable to us. It didn't take long until we found him full-time work under our roof, adding sponsorship solicitation and writing Neighbors4Neighbors -- our weekly newsletter sent to members of the Society.
Mark leaves us having attained the title of development director.
He is undoubtedly one of the most gifted people I know at not only raising money, but also saving. His record of rounding up member, donor and sponsorship dollars is almost met dollar for dollar by the partnerships he's created for in-kind donations of food, drinks, services and other partnerships that save us six figures each year.
In fact, I estimate that in his time on the job, Mark has raised $1.5 million.
Mark also made us a better organization to work for, always helping the board and me find ways to better support staff and incentivize their loyalty.
We've added health insurance, a 401(k) plan, professional development and performance bonuses along the way and the society will benefit from those investments in professional staff.
The thing that flies below the radar, and that perhaps only someone in my role can see, is all of the ways Mark is utterly selfless.
I don't know how many times I've joined a meeting late only to find Mark there with all of the information printed to remind me of the topic and lay out the bullet points to make me look smart and prepared.
I've looked across the room at an annual meeting or Caretakers of a Legacy to see Mark refilling wine glasses or hauling dirty glasses off to the dishwasher.
He provides good counsel, and I can trust him to always do the right thing.
It takes a certain kind of person to be an excellent No. 2 for an organization, and Mark is an exemplary co-leader.
Mark has worked hard to earn the next opportunity in his career. And what will that be, you ask?
He will be the senior provider relations advocate with United HealthGroup.
Good luck, friend.
German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column .