Updated: Apr 9, 2020
This article is a part of our monthly Women Evolve(d): How She Did It Series
This month we’re featuring Rande Bynum, changemaker and nonprofit CEO! Rande has made several pivots throughout her extensive career - including a recent transition from freelancer to becoming CEO of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County. Rande is passionate about ensuring all girls benefit from Girl Scouting, especially those in underserved communities. Rande has “come back home” to this organization where she started her career nearly two decades ago. You never know where early jobs will take you! Read more to hear Rande’s inspiring story.
What is your personal mantra, mission or manifesto?
Show kindness first.
What inspired you to launch your current career/launch your business?
After several years of freelancing, and loving it, I had the opportunity to come back to an organization I worked for in my late 20's. I was unsure about the move and the change in my lifestyle. But through the process I "fell in love' with the idea of running an organization that builds leadership for over 16,000 girls and impacts the community in so many ways.
What is unique about returning/pivoting in midlife? Challenges & opportunities?
I think what is interesting is that at every stage of life we think we have things "solved" and then we learn quickly that we do not. The only thing that is true is that we know more than we did before and hopefully are open to learning more.
What’s one intention you have for your work in 2020?
My intention for 2020 is to grow. To grow our membership, our funding, our community impact. It is for me to grow personally as a leader and a person. I spent the first couple of years in this position getting my footing and finally am ready to go to the next level of my vision.
What are you most passionate about right now?
I am passionate about giving more access and opportunities to girls - all girls. Unfortunately we are now faced with this world health crisis. It has changed everything. My passion has shifted to survival mode.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My favorite thing about this job is that there is no typical day. Recently I was making Thin Mint Brownies on a local news station with some young Girl Scouts and then went to reviewing our annual financial audit. I hate to be bored and this job keeps me on my toes everyday
What’s the one thing that has advanced your career in the last year?
A year ago it was our organization's 100th anniversary, which allowed me to get out into the community more. The outcome of that is that now we are more visible in the community and now I am invited to collaborate, partner and contribute on a larger scale. That has been good for the organization and for me.
Who’s your “tribe” when it comes to professional inspiration or support?
They say behind every successful woman is a great group text. I have a tribe of women who are in similar leadership roles who I can text at any moment with the most serious to the most silly question. They will meet me for dinner, drinks or coffee at a moment's notice. And face challenges daily with such strength that I am constantly inspired.
Favorite book, app or podcast?
I love listening to Roxane Gay and Dr. Tressie McMillian Cottom on Luminary's Hear to Slay every week..
You’re granted an extra hour in the day, how do you spend it?
I should say I would love to spend it with my mother, which I would, but I also really enjoy reading a good book and sipping a cup of tea. I love a book that you think about the characters when they are not with you, wondering what they are doing. I don't get to do that much.
The advice I wish I had given to my 20 year old self is…
Have more fun, don't take life so seriously.
The advice that I want to give to my 75 year old self is...
Have more fun and rest more
Your theme song that played every time you walked in a room would be?
I just got an award and the DJ played Beyonce's Who Run the World (Girls) which was great. Anything from Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life is my daily soundtrack in my head.
Best career advice for other women?
Network, network, network. Make connections between people even if it doesn't benefit you directly. It is a great reputation to have.
When did you feel you got “you” back?
Whenever I am in front of a room full of people but especially when I am in a room full of girls who look at me with so much potential in their eyes.
What’s up next?
Once we get past this current health crisis, we will go back to growth but it will include a lot more rebuilding that we anticipated.