Staff Spotlight – Nancy McLain
Nancy joined the WESST team in 2008. She manages all of the data reporting for the six WESST Women’s Business Centers as well as the programs offered at the WESST Enterprise Center. Nancy is active in the Association of Women’s Business Centers, mentoring others in their data collection and reporting processes and was recognized for her volunteerism and advocacy at the 2017 Women’s Business Centers Leadership Conference in Alexandria, Virginia.
What made you want to come to work for WESST?
I was working at Eclipse Aviation in early 2008 with Jack Harrington, the Eclipse attorney and a WESST board member. He and I had a lively business lunch with Agnes Noonan where she introduced me to WESST and its Women’s Business Center program achievements in New Mexico. The thing that I remember the most about that meeting was Agnes ability to convey how the services that WESST provides was aiding the success of underserved individuals. I knew that this organizations focus is on making a difference in the communities we serve. That is what I wanted to do and I believe that my lifelong commitment to philanthropy was nurtured to maturity during my time at WESST.
What was your very first job?
I shined shoes in a barber shop when I was twelve, but I think my first ‘real’ job would have been working for Wendy’s in Albuquerque by Highland High School. I made $3.35 an hour which was more than enough to support my car and my social essentials. I learned many life lessons in that job; the importance of teamwork, carrying your part of the workload and being accountable for what you produce. Organized processes and systems are an integral part of the long term success of not only Wendy’s but all successful businesses.
What’s your favorite part of working here?
I have been given the opportunity to create positive impact locally and nationally. In my position with WESST I manage all of the data collected in our work with our clients and report aggregate figures and statistics to the agencies that fund our program including our major contributor the Office of Women’s Business Opportunity at the Small Business Administration. Women’s Business Centers across the country contact me for advice on their data collection and reporting processes. I have been a featured and breakout session presenter at our Association of Women’s Business Centers annual conference and nationally recognized as a peer mentor in 2017. WESST encourages staff to partner with other organizations to create a stronger client assistance network.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I try to be the very best member of my community that I possibly can. Time tithing with organizations like the Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce and The Children’s Grief Center has been a great way to give back. If I see a need that I am able to fulfill I encourage people to pay forward rather than pay back. Philanthropy is not just about money. It is about sharing a smile with a stranger, encouraging someone when their day is less than stellar or stepping in instead of around when you see someone that needs a little help. I also like NASCAR, sunsets and traveling.
What do you wish people knew about WESST?
WESST is more than the business incubator in Albuquerque. We have centers all over New Mexico that serve a very diverse population with very distinctive needs. Our staff works hard to stay in tune with our clients and the market trends that affect their business creation and survival. The WESST team is constantly exploring opportunities to expand our skills to benefit the wonderful people of New Mexico that have trusted us to assist them for almost 30 years. Overall, I wish people could know what a blessing it is to take part in the growth of the entrepreneurial spirit in our state.