Modern Women Making Waves: Sterrin Bird
For Sterrin Bird, founder of Pacific Advancement Partners, nonprofits are never ‘business as usual’ - creative and innovative thinking can support their missions with maximum positive impact. A nationally recognized leader in the nonprofit community, Sterrin has more than 25 years of experience in service to philanthropy, with an emphasis in capital campaigning and major gifts. She has held a number of significant leadership roles within some of the most prestigious organizations in the country. Her experience is extensive and impressive.
She inspired me with her authenticity when I met her many years ago through the Junior League of San Francisco. I quickly learned that she is the go-to gal when it comes to nonprofit fundraising: smart, savvy, a straight-shooter…and someone I instantly wanted to know better. We've been sharing stories, cocktail time and laughs ever since. In her free time, Sterrin can often be found enjoying summer sunshine or winter skiing at Lake Tahoe with her two children Thomas and Mary.
For more about Sterrin and Pacific Advancement Partners click here
Casual Conversation with Sterrin...
Good advice is a gift — what is the best advice you’ve been given? The very best advice I’ve been given is to bring your authentic self to everything you do - to pretend you are anything other than exactly who you are in business (or anywhere else) is doing you, your colleagues, friends and family and the organization you serve a disservice. It can be very scary to show up as yourself, warts and all - especially if you’re having a bad day or have challenges going on personally - but you need to always be authentic - because it builds character and trust in YOU - from the inside out.
What is on the top of your bucket list?
The top of my bucket list? That’s a good one. I’d really like to spend a month in Italy - I’ve never been there and I’d love to go and immerse myself in the culture, the people and (of course) the food and wine. I’m aiming for summer 2017!
Who would you invite to your ideal Girl’s Night?
Famous people? mmmm - I’d love to have dinner with Michelle Obama, Chelsea Handler and Joni Mitchell - with a side of Wanda Holland Greene!
Regular people? My 4 best girlfriends who are all so different from one another
What is your go-to piece of clothing?
A crisp white blouse from Lafayette 148 NY - it’s a classic and can be dressed up or dressed down...
What do you sing when you are alone in your car?
These days Mat Kearney - I love his music…especially the album City of Black and White…and if I’m with my kids, it’s usually Taylor Swift…yes, I’ll admit it!
What is the best compliment you have received?
The best compliment I ever received was from a former colleague who said that I showed her what leading from the front of the room looked like - she said that I showed her (and others) that it was possible to be a mom, be real, tell the truth and be vulnerable while leading a huge national team through an enormous re-organization with humor and grace.
Runner up would be that people always compliment me on my skin…I’m blessed with good genes and look younger than I am...
How has your life been different than you imagined?
I never imagined that I would be divorced and raising two kids while balancing and managing a career on my own - but here I am, doing exactly that. I also never imagined that I would be as happy as I am doing just that while standing in my own power.
What is your most-used word? (And what word do you wish everyone would stop using?)
It’s not a word - it’s an expression…I am always asking people if I am making sense while I am expressing myself - it’s a way to get feedback in the moment -
Who is your celebrity crush?
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Expensive Red Wine
What is your favorite museum?
Musee d’Orsay in Paris…I love that they turned a train station into a magnificent museum
What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone?
Their eyes….I always look for smile lines…you can’t hide that kind of genuine happiness and I want to be around it...