This seems to be a particularly ideal time for a story about a single individual’s determination and capacity to transform tragedy into a movement that’s saving millions of lives world-wide!
Robin Smalley is an Emmy-winning journalist who miraculously found her life’s purpose at her best friend’s deathbed. At the lowest point in her life she decided to take a wild leap of faith, move her family to Africa and co-found a nonprofit that is tirelessly (and successfully!) eradicating pediatric AIDS globally. In the last 15 years mothers2mothers has transformed from a tiny startup to an award-winning organization that has saved and enriched 1.5 million lives of HIV-positive moms and babies who are now born healthy thanks to Robin’s extraordinary work!
Robin’s story and spirit are beyond inspiring - I know you’ll get so much from this amazing interview!
What you’ll learn:
Links & Resources
About Robin Smalley
After a successful Emmy-winning career as a television producer/director, Robin Smalley co-founded mothers2mothers (m2m), a Cape Town based NGO providing education, empowerment and suppport for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS. m2m reaches these women with a unique approach, by employing and professionalizing women from communities living with HIV, called Mentor Mothers. As role models in their townships and villages, Mentor Mothers fight stigma as valued members of health care teams that have traditionally been populated by overworked and overstressed doctors and nurses.
As m2m’s first Executive Director and current Director of m2m U.S., Robin has helped guide the organization through a period of extraordinary growth, from a tiny grassroots start-up to an international organization operating in eight sub-Saharan countries and employing over 1600 HIV-positive women who are providing health and hope to hundreds of thousands of families. m2m has been honored at the White House, has won the Skoll Entrepreneurial Award, the Schwab Entrepreneurial Award, the Global Health Council Best Practices Award, and the Henry Kravis Leadership Award. Robin is married to architect Jeffrey Smalley and has two daughters, Hannah and Sophia.
“My mission is to be a catalyst for positive, systemic change in the community” – Tom Raffa
Tom Raffa admits he’s is a very unusual CEO. He “winged” his way into accounting to pay for college and has built a firm (and a legacy) that focuses more on impact than on profit. 30+ years later Raffa still contributes 10% (almost $5m last year) in financial and pro-bono services to non-profits and allows *unlimited paid* community service time to any employee! When health insurance premiums skyrocketed, Tom not only kept benefits the same for employees, he invested heavily in wellness programs to make sure his staff is healthy, happy and engaged. Tom is an amazing visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist and I know you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I did!
What you’ll learn:
Links & Resources
About Tom Raffa
Tom is the Founder and Managing Partner of Raffa, which he established specifically to service the needs of the nonprofit community and social sector. During his more than 35- year career, Tom has provided accounting, auditing, tax services and business consulting to the nonprofit sector, conducting studies on management structure, internal and operational controls, and management information systems. Many Raffa clients have also enlisted Tom’s assistance in assembling compensation and fringe benefits packages, executive compensation and retirement plans, venture capital/fundraising efforts, investment policies, financial projections, indirect cost proposals and matters of governance.
To serve Raffa’s clients more fully, Tom founded three affiliate organizations, Raffa Financial Services, Inc. (RFSI), Raffa Social Capital Advisors (RSCA) and Raffa Wealth Management (RWM). RFSI, formed in 1999, provides insurance and investment products and services, while RWM, formed in 2005, provides investment consulting and financial planning to private foundations and high-wealth individuals who support the nonprofit sector. RSCA was formed in 2016, to accelerate and scale those groups and individuals with solid social enterprises programs that could change the world.
Tom’s professional and volunteer support of nonprofits has garnered him several recent awards, including the 2016 Individual Making a Difference Award from The Nonprofit Village, the Georgetown Entrepreneur of the Year, the Volunteer Achievement Award from the Accountants for the Public Interest and SmartCPA two years running from SmartCEO Magazine. Raffa was recognized as the 19th Top Corporate Philanthropist in the Region in 2012. Tom was recognized for the creation of Companies for Causes and his commitment to improving education outcomes for students by the Pearl and Ivy Educational Foundation at the 2014 P.E.A.R.L.S. Awards with the Innovation in Philanthropy Award. In November, Tom will receive the Man of the Year Award from the Italian American Association (Lido Civic Club) for his unwaivering commitment to community.
Through Tom’s commitment to his employees health and wellness, the firm was recently honored with the 2016 SmartCEO's Healthiest Company Award for first-rate programming. Inside Public Accounting (IPA) and Accounting Today magazine continuously name Raffa as one of the “Top 100 Accounting Firms” in the nation. IPA’s Top 100 and IPA’s National Benchmarking Report are the industry’s longest-running and most up-to-date analysis and ranking of the nation’s largest accounting firms. A recent report recognized Raffa as its “Best of the Best,” which honors only 50 firms from across the country for their overall superior performance on more than 70 criteria. Recently, IPA recognized Raffa as the only firm in the country whose leadership embraces its international and multi-cultural staff in an article entitled, “One IPA 100 Firm Defies Diversity Statistics: 11 of 17 Partners Are Women.” This article named Raffa as the only firm in the top 100 that is women-owned making it the largest CPA firm in the US that is women-owned. It is also one of the only a few CPA firms that is a certified B Corporation.
Tom shares his expertise through articles in national publications such as The Nonprofit Quarterly, The Nonprofit Times and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which cover issues affecting the nonprofit sector. He also has been an instructor and speaker for many nonprofit training programs and conferences and various federal agencies.
Tom is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the District of Columbia and is an active member of AICPA. He is also a founding board member of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management and the Alliance for Nonprofit Insurance and has served on the board of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and Sister Cities of Montgomery County. He is a founding member of the board of Social Impact 360 and a recent member to the Park City Community Foundation board. He is also on the Advisory Board of Aspire. Tom is the Vice Chair, the Treasurer and on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Catalogue for Philanthropy. Tom is also a member of the board of the United Way of the National Capital Area where he serves on the Strategy Committee and the Audit Committee. Tom is the Treasurer and on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tom is a graduate of Georgetown University, a member of the Georgetown University Alumni Admissions Program and has served as a mentor at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business for more than 20 years. He often speaks at Georgetown for various classes and seminars and is currently involved with the Entrepreneurship Fellowship.