The Connie Bookman Story: From Impactful to Unstoppable
- Aug 20, 2021
- Steve Nissim
It didn’t take long to realize why Studer Community Institute President Rachael Gillette gave me Connie Bookman’s name. I was looking for a great example of an SCI success story to document and Connie checks all the boxes.
First, her passion for helping those that are less fortunate is crystal clear. She’s dedicated her life to it. I was blown away by our first phone conversation when Connie explained her background in social work and how she kept finding more ways to make a difference. She quickly followed up by sending me a plethora of articles and documents to detail her career path (tons of background info is a storyteller’s dream).
After founding Pathways for Change (PFC) in 2004 she’s pivoted the organization several times to maximize the impact and help the most people. It started as a mental health and addictions treatment program for individuals caught in the court system due to their destructive substance use.
PFC expanded with the addition of a one-stop-shop called “The Family Center” that included services like prevention, education, workforce development, and family support. Connie would go on to add a sober living environment residence, and eventually shifted focus toward the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and housing for homeless female veterans.
That’s some hefty accomplishments — and a big part of making it possible was Connie reaching out to SCI. She started by having members of her growing team sign up for some of SCI’s Leadership Development classes. Effective communication had become an issue and SCI gave them the structure they needed to improve and maximize a cohesive direction.
Next, it was utilizing SCI’s Management By Strengths program. MBS is a team-building training designed to help employees better understand people's differing communication and decision-making styles so they can more efficiently achieve their goals. Connie told me how much fun they had going through this process. A lot of laughs, and a lot of learning.
Connie also signed herself up for SCI’s Accelerate Roundtable mentorship program. The roundtable sessions allow like-minded business owners and leaders to connect and share ideas. The best part for Connie was gaining access to a couple of world-class mentors in real estate and finance mogul Kathy Sandstrom as well as Waffle House Vice Chairman Emeritus Bert Thornton. She made it clear how important the guidance of those two was and continues to be in her life.
Connie is making the most of what SCI has to offer, and it’s all helped her help others so much more effectively. It’s almost like multiplying SCI’s mission success. An organization dedicated to making the community a better place has made one of the area’s biggest difference-makers even more impactful.
It’s been great getting to know Connie. She’s an inspiration and just an impressive person. It’s even better working for an organization that is helping her achieve her goals and allows me to tell the story.
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