Meet Tess, WNN’s new Director of Learning and Development

Tess Mittelstadt is no stranger to the nonprofit world. “Being involved in the nonprofit sector was always a value growing up,” she remembered. “Some of my earliest memories are of volunteering.”

Her passion for the work inspired her to seek an internship with Make-a-Wish Wyoming after college, which soon evolved into an employed position. As she grew her skills, Tess eventually grew into the executive director level, which she held at Habitat for Humanity, The Heart of Wyoming for about five years.

Tess learned a lot about the challenges that nonprofits face during her time at Habitat, especially those she encountered during the Covid pandemic. She is carrying those lessons with her into her latest position as Director of Learning and Development for the Wyoming Nonprofit Network (WNN).

The Director of Learning and Development position, previously held by Anna Wilcox, was created through a partnership between Natrona Collective Health Trust and WNN. One of the Trust’s strategic priorities is building capacity for our community’s nonprofits, and Tess is able to do this through consulting and technical assistance, with the support of services offered by WNN.

“I don’t think everyone understands the scope of services and tools available,” Tess said of WNN. “There’s a whole learning library of resources and referrals that have been fully vetted by the Network, and it’s always expanding.”

When Natrona County nonprofits need hands-on services beyond the library of resources, Tess is able to offer:

Most of these services can be customized to help address the specific needs and challenges of an organization, which Tess can help organizations identify.

“While money will always be an issue for nonprofits, success is not always about that. Sometimes the greatest impact might come from mission advancement or answering questions like, where do we need to spend our energy? What is our next big step?,” Tess said.

“One of the things I’m most excited about is our organizational self-assessment, where board and staff can grade themselves on these different areas and help prioritize needs,” she added.

Information on these services and other capacity-building resources can be found in the Trust’s Nonprofit Toolbox. Nonprofit leaders who would like to connect with Tess can reach out to her by email at [email protected].