Childhood Space-Age Dream Becomes Reality for Donor of New Conferencing System

By Julie Engel, Treehouse Executive Project Manager

Peggy Glick remembers sitting in front of her TV when she was in elementary school, watching the 1950s science-fiction show “Captain Video and His Video Rangers.” The idea of Captain Video talking with his lieutenants across the solar system, receiving reports and giving instructions face-to-face, in real time, as easily as making a phone call, was just short of thrilling for her.

While we may not be communicating across the universe, Treehouse’s new conferencing systems, installed in our meeting rooms, enable us to communicate face-to-face with staff, training organizers and consultants throughout the state and beyond. And it is due largely to the generosity of Peggy that we have these systems in place. She has been on our Program Committee for five years, and her career and education have been focused on math, economics and education.

Ahead of her 75th birthday, Peggy was brainstorming how she could make an impact to mark the occasion.

At the same time, I was exploring the addition of a ceiling-mounted screen and projector in one of our meeting rooms. An integrated conferencing system in the office of one of our community partners had sparked my interest. The system was capable of so much more, and I immediately thought that Treehouse could benefit. Unfortunately, integrated conferencing systems are highly complex and priced accordingly.

Peggy and I met to discuss the proposal for funding the system, and she was soon sold on the idea. She made it clear we should not limit ourselves. The system must be extremely user-friendly and as future-proof as possible. She didn’t want her name to be connected to a system that wasn’t quite as useful and reliable as it was touted.

It became clear we needed expert help reviewing the options, so I reached out to my contact with the community partner where I first experienced this type of integrated system for assistance. They put me in touch with the person responsible for implementing AV systems for the company across the globe, and he agreed to help. As a long-time foster and adoptive parent, he was driven to support us.

Not only did he review the system estimates I obtained, he took it to the next level by leveraging his connections and formulating a new proposal for a top-of-the-line system which included many donated components. He also offered his expert consulting services throughout both the installation process and as we adopt the system into our daily culture. He even came to Seattle from Tennessee to personally ensure the system was everything it was intended to be and to personally train our staff on how to use it.

We marked the installation of the new conferencing system by hosting a birthday party (pictured) for Peggy in one of the meeting rooms. Some of our staff from Spokane and Tacoma even participated through video conferencing using the new system, as did one of our board members.

Through these amazing partnerships, Peggy’s childhood space-age dream is now a reality and our staff are quickly learning how to utilize the technology.

“This kind of technology is what’s expected in a fully functioning, modern enterprise,” Peggy said. “Every donor wants to think they’re giving something of value to the organization, and I know I’m doing that with Treehouse. I’m thrilled to be a part of this.”

And, she is certain she picked the right organization.

“Treehouse just works for me. The mission is essential, and I am especially impressed with the design and execution of the Graduation Success program,” Peggy said.

I am eternally grateful to everyone who contributed to this project. It will have a significant impact on Treehouse’s future and the more than 7,500 youth in foster care we serve.

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About the Author

As Treehouse’s Executive Project Manager, Julie Engel provides leadership through administration management while working closely with community partners in support of youth in foster care.

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