Marla Van Durme

Marla Van Durme

Fundraising And Marketing Manager

What is your job role at Family Service Association?

I am the Fundraising and Marketing Manager and have been with the agency 2 years as of October 2017.

Why did you choose Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area?

I always wanted to make a difference in children’s lives but never knew where that thought and idea would take me. As a mom of four I took many years off from the work force before deciding it was time to get back in. Family is very important to me and seeing the phenomenal work that they do here at FSA I knew my passion for family life would make this is a good fit.

If you had to give a 2-minute elevator speech on what you do every day, what would you say?

This is actually tougher than I thought. My job is not a typical day to day. In fundraising your work consists of opportunities and events, cultivating relationships within the community and reaching out to donors and sponsors. Marketing is tied directly into fundraising but not solely. Marketing encompasses awareness. In the last year and half FSA began blogging and sending out a monthly newsletter. Part of my job is to help organize the materials needed to accomplish this. I get to tell people about the incredible work that I see the staff do every day and the importance of what FSA does.

What is the best part of working in the mental health field?

Knowing that all my efforts and funds raised will go right back into helping the clients receive the services needed.

What is the favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is not a specific task but the overall feeling of knowing that I made a difference even if I don’t touch their lives directly.

Who has had the most influence on your work career?

I don’t really look back at my past work endeavors and feel any real connection. But I can honestly say that I will forever be grateful to Lisa LaForge for taking a chance on me and helping me see what I can accomplish.

What is your favorite quote?

It is not a famous quote but I stumbled upon this a few days after losing my fur baby:

“In my darkest hour – when I needed a hand, I found your paw.”

My family rescued our fur baby and she meant the world to me. Unfortunately we had to put her to rest days before her 14th birthday due to old age.

If you could meet someone, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would love the opportunity to meet my grandparents on my father’s side. I never got to know either them. One passed on before I was born and the other when I was a baby.

People would be surprised if they knew I ...

…used to dance. Jazz was my favorite. Today my husband and I still try to find time to take ballroom dance classes.

If you could pick a superpower what would it be?

I would love to have the power to heal. There is too much pain and suffering in the world.

Favorite Food?

Anything Italian! I am kind of picky when it comes to restaurants. My mom’s cooking is my favorite but I am very grateful that she taught me how to cook and bake.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

I have tried alligator. Wasn’t too bad. Thanks to the world of jerky and kids who like to try different things, my family has gotten a variety of different jerky meat over the last year or two that I thought I never would have tried, like ostrich.

What is the most interesting place that you've visited?

Most recently I traveled back to Hawaii. This is the second time I had been to the Islands. Love it there. But I have also traveled to Mexico, usually we head down to Cozumel but this time we tried something different and stayed in city of Zihuatanejo and it was incredible. Definitely looking forward to going there again.

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