By Sonya Kendall, Associate Director of Engagement
I met Vanessa Crossgrove Fry via email a few weeks into my work here at Presidio when she sent me a warm and unsolicited email welcoming me to the community. Within a very short time, Vanessa proved to be an amazing sounding board for alumni affairs and fundraising, as well as a great source of insight into Presidio culture.
Vanessa graduated with her Presidio MBA in 2007. She initially sought out Presidio with the desire to integrate sustainable business practices into the nonprofit world. It worked. “My Presidio experience enabled me to bring ideas from school back to my community and immediately integrate them into my work. We need more people who can take Presidio teachings back to their communities.”
Even though she’s kept her place of residence in Idaho, she still has a strong tie to Presidio, flying out to every residency to engage, this time, in a teaching capacity. As an adjunct faculty member, Vanessa teaches Capital Markets.
Not only was she a great student, but she’s also an excellent teacher. Vanessa's philosophy on pedagogy is inspired by John Dewey's writings in which he supports experiential education and the notion that formal education should provide both knowledge and lessons on how to live. She also finds inspiration in Rudolph Steiner who once said, “The need for imagination, a sense of truth and a feeling of responsibility - these are the three forces which are the very nerve of education.”
Back in Idaho, Vanessa works with the Community Transportation of Idaho, helping them launch the first statewide mobility management system in the country. She has also served as the Executive Director of Citizens for Smart Growth in Blaine County, Idaho. Prior to joining CSG, she utilized her background in nonprofit management, government relations and stakeholder engagement at two other Idaho nonprofits: the Snake River Alliance and the Environmental Resource Center.
Vanessa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Fine Art from Wittenberg University in Ohio. She is currently searching for a Ph.D. program to research political and community-based collaborative processes' ability to create equitable policies that enable sustainability in ecological and social systems. Vanessa resides in Hailey, Idaho with her husband Jason, daughters Sylvia and Millie and dog, The Doctor.
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