Eliza Ginn, 29
Whether it’s cultivating the innovative ideas of scrappy entrepreneurs or helping nonprofits and community development organizations expand their message and reach, Eliza Ginn is in the business of growth and empowerment.
“There are some great ideas out there that can I really believe can be nurtured,” said the 29-year-old business consultant and environmental activist, who lives in Portland. “Sometimes all it takes is somebody with a little bit of outside expertise to make that happen.”
Which is where she comes in. Armed with skills in marketing, development and capacity building, the Pownal native is doing her part to invigorate the local economy by lending crucial assistance to burgeoning small businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits and environmental organizations. The young but seasoned consultant helps them market themselves, raise funds, leverage their resources, establish a sound technological footing, and make key decisions for future prosperity.
Specifically aiming her sights on clients who “want to do great things,” she often ends up in the nonprofit and environmental arena – the latter being a lifelong passion.
Growing up on a farm next to Bradbury Mountain State Park, her childhood playground included both the wild, expansive woods and the rugged and romantic coast. Adding to that, both of her parents’ career paths included time at Maine Audubon.
“Supporting environmental efforts, and really being aware of environmental issues, was a significant part of my childhood,” she said.
And, ultimately, her adulthood. As an amateur photographer, she focuses on environmental issues (including a recent series she exhibited on the key role of the world’s grasslands). She’s also volunteered for the Appalachian Mountain Club, and now sits on the steering committee for Maine’s chapter of TNC Next, a nature-oriented membership group for young professionals.
Meanwhile, her appreciation for Mother Nature has worked into her professional life, as well: Most recently, she served as the marketing and membership manager for the Maine Island Trail Association, which stewards a 375-mile chain of more than 180 coastal islands and sites along the state’s coast.
Her biggest milestone? Making the association’s longtime, 250-page guidebook electronically accessible – a momentous process that took roughly a year-and-a-half.
Prior to that, she worked in Washington, D.C., with various community development organizations. And just this fall, she dove into independent consultancy, with the longterm goal of expanding her work to larger organizations, and eventually beyond Maine.
Ultimately, “it’s important to seek out those people that you really believe in,” she said, “and work with them.”
– Taryn Plumb