We dig Loren Riemer’s vision for a better world, and not just because she diffuses essential oil in her day-to-day workspace. Loren is an Austinite who serves as vice president of development operations for a Texas-based org called Upbring. In her Upbring role, Riemer is part of a team that works across the state of to break the cycle of child abuse. Outside of her work, Riemer’s also passionate about early interventions—like equitable access to education—to prevent the cycles that foment issues like abuse and economic disparity. You can join this Lone Star State native at Upswell in LA this November. But until then, here’s a little about Loren.
Q: Who are you, what are you working on, and why are you inspired to make the world a better place?
LR: I’m Loren Riemer. I’m a native Austinite, lifelong dog-lover, wife to an incredible husband, and step-mom to two amazing boys. I serve as the Vice President of Development Operations at Upbring, a statewide organization devoted to breaking the cycle of child abuse in Texas by empowering children, families, and communities. My work involves every aspect of development – foundation, corporate, church, and community relations – in addition to individual giving and management of over a dozen events throughout the state every year.
I’m inspired to make the world a better place because every child deserves to feel loved and safely grow into his or her full potential. I’m driven daily by the belief that more efficient processes and active collaboration can genuinely make a difference in the lives of the individuals we serve.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the physical space you work in?
LR: Knowing that I spend almost as much waking time in my work environment as I do anywhere else, I’ve recently made a conscious effort to surround myself with elements that inspire my best work. From hanging shelves filled with succulents, diffused lavender essential oil, artwork from local artists and worldwide travel, a standing desk to allow for constant motion, and a few great Spotify playlists, I try to keep my office as welcoming as possible. Recently, I created a seating area away from my desk so meetings can take place in a collaborative way without the division of a piece of furniture between us.
Q: If there were one social issue you could solve today, what would it be – and why?
LR: Though outside my current direct line of work, equitable access to equitable education is the first social issue I would tackle. Education designed with each individual’s unique needs and talents taken into consideration – whether trauma-informed, alternative learning, or trade-focused – could begin to address many pervasive social issues including economic disparity and child abuse/neglect.
Q: Upswell is about breaking the mold. What’s one thing you’d like to see in the conversation that doesn’t get enough national attention?
LR: Upswell excites me because it pulls together a unique mix of individuals who all bring their own skill sets and expertise to the table. In the nonprofit sector, it’s often easy to become so buried in our work and challenges that we fail to see the incredible advancements taking place around us. Thus, we fail to collaborate. I’d love this community to come together and have an honest conversation about how and where we are internally reinventing the wheel unnecessarily, and instead join forces with external partners who already succeed in areas where our own organizations or companies might struggle. We all have strengths and we all have areas where we could improve, but instead of spending time and resources improving, why not partner and be stronger together?