Rethreaded Spotlight: Shannon Italia

March 16, 2020

Rethreaded Spotlight: Shannon Italia

Shannon Italia is a valued member of the Rethreaded family. She has served on our Board of Directors for six years. She has helped us grow and thrive as an organization. While Shannon will continue to be a part of the Rethreaded community, she is moving on to the next exciting chapter in her life. We interviewed Shannon to hear her perspective of Rethreaded’s growth and transformation over the years. 

Q: For those who do not know, tell us a little bit about your role with Rethreaded? 

A:“I have been on the Rethreaded Board of Directors since February 2014 and have been the Board Chair since November 2015. The role of the Board of Directors is to ensure the financial viability of Rethreaded so that the organization can accomplish its mission to renew hope, reignite dreams and release potential for survivors of human trafficking locally and globally through business. We pride ourselves on being a ‘working board’ meaning that we are more likely than some other boards to roll up our sleeves and help the organization in very tangible ways. As chair, I set the agenda and led our monthly meetings. I meet with prospective board members and attend events in the community as a representative of Rethreaded. I meet with Kristin Keen every month, ahead of our Board meeting, to talk through priorities, understand challenges, offer guidance and ultimately encourage Kristin as she leads the organization. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve alongside the Rethreaded team and the Board for the last six years.”

Q: What’s your favorite pastime? 

A:“I really enjoy group fitness classes at the YMCA of Northeast Florida and include exercise in my daily routine.”

Q: What was Rethreaded like when you started with the board and where do you believe it is now: 

A:“Like Rethreaded, the Board was small and inexperienced at the beginning, but has since grown, through size and impact. During my tenure on the board, Rethreaded’s annual income has grown from $432,000 to over $1,400,000. We’ve grown from a Board of six members to a Board of 15, and have very talented members from a variety of backgrounds who all love Rethreaded and want to see the mission realized to help as many women as possible. It’s rewarding to have been part of this growth. I’ve met so many outstanding people in our community as a member of the Rethreaded board.”

Q: What do you hope for Rethreaded’s future? 

A:“We have been maxed out on space for some time now. I hope in the immediate future that we can find a new location that accommodates our growth and provides a work environment that optimizes productivity and is also holistically supportive. I hope that we can figure out a way to scale the company/increase sales volume so that we can hire more women and provide more long term employment opportunities for our women. We have a lot of strong momentum on both fronts and I’m incredibly optimistic about Rethreaded’s future.”

Q: What has been your biggest takeaway from your time on the Rethreaded Board? 

A:“God shows up over and over again. He’s in the middle of this work and we need to continually look to Him for guidance and praise Him for the work that is being accomplished at Rethreaded. We have encountered some very tenuous times over the years, both from a fiscal viability standpoint as well as the general health and well-being of our employees; there have been times where things have worked out and it could only have happened via the grace of God. It’s HARD work to run both a non-profit and an entrepreneurial company, particularly when you are dealing with the challenges that we face in trying to help women that come to us with severe and complex trauma. We don’t always get things right the first time around, and as much as we try to leverage our experience, acumen, and resources; we always need to give things to God and ask for his guidance and provision.”

Q: What is your favorite Rethreaded memory? 

A:"There are so many good memories, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. In general, I would say that the best memories are those that relate to the transformation of our women as they become part of the Rethreaded community. I love the stories of women reuniting with their children, obtaining a regular paycheck, securing a place to live and getting a driver’s license. The dignity and hope and joy that our women can experience, sometimes for the first time in their life, humbles me. It makes me want to do whatever I can to help Rethreaded be able to grow and impact as many women as possible."

Q: What’s next for you? 

A:“I am a member of the Circle of Sisters and look forward to getting involved more with that group. As well as figuring out new ways to help Rethreaded make as great an impact as possible. I’ll miss seeing Kristin Keen regularly, however, we hope to stay connected via our shared passion for physical fitness.”

Rethreaded is so grateful for all the time we have been able to spend with Shannon Italia through her time on the Board of Directors. We hope to see you again soon, Shannon! 

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