Board Member Spotlight: Nichol Beckstrand
Tell us about your background and why you care about expanding housing opportunities.
My background is really in the finance and consulting space. I spent twelve years consulting for financial institutions and twelve years as a banker. I love to help people and I think that is why I originally got involved in housing in a volunteer basis through Boards and non profit house builds. I also love compliance so the policy around housing is interesting to me. What really kept me in this space though is how I see stable housing as an equalizer in society. Regardless of whether it is rental or ownership, stable, safe housing sets people up to address the other challenges that modern day life is throwing at us. These challenges seem unsurmountable somedays and safe housing is a respite. I view my home (and my family) as a respite. It is where I go when I need some rest. It is where I can be undeniably myself.
Why were you interested in serving on the Family Housing Fund board?
I love what Family Housing Fund is doing. Through their intermediary role they get to impact Housing in many different ways. There is a big element to the finance of what they do that hits my finance mind but the real pleasure comes in seeing the results. Family Housing Fund just recently adopted their new Manifesto statement that challenges them to be bold. I love this about FHF.
What housing aspirations do you have for the region?
Wouldn’t we all say that everyone is housed is the aspirational goal. I think it goes a bit beyond this and I see the diversity of housing that is needed for a lifetime of lifestyles. If we can accomplish this while also keeping it affordable so individuals and families have more dollars to spend on living and engaging with one another that is the goal.
What is one area where you think people generally fail to think big enough – and what is your vision for change?
I have been known to create many new innovations and products in my lifetime, both as a banker and as a consultant. I think people have the ability to think big but then fail to be able to break that big thinking down into bite size chunks that they can execute on. We often put a lot of focus on the visionaries of our world. I always say a great vision is just another idea without the execution. The skill really comes in taking the vision to life.
What do you do for fun?
Ride my bike, hang with my husband and kids. Right now I am the head of transportation services for the Beckstrand family so we are carting kids around to sports and events every evening. We are in a very fun time in our children’s lives and we are just taking it all in as we know it will go fast.