Notley Fellows Spotlight Series: Glynn Kaplan

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Glynn was born in Houston and graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Business. She moved to Austin to work at Mass Relevance (acquired by Spredfast) and immediately fell in love with young startups because of the ability to "wear many hats" and have a large impact on the business. Glynn has spent her career focused on scaling and building Customer Success teams. She was previously at YouEarnedIt and recently had the opportunity to fulfill her dream of traveling around Asia with her sister. Glynn is now the Senior Customer Success Manager at Shopgate, a mobile commerce startup.

Glynn enjoys volunteering for the Anti-Defamation League and Urban Roots. She also enjoys doing yoga, going to farmer's markets, and dog kisses like any respectable Austinite. Glynn is a member of the inaugural class of Notley Fellows.


What specific issues are close to your heart and why?

Intolerance is something that has frustrated me for as long as I can remember. I recognize this issue is quite broad and encompassing, but it hits home for me because I'm Jewish. I hear of growing antisemitism in our community and across the globe. Unfortunately it's getting worse.

Sadly, this situation is not only unique to Jews. A a member of a group that's faced and continues to face discrimination, it's even more crucial that I fight for the injustice of all groups facing hate.

Healthy living and affordable access to nutritious food is important to me because if you put good in, you get good out. Healthy living has turned into a luxury when it shouldn't be. I recognize I have the privilege and means to decide what types of products I want to consume, but many people don't have a choice. It saddens and frustrates me that socio-economic factors contribute to whether or not someone can afford to eat healthy. It's hard to imagine that even in Austin - a city where healthy living is in its DNA - suffers from food desserts.

What organizations or cause areas are you currently involved with?

Given the issues that are close to my heart, it only makes sense that I'm involved with and closely aligned with the values and missions of two great organizations: the Anti-Defamation League and Urban Roots ATX.

1. I love the mission of the Anti-Defamation League not only because of its goal to protect the Jewish people, but perhaps more importantly, "to secure justice and fair treatment TO ALL." I am proud to support an organization that doesn't always say the most popular thing but always stands up for those that don't have a voice.

I love that a big component of what they do is focused on youth education to prevent bias and discrimination. This past January, I was a facilitator with ADL during its "No Place for Hate" Youth Summit. The event encourages students to confront their own biases and empathize with people from very different backgrounds. The hope is that students better recognize and stand up to prejudice and hate when they see it.

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2. As someone that's also passionate about access to healthy living, I am inspired by the work of Urban Roots ATX. Through its farm internship program, UR develops community youth leaders through food and farming. UR also serves the community by donating a third of its organic produce to food banks and provides hands-on opportunities to learn how to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

I've enjoyed volunteering on the farm with the youth leaders and learning how the internship has provided them with skills and confidence for the future. It's also given me a greater appreciation of where food comes from and how difficult farming can be.

 
 
 

If you could wake up tomorrow and one world or community problem would be solved, which problem would it be and why?

How amazing would it be to wake up in a world where intolerance was abolished?! The unwillingness to accept views or beliefs that differ than your own has led to an enormous amount of hate, violence, and is unfortunately the root cause of many of our problems and divisiveness. I realize it sounds like a cliché, but I truly believe it: if we can begin to understand that our differences is what makes us interesting and that at our core, all of us are the same, we will live in a much happier place where we can wake up and not dread reading the news.

In what ways can Austin's corporate sector be better equipped to support local nonprofits?

Austin is home to many amazing innovative and groundbreaking companies that also care deeply for the community. I've been lucky enough to work at some of those companies and volunteer with my coworkers. There's no doubt that serving meals at a homeless shelter or building a playground for an underprivileged school is good work. However, I think with the type of talent and the diversity of companies we have in Austin, we're in a unique position to move the needle even more.

Companies should partner with local nonprofits - almost like a buddy system - to coach them on tangible skills that will exponentially improve their business. Through something like an office hours concept, nonprofits could learn or brush up on important skills that have the most impact. Maybe it's learning how to update their website without paying a developer. Or perhaps it's improving a marketing deck and polishing a pitch. If there's any city to set the model, it's Austin!

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Glynn & her team won an Emmy for their work incorporating social media in television.
 

Get Involved with Urban Roots

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Urban Roots is a farm-based youth leadership community in Austin that uses food and farming to empower and engage youth in the community with hard work, healthy living, and civic engagement. Since Urban Roots began in 2008, 288 young leaders have graduated from the Farm Internship Program, 288,601 pounds of produce has been harvested, and 235,000 servings have been donated to 12 different hunger relief organizations.

Want to get involved? You can volunteer on the farm! Contact volunteer@urbanrootsatx.org if you have any questions and check out the volunteer days to learn more.

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Buy fresh veggies for a great cause! Urban Roots grows approximately 45,000 lbs of food every year, donating 40% to charity and selling the rest to the Austin community. Check out the Urban Roots booth at the Farmer's Market so you can eat UR veggies and support an amazing program!