What’s it really like to serve on the board of Ex Fabula?

Are you looking to advance your skills in a leadership capacity with a growing Milwaukee non-profit? You’ve come to the right place. We’re currently seeking applicants to serve in positions on our board of directors for Ex Fabula. We recently sat down with current board members for their insight into board service with us, and to possibly nudge you to submit your application before May 31.

Ms. Meghan Koven has been involved with Ex Fabula for a number of years, starting as an audience member. Co-founder and outgoing board member, Adam J. Weise, reflects on his service, and the humble beginnings of Ex Fabula.

Smiling man in his early 30s
Adam, backstage at ALL STARS in 2010. Photo by Kat Schleicher

“It started as an idea between a few like-minded Milwaukeeans at a Indian lunch buffet. Ex Fabula has always remained true to its core purpose of building community through stories so it has been a consistently rewarding labor of love for me,” said Weise. Adam spends most of his time outside of the United States due to his work as a U.S. Diplomat, so he doesn’t get to see live events, but Meghan, a Talent & Organizational Development Consultant at Northwestern Mutual does regularly attend StorySlams and workshops throughout the season.

“I still remember my first show as an audience member. I was immediately hooked by the way people so openly shared their truths with one another – the vulnerability and authenticity made me feel so rooted to everyone else in that room; I had found a place where I was welcomed just as I am, flaws and all,” Koven said of her first experiences with Ex Fabula.

A women in a red shirt standing by a table.
Meghan writing an UltraShort at the Times Cinema in December 2016. Photo by Art Montes.

From that, Meghan was hooked and plugged right into the mission. She then began to use her professional skills in a capacity to best help Ex Fabula streamline processes and data. “I happen to be pretty good at taming work process chaos, I asked to get involved with Ex Fabula’s Programming Committee, and eventually became the Chair. After that, I saw an opportunity for Ex Fabula to launch an effort to collect feedback and data about our events and collaborations, so the organization could do a better job of telling its story and demonstrating all of the ways we fulfill our mission. And that led me to serving on the Board.”

Although unpaid, Meghan’s time to the board of directors is valuable and she sees it that way too. “I schedule it right alongside my paid work, and treat it the same. I find this scheduling approach to be helpful with managing all of the different things I enjoy doing (or have to do) in my life. It takes some discipline to plan my day according to schedule, but by the end of each week I look at all of the work I have accomplished and feel significant satisfaction.”

Adam won’t be renewing his board term once it expires in late June because of the distance, but he still sees great potential for growth and opportunities with Ex Fabula. “I see the organization growing to become a leader in creativity, culture, and community building, an organization others will emulate in the Milwaukee community. I see Ex Fabula expanded into more and more communities not just geographically but socioeconomically,” he said.

Along those same lines of growth, director Koven spoke about a similar trajectory for Ex Fabula and Milwaukee as a whole, with respect to bringing on new board members.

“Ex Fabula is a rare organization. We’re not the biggest or fanciest nonprofit in the city, but we fundamentally and authentically care about building community in Milwaukee through the art of storytelling. Our Board of Directors reflects the diversity we want to see more of in this city, and we consistently challenge ourselves to look at the paradigms and values that play a role in all of the decisions we make as an organization.”

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