The non-profit management center begins to move into its own building

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The nonprofit Management Center found a new home near downtown Odessa four months ago and is busy making it its home.

The nonprofit management center received the two-story, 10,000-square-foot building as a gift from the West Texas Insurance Exchange.

Laurie Johnson, executive director of the Nonprofit Management Center, said the Nonprofit Management Center is slowly moving into its new offices, located at 1000 Maple Street, which are divided into 6,000 square foot and 4,000 square foot areas.

Nonprofit Center for Management Executive Director Laurie Johnson tours the new NMC office space at 1000 Maple Street on Friday morning April 1, 2022 in Odessa. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

“It’s a great thing for the Nonprofit Management Center,” Johnson said. “… This is something that non-profit organizations in Odessa need. Odessa doesn’t really have meeting spaces for nonprofits. Large or small. We needed something central.

The nonprofit management center will initially focus on the 6,000 square foot space as it includes office spaces, a large meeting area on the first floor and a large meeting area on the second floor. There are also conference rooms on the first and second floors.

Johnson said the Nonprofit Management Center hasn’t furnished the first and second floors, but she hopes that will be done before hosting its first event on June 30.

“There are a lot of things that come with owning that don’t come with being a tenant,” Johnson said. “The payoff is definitely worth it for what we’re going to be able to do with the center and the community as a whole.”

Center for Nonprofit Management consultant Erika Chavez, left, answers questions during an interview with NMC Board Chair Dianne Williams, center, and Executive Director Laurie Johnson, right , on Friday morning, April 1, 2022, in their new office space located at 1000 Maple Street. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

Dianne Williams, chair of the board of the Nonprofit Management Center, said it can be a bit overwhelming to see a large amount of space currently unoccupied.

Still, Williams shared a story about when the board visited the space and it was obvious they wanted the space that will ultimately help them help other nonprofits.

The Nonprofit Management Center’s website details its commitment to helping nonprofits in the region operate effectively to ensure a stable future. The Nonprofit Management Center provides services that include information and assistance, organizational assessments, start-up assistance, training workshops and seminars, staff surveys, board/committee training and strategic planning.

“The fact that we received a building is a testament to the philanthropy and volunteerism of Odessans,” Williams said. “Mr. Rea could have sold the building, but giving it to the Nonprofit Management Center is truly a gift to the entire nonprofit organizational group in the Trans-Pecos region. This is how we We’ve addressed this issue. We’re going to do it right or we’re not going to do it. We made that commitment. We’re going to follow through on it.

“Is it scary. Yes,” Williams added with a smile.

Erika Chavez, a consultant for the Nonprofit Management Center, said the two-story building gives the nonprofit a large physical footprint in Odessa.

The new offices of the Nonprofit Management Center are pictured on Friday morning, April 1, 2022, at 1000 Maple Street in Odessa. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

The Center for Nonprofit Management assists nonprofit organizations from San Angelo in Abilene to Lamesa in El Paso and all the way to the Mexican border. The Nonprofit Management Center’s website detailed that it became an independent organization in 2014 and moved to Midland Shared Spaces. The Non-Profit Management Center will retain its location at the MSS.

“The theme among nonprofits is the need for larger meeting spaces and places where we can convene and have conversations and talk about challenges in leadership,” Chavez said. “The Center for Nonprofit Management has been great in providing programs that meet nonprofit directors where they are, but also in creating a culture of safety and investigation that when someone tries to ask for help, there is no embarrassment or shame. These things are really important because sometimes it’s hard to ask for help or help.

Johnson said to honor West Texas Insurance Exchange President Jeff Rea for choosing the Nonprofit Management Center as the building’s recipient, it would be named the “Rea Family Building.”

The first phase of the renovation will be to ensure the 6,000 square foot space is ready for an event on June 30, then the second phase will be to raise funds to help the nonprofit Management Center set up an elevator and to enlarge the kitchen and bathrooms on the second floor.

Johnson explained that the 4,000 square foot space can be used for additional meeting areas, while the small office space could be for rent. There’s an aquarium that divides two office spaces, and Johnson said depending on who is asked, the aquarium could stay or go.

“We want to make (the second floor) the most usable for everyone who uses that space,” Johnson said.

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