Placing Family First

I’ve been lucky at a lot of things in life. Amazing family, the best group of friends, and really great jobs. I went to college to be a social worker and my first few jobs in that field helped define what I was meant to do. They were both challenging and fulfilling.

Then came motherhood. By far my favorite job of all. I love every second of it. Then fate kicked in and I was able to help my husband grow his start-up. I was sort of jack of all trades. I did everything from office admin, to HR to customer service. It was fun for so many reasons. I could set my own hours, work with my friends, and watch something so important to someone I love become something so amazing.

The thing that was most important to me was to make sure that everyone we worked with put family first. It was a very common occurrence for me to send an email to the team member reminding them that they needed to get off-line or that they needed to take some time off. And the rumors are true that when some of the team took vacation I would lock them out of their email so that they wouldn’t even be tempted to check work. Luckily, they all still love me.

Being Executive Director for Orange Effect, I get to put my social work hat back on, which I’m thrilled to be able to do.  Along with that I get to carry my motto of family first. I’m fortunate to be able to go to the kids’ school events no matter what time of day, or to help out friends and family because of the flexibility of my job.

What I’m seeing with the overwhelming number of applications that we are receiving is that many parents are trying to follow the family first model, but having a hard time because of financial need. Raising a child is expensive. Raising a special needs child is extremely expensive.

As we begin summer, I hope you get to do all the things that you want to do with your family. And also, we’d like you to join our little family of golfers (and non-golfers) at our annual Golf for Autism on August 6th. If you find you are able to help out our organization in any other way please contact me or consider donating here.


Pam is the Executive Director of the Orange Effect Foundation. She worked in the marketing field for the past 10 years, serving as Chief Operations Officer for Content Marketing Institute. During that time she found her passion to build and lead amazing teams because of the commitment of the staff at CMI. Pam also helped to create Content Marketing World, an event where over 3500 marketers come together annually to learn and network with the best and brightest. Pam's background is in social work, and she is raising a son with autism so the opportunity to start and direct this nonprofit is a dream come true. She has been a key leader in the CMI Golf for Autism the past 11 years and a champion for many other nonprofit organizations.