Day in the Life: Heather Reynolds

From first light, the CEO of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth spends her day working to bring people out of poverty.

5:30 a.m. I’m up and it’s time for some French press COFFEE. Then, I spend 10 minutes catching up on my Bible study.
6 a.m. I hop in the shower, and then knock out 30 minutes worth of work emails.
6:45 a.m. My 4-year-old daughter, Olive, wakes up, and she reads books to me every morning while my husband, John, makes breakfast for everyone.
7:45 a.m. I’m heading to the office, and I call my mom or my sister every day. It’s a rooted tradition in reminding me of the awesome line of strong women I come from.
8 a.m. Lately, I spend a lot of time focus-grouping and informing stakeholders about the welfare cliff or our path out of poverty model. And, I’m getting a lot of feedback and intel on what other smart brains in the community think would enhance our work.
9 a.m. I meet with our Research and Innovation Team to catch up on initiatives - one being a partnership with Uber that enables our clients to trade work for transportation. Another is a mobile platform for access to social services.
10 a.m. I might take a call with Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunity team to talk about our research partnerships and download on micro trends they see from studying our work, or connect with our Hope Center staff to talk about clients and what case management methods work best.
11 a.m. I meet with our Senior Leadership Team for an L10 (from our favorite operating model via Traction), and it allows us to quickly catch up, identify issues, solve the quick ones, and assign/timeline the rest.
12 p.m. We’ve been running these Know Poverty ‘experiences’ of CCFW over lunches on Tuesday. I often pop in and share my personal story.
1 p.m. I block time to refine upcoming speeches. Currently working on one for the Independent Sector’s Public Policy Institute in November.
2 p.m. I may meet with JPS or the Omni, or one of our many partners to talk about employer-based strategies to get folks out of poverty.
3 p.m. I usually meet with one of our wonderful supporters to ask for support. I am always amazed at the YESES we get from those who join us.
4:30 p.m. Three days a week, I am able to pick Olive up from school and spend the afternoon with her. We go to the park, run errands. The other nights, I usually attend a work function, community meeting, or speaking engagement. Sometimes, I travel and see what others are doing to eradicate poverty, or share our work. 
5:30 p.m. We cook dinner as a family, and Olive helps, or we walk over to our favorite places - Snappy Salads or Little Lili’s Sushi.
6:30 p.m. It’s family game time!
7:30 p.m. Bathtime and a few chapters from Little House in the Big Woods, then lights out for Olive.
8 p.m. I usually devote the next hour and a half or so to work, then John and I spend an hour or two catching up, playing Ticket to Ride, watching the presidential debates (!), or reruns of Friends.
11:30 p.m. I finish a chapter of Patrick Lencioni’s The Ideal Player, spritz some lavender on my sheets and call it a night. We’ll end more poverty tomorrow.