From stage acting to the Black Power & Civil Rights movements, Ruby has already had a fulfilling career - but in some ways, is just getting started.
Q: Who are you? Introduce yourself as you would at a dinner party.
A: Hi, I’m Ruby. I enjoy meeting people and learning more about what you love about life. I grew up in Iowa. My favorite thing about it was a daily connection to the outdoors and the vast open sky. How about you? Tell me about the home you grew up in?
Q: What is your background? How does it differ from what you are doing now?
A: I always thought that one day I’d be discovered acting on stage or in the movies. Mind you I didn’t run away to NY or LA. Crazy thing is the closest I got to acting was as a weekend weather person on the local TV station in Cedar Rapids for a short time. After 6 months they wanted me to study and complete a meteorologist degree and that just wasn’t in the cards. I went to college at Coe in Cedar Rapids and for a short stint in Bellingham at Western Washington University studying History and African American Studies. I cut my teeth on fundraising for the Civil Rights Movement with my parents, the Black Power movement, and a drug and alcohol treatment center outside Chicago. My passion for social justice and equity is deep rooted from my grandparents on both sides of the family as they were leaders in the Progressive Party, my mom and dad as leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, one of my uncles was a Freedom Rider, another a Tuskegee Airman, another the first black doctor in Iowa and the list goes on. When you have high achieving family members you know you better get it together!
What’s different today is I’m less of a rebel and more focused on using all the resources at hand to make a fulfilling life for me and my family.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: Today, I’m going the extra mile to build upon the many experiences and people I’ve come to know over 25 years in philanthropy and helping people express their generosity. My work with Venture Scale is to assist and invest in businesses and organizations that leverage, expand and market products and services for the purpose of social benefit in our communities around the world. I can’t think of a better way to start each day! I’m supporting 3 clients with Impact Assessments, revisions to their business plan and preparing them for potential investment.
Q: Why did you join Impact Hub?
A: I joined the Hub because it’s in the people business! I’m all about people getting to know each other, the world around us and being good to one another. This feels like a place that wants to work on that with me. I am also excited about visiting the other Hubs around the world. Variety of opinion, approach, thought and beliefs is important to my very being. The Impact Hub fuels my curiosity.
Q: How do you make money?
A: From a cultural perspective that’s not a question that I usually answer on my first meeting. It’s a bit too nosy but I’ll just say I make money: the best ways I know how, with people I like for purposes I support and in ways that don’t take advantage of people less fortunate than me.
Q: What is something that really excites you right now?
A: The most exciting things for me in life are watching my children and grandchildren develop into curious, creative, productive people. The pace of learning today is also exciting and a little scary to me. I want to change the limitations of convenient travel so that more people have an opportunity to visit the lands they haven’t set foot on. I think it’s tragic that most travel as we know it is never attainable for the poor. I think if more people could travel freely around the world we would see a huge drop in poverty. Travel opens up the possibilities of our world to your senses and that triggers imagination, innovation and creativity.
Q: You have $10M to spend in the next year, and you can’t spend it on you, your friends or your family. How do you spend it?
A: I would establish a Charitable Remainder Trust and purchase real estate to develop for people experiencing homelessness. My focus for the trust would be supporting post-secondary learning off traditional college campuses, preventable diseases and aging services.
Q: What’s on the horizon for you?
A: Continuing to improve my golf game!
Q: Where do you usually hang out when you are at Impact Hub? How often are you here?
A: I’m here most days and usually hang out on the 2nd floor near the Globe Room.
Two questions that we ask every member:
Q: What is something we don’t know?
A: Paul Robeson and Nat King Cole both stayed at my grandparent’s home when the hotels in Iowa wouldn’t allow black people to stay in them. And my family met Martin Luther King at the airport when he came to speak in 1962 at Coe College. Pic below of Mom Phoebe, Dad Vernon, my brother Vernon, and sister Deborah. King is holding my hand as you can barely see me peeping around him.
Q: Give us your top three Seattle gems!
A: Seattle’s Central District and Leschi are my favorite friendly neighborhoods. A wonderful friend Donna Moodie owns my favorite spot for farm fresh and to die for dinner: Marjorie’s on Capitol Hill. The best sushi in town is just up the street at Fuji Sushi… in my opinion.
Contact Ruby at [email protected].