Virginia D. Lang is a veteran management consultant who has worked in the corporate sector and the nonprofit community as an adviser on all aspects of community affairs for over 30 years. Ginny has served as an expert coach, trainer, facilitator and consultant to an impressive array of nonprofit organizations and is an accomplished speaker and teacher.
Lang Consulting specializes in planning, training and development for nonprofit organizations and helps nonprofit professionals and board members develop their leadership skills in the areas of communication, fundraising, outreach, board/ staff development and volunteer management.
Ginny works nationally with nonprofits and individual private clients. In Bellingham, WA, she is has been a member of Exploration Academy’s Council of Advocates, the Vista Advisory Committee for the Opportunity Council, and she leads business and nonprofit workshops at Whatcom Community College. Ginny is a trainer and facilitator with the Washington Nonprofits Training Institute and has served on the Steering Committee for the Whatcom Council of Nonprofits.
That’s my official bio above and here, if you’re interested, is some more of my story: I grew up in Norwalk, CT and St. Thomas, USVI, went to college in Ohio, in England, and then in Houston, where I lived for almost 3 decades. Moved to Fort Smith AR for 4 years and then to Bellingham, WA in 2008. My husband is the brilliant metalsmith and master jeweler, Frank Goss (http://www.frankgossgoldsmith.com). Our family has always included a variety of spoiled dogs and cats and sometimes squirrels. (Yes, squirrels…another story for another time.)
For six years (until 1997) I served as the Executive Director of Business Volunteers for the Arts/Houston, the Houston area affiliate of the nation’s single largest provider of volunteer business expertise to arts and cultural organizations. That job gave me the opportunity to recruit and manage a large body of volunteers while working directly with nonprofit arts organizations in fund development, strategic planning, volunteer and staff management, board development, and event management. That’s where I truly learned to translate between business and nonprofit. They’re just different languages and I knew then that I wanted to start my own business and speak both.
Before that, I was the director of the community involvement program for the Houston office of Arthur Andersen/Andersen Consulting (until late 1991). That’s when my career direction really changed. Until then, I’d always thought I’d spend my life in the theatre, acting singing and directing. First time I was onstage was in a ballet recital when I was 4 and it kind of never stopped after that. So when I went to AA as a temp in 1984, so I could buy a car, no one was more surprised than I to end up staying for almost 7 years. I learned so much during that time — like what it takes to be a successful board member and to support nonprofits in a meaningful way, how to chair a fundraising campaign, manage an event, edit a newsletter, coach individuals and groups on presentations and interview skills, and how to serve on, and then chair, boards and committees. I worked with corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations on a huge variety of projects. I got to be the face of AA in Houston’s nonprofit sector, and served as President of the Corporate Volunteer Council of Greater Houston, as chair of the Foster Grandparents Advisory Council for Sheltering Arms, and as President of the Houston Association of Volunteer Administrators. It was an invaluable education.
Flash forward to Arkansas (2004-2008), where my favorite project was helping Fort Smith become the site of the national United States Marshals Service Museum. I wrote and presented the business plan that helped win the competition making Arkansas the new museum’s home. Other assignments in Arkansas included research, planning, training and fund development for an array of nonprofits focused on the arts and historic preservation as well as for the City of Fort Smith itself. And I loved working with the committee that raised the historic statue of Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, overlooking the Arkansas River.
My college majors were Theatre and English and during all those years in Houston, I was an active company member of two local professional theatres and also served them for a time as Public Relations Manager and Development Director. For ten years, Frank and I owned and operated Checkmate Theatricals, a talent and production agency for major special events and the Texas Renaissance Festival. Whenever I have the chance…and the time…I still get involved in local theatre.
I’m writing a book on Leadership Level Volunteers, and I’m a graduate of the 2008 class of Leadership Fort Smith (AR) and the 2012 class of Leadership Whatcom (WA). I really am a lifelong learner and can honestly say I’ve learned something from every job, every client, every committee, and every assignment. My job is always new, always exciting, and I love it. I’ve got a lot of mileage behind me and try to make the years of blending arts, nonprofit, and business experience, crossing disciplines and sectors, a valuable asset to my clients, colleagues and friends in the public affairs/philanthropic, business and nonprofit communities.