The business books say there are two kinds of entrepreneurs: visionaries and managers. The start of a business or nonprofit organization often begins with the visionary, but its eventual growth and success depends on a good manager, and the visionary founder must know when to share the reins of management to ensure the organizationï¿½s success.
Such is the case with the American Botanical Council. ABC is ably managed by Wayne Silverman, PhD, its Chief Administrative Officer. Since he first arrived at ABC, more than nine years ago, Wayne has implemented administrative and development programs that have helped ABC become increasingly professional and transparent in its management and accounting.
I first met Wayne Silverman when he was the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Austin. I was impressed with his professionalism and high sense of ethics. Wayne holds a doctorate in college administration, a masterï¿½s in science education, and has extensive experience in nonprofit managementï¿½all perfect skills for a science-based, nonprofit, educational organization like ABC. (Heï¿½s also an avid organic gardener and a gourmet natural foods chef!)
When Wayne started at ABC, I was spread very thin, trying to cover too many critical areas: editorial, education and public relations, management and personnel, development and fund-raising, etc. ABC needed someone who could focus on management and development. When Wayne started at ABC, he immediately began professionalizing the organization. During his almost ten-year tenure, he has grown from being an able, loyal, and trusted lieutenant to an indispensable and cooperative partner.
Wayne handles all areas of management and development here at ABC, thereby allowing me to focus my time and energies towards the areas I prefer most: research and education, editing and writing, media interviews and public speaking, etc. But I cannot do my work without a well-functioning support platform. This is where Wayne and the rest of the able ABC staff come in.
Wayne covers all the ï¿½create the systems and get the work doneï¿½ stuff. Some of his key areas of contribution include: helping to establish the ABC Web site and the highly successful Herb-Ed-Web program in which ABC licenses its electronic educational content to other organizations and commercial entities; the initiation of the editorial and publication process for our third book, The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs in which he implemented the now common practice at ABC of obtaining continuing professional education credit from multiple disciplines for ABC materials; the move toward a more participatory governing board; the new ABC Herbal Information Course in which ABC produced a Web-based instruction and certification program for retail clerks in natural food stores and for distributors of multi-level marketing companies; and other projects and programs too numerous to list in this limited space. Without Wayneï¿½s able and dedicated management, as well as his continuing friendship and partnership, ABC would not be the top-flight organization it is today.