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Moonshot Leadership

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What Readers Are saying

Because hunger is a significant issue both in Dallas and across our nation, bold leadership and innovative solutions are required.  Food is among the most elemental human needs and addressing food insecurity directly impacts the success of our other societal challenges, allowing individuals to work, learn, raise their families and age with the health, dignity and respect they deserve. Jan and Colleen’s combined talents grew the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) into a leading impact organization which currently provides over 70 million nutritious meals annually and aims to provide 92 million by 2025.  Colleen’s journey, as explained in her book, is intimate and engaging, and explains the source of her passion for both helping those at the front lines as well as inviting others to join the mission.

Katherine Perot Reeves
Civic Leader
NTFB Board of Directors, Since 2011
Honorary Co-Chair, Stop Hunger Build Hope NTFB Capital Campaign

 

You seem to have discovered, like your parents, the elusive meaning of life.  Through your genuine relationships, your belief that every life has equal value, and your commitment to improving the lives of so many, I truly believe you have found it.

Pam Beckert
Civic Leader
Co-Chair, Stop Hunger Build Hope NTFB Capital Campaign


While Colleen and I first grew our friendship during our 2010 Leadership Women class, working alongside her during my first six months as CEO of the Food Bank was priceless.  Her passion, determination against all odds and servant leadership played a pivotal role in the achievement of our historic $55 million campaign and growing the NTFB brand over her sixteen years there.  Her retirement is well deserved. Colleen’s candid insights and personal stories build a case study applicable to any organization seeking transformational change. A must-read for board members, executive staff and external-facing team members.  

Trisha Cunningham
President & CEO, NTFB

Passion and professionalism define Colleen.  I was inspired as I worked collaboratively with her and her team in our endeavor to feed thousands of chronically hungry children.  I could not have been prouder of our efforts and appreciated Colleen and the North Texas Food Bank’s guidance each step of the way.

Mayor Harry LaRosiliere
City of Plano, Texas

 

A powerful story of leadership by two, with endurance and achievement amid incredible challenges.  A must-read for anyone in business or nonprofit, especially if you’re about to launch your moonshot journey.  What happened at the North Texas Food Bank is as remarkable as planting your flag on Everest without the aid of a compass.

Anurag Jain
Chairman, Access Healthcare
Chairman, NTFB Board of Directors, 2017–2019

 

Charged with a record-setting capital campaign goal and faced with personal adversity throughout the campaign, Colleen truly exemplified grace under pressure.  With a great deal of passion and commitment, she makes known in her writing that anyone can instill change. The story of her experience working with the North Texas Food Bank is a valuable road map for those who wish to begin a nonprofit journey of their own.   

Thomas E. Black, Jr.
Black, Mann & Graham, L.L.P.
Chairman, NTFB Board of Directors, 2013–2017

 

I believe this book is an excellent tool for any executive director, development director or board of directors requiring exponential growth to meet the challenging needs of the communities they serve.  Within the context of an amazing story, Colleen provides valuable insights and a clear road map to building a resilient brand. Colleen is an inspiration within the Food Bank community and beyond.

Lydia Chase
Civic Leader
Member, NTFB Capital Campaign Committee

 

Colleen is one of the rarest breeds in the nonprofit fundraising community that I have known.  She has the following traits that have led to her stellar career and results at the NTFB: she is fearless, yet caring; graciously calculating, yet ambitious; she is confident and driven for the purpose of the mission, yet genuine and human in her fundraising efforts—all of which are a terrific combination of talents that culminated in the completion of the Food Bank’s $55 million capital campaign.  She has well deserved her formal retirement. The NTFB would not have obtained the many levels of its fundraising success without Colleen.

Ray Hemmig
Founder, Retail & Restaurant Growth Capital
Former Chairman, NTFB Board of Directors

 

While success comes to a team, every team needs a coach. Every bus needs a driver; every plane needs a pilot. For the North Texas Food Bank’s marketing, that leader has been Colleen Townsley Brinkmann. There is a view that each of us at work is the average of the five people we spend the most time with. For the Food Bank’s marketing and fundraising teams, one of those folks is likely Colleen—and they have been fortunate—even though Colleen would never say that about herself.  

Jack Phifer
Chief Marketing Officer, Moroch (retired)

 

I first met Colleen when she called on me with Jan Pruitt on behalf of the North Texas Food Bank and was impressed with her passion from the moment we met. Colleen has been an integral part of the NTFB culture since she joined them and I consider her contribution invaluable to the organization.

Jay Pack
Pack Group; Former Chairman, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Her story from Battery Lane to NTFB illustrates how Colleen has built and lived her remarkable life based on the five leadership traits.  Over a decade, I have witnessed her ‘Authenticity’ in dealing with people and her purpose, her ‘Collaborative’ attitude within the community at large, her ‘Intelligence’ through discussions, her ‘Bold vision’ in defining the unsurmountable three-year capital campaign, and her ‘Being opportunistic’ in seeking opportunity to help others.  I have always appreciated her positive attitude toward life, her nature of always helping anyone and everyone, and her connecting people through her relationships for greater good. Her relentless pursuit of reaching her three-year capital campaign goal could only be achieved through the moonshot leadership she demonstrated and by using the concepts she has so easily laid out in her book, the Char Minars and “leadership by two.”

Gurvendra S. Suri
Founder and CEO, The Suri Group; Chairman, AST Corporation;
Board Member, Stratix Corporation and Core BTS; Founder, Beyond Borders


It is most rare to find a book that encompasses two such rarely combined messages.  One of a bold, strategic business plan to raise $55 million, and one of a heartwarming tale of two bold, courageous women whose friendship and determination took them across the finish line.  This book is a lesson to be learned for the nonprofit world and an inspiring challenge for us to look inside ourselves to do something that really matters in this life. Colleen’s greatest asset is her love for others—love conquers all.

Connie Yates
Tom Thumb & Albertsons Public Affairs
Former Member, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Colleen is a natural born leader, communicator and connector with a background that exhibits inclusion, diversity and tremendous care and concern for her fellow man, woman and child.  It was an honor to work with her at the North Texas Food Bank, as the universal elements of transformational change were truly on display in “making good happen” and changing the world through her set of “internal convictions.”  Janie and I say thank you and job well done.

Preston Pearson
Five-time Super Bowl Participant with two Championships 
Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys


Colleen truly exemplifies a servant leader.  The life lessons she presents in this book are essential for anyone who wants to have an impact in their community.

Chad Hennings
Three-time Super Bowl Champion, Dallas Cowboys
Founder, Wingmen Ministries


Bringing the best of the heart and the head is what makes someone successful in philanthropic endeavors.  I have not come across anyone who does this with more ease and aplomb than Colleen. Her book and experiences are like a masterclass to not only those who want to succeed in philanthropy, but also those who want to make a real impact on communities.  Thanks to Colleen’s magnanimous worldview, I see her already creating the multiplier effect through her new efforts and collaborative spirit.

Venky Raghavendra,
Vice President of Advancement, Safe Water Network
Ambassador & Thought Leader, American India Foundation

 

I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Colleen and the North Texas Food Bank for over five years and there are always two things that I come away with from my encounters—total committed passion for the cause and absolute belief in the team’s ability to meet the challenge.  This, coupled with the competence and professionalism of the leadership team, has produced the tremendous results that Colleen refers to in the attached pages. I would strongly recommend this as required reading for anyone who wants to learn how she helped build the best brand in North Texas: the North Texas Food Bank.     

Shaun Mara
Chief Financial Officer, Dean Foods & Atkins Nutritionals
NTFB Board of Directors, 2012 – Present

 

Colleen brings an unmatched commitment to achieving every goal.  Her fundraising acumen and successes should be a road map for every nonprofit.   

Joyce Goss
Executive Director, The Goss-Michael Foundation

 

How wonderful of Colleen to share the story of how the needle was moved in fighting hunger in North Texas!  Her inspiration, ideas, incredible teamwork with Jan, and the well-oiled team of staff, volunteers and board members brought the community together like never before to make a huge impact on an issue that will cause a positive ripple effect.  I am so glad Jan thought big and that Colleen was there to continue to create and help make the plan to use food distribution hubs, boost the volume capacities and infrastructure of food pantries, and reduce costs a reality. I hope other communities will follow many of these ideas and the ripple effect will continue.      

Sarah Losinger
Trustee, John R. McCune Charitable Trust

 

I was privileged to meet Colleen during my terms as board member and chair of the Greater Dallas Community of Churches.  It has been personally rewarding to see her “find her shine” there and in subsequent roles, culminating with a successful career at the North Texas Food Bank. More than a fundraiser, Colleen is the ultimate “friend-raiser,” and nonprofit leaders and volunteers are well advised to take note of her story.  

Ruben E. Esquivel
Vice President, Community and Corporate Relations
UT Southwestern Medical Center

 

Colleen is an exceptional, mission-driven leader.  In my role as a foundation executive, I’ve always found her to be thoughtful and strategic, but her ability to mentor others is what really makes her effective.

Brent E. Christopher
President, Children’s Medical Center Foundation

 

I would highly recommend this compelling, must-read leadership book which is packed full of valuable and meaningful insights and advice for all leaders, beyond nonprofit.  This book will re-inspire you and reinvigorate you and your thoughts of your personal leadership style and journey. I had the great pleasure of watching Colleen’s leadership in action while I served on the NTFB Board during one of the most impactful and transformational times in the Food Bank’s history.  Leveraging her unwavering tenacity and tremendous passion for the cause and our stakeholders, she launched a significant capital campaign; and during that time, we lost our fearless long-tenured CEO leader who passed away. However, thanks to Colleen’s leadership, reputation in the community and dedication, we were able to achieve our goal and onboard a new CEO at the same time.  An amazing feat by an amazing leader!

Kim Warmbier
CRHO, Sabre
Former Member, NTFB Board of Directors


Colleen is absolutely the most passionate social entrepreneur I have ever met.  Her desire to end food insecurity was like nothing I have ever seen and her strategies on how to do it have proven to be spot on.  Watching and working with Colleen has been one of the biggest treats of my life.

Mitch Fadel
CEO, Rent-A-Center, Inc.
Former Member, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Colleen notes that justice and compassion were embedded into her (and her sister’s) DNA.  “Embedded” is an understatement—justice and compassion have defined her life during the thirty years I have known her.  She has made a profoundly positive mark on North Texas, both as a former television producer and as an executive plotting the growth and success of the North Texas Food Bank.  Colleen’s service to our entire community (especially those without means) has been an inspiration to my family. I am confident that this book will serve to motivate us to do more for our communities and provide us with lessons and skills to fulfill our missions even better.

Marc R. Stanley
Stanley Law Group
Former Anchor, KXAS-TV 5 Faith Focus

 

Moonshot Leadership tells a compelling story of bringing inspiration and sustainable solutions to address hunger.  A must-read for anyone interested in leadership and making a real difference in the world.

Brad Sanders
Co-CEO, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

 

Colleen Brinkmann is the real deal. She lights up a room when she enters, and sincerely engages with everyone she meets. She leads with pure intention, wisdom, transparency and energy. You won’t want to miss out on the guidance she shares in this book. If we could all shine like Colleen, the world would be a better place.

Melissa Atkinson
VP, Parkland Foundation, Parkland Health & Hospital System

 

In a conversational, easy-to-read style, Colleen lays out all the elements required for the success of a monumental fundraising campaign in the nonprofit world.  She also highlights and pays homage to the critical non-tactical elements...the emotions, the fears, the spirit and heart that took the campaign to its goal. Inspiring reading!  

Aradhana (Anna) Asava
Founding Co-Chair, NTFB Indian-American Council

 

Inspiring book!  A must for anyone interested or engaged in the social entrepreneurial sector.  Colleen has laid out the guiding principles for planning, initiating and successfully carrying out a major campaign in the nonprofit sector.  

Raj G. Asava
Founding Co-Chair, NTFB Indian-American Council

 

Colleen’s story isn’t just about improving your organization.  It’s about how you can become a better leader with values others will want to follow.  Pay close attention.

Jenny Birgé
Corporate and Community Innovator


This book describes a profoundly important social issue of our times.  The situation exists throughout the U.S., so communities nationwide would benefit from this uniquely informative book.

David Bowman
Chairman, TTG Consultants

 

Colleen and I had a treasured peer relationship pursuing the relentless endeavor to mobilize the public to end hunger.  I have the utmost respect and admiration for all she has accomplished both personally and professionally and am honored to have shared a point in time on this journey with her.  Her personal stories and insights are an exceptional road map for paid and unpaid leaders seeking to do transformational good in the world.

Dawn Burroughs
VP of Marketing & Communications, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (retired)

 

Having known Colleen for years, I’ve been aware of and admired her journey tremendously.  This is such a clear and helpful message to anyone embarking on a North Star, aspirational goal.  Tremendous message on building the team and strategies to accomplish it. It’s a generously shared experience that will benefit anyone who has a giant vision and desires guidance on how to accomplish it.

Donna Butterfield
SVP, Frost Bank

 

This is a book that took a lifetime of experiences to make possible and is worthy of your time to read.  Having seen Colleen in action for over fifteen years, the leadership lessons shared in this book seem to have come so easily to her.  It is refreshing and inspiring for the rest of us that these lessons can be learned. The leadership journey is different for every traveler.  This guide is invaluable for those on the path to improvement.

Lane Cardwell
President, Cardwell Hospitality Advisory
Former Chairman, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Colleen is one of the most talented and gifted people I know.  Her remarkable journey, documented in this book, is informative, insightful and full of solid, transferable principles for anyone wanting to make a difference in the world.   

Brad Cecil
President, Brad Cecil & Associates

 

Colleen Brinkmann spent well over a decade combatting hunger in North Texas with great intellect and passion, as well as the necessary buoyancy to persevere.  While the challenge of hunger persists, it’s much worse for the wear given Colleen’s work—work that has unquestionably laid a great foundation for the fight to continue.  One would be hard pressed to find more sage counsel and insight into what is required to achieve success in the nonprofit world than that offered by Colleen.

Justin Chatigny
Executive Director of Marketing, Grant Thornton
Founded NTFB’s Full on Faith initiative

 

Colleen Brinkmann is a living legend in relationship-building and effective fundraising.  She was amazing to work with and I am so glad she memorialized her recollection of her time at the North Texas Food Bank.

Jeanne Clark, CPA
VP, Finance & Administration, NTFB

 

Colleen has an energy, authenticity, charm, wit and in-the-moment focus that’s very engaging.  She is a passionate leader, active listener, effective mentor and undaunted advocate for our neighbors in need. If you have the same zest for learning that Colleen possesses, you will gain insights and skills from this book written by the consummate people-person who is also a strategic, critical thinker and ambitious achiever of challenging goals—especially when the goals to be achieved make our community a better place for all people.  I encourage you to read Moonshot Leadership today.

Rev. Jay Cole
Executive Director, Crossroads Community Services


Colleen perfectly weaves a blueprint for success for nonprofit leaders who seek to build a transformational brand. As one who recognizes that excellence forges goodness, I think this book is a must-read.  Start 2019 right by reading this with your team.

Javiar Collins, NFL Athlete 2001–2007

 

Colleen authentically shares how vision, leadership, passion and hard work were ignited to tackle life challenges, especially hunger.  The learnings from this book can be used to help stop hunger across America. Read it today, to help elevate your leadership and make an impact tomorrow.

Julie Davis-Colan
Co-Founder, The L Group

 

Colleen Brinkmann is a world-class, purpose-driven leader.  Her backstory, sense of purpose and relatable successes and challenges combine to deliver transformative and actionable leadership insights.  This book is as practical as it is inspiring!

Lee J. Colan, Ph.D.
Leadership Advisor and Author of Stick with It

 

Fascinating story of fearless leadership, inventive strategy and determined achievement that transformed a nonprofit––the North Texas Food Bank––into a new business model from which many for-profit leaders can learn.

Michael Cox
Former Member, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Sharing a common heritage and value system with Colleen, I have always keenly observed and admired her strategic and patient leadership.  Gabrielle Bernstein once said, if you allow your passion to become your purpose, one day it might just become your profession—and that is the case with Colleen.  She has been a compass to many. “Values when crystallized into clear vision, change the world”—and the NTFB team certainly did that! She found a way to leave the valuable legacy of her learnings for other leaders (board members and executive team) and passionate professionals in nonprofit and business.  The book encourages readers to align their values with their work, to “let the tea leaves soak” instead of moving too quickly, and the importance of building authentic relationships. It offers numerous opportunities for reflection and pause.

Sejal Desai
Business Engagement Director, Communities Foundation of Texas
Founder, SevaYatra

 

Clarity, energy, accomplishment—Colleen shares her strengths, learnings and recommendations in this remarkable book which will benefit both nonprofit and business leaders.  Speaking from deep experience, she challenges us to hone leadership skills needed for today and for the future.

Fran Eichorst
Vice President, Public Affairs (Retired)


Working on what I like to call “the other side of the house” at NTFB, my fellow Programs and Agencies’ colleagues would typically see only the monumental outcomes that resulted from the vision, passion and sheer determination and work of Colleen and her teams over the years.  The barriers and struggle to get there were never seen nor heard about. We all know about her ready smile, laugh and interest in everyone with whom she spoke. Reading this book, filled with Colleen’s wonderful insights and advice, is one of many things that are inspiring me in my own role as a hunger fighter today.  Another is the honor and privilege I feel entering my office each day at the brand-new NTFB Perot Family Campus, looking out of my window over Jan’s Garden.

Cynthia Ferris
Director, NTFB Programs and Agencies

 

Colleen’s story is compelling from both a personal and professional standpoint.  For nearly two decades I’ve seen the enormous impact of the North Texas Food Bank through the fearless leadership of Jan Pruitt and Colleen’s visionary and strategic abilities, building a brand that raised over $110 million in the past three years.  The level of complex strategy and execution required to accomplish this is nearly unheard of in the nonprofit sector. They were truly “the dynamic duo.” I encourage business leaders, social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders and staff to read this book.  You will walk away inspired and equipped with new ways to achieve your own moonshot impact.

Debra Tippett Gibbe
CEO, Cardinal Company
Former Member, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Truly a divine imprint for the essence of Moonshot Leadership in the nonprofit world!

Susan Glen
SVP, Client Relations, CMP



Colleen’s book is simultaneously compelling for its candid reflections on her life experiences while providing profound, yet practical, fundraising and self-assessment tools.  A valuable read, especially for corporate leaders joining a nonprofit board.

Lois Golbeck, CPA
SVP, Gillham, Golbeck and Associates, Inc. (retired)

 

I’ve known Colleen over my 25 years with the Greater Dallas Community of Churches and CitySquare, and she was always driven to perform with excellence.  What’s important to know is that the driving force behind that was her heart for those on the fringes. This book will be a valuable read for nonprofit executives, especially those in finance and operations, in building a mutual bridge of understanding with the philanthropy team.   

Anice Greiner
Comptroller, CitySquare (retired)

 

Insightful.  Engaging. Real.  Colleen Brinkman’s writing is accessible and entertaining, and a must-read for nonprofit leaders and board members across the sector.  She lifts our sights beyond the everyday grind and focuses our energy on big dreams, sharing a toolbox of tricks to navigate the road. Brava, Colleen!  

Michael G. Guerra
Chief Resource Officer, San Antonio Food Bank

 

From personal journey to professional triumph, Colleen Brinkmann shines. Her book should be required reading for anyone preparing to undertake their own odds-defying trek.

Andie Hill
NTFB Executive Administrator


Colleen’s story is one of deep passion, commitment and authenticity.  When combined with her leadership and collaboration insights, her story provides a blueprint for accomplishing the seemingly impossible.  Through this story, she has left something of meaning and lasting value for North Texas and the reader for many years to come.

Bill Hogg
Member, NTFB Board of Directors

 

It is rare to find those special people in life who are a friend, mentor, colleague and boss all in one neon-wrapped package.  I wouldn’t have the career I do today if it wasn’t for Colleen, her wisdom and unrelenting expectations to achieve success, however we define it.  She has a unique ability to hold the highest bar of performance while maintaining the freedom and flexibility to make mistakes, learn, and try, try again.  If we can all adopt the attitudes and strategies that she shares within these pages, the world will be a much better, less complicated place.

Lauren Banta Holloway
Nonprofit Executive and former NTFB Colleague

 

The North Texas Food Bank is a model for how to achieve a mission, be compassionate and meet a budget.  Colleen Brinkmann was a key member of the leadership team, making big decisions and adding the compassion to the organization.  Colleen also knew how and when to recognize donors. As a person responsible for charitable giving, I felt appreciated for the contribution and the results.

Gary Huddleston
Kroger Executive (retired)
Former Member, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Colleen Brinkmann is the consummate professional in the field of nonprofit development and marketing.  Her skill is only outmatched by her warm, pragmatic personality and sincere desire to help other development professionals succeed.  What an honor it has been to learn from her!

Teresa Jackson
CEO and Executive Director, Sharing Life Community Outreach


Colleen writes out of an amazing wealth of experience, not as simply a tactician only, but as an artist who spins a compelling story of compassion, tenacity, leadership and, well, just how it is that we can change the world!  How fortunate I am to call her friend.

Rev. Larry M. James
CEO, CitySquare


Colleen is a genuine leader who displays great enthusiasm in bringing consensus among diverse sets of ideas and people.  To me, she symbolizes what every young leader should aspire to emulate in their careers. Her Char Minar principles in the book provide the right framework to do just that.

Vijay Jayaraman
Healthcare Executive


This is what great leadership looks like!  Colleen shares personal stories and insights from her work in an incredible organization that literally brings abundant life to the world.   These are deeply inspiring stories that make for a great study on organizational strategy and execution. Valuable leadership lessons that touch the soul.

Bill Koch
Executive Leadership Coach and former CEO

 

Colleen is someone to whom you simply can’t say no … and if you did, she wouldn’t accept it! She has done so very much for the Dallas community in leading the NTFB’s philanthropy endeavors for many years. Colleen is a true inspiration and her book tells it all!

Paula Lambert
Mozzarella Company

 

Working with Colleen at the Food Bank was an honor.  I observed her managing many successful marketing campaigns and leading the fundraising effort to build the new Perot Family Campus.  Colleen has built a career dedicated to helping those in need.

Larry Lavine
Turtle Creek Restaurant Group; Founder, Chili’s (Brinker)
Former Chairman, NTFB Board of Directors

 

When I first met Colleen during our Leadership Dallas class, she patiently educated me on the hunger problem in North Dallas and opened my eyes to the dire need not only in the urban areas but the suburbs.  She debunked all the myths about hunger while guiding me through the great work of the North Texas Food Bank. This is what good leadership is all about. Her book is a must-read for nonprofit board members, executives and those considering work in the philanthropic field.  

Caren Lock
Chair, Dallas Women’s Foundation Board of Directors, 2017–2019


Colleen’s track record at every nonprofit organization she has supported speaks for itself.  She left each better off than when she arrived. The lessons she learned during her impressive nonprofit career, chronicled in this book, are applicable to organizations of any size and can be immediately implemented in your own organization.  This book illustrates her road map to success and by following her clear steps and tips along the way, you can climb your own Mount Everest with Colleen as your guide!

Victoria Mathews, CFRE
Consultant, Brad Cecil & Associates

 

Colleen Townsley Brinkmann’s book boldly and authentically sets out what it takes to be a leader in the nonprofit world.  Colleen weaves her own personal experience into every page and what shines through is her love, compassion and vision for a better world.  

Mary Johanna McCurley
Of Counsel, Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton

 

Engaging and impactful.  Colleen uses her story and the NTFB’s journey to provide a helpful leadership guide.

Retta A. Miller
Partner, Jackson Walker LLP
Member, NTFB Board of Directors, 2017 to Present

 

Colleen has written a must-read for those looking to drive sustained change in the world through a raw, informative and inspiring look at leadership.  

Brian Murphy
SVP, Clear Technologies

 

Colleen Brinkmann has made a significant contribution to the success of the Food Bank.  She educated the community through her marketing efforts and expanded the donor network that built the infrastructure to further expand the programs to help people break from the restraints that contribute to chronic hunger and poor nutrition.

Teresa Phillips
Senior Director, ISI
Former Chair, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Colleen is a dynamic leader and strategic thinker.  Her ability to strategize and lead has worked throughout her career no matter where she worked.  Her guiding principles are applicable to any organization and at any level.

Barbara Prather
Executive Director, Northeast Iowa Food Bank  

 

This is a thoughtful and inspiring read for both novice fundraisers and seasoned professionals.  Heartfelt from the beginning, Colleen captures your attention right away and keeps you engaged as she unfolds her story, along with that of the North Texas Food Bank—about opportunity, lessons learned, the importance of “Here!” and the Food Bank’s meteoric rise from grassroots to a locally and nationally recognized nonprofit in hunger relief.  Whether you are just starting out or have been in nonprofit for over 25 years, everyone can take one or more pearls of wisdom from this book and apply them to their daily work lives. I know I will. Brava, Colleen!

Amy Ragan
Chief Development Officer, Houston Food Bank

 

Colleen brings the rare leadership ability to take on audaciously ambitious goals, mobilize the right team and then win “against all odds.”  Her humble spirit, a reflection of her heritage from India, is “the shine” which she generously inspires others to own. Whether you are seeking a paid or unpaid position in nonprofit, her insights will set the bar for the type of organization you want to be involved in.

Mahesh Shetty
President & CFO, SG Blocks, Inc.
Chairman, US-India Chamber of Commerce, 2016–2017

 

As an upper-tier manager for a Fortune 500 company before I retired, and after volunteering for over thirteen years at the North Texas Food Bank, I watched Colleen show how to make a nonprofit organization reach its ultimate potential.  Always appreciative of the gift of time, they even named an award after me! Her leadership and knowledge were instrumental in the success of the NTFB.

Mike Snider
Community Leader

 

I knew Colleen to be articulate and well spoken, but to see the breadth and depth of her knowledge and the way she brought clarity to a complex topic was brilliant.  The manner in which she provided a step-by-step explanation of philanthropic approaches went beyond helpful. It was illuminating. What a wonderful gift Colleen has to be able to raise awareness and money for worthy causes.  It is even more extraordinary that she is also able to empower others on that path.

Lori A. Spies, PhD, RN, NP-C
Assistant Professor, Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing

 

Colleen made me a better parent.  She welcomed me and my young children, and their friends and families, to the North Texas Food Bank with open arms, and spoke to my young son Tyler about the hunger problem in Dallas and how it pervaded neighborhoods just a stone’s throw away from our own home.  She humanized the subject and spoke the kids’ language. We have had many conversations around the dinner table since our first visit to NTFB. Thank you, Colleen!

Charmaine A. Tang
Community Volunteer and Business Executive

 

For years, people have been asking Colleen about the secrets behind raising so many millions of dollars in such a short period of time.  Now, they can find all those priceless lessons in this one book.

Saul Torres
Senior Lead for Creative Direction, AT&T


From the moment I met Colleen during Leadership Dallas in 2015, we connected.  Her ability to listen, ask the right questions, share her wisdom, lead others, and most importantly, make things happen, brings success in all that she endeavors.  This book is unique because it is written from the heart and the head, and is a must-read for nonprofit leaders, fundraisers and social entrepreneurs. Read it and learn from one of the best.

LuAnn Tarango
Communications, Texas Instruments 

 

I used to believe there were three types of people in this world: those that watch things happen, those that wonder what is happening, and those that make things happen.  After having the great fortune of working with Colleen, and also becoming friends, I have added a fourth type: those that make things happen that better our world.

Robert Walters
VP, AT&T

 

Before you start your capital campaign or your next big nonprofit adventure, read this book!  Colleen Brinkmann has always been one of our nation’s best fundraising and communication professionals, and one of my personal heroes.  I am thrilled that she has taken the time to share her experience and her learning with the rest of us through this book. Thank you, Colleen, for your inspiration and the good that is sure to come from you sharing your magic!

Kristin Warzocha
President and CEO, Greater Cleveland Food Bank

 

Often the difference between motivating someone to do their best and inspiring them to greatness is how you make them feel.  Colleen has illustrated this ability through inspiring vast strength, conjured from depths unknown, to achieve seemingly impossible results.  She applies this forte with an adept subtlety that is cleverly revealed in this book. It could take a lifetime to learn it on your own, or you could have the honor of working alongside Colleen, as I did.  This book takes you on a journey of turning astounding feats into reality, while making the process appear straightforward and easy.

Cynthia Wenban
Director of Quality Engineering, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired)
Former Member, NTFB Board of Directors

 

RSW has worked with Colleen for over twelve years.  I’ve gotten to know her as a uniquely smart and dedicated leader with a keen perspective and understanding of marketing, development, teamwork and the nonprofit world.  More importantly, I’ve seen her passion in working to create a hunger-free, healthy North Texas—all elements that have led to countless successful activations for North Texas Food Bank and have contributed to closing the hunger gap.

Brad Wines
President, RSW Creative

 

One of the first people I met when I joined the North Texas Food Bank as a board member was Colleen Brinkmann.  From that very first day in 2008 I knew I could count on her sunny view of the world to brighten my day and my perspective.  Colleen and Jan Pruitt were a very dynamic team who seemingly always knew where they wanted to be. This book tells the story of their relationship and teamwork in a way that made me reflect on the meetings and opportunities I had to listen to them explain the North Texas Food Bank story.  That story constantly evolved over time as the community pushed the Food Bank leaders to provide more to help prevent hunger. These two leaders met the challenge in their years of working together, and I hope the Dallas community can help the Food Bank continue to evolve to new challenges over the next twenty years.  

Jon Wolkenstein
Partner, Grant Thornton LLP
Former Chairman, NTFB Board of Directors

 

Colleen’s efforts at the North Texas Food Bank enabled the phenomenal growth that we experienced during her years of service.  She brought an understanding of the importance of developing relationships at all levels and applied it across the board, from first-time volunteers to major donors.  Her ability to “tell the story” of the organization effectively and get others to do the same contributed significantly to her success. This story of her time at the North Texas Food Bank is a fascinating and compelling read that will help others understand some of the key elements of successful fundraising in the nonprofit arena.

Paul Wunderlich
Former COO, NTFB


With her captivating storytelling, Colleen motivates readers to both reflect and anticipate the bold possibilities for the future.

Erica Yaeger
Chief External Affairs Officer, NTFB