SVP Champions: Past and Present
As part of SVP’s 10th anniversary celebration, we’ll be sharing stories from several community champions–past and present–who have worked with SVP locally and committed themselves to our global mission in deep and meaningful ways over the years.
This month, SVP Board member Marinn Bengel interviewed Partner Margaret Marshall. One of SVP’s original Partners in Charlotte, Margaret has a rich perspective on SVP’s work in and service to the region and community.
A graduate of Wake Forest University, Margaret moved to Charlotte and pursued a career in accounting. She and her husband Harrison (a fellow Partner and also actively involved with SVP since the beginning) are parents to two daughters, Kate and Betsy. Kate, a college senior, will graduate from Meredith College next month. Their youngest, Betsy, is finishing her junior year at Davidson.
How’d you get involved with SVP?
Years before SVP, Harrison and I started and ran a 3-on-3 basketball tournament alongside our friends Will Miller, Steve Sellers, and Bruce and Debbie Darden. The tournament benefitted Habitat for Humanity for 5 years and spurred on several other philanthropy and community endeavors. It was a way to be social and do good. Our small group eventually moved forward together when Will founded SVP.
What’s been your involvement since?
Raised on a dairy farm in Lexington, my passion for education runs deep. My mother and sister were both teachers, and I’ve worked my whole life to lift up educators and education. Both through SVP and in life, I spend a lot of my time in support of public education. I’ve been very involved in PTAs at my children’s schools and served as PTA president at two of them, AG Middle and Myers Park High School. I also served in Meck Future to lobby local and state officials for changes and funding.
In my 10 years as an SVP Partner, I’ve headed the Education Committee, served for five years with HEART Tutoring and played a big role in the start of ASTI (All Star Teacher Initiative), a foundation to support teachers and good ideas at East Meck High School. I served on the ASTI Board of Directors for 3 years.
I volunteered with SVP Investee Communities In Schools when we funded a Community Partnerships Position, and have been “all hands on deck” for SEED20 since its inception. Currently, I coordinate SVP’s partnership with UNC Charlotte that runs through and beyond the duration of that program each year. I’m also a co-Lead Partner with Nancy Covington for Circle de Luz.
What is SVP’s biggest contribution to the community?
We lift up nonprofits – sometimes to make them sustainable and sometimes to give them needed recognition. We put them on dry land with legs and sometimes just push up them out of the water to be noticed. We offer experimentation. We pinpoint areas of interest and get involved with time and energy, and we go deeper than just writing a check.
What else about being part of SVP is important to you and your family?
Harrison and I enjoy doing things together. SEED20 has been great for that. We serve, collaborate and talk about the same nonprofit experience. We like working with different ages and think SVP builds bridges–between our generation and Millennials, and also on through the ages.
Why would you suggest someone you know get involved with SVP?
SVP gives you the ability to do good things, make connections and get to know people on a personal level. You get exposure to cool things and cool people. For example, I went to Circle De Luz’s end of year celebration and learned that Rosi, one of their students’ mothers (featured in this video about Circle de Luz and SVP) is now volunteering at Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, a member of the SEED20 class of 2015. It warmed my heart knowing that they met through an SVP program and were now helping each other. I think of this as one group grabbing the hand of another.