Welcome to ReServe Miami: Helping continuing professionals age 55+ reinvest a career's worth of skills to strengthen their communities.
Launched in 2011, ReServe Miami connects the county’s under-resourced nonprofits and public institutions (partners) to a large base of experienced professionals 55+ (ReServists) who want to give back. In exchange for a stipend paid by the partner organization, ReServists in Miami-Dade County work in a variety of capacities – from infrastructure to direct service – to help organizations stay on mission. ReServe Miami supports its partners in building a stronger and more vibrant Miami.
A Vision for ReServe Miami
Dacia Steiner has a vision for ReServe Miami. She wants to see it expand throughout South Florida, and then across the entire Sunshine State.
It’s a vision that Steiner, ReServe Miami Director, has the energy and drive to pull off. She’s full of ideas about how to leverage the power of older workers, and is passionate about ReServe as exemplifying an ideal blending of social entrepreneurship and effective business solutions.
In fact, inquiries about ReServists have already come in from all over Florida. ReServists have signed on from as far away as Tampa, a 3.5 hour drive. The two ReServists from Tampa are a Retired Major and Logistics Officer with the U.S. Air Force, and a doctor/inventor.
Steiner brings a unique business and community development background to ReServe. She spent 6 years at the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago. ABCD’s philosophy is that local assets are the primary building blocks of sustainable community development, a principle that provided Dacia a natural segue to ReServe, an engine for community-based service and nonprofit capacity-building.
“It’s a development concept that moves from scarcity to abundance, from charity to investments in people and communities,” she said.
Dacia previously worked as an assistant to commodities traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She brings an entrepreneurial bent to ReServe and works to instill sound business principles in the management of ReServe Miami.
ReServe Miami placed 70 ReServists in fiscal year 2013. Thirty-seven are currently working, and 117 are available for placement. Of those currently working, 21 are READY/ReServists – 13 in Miami Dade and 8 in Broward County – who work in high-needs schools as mentors and college-readiness counselors.
In total, ReServe Miami has made about 125 placements.
Miami’s large and growing population of entrepreneurs potentially represents a huge source of demand for ReServists. Dacia has fielded numerous queries about hiring ReServists from the City’s entrepreneurs, who have no trouble grasping the ReServe model and its value proposition.
Every year the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Greater Miami Goals Conference, a two-day retreat that attracts over 1,000 business leaders to develop programming and set goals for regional business development. Dacia is proposing to present a workshop on hiring older workers at the 2014 Conference.
She has had discussions with Chamber President Barry Johnson about a possible entrepreneurial incubator that could be operated by the Chamber, a nonprofit that represents more than 400,000 employees of member companies. The talents of ReServists could be in high demand.
“Entrepreneurs are ideal candidates for hiring ReServists,” Steiner said.
Miami has a culture of philanthropy and giving that’s different from the one Dacia knew in Chicago. She described Miami as a very social city where philanthropy is an important vehicle for social interaction. There’s a seamless integration between the for-profit and nonprofit communities. The giving season starts in November and last through March, with luncheons, awards ceremonies and other events occurring every day.
Miami-Dade is 64.3 percent Hispanic or Latino, as of the 2010 U.S. Census. Among Hispanics, there is a tradition of community service and giving that is localized. A lot of community leaders in Miami that in other cities would be involved with more generalized philanthropy are deeply involved at the local level.
With the Hispanic population of Miami and the nation expected to rise in coming years, Hispanic philanthropy represents a huge opportunity for ReServe.
“We have to figure out new and better ways to engage the Hispanic community,” said Dacia.
ReServe Miami, the first ReServe affiliate, was launched on October 13, 2011 It made a big splash. The Miami Chamber of Commerce declaring a ReServe Miami Day. A First Impressions information session, held at Northern Trust Bank, was well attended by nurses, school teachers, bankers and other potential ReServists.
Miami ReServists currently awaiting placement include retired doctors, lawyers, airline pilots, bankers and entrepreneurs. ReServists are currently serving as special events manager for the March of Dimes; assistant CFO at United Way; business developer for a film production company; grant writers, and marketing and communications specialists.
ReServist Marta Castro has over 20 years of marketing, public relations and advertising experience. She served as an Account Director with Foote Cone & Beldings/Publicis-Latin America. As an Account Supervisor with The Rowland Company she created and executed an award-winning media public relations and media campaign entitled “Unsung Heroes of the Hispanic Community” for the McDonald’s Restaurant Association of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Marta, born in Cuba, basically serves as Dacia’s right hand, interviewing potential ReServists, posting job descriptions and procuring placements.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 (Surfside)
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 (United Way)