Member Spotlight

Charlotte Petrie
AARP Foundation Experience Corps Program Manager
Greater Cleveland Volunteers

2022 Volunteer Administrator of the Year Recipient

Charlotte Petrie pictured with Nancy Dzurnak at the 2022 FVA Annual Conference.

Charlotte Petrie is the AARP Foundation Experience Corps Program Manager at Greater Cleveland Volunteers and was recently named the 2022 Volunteer Administrator of the Year by FVA.

Greater Cleveland Volunteers recruits volunteers ages 18+ to serve at numerous nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga County. They assist people in finding the right opportunity to serve based on their skills, interests and availability. Greater Cleveland Volunteers strive to be a hub for the community, serving those in need through partnerships with agencies that need volunteers. They also run four volunteer programs in-house, including the program that Charlotte manages, the AARP Foundation Experience Corps Program. 

Charlotte has been a member of FVA for about a year (Welcome, Charlotte!). In November 2022, she was awarded the FVA Volunteer Administrator of the Year award at the FVA Annual Conference. Charlotte is passionate about volunteering and shares the following advice for someone who is looking to volunteer, "Be patient, be kind, and be nimble. Those three things will get you 75% of the way there. The other 25% is understanding your reason for volunteering because that will help you stay true and be honest about whether the volunteering opportunity is the right fit." 

When asked what advice Charlotte would give someone starting in Volunteer Administration, she says to be a good listener. "It's important that the people you serve and the volunteers under your leadership feel and know they are heard." She adds, "Action may or may not be required afterward but you won't know unless you really hear them and the value of their words." Charlotte also says that you need to be organized and find a system that works for you! Lastly, "Care deeply but within reason." She adds, "We all do what we do because we have a serving heart, but we will get burnt out if we can't also be pragmatic. It's a balancing at so if you imagine yourself juggling all the things in your life (both work and personal), remember which balls are plastic and which are glass." Great advice, Charlotte!

Charlotte is inspired by strong women in her life naming her sisters and friend/pastor Joanna. She also adds Hilary Rodham Clinton, Stacey Abrams, and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg to that list. She shares that a common thread between them is that they are all women who stand for what is right, rather than what is easy. They work as hard as they fight too.

In her free time, Charlotte likes to travel. She has a long list of places she would like to go, but next on the list is New Zealand! Charlotte is also a talented musician and studied violin and voice for over twelve and fifteen years respectively. 

Charlotte, thank you for all you do for the Cleveland community and congratulations on your recent recognition! 


Organization Spotlight

Playhouse Square

Did you know that Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center in the nation outside of New York City? Did you know that they are celebrating 100 years of performances in Cleveland? Did you know that we have three FVA members that work at Playhouse Square? I recently
checked in with Meg C., Anthony D., and Meg K. to ask about their experience at Playhouse Square.

Meg C. says “I have been so fortunate to be a part of the Playhouse Square family for 7 years in different roles – starting as a House Manager and now as the Volunteer Manager. It is an honor to be part of a team of such dedicated RedCoat volunteers (1500 and growing!) who go above and beyond to provide an outstanding guest experience for every event. In addition, our volunteer staff is indeed the “dream team” – a creative, driven, and fun group of people who all love Playhouse Square!” Anthony D. echoes Meg’s sentiments “I am so grateful to be working with professionals who push me to do my best every day. There is such a strong familial bond here at Playhouse Square, and I will consider the people I work with family, always!”

Playhouse Square has over 1500 volunteers, many of whom have been with the organization for years. Meg K. shares her feelings about the volunteer corps. “I am absolutely blown away by our volunteers.Their commitment to Playhouse Square – and the shear knowledge about our theaters they possess - is nothing less than extraordinary. They are willing to help in any way possible, they share what they know with new volunteers (and the staff), and they are always excited to be here.  It is a pleasure to work with them and the rest of the PSQ family.” Did you know that the RedCoats of Playhouse Square are lucky to have Meg, Anthony and Meg advocating for them? I did!