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Team Spotlight: Dylan Smith

Charter School Capital

November 24, 2020

Dylan Smith - Account Manager at Charter School Capital
Dylan is a Pacific Northwest native, with a passion for advocacy, travel, and equity of resources. After graduating college, he spent time working as a program specialist Nicaragua. With a service-oriented career path, he’s worked in a variety of programs that serve the global community.
Once the executive director of his own non-profit, Dylan works tirelessly to fight towards positive change. With his wife and two year old daughter, he shares his motto “Leave this world a better place than how you found it” and continues to serve.

How did you meet CSC?

After working in Nicaragua, I went back to my Alma-mater Concordia University to work for their Admissions Department where I became friends with Shannon Schrecegost (Inside Sales Manager). She would eventually recruit me to Charter School Capital.

After initially meeting Shannon, I went on to gain my MBA and become executive director of my own non-profit called Our Family in Africa serving children in The Democratic Republic of Congo. We eventually transitioned operations to larger non-profits and 6 months later I started at Charter School Capital.

How would you explain CSC and your position?

CSC creates a better financial and operating situation for charter schools so they can create the best possible educational situation for their students. My part in the organization is to extend our brand, our mission, and our message to as many organizations as we can possibly effect.

What brings you joy?

My family, travel, and making a difference in this interconnected global community. Professionally, it’s definitely talking and building relationships with individual schools and their school leaders.

When did you learn about this line of work? What called you to it?

Prior to my recruitment by Shannon, I knew very little about charter schools. Once I started, I came to understand the type of individualized education that charter schools could provide students. That’s what made me stay in this industry.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A Jet Plane! That was my dream, I was told “You could be anything” and I thought “Awesome, then I’m going to be a jet plane” Be careful what you say to kids, because they might take it quite literally, right?

Over the years, what wisdom have you learned?

Savor moments and Save up the Sleep. Especially before you have kids!

From your position, how do you impact charter schools?

As an account manager, I provide financial education to school leaders, high-functioning school facilities, and business related assistance to schools and students alike.

Dylan with his family

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Literally, my daughter hollering at me from her room. But other than her, there’s always been a driving force of leaving the world a better place than where I found it.

What’s something about you that might be surprising?

I was the mascot for Concordia University (my alma mater) when I was a student. His name was Carlos the Cavalier.

If you could create a new class subject, what would it be?

Healthy Dating, especially for young adults. In terms of social reactions, learning what you want, communication, and what your goals are. That would have helped me at that age.

What piece of advice would you give to recent graduates?

Don’t be afraid to speak Up. An early lesson from my father was, “When you start a new job, spend six months learning, asking questions and then start speaking up and speak loud when you have ideas” Your voice will be heard be welcomed.

In your view, what does the world need more of? Less of?

We need less division
More willingness to work together to create a positive way forward.

What do you hope to see for the future of charter schools?

Acceptance. Taking a step back from the political conversations, an issue I see is the lack of focus on actual students in debate of charter schools. Once folks see the faces of the students, their stories and their realities, it’ll be expressed that charters are strong, viable and replicable options for communities.

What do you hope to see for the Future of CSC?

I hope we continue to dive in the business solution area, partnering with more organizations and be a driving force for policy work. We could position ourselves to be at the forefront of the charter movement, getting our name out there and gaining more connections. Coming from a non-profit background, I’ve experienced firsthand the power in partners and having connections, I hope we can expand our allies in that light.

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