Q&A: Michelle Covington


Michelle Covington. Courtesy Inner City Christian Federation

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Michelle Covington is the VP of advancement at the Inner City Christian Federation.

ICCF is a nonprofit housing corporation whose leadership is motivated and programs are shaped by its belief that all people deserve safe, clean, affordable housing. It provides housing solutions and related services to low- and moderate-income families and individuals.

Covington is responsible for advancing ICCF’s mission: equitable opportunity, affordable homes and thriving neighborhoods. 

She also oversees all aspects of fundraising and communications.

Biggest career break?

This might sound weird but being downsized from a 28-year corporate career in 2013. It rocked me to my core. It gave me the opportunity to be introspective and seriously think about what I wanted to do with the next chapter of my life. I knew I wanted to serve others and give back in a meaningful way. I re-invented myself and successfully transitioned into the nonprofit sector through my faith in God, professional development and with the help of so many great people who believed in me.

Proudest moment?

Being blessed to give life to my beautiful daughter, Courtney Nicole

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Surround yourself with people who are as smart as you and smarter than you.

How did you make your first dollar?

I have been working since I was 13 years old.  Babysitting a neighbor’s three young children.

Most-treasured possession?

My memories of all the great experiences and adventures I have shared with the people I love the most.

Dream job? 

I believe I have found my dream job here at ICCF. I am valued, respected and supported. Every day, I work with a group of passionate leaders and staff members who are committed to transforming people’s lives.  I am a part of something that is bigger than me. I use all my talents and skills to make a difference in our community.

If you were president for a day, you would…?

It would take longer than one day to do all the things I would like to do to eradicate poverty. Level the playing field and provide equal opportunity for all people. Real systemic change. I would start with an executive order — raise the minimum wage to a living wage, so the working poor can afford their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. The order would include provisions for health care and education.

Last book you read?

Prior to starting my job at ICCF in July 2017, my new boss recommended the book “The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter,” by Michael D. Watkins

Last search term you googled?

The term “marginalized”

Your worst habit?

Hitting the snooze button way too many times in the morning

To unwind, you like to…?

Watch a good movie: must have a great storyline, could be a romance, a drama or a historical/period piece

Dream vacation?

Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas

Favorite food?

A good steak cooked on a charcoal grill, a T-bone to be exact

Person you most admire?

My mother, a selfless, hard-working woman who happened to be a single parent. She raised three girls and made sure we all earned our college degrees. A true role model.

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