In 2016, Mike Marshall was determined to find a meaningful direction for his retirement. His lifelong commitment to learning had already taken him on an incredible professional journey in corporate sales at Experian, MICROS and Oracle, and he didn’t want to lose that momentum as he entered the next stage of his life. By happy coincidence, Mike reached out to his friend Vicky Foxworth, ESC’s Vice President of Organizational Consulting. Vicky was inspired by his ideas for a meaningful retirement and recommended that Mike consider becoming an ESC consultant. The more he learned about ESC, the more excited Mike became about volunteering: “Any opportunity to learn, I’m there! ESC became the perfect channel to use my experience to do something new and challenging.”
Right from the start, Mike felt energized by his role. His enthusiasm for learning aligned with ESC’s commitment to in-depth training and education for clients and consultants alike. Mike jumped right into 40 hours of intensive consultant basic training to learn the best nonprofit practices and tools in executive coaching, board development and strategic planning. He quickly bonded with his fellow new ESC consultants in his training cohort, sharing stories and experiences. “We all came from different industries and different walks of life, yet we found ourselves here, learning how to help nonprofits – we guide them to the light to improve the lives of the people they serve.”
Armed with new knowledge, Mike has dug deep into consulting with ESC clients such as Urban Peace Institute, POPS the Club and Antioch University Bridge Program, helping them improve their effectiveness and better serve their missions. The result has been eye-opening. Inspired by his clients’ visions for a better world, Mike’s whole perspective on community has blossomed. “These nonprofit leaders are people with powerful ideas. They build these ambitious to-do lists and put their hearts into everything. Because of them, I know anything is possible.” In turn, Mike works hard to be the best consultant he can be for his clients, through his thoughtful coaching style, his ever-growing list of tools and resources, and more. This has helped create strong trust with his clients and creative collaboration across all his projects.
Today, Mike proudly reflects on his retirement journey. “Being part of ESC was exactly what I was searching for. It’s a true joy to be in the presence of the clients I serve and the consultants I work with. Their commitment to community has taught me how to make the best of my time and experience.” Mike currently serves on ESC’s Consultant Advisory Council and also makes financial contributions to ESC because of his passion for ESC’s mission to empower other nonprofits by leveraging the talents of consultants like him. And he looks forward to more joy and more inspiration in the future, as he continues to connect with, coach and support ESC’s dedicated nonprofit clients.