Regina Demis says she was drawn to the nonprofit sector because she wanted to work for an organization that makes a difference.
After earning a master’s degree in nonprofit management at Regis University in Denver, she worked in the private sector for a short time. But she felt the need to work for a nonprofit.
Demis has held a variety of positions at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, which provides mental health services for youth and families, both in a psychiatric residential treatment facility and in a variety of community-based programs. “Basically, I get to help share the success stories on the things we do for families,” she said.
Describe how you got where you are in your work today: I had a cousin who was involved in a serious car accident and suffered a head injury and became a paraplegic when I was little, thus my family became active in nonprofit work and fundraising. I later went to college and became the fundraising chair for my sorority for three years and then decided I would look for a graduate program in nonprofit management, as I discovered at that time I had a passion in connecting people and providing service to others. In addition, it is those people who I came across in my journey of the nonprofit world that have helped me to get to where I am today; those who have mentored me and to be the person I am today.
What’s the toughest challenge that you have faced in your business? Not being able to provide care to youth and their families who are in need of mental health services due to blocks in health care funding or location of services.
What did you learn from that challenge? I have learned that I do help the ones I have contact with no matter if it is in a work or personal setting. I try to take advantage of “the moment” to make an impression and support our youth, our future, by being positive, listening and being real with them. I strive to help bridge other organizations, businesses and individuals to partner to be solutions and to be aware of their mental health as well as others they surround themselves with. Most importantly, I try and challenge both youth and adults to take action to be involved in their community.
What’s the best business advice you have received? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Who gave you that advice? My father.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: Provide free mental health assessments/screenings and continuous counseling.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? When a youth contacts YBGR after being discharged to let us know one of our staff members has made a difference in his life or he is doing well by making good choices and using coping skills to get through the challenges of life.
Which living person do you most admire? My fiancé, he has provided our country protection with integrity, belief in our God and strives every day to be a better person while standing up for his values. He continues to support me and encourages me to reach my goals.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Organizing, coordinating and raising enough money for an entire hardwood floor and tile to be installed in the large dining room area of the Bozeman Senior center.
I’m happiest when I’m… cooking a meal for friends and family.