Nonprofit HR Staff Story: Steven Krzanowski, MA

What attracted you to Nonprofit HR?

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work in both the education and nonprofit sectors to advance equity, diversity, inclusion and justice initiatives. I started my career in higher education and student affairs working at two universities, where I was able to create and facilitate training and development curricula, lead cross-dialogue programs across differences, and lead DEI initiatives that would impact over 25,000 students, faculty and staff. Advancing EDIJ in the college setting gave me a sense of tremendous purpose. I later transitioned careers to work for two national nonprofits straddling both DEI and fundraising initiatives. I applied best practices that led to more welcoming and inclusive communities for staff and constituents and helped both organizations examine their role in advancing DEI, rethinking policies and procedures, and leading with data-informed decisions to enhance our environments.

Nonprofit HR was a perfect blend of my previous professional experiences and skillset, my passion as a driver of change, and would provide me with a space to create. When I joined the DEI team, I was consultant number three and there was an opportunity to live in a space of creativity to enhance our processes and help shape our offerings. Nonprofit HR is where I can bring my authentic self to work, lead from a place of passion and directly see our firm’s impact on our clients.

What’s your favorite aspect of EDIJ?

My favorite aspect of EDIJ is helping organizations create environments where their staff, constituents and members can be seen, valued, heard and respected across all their social identities. No organization does it perfectly and never will, BUT when the investment and commitment are made across an organization, transformational outcomes occur. This takes work and I believe it can be achieved. Transformational outcomes are the moments when a senior leader commits to leading using an EDIJ lens, when a participant in a training sessions starts to apply what they’ve learned or when an organization starts to intentionally shift their approach to center equity. Our work environments can transform lives both inside and outside of an organization.

What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Over the last year and half, I have had the privilege of working as a lead consultant and thought partner for the American Dental Education Association, or fondly known as ADEA. Last year, our EDIJ team conducted an assessment across U.S. and Canadian dental schools and allied dental education programs reflective of almost 16,000 participants. This inaugural study provided ADEA and their membership an opportunity to better understand their environments at the campus level and across dental education. Now that we have presented the data findings, we are working with ADEA to co-create strategies to further advance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for all current and future dental practitioners. ADEA and their members have the opportunity to advance DEIB within dental education and that has a ripple impact as it translates to patient care.

“Nonprofit HR is where I can bring my authentic self to work, lead from a place of passion and directly see our firm’s impact on our clients.”

How do you see HR changing in the next five-to-ten years?

As a millennial, I am excited for Generation Z to enter the workforce because of their heightened value of inclusivity, well-being and mental health. As one of the largest generations prepare to enter the workforce, HR professionals will need to be agile as generational expectations shift, especially as it relates to EDIJ.

What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?

Spend summers in my grandparent’s backyard with my cousins. I’m thankful to have grown up before social media when our thumbs were used for a thumb fight instead of scrolling.

Which two people would you like to have brunch with and why?

I’m sorry, I cannot choose just two! I would love to have brunch with the cast of The Golden Girls! Over cheesecake, I’d imagine we would have some serious timely, worldly and political discussions, solve problems, talk about relationships, and laugh. Some of my favorite childhood memories consisted of watching The Golden Girls with my great grandmother as she taught me how to crochet. I guess l learned a lot of life lessons from my four gal-pals, Blanche, Sofia, Dorothy and Rose.

What is a fun fact about you?

I have officiated three weddings for very close friends! My first was with two really good friends from college, second were two students I hired and met on our team at James Madison University, and the third was last fall, a co-worker and friend from the Alzheimer’s Association! I’ve considered starting a side business as a wedding officiant and pre-marital coach.

What’s your favorite quote?

“If you want peace, work for justice.” –Pope Paul VI

Steven Krzanowski, MA

Senior Consultant, EDIJ

Throughout Steven’s career in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, he has developed and executed diversity, equity and inclusion programs and strategies. In his current role, Steven works with industry leaders as a thought partner to uncover inequities in organizational systems, address gaps in knowledge and skills, and develop intentional, data-driven, actionable outcomes to advance EDIJ initiatives. View full bio.

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