By the Small Business Insights team
In her 17 years with the TWRC Wildlife Center – a non-profit organization and valued customer of Think Energy – Roslyn Even says nothing’s been more critical to the success of the small business than work-life balance.
“Burnout can happen fast in the small business world,” explains Roslyn, who served the TWRC Wildlife Center for nine years as a volunteer before becoming the Executive Director in 2006. “And when that starts to affect your happiness, it’s only a matter of time before it takes a toll on your overall effectiveness as an organization.”
Shortly after the TWRC Wildlife Center was founded in 1979, the nonprofit quickly learned what can happen when people are overworked and overwhelmed. When the organization first formed, it operated with a telephone recording directing people with injured wildlife to a trained rehabilitator in their area.
It was the first nonprofit of its kind to open in Houston. And when people got wind of their unique programs and services – which are geared primarily towards smaller animals – the organization’s growth took off at an exponential rate.
“TWRC was providing a service that a lot people in the community valued, but it wasn’t long before rehabilitators and volunteers began to burn out and leave,” Roslyn says. “That’s when the center realized it had to get more organized – and it had to happen fast.”
The TWRC Wildlife Center began to make a change towards building a better environment and quickly started materializing its vision of opening a physical location with a staffed veterinarian backed by a strong training program and an army of volunteer support.
In 1992, the TWRC Wildlife Center established the Wildlife Shelter and Education Facility. In a matter of years, it quickly outgrew that space and moved to two other locations – each larger than the previous – before settling in its current home on the West end of Houston.
“Throughout that period of rapid growth, TWRC was definitely on the right track. Things were coming together in our programs and services, but we were still missing that sense of balance our employees needed to be happy,” adds Roslyn. “We ultimately made the decision to put work-life balance front and center with our rehabilitation effort and, as an organization, we haven’t looked back since.”
Today, the TWRC Wildlife Center provides services through an emergency room for injured, ill, and orphaned wildlife and a help-line – both of which operate seven days a week. A veterinarian is on staff to assist with training and emergencies, and a team of volunteers and employees work together to facilitate triage, rehabilitation, release, and education.
“At the end of the day, we recognize that no one is a super hero and we’re not going to save the world, but we can do a lot of great things by keeping ourselves balanced,” says Roslyn. “We all give ourselves the downtime we need to recoup and reenergize, and we’ve built a wonderful place to work and volunteer as a result.”