08 Feb 2022
Meet SAGE’s Managing Director of Social Enterprise – Nicholas Watson
Who are you, and what do you do at SAGE?
Hi, I’m Nic Watson (he/him)
I’m excited to be joining SAGE as the Managing Director of Social Enterprise, overseeing the SAGECare program! SAGE’s history speaks for itself in terms of improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders; I’m happy to work for an organization that has been doing this important work since 1978!
I previously managed Social Enterprises for large Social Service Organizations in Pennsylvania and New York.
What brought you to SAGE?
For the last 15 years, my career has focused on growing and running mission-driven businesses for nonprofits with social missions. My mission is to use my learned experience in business processes and mission-driven work to help grow the impact of committed people and organizations to make my community and the world a better place for everyone.
I first heard of SAGECare through a friend who is a long-time supporter. I was immediately taken with the perfect mission alignment of SAGECare as a business with SAGE’s mission. When SAGECare does well as a business, more service providers can support LGBTQ+ Elders.
Tell us why you feel LGBT competency training is essential?
I moved from my beloved New York to the Philadelphia area a few years ago for personal reasons. Because I was working in social services, I was surprised to find just how different perceptions around simple behaviors that we can all do (like identifying pronouns) are even in “progressive” spaces. While working with a group around culture, I got a first-hand look at how impactful our awareness can be to making an environment where we can all be our authentic selves. I want us all to have that option, and true diversity makes the whole more significant than the sum of its parts.
Also, a year ago, my parents decided to move into a senior living community. Having lived in diverse communities for their adult lives, they were surprised to find a community that, while stating that it was open to anyone, took no steps that would make some of their closest friends comfortable.
What do you hope to help SAGE do in the future?
SAGE’s history speaks for itself, and I hope to help grow the organization’s impact. SAGECare’s (and the further growth of Social Enterprise at SAGE) offers a unique opportunity to reach several groups that don’t have access to services that accept and affirm their authentic selves. I want a future where that is possible for everyone.
What is your background?
Ha. My undergraduate degree is in Film Production, and I worked in television and advertising for several years after college. But I quickly found that fulfillment at work required knowing that I was positively impacting the world around me, which shouldn’t have been surprising since my parents and my only sibling are public defenders, a labor arbitrator, and a teacher!
I began working on a social enterprise that I had been a volunteer with (Housing Works in NYC). While working there, I went back to school to get an MBA concentrating on Social Impact & Innovation. My career in Social Enterprise was born!