A businesswoman by trade and an adventurer by nature - to date, she's climbed Washington State's Mount Rainier, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Aconcagua, in the Andes - Farkas had a long career in New York City (first in her "official" occupation, public accounting, with Ernst & Young, followed by a 17 year stint in publishing) before moving fulltime to her ski house in Winhall, Vermont, in 2007.
"We'd been looking for the right person for quite some time," said Burke, noting that the affiliate actively sought and interviewed many candidates with the usual non-profit background and experience.
They had three rounds of interviews.
"We met some wonderful candidates, absolutely, but this is a unique position. I was determined not to settle. Our E.D. needs to have the business acumen to oversee a two-state operation, and the people skills to manage a large, geographically-scattered staff, 99 percent of whom are volunteers with very busy lives. She's also the public face of the affiliate and needs to be comfortable meeting-and-greeting, speaking in public, dealing with the press. It's a very tough position to fill.
Recently, after speaking with a number of Komen Affiliate Executive Directors on other matters, she shared her frustration in finding the right person for the job. "One said something that stuck," said Burke.
"She said 'Look close. Think outside the box.' We had Terry on part time then, and she was doing a great job. At everything, really. Whatever we asked of her. Whenever I wasn't available, Terry was my problem solver. She was our 'fixer.' Unflappable. Problem? Go to Terry. Question? Ask Terry. Did she have a non-profit background? Nope. Was she smart, personable, energetic, committed, willing and able? Oh, yeah. After it dawned on us, the only question became, would she take the job?"
"I'm thrilled," said Farkas. "I'm very happy to help. I've always been involved, first as a runner, then as a volunteer, then a part-timer. It never occurred to me to apply for the job. I wasn't looking for a job, frankly. But they asked me, and after a minute or two, I jumped."
For more information on Komen VT-NH, call 802-362-2733 or visit www.komenvtnh.org.
For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.