Gayle Uchida considers herself a high-tech escapee who spent more than 20 years in marketing, public relations, and sales support managing the fast-paced world of technology before making the leap—a leap that turned out to be both a professional reinvention and a personal transformation.
“I was able to come up with scripts, and since I'm very comfortable speaking on the phone—public relations is a conceptual sell of a story—these were transferable skills that I could apply when I first made my cut over from the world of for-profit to nonprofits,” says Uchida.
The purchase of a new home, a nasty work commute to Silicon Valley, and an exit package offered by Cisco Systems converged as the perfect exit scenario.
“I had done a stint in the nonprofit world during Mayor Moscone's administration—both a great experience and a traumatic one following his assassination—but what I really enjoyed about nonprofits was that they're more mission driven and not in pursuit of the latest and greatest tech products or about stock options for the CEO,” she says.
“I saw these three things as a signal to discover a new path.”
Uchida did a lot of research and interviewing to see where the best fit would be for her reentry in working with nonprofits.
“I did a lot of volunteering to see what hummed my heart. My first volunteer effort was for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the East Bay and where the executive director—also a high-tech escapee—and I were almost ...