Biz 417: As an attorney at Spencer Fane, you don’t have a lot of time to yourself. Why do you make giving back a priority?
Nikki Hutson: I believe that giving back to your community is extremely important. I got my start in the nonprofit world when I joined the Junior League of Springfield. Back then, I was a 25-year-old newbie lawyer looking to meet people. Instead, I found a passion for community service. I just rolled off of that board, but I’m still active on the Dickerson Park Zoo board and the Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation board.
Biz: Why do you enjoy giving back?
NH: I’m passionate about all of the organizations I serve. With the zoo board, it’s a little different—we do the normal board activities, but we also get to go behind the scenes. I recently got the cut a cheetah’s toenails. With the Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation, we specialize in the needs of women and children. That’s something that I feel really strongly about.
Biz: What’s your advice for professionals who might struggle to find the time to give back?
NH: I work a lot, but you make the time. If it’s something you’re passionate about, you’ll find the time. If I’m going to do something, I want to make sure I’m giving 100 percent, which starts with a real passion for the organization.
Biz: Where can local professionals connect with area nonprofits?
NH: Springfield has a ton of nonprofits, so there are a lot of opportunities for people to find a cause they care about and connect with. I’d recommend checking with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks for information on local nonprofits. The annual Community Focus Report Card is also a great resource to see where the needs in our community lie.