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Hayden Couvillion

Director of Learning and Evaluation, Dogwood Health Trust (as of November 2023)

Former Position at CEP
Manager, Assessment and Advisory Services

Length of Tenure at CEP
7 years

What are you up to these days?
I am a Director of Learning and Evaluation at Dogwood Health Trust in Asheville, North Carolina. Dogwood originated from the sale of the local nonprofit healthcare system five years ago and grants out around 80 million dollars a year in the 18 counties and Qualla Boundary of Western North Carolina. The Learning, Evaluation, and Data team is tasked with creating systems and processes that prioritize learning both within the organization, as well as outside the Trust.

How did your time at CEP prepare you for what you are doing now?
CEP provided me with the technical skills (Excel, Survey design and programming, facilitating difficult conversations), as well as that broader fieldwide philanthropy knowledge around best practices. Just this morning I was designing and programming a survey for our program team to respond to. Yesterday, I was working on grant application questions that solicit responses that are helpful to both the applicant and grantee, without being overly burdensome. And three days ago I was building a guide to help staff make funding decisions. Every day, I use some skill or random tidbit of philanthropy knowledge that I gained from CEP.

What do you miss most about working at CEP?
I miss the people. I made lifelong friends at CEP.

What advice would you give someone about working at CEP?
There aren’t many organizations that take the time to know and support you like CEP does. Take advantage of that support. And don’t be afraid to ask questions! I began CEP right after college. It was my first “real” job. I will never forget the patience and commitment to growth colleagues showed me.

Describe your perfect Sunday.
I’m able to log off a little early on Friday, take care of lingering chores, and then meet friends for dinner. On Saturday morning, our dogs jump into our bed and cuddle, then my wife and I drink coffee while they romp around outside. Once we’re ready for the day we’ll walk down the hill to the weekly farmer’s market, buy some of the amazing local produce grown here, and then take the dogs for a walk. We’ll then go for a nice hike close-by (maybe see a bear) and then settle in for the evening. Sunday, we have a nice breakfast out and then meet friends for an activity in the afternoon.

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