Frank Romero-Crockett (LA Executive Fellow ’12) is currently the Public Affairs Officer for the Everyone In Campaign, powered by United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Prior to that, he was a Branding and Design Consultant at Momentum Solutions Team, and the Manager of Marketing and Communications at Coro SoCal (#TeamCoro).
We caught up with Frank to reflect on his experience as a Coro Executive Fellow, and how those Coro tools still play a key role today.
How do you bring Coro experience into your day-to-day work at United Way?
Relationships play a very important role in my ability to get things done at United Way. In our work in homelessness systems change, we make connections and build relationships among our elected leaders, service providers, community members, and funders towards common goals and strategies. To be effective in our work, we constantly have to navigate between the different networks and communicate as effectively as possible to move the needle of our work. The Coro Executive Fellows program opened my eyes to the importance of knowing how to translate these messages across sectors and networks. One big part of that translation is having the ability to read the politics in the room as another subtext to a conversation and decision.
What critical moment from your time as a Coro Fellow do you think back to most often?
The critical moment? The traumatic moment, perhaps!
There were many of those moments that were uncomfortable, challenging, and equally energizing. Previous to Coro, in my professional career I would typically stay in the same lane as my strengths and tried not to venture too far into my liabilities and weaknesses. But Coro pushed me to grow in areas I felt were less polished and defined. There were multiple occasions where I was forced by my cohort to take on a new role I was unfamiliar with, which only made my heart beat out of my chest and sweat profusely down my neck.
If you could go back and give advice to pre-Coro Frank, what would you say?
I would remind pre-Coro Frank that learning and growing are a process and the questions are the tools that guide that experience. I needed to continue to be brave and ask questions about things I do not know and seek to understand how it all connects together. Like my Coro trainer used to say, “do you possess the intellectual curiosity to maintain a 30-minute conversation with a locksmith about how a key actually works?” I try to display that level of curiosity throughout my work.