GENterpriser of The Month (May): Fairlie Chappuis

I spoke with Clara few weeks ago about who to highlight this month as our GEN Rockstar.  Part of the beauty of my job is that we work with a team of rockstars, so there are always these amazing, passionate, talented and committed young people to pick from! But then… there is Fairlie. I can say with complete honesty that I don’t know where GEN would be today were it not for Fairlie’s fearless leadership, willingness to dissent when she thinks we are about to misstep, and her constant focus on our fellows.  Fairlie will be scaling back and transitioning leadership of the Programs team, passing the baton to other GENterprisers she helped develop, yet another example of her strength as a GENterpriser is this legacy of the next group of leaders she helped cultivate!  Fairlie is a force to be reckoned with, and I am so thankful that this amazing force of a woman is a GENterpriser!

Fairlie’s colleagues across GEN wanted to share a few thoughts about her as well:

I am always in awe of her passion, insight, and most of all – honesty. GEN as a very amicable, little hierarchy organization sometimes suffers from too much ‘sugar coating’ and I really appreciate how honest Fairlie can be.  She calls them like she sees them.  If it’s a bad or questionable idea, she will say so.  Also, she always has great insight – love having her around!

I wonder if Fairlie knows just how important she is to GEN and individual GENterprisers.  When she speaks up as the “dark voice of GEN,” I always sit up and take note; her critical thinking and
analysis pushes us to refine GEN and keeps us all intellectually sharp.

Around the time Fairlie started with the Programs Team, she got stuck in Morocco without a place to stay! Yet she still found a way to do her share of the GEN curriculum. That’s the kind of commitment that makes GEN what it is.   Fairlie, you are relentless and an unbelievably compassionate human being.   I am proud to know you.

Fairlie brings refreshing honesty and clarity wherever she is.  Her advocacy for impact and high quality comes from a deep sense of responsibility.  I am glad to have the opportunity to work with Fairlie.

Fairlie is an insightful social scientist, thinking deeply about GEN’s cultural as well as economic impact; she is a constant advocate for our Fellows and their best interests (vs. what’s convenient but not effective in the long-term); and she is a long-suffering servant-leader, doing tons of work behind the scenes to structure and engage the Programs team, delivering despite all odds, and giving all credit to her teammates and taking the blame for anything that doesn’t go well.

Fairlie has been an truly incredible MD and teammate to work with. She seems to always have an answer or a great idea, but she’s also a sincere listener, which means a lot.  I can honestly say that Fairlie is one of the main reasons why I remained on the Programs team after my first few months with GEN.

Fairlie is magnetic – when talking to her or brainstorming over email with her, you can actually feel the passion she has for her work with GEN. She gets you excited about doing a project even if it’s the tiniest of tasks. She certainly deserves to be GENterpriser of the month! Wishing her the best of luck over the next few months!

Fairlie has been an invaluable asset to the team ever since I started. In November when I was first on boarded, she took the time to set up a call with me within the first week, and walk me through GEN, all of the on boarding material, and how the programs team operated in the larger scale of GEN. She cared to get to know me and my passions, and placed me in the appropriate role. She has always been a lending hand, willing to reach out and help and also knows when to step back and let others take the lead. Her outgoing personality and persistence has inspired me and our whole team to do continue reaching for excellence in all that we do! She always has great ideas about how to constantly improve our program and our process, and never shies away from leading or delegating these initiatives. She is reliable and responsible, always responding promptly to emails and following up on her due dates.

Not only does Fairlie prove that a sharp mind and a compassionate heart are a killer combo, but she does so with self-deprecating wit and an extraordinary empathy for all stakeholders, even when they’re a handful.  Fairlie redefines ‘GENterpriser’ for me.  Long may she inspire and challenge us all!”

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4 thoughts on “GENterpriser of The Month (May): Fairlie Chappuis

  1. I want to echo what everyone else has already said Fairlie. Your insights and passion, whether through email or on skype, were incredibly inspiring. It was a pleasure working with you!

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