Member Profile: Maday Gonzalez Redd

Maday (muh-dye) Gonzalez Redd is the Associate Director of the Stoller Foundation in Houston, TX. After seven years on the for-profit side of the Stoller Group, Maday accepted an invitation to join the foundation in 2017. She loves getting to see and be a part of the life transformations that come through the power of the Gospel. Maday, her husband Travis, and their 2-year old daughter Makayla live in Houston. Come to Maday for conversation on the interrelationship of business and grantmaking, insight into the joys of serving in community, or a game of chess. You can reach Maday at mgredd@stollerfoundation.org

You did your undergrad and graduate work in marketing and business, and assumed you’d stay in for-profit business forever. Why did you say yes when you were asked to join the Foundation?

The tongue-in-cheek answer is that you don’t say no to your boss! More seriously, though, Jerry Stoller – the founder of the Stoller Group and Stoller Foundation – was a mentor to me. He registered  the foundation in 2006, but in 2017, after 7 years on the for-profit side, he asked me to help him build the foundation. I saw what he was trying to do, believed in the mission and loved it. I really understood the the vision and legacy he wanted to leave, and I wanted to help execute it.

What question or problem are you currently engaged with, and would love dialogue and insights from the community about?

We’re in the middle of strategy planning, and are looking for new approaches to identifying ministry partners. It would be great to hear from others about what tools have been effective in helping them find and select partners.

We’re also discussing collaboration opportunities, and are interested in collaborative funding in areas. I’d love to hear about projects or ideas that could be of mutual interest.

Do you have a bucket list?

Not exactly a traditional bucket list, but there is something I really want to do. I would love to write a children’s book for toddlers, even if it ends up being just for my daughter. There are ways to teach children that young about who Christ is, and what his heart is, but I haven’t found good books that do so for children younger than three. I’d love to try to create one.

How did you come to faith in Christ?

I’m a first generation Cuban American. My parents came in the 1980s, fleeing Castro’s Cuba. When I started to become a rebellious kid, my mom placed me in a private school through a Baptist church. Seeds were definitely planted there, and I believe going to a Christian school had a significant influence on my mindset and behavior in a good way —but I didn’t fully comprehend the true Gospel yet so when I graduated high school I continued on my own path. In college I met a kind, consistent woman who invited me to church and Bible study, and over time I met more and more people who were also genuinely kind, and had real joy. I paid more attention to understand why they were like that and became very curious about the meaning of my own life.With that, I gradually started going to church. It took over a year, but suddenly it all just clicked. Jesus was the answer. I understood the truth of the gospel, and once I did there was no question about what decision to make. I dove in 100%.

What do you love the most about your work?

Getting to be a part of life-transformation – even if indirectly – is inspiring. I love to hear about that and see it, and to participate in giving people the power of the gospel. Nothing else sustains like the gospel, nothing else has the power of the gospel.I also really love seeing people and organizations develop. Many of our partners are receiving grants for the very first time, and they may need a little more help before, during, and after the grant than do more seasoned nonprofits. I love building relationships, getting to mentor them, and seeing them grow and get to a point where they no longer need my help.  

What captures your time, energy, or passion outside of work?

Family is so important for me, so that’s the main thing. I want to spend as much time with them as I can! When and if I have time, I also enjoy projects around the house, or  repurposing/building items  that seem no longer useful. It’s really satisfying to build things with my own hands.

What do you look forward to celebrating in the next year?

This might sound clichéd, but I really look forward to growing in this field and learning more. I’m excited about what’s about to come for us as a foundation. We’re at a pivotal point. We’ve been growing in our granting, and have been working to also grow internally to “catch up” to that. We’re putting lots of new practices into place and building our strategy. It’s such a great time to be here, and it is really special to be a part of this. I love it! It’s hard work but good work.

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