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Patti Grimes – 90 in 90

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Lead with Values


Being curious by nature allows exploration and discovery each day. Learning from others, reading and listening in conversations with a clear mind provides the opportunity to see new perspectives and expand thinking and idea creation. A leader learns from others.


Committing to excellence is a mindset that creates a focused approach to all we do. Excellence is a quest to deliver consistent results and requires leaders to create goals and pay attention to the details. At the Freeman Stage, we focus on experience of our patrons, volunteers, artists and team. We train staff and volunteers on our service standards so that everyone who attends a performance has a memorable experience.


Being responsible for our decisions and word is key for success. Leading a culture of accountability requires leaders to communicate and make sure their plans and decisions are understood. It also requires a feedback loop for continuous improvement at all levels in the organization. At the end of the day, “our word is our bond,” and delivering on our word creates trust within teams and can accelerate results. As a public charity, we want our donors to trust us in delivering the highest impact for their return on their investment.


People are our greatest asset. Hiring employees who have the right attitude as well as the skills is essential. As our organization grows, we need our employees to grow with us. We look for training opportunities in our team meetings as well as expanding assignments for employees, providing feedback as well as professional development plans.


I love that we can focus on “20/20 Vision” in the year 2020! Providing clarity in what we see and dream for our organizations allows the team to come together and create goals and accountabilities to achieve the vision. We also need to keep the vision alive in communication and engaging employees in how the vision lives individually for them.


Be the best version of yourself every day. When you can “be you,” the world is a better place. We are all different and the individualistic best of one another bring a collective force of good for the world. Leading with congruent values and purpose and communicating from our heart makes us a leader worth following.

Love What You do

I cannot imagine not loving what I do. We work hard, but being passionate about your work, the people you get to work with and understanding the impact of your work makes it a great day. Passion for what you do brings contagious energy, creativity and focus to the workplace and time flies when you’re having fun! And most importantly, demonstrate gratitude in all you do.


Dr. Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is one of the best leadership books of all time. Habit No. 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, is a habit to consider adopting. Taking the time to be present and be an empathic listener with an open mind creates trusting relationships and an environment for collaboration.


If we want to achieve excellence, we must know how to consistently create and execute plans, processes and service to achieve results. Managing people and projects is key for success.


Expect to win! Bring a positive mindset for success and have your actions and words come from a place of success. Have fun and celebrate your victories often ““ they will generate more success.

Patti Grimes

Carl M. Freeman & Joshua Freeman Foundation

Patti is executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, where she is responsible for building and sustaining relationships with the communities that the foundations serve while overseeing programming at the Freeman Stage. She also oversees the grant management and funding programs of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation. Patti serves in leadership roles for a number of organizations throughout the state.

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