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WIP Spotlight: Q&A with Grants & Initiatives Chair Paola Portman

Meet Paola Portman, Dominion Energy's Senior Business Performance Analyst in Electric Transmission Support and the Grants & Initiatives Chair of Women in Philanthropy (WIP). With a passion for uplifting women and a keen eye for meaningful impact, Paola embodies the spirit of giving back with purpose. As we delve into her journey, we uncover what initially ignited her commitment to supporting Women in Philanthropy and how her involvement has shaped her perspective on giving as a whole.

What initially drew you to support Women in Philanthropy, and what aspects of the organization's mission resonate with you the most? 
Having been a team leader for Dominion Energy, I learned there was more than just one affinity group with the United Way. Once I saw that there was Women in Philanthropy and that their focus is on empowering women, I wanted to join. I feel that as women we do so much that most goes unnoticed and unpaid; and if there was a way to help women that want to better themselves and improve their family’s living standards, I wanted to be part of that endeavor.  

How has your involvement with Women in Philanthropy influenced your perspective on philanthropy as a whole? 
My involvement with WIP has influenced my perspective in philanthropy in seeing that every little bit counts. Whether it’s donating time, goods, money, skills or just being there to bounce ideas off of, it does contribute to the whole mission. It’s amazing how you can find time to help even while navigating your career, family and life matters.

What advice would you give to individuals who are considering becoming WIP donors? 
My advice to individuals considering becoming WIP donors is do it and don’t feel like you have to be this or that. Give what you can when you can. Test it out and don’t feel pressured. Ask questions when you are not sure or offer up suggestions. Your feedback/contribution can really make a positive impact. Having diverse perspectives really makes WIP a great group to be part of.

What is your favorite Women in Philanthropy event and why? 
It's hard to pick between Power of the Purse and Leadership Breakfast.  I really like the Leadership Breakfast as it exposes members to the donors we don’t see on a regular basis. It shows us how other women have impacted their community and how every contribution can really make a positive impact, while simultaneously allowing us to interact and network. 

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