Being the Change: Meet Our Director of Community Impact
After a rewarding career in pharmaceutical sales, Julie Fletcher founded a nonprofit that has served thousands of families since 2006. Now, she is Director of Community Impact at Crane Group, where she will lead Crane Group’s efforts to understand and help address community needs through strategic partnerships, board service, volunteerism, and funding.
“Julie came to Crane Group with a deep understanding of how to nurture thoughtful partnerships,” Crane Group Senior Vice President Dan Crane said. “In her role as our community impact coordinator, she established herself as a talented servant leader, building trust with our team and the broader community. We’re pleased that she will continue building on that work in this new role.”
Crane Group CEO Tanny Crane applauded Fletcher’s commitment to serve.
“Julie brings a wealth of experience, passion, and energy to this role,” Crane said. “She has also built a strong foundation in the nonprofit community, which will serve her well as she continues to work strategically to help Crane make an impact in Central Ohio and beyond.”
Here, meet the wife, mother of two grown children, and passionate community leader.
Q: You founded the nonprofit One Dublin nearly 20 years ago. What compelled you to do it?
A: I was leading a Bible study with a group of women from many different faith backgrounds. We were given a challenge: Start a mission that meets a need in your community and watch God multiply your mission.
Q: How did you choose your mission?
A: One of my sisters is a guidance counselor for Dublin City Schools. She said, “Does your small group have a mission project for Christmas? Could you help a couple of our families?” She connected me with two amazing school nurses who had been quietly helping students. I went to the home of one family and walked through mud to get to the front door, as there was no grass. Their toilet on the second floor was leaking through the ceiling. Their stove hadn’t worked for months. When I sat on their couch, I sank to the floor. I drove home, and a few neighbors had decent couches on the curb for trash day. I was thinking, “What is wrong with this picture?” We helped two families that year, and then 13 families the next. I put the call out, and my house was filled with things people donated. We needed a place to store them. We needed receipts to give people. So I filed the paperwork, and our nonprofit was born. Now, I sit on the board, and we have dedicated paid staff and hundreds of volunteers.
Q: What does One Dublin do?
A: Our mission is to share hope and help with one another in times of need. We help families with emergency household assistance. We have a clothing store where families can come and shop for free. We have a mattress program. We do a back-to-school celebration where we give backpacks filled with supplies, offer different types of spiritual support, and connect families with our community partners. And our signature event is Adopt a Family, a holiday program where we match community sponsors—individuals, school classrooms, businesses—with families in need. Last year alone, our programming served over 5,000 individuals thanks to more than 100 community partners and 800 volunteers.
Q: What has the experience taught you?
A: Need has no specific face. You can be having a conversation with someone, and you have no idea the breadth and depth of their need. You cannot judge anyone. And everyone deserves a chance. Everyone has something to contribute. Everyone has value. Also, getting to know people from different cultures and backgrounds has made my life so much richer. I had no idea what I was missing.
Q: What excites you most about this role?
A: Giving a voice to the underrepresented, the underserved. I mean, it’s a dream opportunity to be on the other side of the table and be able to give resources to other nonprofits. And Crane’s reputation—you just say Crane, and people are like, “Wow.” It’s this humble leadership in the community. It’s everything you could possibly want in a company. Crane’s goal is to be the best place to work, and it is. To be able to be a steward of the resources of Crane Group and the Crane family—what a privilege.
Q: What do you love about this work?
A: Every day I get to meet someone new, outside of my circle. I learn about need and all the incredible community partners working to make life better for people. I learn stories of hope, resilience, and the need for change. I love connecting people to each other and to challenges, and then watching people light up and figure out how they can dive in and make it better. That gets me so fired up.