Though she’s been assisting us since 2015, we’re thrilled to officially welcome Build graduate Nikki Pardo to our Build team as the Alumni Coordinator! She will manage communications with Build graduates to keep them engaged in our community. Get to know Nikki a little bit more in this Q&A.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Detroit and raised in Lathrup Village, Michigan. However, my heart will always be with Southwest Detroit, where I lived for several years.
What made you want the position of Registration and Recruitment Coordinator at Build Institute?
I wanted the position as the Alumni Coordinator because having been a Build graduate, I remember the day after graduation, thinking, “Ok, so what’s next?” So it was a natural progression that I throw my hat in the ring. I knew it would be a perfect fit because I wanted to be able to provide resources, support, and help empower my fellow small business owners while on their journeys as well.
What specifically brought you to Build?
A friend who participated in one of the first classes told me about the Build Institute, and I am forever grateful to her. The entrepreneurship world can be pretty lonely, and it was also the first time I felt comfortable actually saying, “Hey, I’m an entrepreneur!”
What is your education background?
I have a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice, a Masters in the Science of Administration (International Administration), and a Masters in Business Administration (Leadership Development). I am such a nerd.
Do you own a small business, if so, tell me about it and your motivation for starting it?
I am the very proud owner of Global Alliance Solutions, a diversity training and consulting company. I worked for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) for almost eight years, and investigated over 350 allegations of discrimination. After leaving the MDCR, I worked for a company that actually discriminated against me. The irony, huh? After going through the EEOC mediation process and settling, I vowed I would dedicate the rest of professional career educating companies and people on ways to avoid discrimination-related lawsuits, grievances, EEOC federal and state charges, etc.
Any recent accomplishments?
Working for the Build Institute! I also recently secured another amazing contract with an agency in Detroit as the Organizational Development Consultant, and helping them build a social/human program. I have several diversity trainings coming up, including one at Build Institute this month. I also returned to my law enforcement roots and assembled a focus group as I currently work on my Cultural Awareness Training for Law Enforcement for sworn officers.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time……hmmmmm. What in the heck is that?
What do you love so much about Detroit?
I love the resilience of Detroiters. After the recession of 2008, thinking about the revitalization of the city gives me goose bumps just thinking about it! I love that Detroit rebound from the collapse and now talent and small business are helping drive the city’s recovery and resurgence right now. I never thought I would see this type of Detroit, and us not be automotive-industry driven.
What are your goals for the future?
Right now there are way too many oars in the water to mention. Stay tuned!