Chatting for Change with Gina Warren

GinaI had the great pleasure of spending Friday afternoon of April’s Intensive talking with Gina Warren, VP of Diversity & Inclusion at Nike. What was suppose to be a quick, five question interview turned into an hour-long conversation about everything from Gina’s amazing experiences traveling abroad with Nike and helping develop the department of Diversity & Inclusion, to Stevie Wonder’s Musiquarium. 

I am excited to share a brief glimpse of my extremely enlightening and motivating conversation with Gina.

1) Can you tell me a little bit about what brought you to BGI?

“I know one of the MBA Hybrid students, Brooke Van Roekel. Brooke told me about her experience here and I have a great deal of respect for her. She asked me if I would ever consider being a Change Agent in Residence. After a little research and speaking with her further, I was definitely ready to be a part of the BGI experience. This is also my first time out on Bainbridge Island, so it’s all together been a completely new and wonderful experience.”

2) What was your first impression of BGI?

“My first impression was peace and serenity. My second impression has been the warm and welcoming sense of everyone here. The students and faculty have made me feel appreciated and valued for being here at BGI. The beauty of Bainbridge and the surrounding environment has been so outstanding. It’s been a great exchange too. I’ve received ideas and challenges, which have made me take a deeper look into my own belief system and my own behavior. It’s been a healthy new experience.”

3) What drives you in your current job/position? What inspires you on a daily basis?

 “There are a few things: I read something every morning called “The Daily Word”. Whatever that word or message is, I focus on that for the day. I try to make sure I am creating a safe space for diverse thoughts and ideas to come forward so when they do I consider them. I also have a three-word phrase that someone told me years ago, “Don’t postpone joy”. Joy comes in many different forms. It might be a spontaneous phone call or seeing a friend who I know will make me smile or laugh, I stop them for a chat. Also, if I have a big dream or thought I try not to put it off and get it in my plans.”

4) What goals and aspirations do you have professionally? Personally?

“One of my dreams is to start a small, private foundation that asks people what they need and then simply give it to them. No hoops to jump through, no copious amounts of paperwork; just trust. My main personal goal is to spend as much time with my mom as possible.”

5) If you had the option, what one thing would you bring if you were stranded on a desert island?

“I would honestly take bananas. I love bananas. I’ve probably eaten a banana every day for my entire life. If I couldn’t take bananas, I’d take my music. More specifically I’d bring along my iPod, which has everything from podcasts, to jazz, to spoken word, to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.” 

246553_10100357226157961_902102072_nabout the author

Meagan Andrews is currently enrolled as a Sustainable Energy Solutions Certificate Student. She also works as the Written Media Intern at the BGI offices in Seattle. Meagan wants to find an intersection of her creative background, social justice, and sustainability. Outside of BGI, she is involved with the local Seattle music scene working to expand opportunities for musicians. She hopes to transition to the Hybrid MBA program in the Fall of 2013.


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