Candace Winslow is the kind of leader who leads from the inside.
Before becoming executive director of nonprofit The Storehouse of Collin County two years ago, she was serving in its dry goods pantry with her son.
“I felt a pull when we were volunteering there,” she said, and that pull eventually led her to the position she has today overseeing The Storehouse’s three initiatives: Seven Loaves Food Pantry, Joseph’s Coat clothing closet and Project Hope. The nonprofit was originally created in 2009 by St. Andrew United Methodist Church; it is situated on the church’s Plano campus but is a stand-alone organization.
Her business card says executive director, but Candace sees herself primarily as the organization’s “mission evangelist.” She spent much of her first year at the helm developing a mission statement with her team. Thirty-plus years working in different businesses taught her that “if you don’t know why you’re waking up every morning to do what you’re doing vocationally… you kind of lose focus,” as she said.
After much discussion, the team concluded that its primary mission was to feed, clothe and care as neighbors in one community. Now, everything The Storehouse does revolves around that mission, and Candace is often there to step in however she can, even in the small tasks.
She believes that mundane duties can teach leaders a lot. “You’ve got to start with that rote task, that task that nobody will do,” she said. “You have to start in that basic way to understand the mission and the cause of that organization.”
Her skills have helped the nonprofit serve a much higher demand during the fallout from COVID-19. Its Seven Loaves Food Pantry went from serving a monthly average of 2,622 people in the beginning months of the year to 8,840 people in April and 6,455 in May.
Candace also invests her talents and time in other local nonprofits, serving as board member for Family Compass, Dallas Christian Women’s Job Corps and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas; as co-chair of the Milestones Luncheon for Junior League of Dallas; and as member of Crystal Charity Ball.
The Storehouse is one of the larger feeding network partners in Collin County of the North Texas Food Bank. According to its president and CEO, Trisha Cunningham, Candace’s leadership has helped The Storehouse grow its fundraising, brand profile and culture of collaboration to serve.
Trisha also recognizes the unique quality in Candace to meet both the most complex leadership tasks and the most minuscule ones. “She dreams big and inspires those she works with to go the extra mile – no job is too big or too small.”See All of the 2020 Girl Bosses >