When it Comes to Work, Caylin Haldeman is Driven by Her Heart

Written by Meg Seitz · Photography by Julia Fay

“My mentor in high school gave me a quote that summed me up well,” said Caylin Haldeman. “‘Work is love made visible;’ it’s a Kahlil Gibran quote that’s become my mantra.”  {Continued below}

Caylin Haldeman is Project Development Manager for Next Stage Consulting, LLC, a Charlotte-based firm that partners with Carolinas-based nonprofits to develop visions, set goals and create strategies for operations, organization, and development. As a refresher, we interviewed Next Stage’s Founder and Managing Director, Josh Jacobson, back in March. Jacobson had just hired Haldeman, he was optimistic and excited; and rightfully so. Haldeman – her education, experience, and just her general way of being – is a perfect match for Next Stage. And a perfect match for Charlotte’s future.

A native to Philadelphia, Haldeman is a fresh face in the QC. It was a physical move and a philosophical shift she and her family were craving. “We were looking for something new,” she shares. “We were too comfortable, and we weren’t feeling challenged, and we felt like it was too early for us to feel like this.”

They started looking for opportunities, expecting to make a move in the next several years; Haldeman’s husband got a job in Charlotte a month later. They moved just last December. She started working for Next Stage in January.

Haldeman’s natural fit with Next Stage is a testament to her professional story – but, more so, just the way she operates personally. “I’ve always been driven by my heart in my work,” she says. “It’s been about improving peoples’ lives and making a change in the world.”

She’s a strong balance of a worldly perspective and local approach. Haldeman spent her first year studying in Nicaragua, Panama, and Costa Rica before transferring to Bryn Mawr College. She graduated magna cum laude in 2015 with a B.A. in Urban Studies; that same year, she completed Harvard Business School’s HBX CORe Extension Program.

What followed was a career in the nonprofit sector. First, she spent six months as a Fellow for Frontline Solutions, working with the Philadelphia office’s efforts to enhance the impact of nonprofit and public sector programs. Then, she worked as a Program Associate for GreenLight Fund – an organization responsible for launching some of the nation’s biggest nonprofit programs to Philadelphia. Over a three-year tenure with GreenLight Fund, she supported the selection and launch of five high-performing national organizations in Philadelphia.

Next Stage has made different opportunities available to Haldeman – opportunities to work with local, emerging organizations which is something she missed being a part of in Philadelphia’s ecosystem.

“Philly is unique in that it’s huge and the problems feel big, and it’s hard to feel like you’re moving the needle,” she shares. “But, here in Charlotte, I feel like there are enough people here and there is enough money here that we can make an impact if we got organized; there’s a lot of potential in this city.”

A city’s potential is only as powerful as the ability to do something about it though. Haldeman thinks Charlotte’s got this in her favor, as well.

“It feels manageable to get started here in Charlotte,” she shares. “And I think that has a lot to do with the Charlotte community; it hasn’t been hard to have meetings with the people leading the work in this city.”

So, as one of Charlotte’s newest residents with a stake in the city’s future, what does she want for the QC in the next decade? “Commitment, follow-up, and increased inclusion at the most powerful tables,” she states. That’s love made pretty damn visible.

A funny thing happened…

Sweet Caylin Haldeman brought her sweet, five-month old puppy, Juno, to her interview at Hygge’s Third Ward location. Juno was happy and playful and all up in our business, wanting to be just as involved in the interview discussing Haldeman’s career and thoughts on the future of Charlotte. Juno playfully snagged her Wubba a couple of times during the interview before becoming instantly fascinated with something small and white that was caught on the carpet. Then, we realized what it was – one of Juno’s baby teeth had fallen out during the interview. That was a new one for the Hygge blog. As an update – Juno is doing well; her vet reports that’s totally normal.

Meet the Author: Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, an agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Queens University and Founding Partner of the children’s book series, “Bea is for Business”.

She’s an English major with an MBA, so she can talk Homer’s “The Odyssey” just as well as she can talk sunk costs – though she’d much prefer the former.

Meet the photographer: Hi, nice to meet you! I’m Julia. I’m my happiest self when my camera is in hand and I’m taking in this big beautiful world around me! People are my jam and the fact that this job brings so many wonderful people into my life is pretty special.

I grew up performing mostly in front of the camera! Singing, acting, comedy improv – anything on a stage or in front of a lens. The roles began to switch as I entered my freshman year of college and found a creative outlet through photography. My first “real” shoot was when an engaged friend of mine asked me to photograph her and her fiancé. Within moments of getting started, I knew that this was it. Telling peoples love stories, that is what I’m supposed to do! I shot my first wedding at nineteen, and well you know what they say..the rest is history! We’ve been together ever since 🙂