Spotlight On: Line Nya Ngatchou, Literacy Bridge International

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April 19, 2017

Spotlight On: Line Nya Ngatchou, Literacy Bridge International

By Alexia Kime

Associate, Programs InsideNGO

Every year at InsideNGO’s Annual Conference, we take the time to identify and celebrate a few select individuals who go above and beyond. As we get ready for this year’s conference, we are excited to turn the spotlight on one of these individuals, Assistant Controller Line Nya Ngatchou of Literacy Bridge International, who won last year’s Operational Excellence Award: Cross Operations. Line was recognized for her work in creating foundational systems that now allow Literacy Bridge to function more efficiently in the present and scale more rapidly and sustainably in the future. She is a great example of what can result from one individual’s hard work and dedication to their organization.

Q: Tell us how you felt when you learned that you had been selected as an Operational Excellence Award winner last year.

I literally had to pinch myself because I initially thought it was a prank. I did not expect it but was pleasantly surprised. It was especially humbling because I was nominated by my colleagues. It truly gave a new meaning to what I do every day for Literacy Bridge.

At the time, I knew a little about InsideNGO, but since 2016, I have become more familiar with its mission. I have been reading and taking advantage of the resources available on InsideNGO's website.

Tell us a little bit about your relationship with the people who nominated you for this award.  How do you work together?

I work closely with Alison Sambo, our program manager, and Georgina Bukenya-Fields, our program director. We interact daily to review financial reporting and budgets for our partners, prepare and review budgets for concept notes and proposals, and we also try to address daily operational issues arising in the field. Our professional interaction has evolved into friendship because we have a trusting working relationship and we all buy into the vision of Literacy Bridge.

Have things changed for you at work since you received this award?

Under the leadership of Cliff Schmidt, the founder and executive director of Literacy Bridge, we have grown significantly over the past 12 months and welcomed the addition of a CFO to the team. My role is now evolving from finance manager to the position of assistant controller. In this new capacity, I will work directly with the CFO and I am still providing HR and financial support to the team in the field.

What are the biggest operational issues/challenges you’re currently dealing with at work?

As Literacy Bridge has grown, we have realized that a lot of time was previously spent answering the same questions on travel expenses, sick time, recruitment, etc. We are now working on updating our HR and finance manuals. It is painstaking but those manuals will allow us to operate even more efficiently and to address people’s issues in a consistent manner.

Has this recognition in any way created or fostered an environment where excellence in operations is recognized within your organization?

I believe excellence in operations has always been recognized at Literacy Bridge – it is one of the strengths of the organization. The award reemphasized this position; no matter how small we are, what we do every day matters. We are all passionate about what we do, knowing that we are making a difference somewhere in the world.  

This year, you’re serving on the Selection Committee for the 2017 Operational Excellence Awards. Do you have any specific advice for members seeking to achieve an Operational Excellence Award?  

Be passionate about what you do. Listen and try to relate to what people say. Be genuine, and respect your colleagues.

Line Nya Ngatchou is the assistant controller at Literacy Bridge International. She has been with Literacy Bridge since September 2013.

Do you know an individual or operational team who is having a significant impact in your organization? You have until May 18 to nominate them for an Operational Excellence Award. Please contact akime@insidengo.org with any questions.

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