Stephen Chen has been working at Swords to Plowshares for almost 8 years. Before he assumed his current role, he was a controller in the finance department. He admits that at first he found his job at Swords as just a step in his career path, but he's remained at the organization due to the diverse people he gets to work with and its honest mission. Moreover, Stephen is inspired by the impact his role has on making positive change within Swords to Plowshares and in the lives of veterans we serve.
As a Chinese American, Stephen sees how the work done at Swords to Plowshares aligns with the values instilled in him by his family and community. "Since I was young, I was taught to appreciate our elders," Stephen says, "the way Swords prioritizes the needs of elderly veterans benefits the larger community as a whole." Stephen also recognizes the benefits his background gave to him when it comes time to make decisions in his role. "I can integrate multiple perspectives in my decisions. All cultures have strengths and weaknesses, but I am empowered by this strength."
Stephen states that a successful and financially healthy organization must include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. One of the biggest impacts of DEI initiatives at Swords is to acknowledge and maintain institutional accountability in all our departments. "DEI can be a blind spot in the finance sector. At Swords I personally appreciate the contributions our DEI team makes because it's something I'd miss." Stephen sees a bright future for Swords as we grow as an organization, and as he settles into his position as Director of Finance. "It's been an exciting opportunity and I'm honored to utilize my skills and knowledge in accounting and finance in a leadership role for Swords."