HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA: April 19, 2023 – Every Shelter is sad to announce the departure of Co-Founder Nicole Iman, also Vice President and Chief Program Officer. We will miss having her on our team, but we wish her all the best. Below follows a note of goodbye from Nicole Iman and a note of thanks from Scott Key, CEO.
A note from Nicole:
It has been an honor to be part of Every Shelter from its inception to actualization. Co-founding a nonprofit had never been on the list of things I imagined I would do, but in 2018, united by our frustrations with the inefficiencies of foreign aid and a desire to do better, we crafted a vision for effecting system change at the intersection of emergency relief and development. We took this shared vision and formed Every Shelter.
Over these five years, we’ve worked hard to transform our vision into reality. Every Shelter has expanded Emergency Floor’s distribution to impact thousands of people throughout the Middle East. We’ve set up our first international production workshop and office in Uganda, secured billboard-donation partnerships with major corporations throughout the US and East Africa, begun piloting beneficiary-led distribution with our first pilot of Shelter Depot, and established our first tarp (Bashe Bora) production and sales through our Work for Credit program in Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement.
Much work remains to continue scaling Every Shelter’s impact, and though I’m sad to be leaving, I’m also confident that our team in Uganda and the US are up for the task. One core value of Every Shelter is the amplification of the voices of the displaced. I can imagine no better way to do that than for me to step back and let the amazing Uganda team lead the way!
Until every refugee creates home,
Co-founder and former VP and CPO
A note from Scott: Thank you, Nicole.
Before Every Shelter was Every Shelter, it was “Scott, Sam, and Emergency Floor.” We had plenty of bumps and bruises in both developing our first product itself and learning how to navigate the complex refugee-aid system.
In 2018, we were at a loss for how to proceed and looking for answers and a direction. We had a half-brained idea about building a model around ex-pats already living abroad. I remembered a woman I had an honors class with as an undergrad who I remembered had been living in Afghanistan doing some kind of humanitarian work. We got connected to her and had a call: Enter Nicole Iman.
Nicole and her family were, at that point living in the UAE, having moved from Afghanistan for their next adventure as a family of five, and she was intrigued by the work we were doing and believed she could help. Turns out, she was right. Suddenly it wasn’t “Scott, Sam, and Emergency Floor,” anymore–we began to emerge as Every Shelter.
Fast forward five years later, and we are very sad to announce that Nicole is moving on to her next big thing. Over the years, Nicole has been a huge part of every important program work that Every Shelter has taken on. With Every Shelter, Nicole represented us in Iraq, Bangladesh, Lebanon, UAE, and Turkey, and helped spearhead establishing our now-growing team in Uganda. Nicole brought structure and organization to the table when we needed it most.
From 2012 when the idea of creating a shelter flooring system took root, until 2018, Emergency Floor was our baby. We lived and breathed, bringing this idea to scale and impacting as many refugee families with shelter flooring as we imaginably could. We knew the work required to scale Emergency Floor required someone highly organized, diligent, and systems-minded. Within a year of meeting her, we had gained so much belief and trust in Nicole that we handed over the reins of Emergency Floor while we began to focus on the growth and expansion of Every Shelter’s programmatic focus. Anyone who has founded an organization or invented a product will know how momentous this was for us; to fully trust another person enough with your “baby” to hand over control. Nicole didn’t let us down.
We will miss having her on our team and know that wherever she lands next will benefit from her tenacity and drive. Nicole, as a co-founder of Every Shelter, I am so grateful for what you have given to this organization, and on behalf of our team, our board, and all the people you have served over these last five years, I wish you the very best.
Until every refugee creates home,
Scott Austin Key
CEO, President, and Co-Founder