Meet the Team: Linda Weiss

As a lawyer, Linda has been supporting STELP almost since day one. She is now our Chief Financial Officer and an integral part of the STELP team. In this interview, she reveals why the projects in Tanzania are particularly close to her heart and what her secret nerd hobby is.

Interview

As a lawyer, Linda has been supporting STELP almost since day one. She is now our Chief Financial Officer and an integral part of the STELP team. Her main job is currently in a ministry in Stuttgart, before that she worked as a lawyer in a large law firm.

STELP: What is your STELP story?

Linda: Growing up with a brother in a multicultural hotspot neighborhood in the district of T├╝bingen (fun fact: together with the comedian Teddy), I learned tolerance from an early age and how important it is to help each other and not look away, but to stand up for your fellow human beings. That’s still the most important thing for me today and what drives me. 

That was also the reason why I studied law later on. 

During my studies, I worked a lot not only to finance my studies, but also to travel – mostly to poorer countries. I quickly realized how privileged we are in Germany, even if – like me – you don’t come from a rich family. And I quickly realized that I really wanted to help where the need was greatest. 

And so, in 2019, I joined STELP, which was still a small but excellent organization at the time.

STELP: What makes STELP special for you?

Linda: The creative way of generating donations was a direct match. What I immediately liked about STELP is that things are simply done. Hands on. 100%. 

My involvement started with a weekend of sorting clothes for a donation campaign in Athens, where I immediately took Jenny and Chris, both members of the STELP extended board, to my heart. And so one thing led to another and since then I have been responsible for the legal and finance area at STELP. At that time, it was still a “bit of bookkeeping” and together with my partner and friend Miri, I did tax returns on the side. I don’t know whether I would have accepted the challenge – at that time in joyful anticipation of our son Theo – if I had known what was in store for me. But you grow with your tasks. And now we have a great finance team that does almost everything for me operationally. And it’s just nice to be able to get involved and help shape things. 

I’m also a bit proud of the fact that I’ve (helped) build up the Legal and Finance department over the years, that I’ve tackled many issues for the first time and that many of the legal standards I initially fought for have now been established. This division at STELP is my baby. 

STELP: Which project is particularly close to your heart?

Linda: When time allows, I try to get involved in the project area or go out into the field. Some images never leave my mind and I find the injustice of the “birth lottery” so unbearable that I can no longer live my now truly privileged life without doing something for others who are not so lucky. My little son Theo, who is already part of the STELP family, is already learning this ­čÖé

My favorite project? Difficult to say. 

Five years ago, I spent a few months in Tanzania working as a volunteer lawyer – since then, I have been drawn back to the East African country time and again. But of course all our projects are important and I truly admire all our project partners from the bottom of my heart.

STELP: What does your perfect lunch date look like?

Linda: Breakfast for me is coffee, so lunch is essential for me. As a toddler mommy, I think it’s perfect when I can eat and chat in peace – without falling glasses, flying plates or reading aloud on the side.  My absolute favorite cuisines: Italian and Indian/Tamil

STELP: How do you clear your head?

Linda: At/in/on the water: Water is my element. I love the sea.  Kitesurfing gives me an absolute feeling of freedom. Not feasible in everyday life in Stuttgart, of course, so it’s more like jogging around the B├Ąrensee. And one more fun fact at the end. I have a secret nerd hobby that very few people knew about until now. Circus! So mainly diabolo and juggling. 

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Danke f├╝r deine Ank├╝ndigung!

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