Published on August 24, 2020 in Emerging Philanthropist Spotlight
When did you first start supporting United Way? Why did you join EP?
I was introduced to United Way through my firm’s annual campaign season. But it wasn’t until year three or four at the firm that I really started to think consciously about how I wanted to give back with more focus, and where I could best donate my dollars, but also my time. What first drew me into stepping up to be an EP was the people. Seeing the passion emanating from United Way employees about their work, and how much they’re impacting the lives of folks in need within our community, it didn’t take long for me to become hooked. Every time I have traveled to the United Way offices for a meeting or dial one of them up on the phone, I am instantly reminded that I can and must do more. Couple that with then the notion that there is a group of individuals like me, called the Emerging Philanthropists, who have a variety of different occupational commitments, but are also just as invested in the well-being of their neighbors, their communities and themselves, it became quite the obvious choice for me.
What was your first job?
My first job was a caddie at Country Club of Detroit. I started somewhere around 12-13 years old and did it all the way up until starting full time at Grant Thornton after college.
What is your favorite pastime/hobby?
This is an easy one. From April through September, I try to spend as much time out on the golf course as I possibly can. I don’t think I could do my day job if Michigan had warm weather all year round!
What book have you read more than once?
Some of my favorite books I’ve read in the last 2-3 years have been: “Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery: Where War Comes Home” by Robert Poole; “Tales from Q School” by John Feinstein; and “The World As It Is” by Ben Rhodes
What is your favorite quote or a mantra you live by?
My favorite quote has to be told with some context, and apologize for the golf theme here, but at least it’s an honest reflection of someone getting to know me! Bobby Jones, the legendary golfer and founder of the Masters golf tournament, suffered from a rare neurological disease called syringomyelia that physically deteriorated his body. It forced him into a wheelchair, was a source of chronic pain and cut his golfing days short.
During one of the last Masters tournaments before Mr. Jones passed, a reporter by the named of Charles Price recalls having a drink with Mr. Jones, and allowing himself to become emotional as he looked at this once legendary figure be shrunken to such a painful and immobile state. Mr. Jones seeing some tears begin to develop on his face turned to him, and said “Now there will be none of that. We all must play the ball as it lies.”
For those that understand what that phrase means in the context of golf and how it can be carried forward to life, it’s a story and quote I reflect back on often when facing adversity. It has been particularly purposeful in our current challenge that is this pandemic. I try to not reflect on the things we can’t do, and instead embrace new things I’ve started to do, or the things that I used to take for granted.