Happy Friday!

If you’re like me – which according to my humble yet self-gratifying assessment, most of you probably are – you’re thinking about ways to grow: get your name out there, grow your career, expand your network and build your brand.

As a young professional and an ambitious urbanite that eats, breathes and sleeps aspirations of growth, I can attest to the many opportunities available to do all of the abovementioned items, and even have fun in the process.

At the risk of sounding like Richard Simmons, or Tony Robbins (yes, I quoted Richard Simmons…don’t judge), I believe we can all reach our potential and accomplish some of our most ambitious goals if we surround ourselves with like-minded people and learn and network from those who have been at it for some time. And if sounding like Richard wasn’t bad enough, I almost just sounded like my mom, so enough of that!

But seriously – and I promise I’m going somewhere with this – without overstressing the “who you know” creed, your rolodex and interpersonal relationships open doors, and with that, I turn to the point of this roundabout discussion about your personal brand: community involvement. The beauty of becoming personally involved in your community is akin to how major organizations participate in corporate social responsibility programs, and the result is that everybody wins.

Without corporate participation in some of the longest-running aid programs throughout the world, much of the good deeds that have widespread impact would not be possible. And you could argue that these organizations have much to gain through their involvement in such charitable deeds – and you’d be right. But so do the recipients of such benevolent acts.

The reciprocity of charity is what makes this undertaking such a gratifying and beneficial experience for all involved. Those who participate, network with colleagues and high-level donors throughout our business community; learn team-building and professional management skills through the planning and execution of various campaigns; associate their names with global, non-profit megabrands that have strong ties at the highest of levels (with status in some cases comparable to countries, from a brand equity perspective); and most importantly, find a rewarding outlet in which to accomplish all of these goals, while being surrounded by the community’s most influential citizens.

Now that we’re all knee deep in… (ya’ know) the “philosophical self-reflection” I just served up, let’s not forget that I’m living the benefits of such involvement as a member of the Auxiliary Board of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. I’ve met some of the brightest, coolest and most well-connected people through the Auxiliary Board that I ever imagined. I’ve grown in my short involvement with the Board in myriad ways, and I can’t tell you about how rewarding my contributions are to me.

And with that, even though I promised to reveal more about what the Auxiliary Board “actually does” per my last post, I’ll end our discussion here, and in “cliff hanger” style, will sign off. C’mon, you didn’t think I’d go all the way on our second encounter. I’m not that kind of blogger.
As part 2 of our 25 part introduction of our Auxiliary Board, I present our second profile: the lovely Maureen Mulvihill – my good friend, the Chair of the Auxiliary Board and a terrific gal.

Maureen Mulvihill: Maureen is a personal and professional philanthropist, supporting the incredible work of the American Red Cross as Chair of the Auxiliary Board and through her day job as Community Affairs Manager for W.W. Grainger, Inc., a B2B distributor of industrial supplies. When she’s not volunteering, Maureen can be found on the dance floor, exploring foreign countries or eating at her favorite sushi spot – Coast.

So long for now, and join us again next Friday where I’ll continue to reveal what the Auxiliary Board does and probably say something concrete this time.

Posted by: Erick Laseca Friday, January 16 at 12:02 a.m.

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