Updated: Sep 27, 2021
Community. We see this word bandied about all the time. Whether it is friends, family, neighbors, work or something else entirely - we all have different definitions for what community means.
For me, community involves several things and my thinking about the concept started in college. I grew up in a small town in the central valley of California. When I left for college it was a big step to leave California and go to the University of Colorado in Boulder. Not having a clue what it meant, I pledged the same fraternity that my father had pledged 26 years earlier. I soon discovered the brotherhood of that fraternity would become my first community outside my family and hometown. Fast forward 38 years, that fraternity is still a strong pillar in my life. In fact, as many of you know, my kidney transplant donor is one of my pledge brothers. Community matters.
Ever since college I’ve looked to expand my community either through work, fraternity, friends and neighbors or volunteerism. My fraternity community is rock solid and we get together often and talk about our families. My work community is also on the upswing. Our team here at Kinsley Meetings has shined for the last 18 months and our clients are strong. My friends are with us always.
This leads to volunteerism, which I believe is very important for all of our communities. In the last 25 years, my volunteerism within the meetings and events industry involved several great organizations that all help move our industry forward in a positive way on a daily basis. Serving the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado, Meeting Professionals International, as well as being a guest lecturer at various universities and high schools about our great industry is truly rewarding for me. There is a lot of opportunity to make a difference in our industry.
What's more, volunteerism outside of work has always been part of what I’m about. Currently, I sit on the board of Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain, a chapter of JA USA. Junior Achievement is a 100+ year old organization that takes volunteers into schools to teach financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. I’m rewarded constantly by this volunteer community. Over the last 12 years, I've been able to meld my communities (work, school, family and friends) into the JA community and I believe we are all better for it. The learning that goes both ways with the students as you volunteer is exciting and to make even a slight difference in student’s life is the best reward.
Communities matter, and when you can bring together your different communities to the betterment of all it is very satisfying.