Tuesday, September 7, 2010

(BRIAN BOYLE) Thursday June 27th

Nadia Mitchem was our first speaker of the day. I had spoken with her at the reception on Monday and was excited for her presentation to us. Nadia is a senior officer, of corporate partnerships with the American Red Cross. She also has worked in disaster fundraising to support emergency and crisis relief efforts around the globe. Some of the corporate partners Nadia works with are Land Rover, Sears, State Farm, and Fortune 100. The reasons she chose the Red Cross to engage in her profession is because of community engagement, the humanitarian role, and she looks at the vision/missions of companies. She spoke to us about recognizing opportunities and to use time management. After speaking to her, I made up a list of things I would like to accomplish in the next few years including, travel to different countries, get more involved in the Red Cross or another philanthropic organization, learn another language, and to become more organized! I really enjoyed listening to Nadia; she has such a passion for her job, it is contagious!

After Nadia spoke to us, Paula Boggs came in for a while to speak with us. Paula is the Executive Vice President, and General Counsel and Secretary of Starbucks, and she is also a part of the American Red Cross Board of Governors. In this role, she leads the Law and Corporate Affairs department, advising a wide range of Starbucks partners on legal and business issues. Her legal career began as a United States army officer assigned to the Pentagon. She also worked as a staff attorney for the White House before leaving the service in 1988. Paula is also a singer and songwriter and recently has released an album titled, “A Buddha State of Mind.” Her opinion of winning the day includes “focus and just wanting it more!” Paula was very upbeat and interesting to hear from!

Our next speaker was Brian Boyle. Earlier in the trip, we had been given a book that Brian had written, so at night I had been reading a little bit of his book. Now, he has to be the most inspirational person, EVER!! I will always keep his book with me because my challenges are so miniscule to the battles he has endured in his young life. Brian is an American Red Cross volunteer but when he was 18, he was in a terrible car crash and was told he would never walk again. From his accident, he had lost over 60% of his blood, his heart had moved across his chest, and his organs and pelvis were pulverized. In 2007, Brian Boyle staged what many consider to be one of the greatest comebacks in sports history when he crossed the finish line at the Hawaii Ironman just three years after leaving the Intensive Care Unit. Brian’s story is such an inspiration and meeting him and his parents was a great experience! One of his favorite bands is also my favorite, 311 which is awesome as well! What I took from Brian’s presentation is that mind over matter wins every time, that people underestimate themselves, and to never hold a grudge.

(CAPITAL HILL) Wednesday, June 16th

In the morning, we continued to work on our strategic plans and by now, we were just putting the finishing touches on everything. At 11:00 we came downstairs for a catered luncheon, where we had the privilege of eating with and hearing from Dr. Allan Goldberg, Chair of Quality and Regulatory Compliance Subcommittee and member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee for the American Red Cross National Board of Governors. Dr. Goldberg was a very nice man and it was such a privilege to speak with him not only as a board member, but also as a blood drive leader at Merck, an international pharmaceutical company. I was especially interested in Dr. Goldberg because my cousin has been working as an engineer at Merck for the past 18 years! So I have been to the absolutely monstrous facility and its surrounding areas in Philly.

After lunch we had the opportunity to tour the United States Capital building, which was a really neat experience. It was absolutely breath-taking how beautiful the architecture was. My favorite part of the visit, though, was when we made it to the Senate Chamber. The senators were in the process of voting on something (I’m not sure what), and it was incredible to be in the same room with well-known political figures such as John Kerry and the Indiana senators Evan Bayh and Dick Lugar.

When the tour was finished, we all headed out to the front of the capital building for some pictures, and they were hilarious! We tried the jumping picture thing again, and it was basically an epic failure, but we got a few good ones and it was a lot of fun!

After the tour, our group ended up splitting in half. Half of the group went to the National Archives and the other half of us could hardly think of walking any further so we headed into Union Station. We grabbed some delicious Chinese food and relaxed for awhile and then did a little shopping before heading back to the dorms to sleep!