Unless is a product of my personal and professional journey. I am a twenty-year veteran of the for profit and nonprofit sectors. I have practiced law, worked for two publicly traded companies, lobbied on Capitol Hill, started and managed a nonprofit organization, and educated leaders at the high school and university levels.
I’ve always looked for ways to leverage my talents to improve the lives of others. This has always been my motivation and metric of success. At the beginning of my career, I imagined law was the best vehicle to achieve this objective. As a lawyer, I helped families and small business owners navigate through the bankruptcy courts. I was then hired to negotiate deals at America Online (AOL). This didn’t seem to align with my objective, but when AOL’s Helping Hands Initiative auctioned celebrity memorabilia on the Shop@ platform raising millions of dollars for charity, it taught me a valuable and surprising lesson – companies can have a positive impact on society!
Next, I found myself at Advanta Bank, the largest provider of small business credit cards in the country. I helped design and implement the first corporate social responsibility campaign – “The KivaB4B Project”. The Company created a co-branded credit card and provided a financial incentive for cardholders to support entrepreneurs around the world with microloans. This created a collective sense of purpose inside the Company and a deeper connection with its customers.
A family tragedy in 2005 changed the course of my career. My second child, Simon, passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly. In response, my wife and I started Simon’s Heart, an organization to prevent sudden cardiac arrest and death in children, teens and young adults. I led Simon’s Heart as the CEO where we developed a heart screening protocol for students, passed legislation to protect student athletes, built a crowdfunding site to distribute AED devices, launched a digital registry to promote research, activated students to learn chest compressions using the CPR Jukebox™, and partnered with companies and sports teams on impact programs. Simon’s Heart continues its work today and I serve on the Board of Directors.
Today, I manage Unless, a company that helps businesses be more impactful in the workplace and community. Seventy-eight percent of Americans believe companies must do more than just make money – they must also positively impact society. However, many companies – for profit and nonprofit – struggle with where to start or how to choose the right initiative. I show companies how a strategy, intentional choice and an impact plan can create a collective sense of purpose and a more prosperous future.
How can we help you create more impact?