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Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, “everybody can be great…because everybody can serve.” This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, a national holiday designed for individuals to be able to serve their communities.
Dr. King was a servant leader, and to this day continues to inspire countless individuals around the world to give back to their communities. He is remembered for accomplishing extraordinary things on behalf of people in need but more importantly, he leaves a legacy of encouraging others to find their greatness through service.
While January 17, 2011 is the day when thousands of people around the country will participate in service projects, we are most excited about the people that will be inspired to make service a priority year round. And, to celebrate our friends and neighbors who have made an impact by quietly serving their communities every day, we’re excited to kickoff a new blog series, “Why I Serve” starting with the post below.
Interview with Howard Diener of the Taproot Foundation
For over 40 years, Howard Diener has been working within the corporate world. With a focus on marketing and management, he has served in roles such as Senior Vice President and CEO. Additionally, he has been a member of several corporate boards.
Currently, Howard is working as a business consultant for various organizations, including a snow board manufacturer and an ad specialty company. For the last two years, he has used his experience and talents to help nonprofits with their “businesses.” We asked Howard a few questions about his work with nonprofits and what inspires him to serve.
How long have you been working with this organization?
This is my second year involved with Taproot Foundation. I am working on my third project, two annual reports and a five year "road map."
What made you want to become involved with this organization?
I wanted to give back to a community by helping nonprofits become better in running their "business," which would ultimately help them provide better services. Additionally, I want to prevent myself from becoming "stale" at the same time. I enjoy working, and if I can help others while "helping myself stay relevant" it is a "win-win" for everyone.
Why did you decide to start volunteering?
As I found myself with less work, Taproot presented an opportunity for me to put my time and expertise to better use than just sitting back.
Everyone’s lives are busy; what inspires you to make service a priority in your life?
I am at the point in my life where I have the time even though I really do want to be working (I am 68, but I am active and more than able). I find that my age works against me; therefore the next very best option is SERVICE. It is time to use my abilities to help others, while helping myself by staying active.
Why do you think people should serve year round?
I believe that service is essential for everyone who is concerned about making a better world for our children and grandchildren. While we have a primary responsibility to our own families, we have a secondary responsibility for others less fortunate.
Why do you serve?
It is time to give back and help make us a better society, and today we certainly need it!!
Are you serving on MLK Day? Tweet us about it using the hash tag #MLKDay and share why you serve.
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