Three years ago I had the chance to address about 500 cable industry executives at a Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) event in Denver, and for five minutes the floor was mine. A life-long cable veteran and communications professional, I have no shortage of stories to tell. But at this event I received the Rocky Mountain chapter's Woman of the Year award, and I was determined to speak from the heart.
For some in my industry, speaking from the heart means sharing a personal story of helping a customer resolve a thorny issue, or helping an employee achieve a long-sought goal. For others, hearts lie in new product innovation or advances in network reliability. For me, since my very first Comcast Cares Day in 2003, when I worked at an elementary school alongside co-workers covered in mud and grime and grit and paint from pulling weeds, planting flowers and shrubs, and painting walls and playgrounds, I was hooked on giving back. One day of volunteerism and a school is changed. Students are changed. Parents, teachers and administrators are changed. A community is changed.
So, I spoke about community investment and how often times we all share the best of intentions to lend a hand, donate a dollar, give an hour, but how life gets in the way. I even shared this fantastic public service announcement — part of the Ad Council's Don't Almost Give. Give. campaign — to reinforce the point.
I joined Comcast nine years ago, focusing on media relations, employee communications and community investment, and I guarantee you that the best part of each day since then has been connected to some kind of community giving. From cash donations and sponsorships to in-kind contributions of airtime and service, from Comcast Foundation grants and scholarships to volunteerism, Comcast doesn't almost give. Comcast gives. And gives. And gives. And that's what I've always wanted to do.
So, when a dream job on Comcast's Corporate Community Investment team opened up, I thought back to a Leaders & Achievers event in Sacramento, California, where an incredible young man received not just his expected $1,000 scholarship for college, but also a $10,000 Founders Scholarship. I knew he was going to get it, but he had no idea. I watched him, sitting at the state capitol among 90 other students in the heat of the Central California summer, when his school was announced, then his name. In just a few seconds, his face went from interest and attention to anticipation to disbelief to what I can only describe as euphoria. In that moment, as he leapt out of his seat to jump and shout with joy, his life changed forever, and I got to see it.
Thinking back on this moment crystallized why I would uproot my life and change my game to pursue my professional dream -- I'd get to be part of many more of these moments. I was not going to almost do this. I'm doing it.
I'm the new Executive Director for Community Investment at Comcast, and I'm right where I want to be, overseeing the daily execution of our philanthropic strategies. That means building dreams every day, delivering the nearly $400 million in cash and in-kind services that Comcast donates annually to schools and students, communities and non-profits, and to our national partners whose business it is to change lives for the better every day.
Accepting this new role means relocating my husband and our two young boys from Denver to Philadelphia, leaving behind an incredible network of family, friends and coworkers. But there was no hesitation. We're all changing our lives so I can work on a team, and for a company, dedicated to changing lives and helping others live their dream — by giving. I couldn't think of a better way to spend each and every day. This was not going to be an almost. We are all in.