Holy Guacamole

round robin photoWe started brainstorming on October 9th. The goal was simple: to help raise $1500 for Catholic Charities Atlanta as part of our Leadership Class responsibilities.

There were basically two choices: call all of our friends and ask them for money. Or, we could put on a fun event and raise the money.

This charity tennis event was conceived and completed within 4 weeks, and we raised $1550 after expenses!

My friend and fellow Leadership classmate Steve Saxon had the contacts.  The tennis pro at his club was Catholic and had mentioned looking for a charity to promote.  The owner of the tennis store he frequents was Catholic and also looking for a charity to promote.  So, we scheduled a meeting; and “Holy Guacamole” was conceived.

We marketed the event through Alpharetta Patch, the Georgia Bulletin, parents at our children’s school Queen of Angels, Catholic Charities, all of our social networks and a dedicated web site CCA Tennis Classic.  We designed and distributed flyers and encouraged others to share our event with their networks.

Concerned we needed more than the $55 registration fee in order to meet our goal, we decided to add a Silent Auction and Raffle—the sponsors Serious Tennis, White Columns Golf and Country Club provided excellent valuable donations.

Below is a list of all of our donors.  We are so grateful for your generosity!

  • Serious Tennis
  • White Columns Golf Club
  • InspireDesigns
  • Dr Eric Pryor, (dentist)
  • Simple Concepts (us!)
  • Huntington Learning Center
  • Roswell Tap
  • Tea Bags & Gardenias

We negotiated a good rate on a Mexican themed menu with cash bar and margaritas. We added a “fast-serve” contest at $5 per entry.

In the end we had a total of 20 players—everybody seemed to have a great time and contributed generously towards our cause.  After finalizing all the money and recovering from the whirlwind planning, we were sure to individually thank each participant and sponsor with hand-written notes from Catholic Charities Atlanta.

The secret to pulling this event off in such a short amount of time?  The right contacts, lots of marketing, and a good attitude.  Everyone involved brought charitable attitudes to the table which enabled us to work together efficiently to get this done.

CCA Event: Catholic Leadership in Times of Crisis

lectserBreakfast at Maggiano’s in Buckhead–I didn’t realize they served breakfast. It was tasty but speaker Frank Hanna of Hanna Capital captured my attention for 40 minutes with his information packed talk entitled, “Catholic Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Christian Perspective to the Global Financial Crisis.

Hanna had all the markings of a terrific speaker: engaging, humble, informative, persuasive, challenging.  He explained how the challenges facing Catholic business leaders are magnified during this global financial crisis and described how his own business career has been shaped by his Catholic faith. The financial crisis has challenged him as a leader in his business and as a Christian.  In times of crisis, he imparts it is more important than ever that Catholic leaders respond with the compassion found in the Gospel teachings.

Each of us was given a copy of his most recent book, What Your Money Means (And How to Use it Well) in which he writes of the reasons we have money in the first place and the role money is meant to play in our lives and the lives of others. The book is a lean, no-nonsense explanation of the meaning of our money and a guide for dealing with it constructively.  He details the three vocations of all those who have money are called into: virtue, wealth creation, and giving.

Frank J. Hanna has started and invested in many businesses, and is featured in the PBS special The Call of the Entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Hanna Capital, the recipient of the William B. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership and the David R. Jones award for Philanthropy, and cofounder of the Solidarity Foundation. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and daughter.

CCA Event: Transformational Leadership

voss-headThe expectations were high.  We heard from classmembers of 2011 and from this year’s leaders that Paul Voss’ speech on Transformational Leadership was the best of the best.  I was not disappointed.

This afternoon, at the beautiful/traditional Cherokee Town Club in the heart of Atlanta’s business center–Buckhead–was a brilliant backdrop for Dr Voss’ talk. Voss insists, “Building a successful career requires hard work, dedication and specialized knowledge—and most importantly,” according to Voss, “we individual Catholic business leaders must incorporate Ethos, Logos and Pathos into our business philosophy in order to be directly affective in our respective fields.”

Voss describes the importance of Aristotle’s business viewpoint as opposed to the Sophists of his day. To Aristotle—and from my reading St Augustine would concur—there are three concepts which should govern the individual and co-oporative citizen:  ethos, logos and pathos.

ETHOS refers to the ethical character of the “seller.’  As an individual businessperson– this would be your “reputation.”  Are you, as a business person worthy of my trust? Are you professional, honest, reliable? Are you sincere?  Or are you phony and goofy?  Why, in the final analysis should we listen to you?  What is your reputation in the office?

The second aspect of Voss’ talk is LOGOS.  Logos is the appeal of the businessperson to one’s “logic” or “reason.”  Logos often refers to the type and quality of the evidence presented. Logos measurements usually take the form of a number: revenue, sales, growth, batting average, profits, grade point average… is the evidence factually correct?  Incorrect evidence will cause credibility problems.  If the evidence cannot be trusted then the speaker/seller cannot be trusted.

Finally, the third aspect of ethical businesspersons according to Voss is PATHOS.  Pathos is an appeal to the emotions and supposition of the audience.  We must consider the audience when making an appeal and persuasion to desired results. Failure to understand or consider “audience” often leads to ineffectiveness.

CCA Event: Dinner w/ Archbishop Wilton Gregory

0000archbishopWhat a great evening and an honor to have had dinner with Archbishop Gregory at his residence off West Wesley in Buckhead.  Along with Board and staff members of Catholic Charities Atlanta and other Catholic business leaders I truly enjoyed the kick-off reception for the 2012 Catholic Leadership Class.

The mission of the Catholic Charities Atlanta Leadership Class is to inspire and empower Catholic men and women who seek to become servant leaders in the business community through professional development, education, service and active mentoring.  I’m so blessed to be part of the 2012 class and look forward to the next several months working together with my 42 “classmates.”

A quick peek at what’s to come:

Transformation Leadership: Career and Legacy Building Sept. 18 at the Cherokee Town Club with speaker Paul Voss of Ethikos

Catholic Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Christian Perspective to the Global Financial Crisis Oct. 4th at Maggiano’s in Buckhead with speaker Frank Hanna of Hanna Capital

Catholic Social Teaching: At the Heart of the Gospel and Living an integrated Catholic Life Oct. 18th  at Saint Peter Chanel Catholic Church with speaker Deacon Mike Bickerstaff

Using Your Talents to Glorify God through Servant Leadership: Panel Discussion Nov. 8th at the Archdiocese of Atlanta Chancery with Moderator Raellyn Kovich of Bell Oaks Mass celebrated by Father Henry Atem (one of my favorites) J

Mentor/Mentee Training Nov. 29th at the Blackburn Conference Center at John Marshall Law School

Graduation January 3rd at The Georgian Club

Last night, I was next to the Archbishop in the buffet line; and all I could come up with was, “Hi.”  I never know what to say to priests—I always feel so in awe of them and think they can see right through me!  I want to say, “Forgive me Father for I have sinned.”  But I don’t think that would have been appropriate last night :O).

What a program! I will no doubt be describing my experiences over the next few months.  In the meantime, here are a few of the reasons I love Catholic Charities Atlanta:

In the past year, CCA responded to 66,152 requests for help and directly served 21,632 individuals in our community.  CCA provides employment services, English classes, immigration legal assistance and financial literacy assistance to immigrant and refugee families living in the metro Atlanta area.  CCAs Parent Talk Program helped new and underprivileged mothers increase their skills in childhood development and children’s needs.

And as a marketing professional, I love that Catholic Charities USA “brand” was recognized in the top 10 of Nonprofit Power Brands along with the YMCA, Salvation Army, United Way, Red Cross and Goodwill.