National Thank Your Mentor Day
Keith Barsuhn, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro
By now you may have heard about National Thank Your Mentor Day on January 26th. You might even be thinking about a person in your life that made such a “game changing” impression on you that became a cornerstone to your success.
For me it was a former manager, who 27 years ago became my boss at United Way in Tri-State (New York). For three years, Frank Karr directed me, at times, as a supervisor; but almost on a daily basis he coached and mentored me in my early years as a United Way professional. His insight and guidance was the difference between me enjoying a career at United Way, 28 years and counting, or jumping around to other non-profits. Lunch hours sometimes turned into near half day conversations on how to work with CEO level volunteers, fundraise within large politically complex companies, and learn about community needs and resources. Those conversations would prepare me to lead a United Way in New York, which I soon did after working for him. I also am reminded about my new experience as a 26 year old executive director of a United Way, sometimes feeling unprepared to take on that high level of responsibility. Thanks to Frank’s willingness to spend as much time as I needed to be coached through the most challenging situations, our United Way thrived.
Frank, THANK YOU for instilling in me the confidence to lead and succeed!
This post was written by Keith Barsuhn, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro. January is celebrated as National Mentoring Month, 31 days where we celebrate mentors and recognize the importance of mentors for positive youth development. For us at United Way of Greater Greensboro, this year brings special meaning because of the launch of our African American Male Initiative. As one of the key elements of the initiative, United Way is committed to mobilizing mentors to improve the future for disadvantaged youth. Click here to see more ways that you can get involved in National Mentoring Month in Greensboro.