Did you know January is National Mentoring Month? This year’s theme is “Be someone who matters to someone who matters.” I’ve been fortunate to have great mentors in my life. One of them was the father of my college roommate at American University, the Honorable Fred B. Ugast. As chief judge of the Superior Court of Washington D.C., he taught me the importance of integrity and team building, along with providing an insider’s view of how our nation’s legal system works. During this time I also met Jim Mayes, who introduced me to the world of printing and inspired me to pursue this field. Without these two gentlemen in my life, it’s hard to say what direction my career path would have taken.
It’s because of great mentors like these that we’ve made such a strong commitment to mentoring at IWCO Direct. We continue to work closely with the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM), along with other leading companies such as 3M, General Mills, Target, Wells Fargo, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Century Link and the University of Minnesota (with the special endorsement of Head Football Coach Jerry Kill). We also help sponsor the MPM’s Awards Celebration, Annual Conference and youth scholarships. In addition, Bev Lohs, VP of Human Resources, and I serve on the board of directors. Bev has taken on additional responsibilities as a member of their Finance and Strategic Planning Committee. More importantly, our employees are actively involved in mentoring, ranging from serving as Junior Achievement mentors to coaching youth sports and volunteering with youth organizations.
I hope you’ll use National Mentoring Month as a catalyst to get involved in mentorship, either personally or as an organization. Research has shown that young people with a mentor do better in school, have improved health outcomes and become more productive adults. The personal benefits and fulfillment you’ll experience as a mentor are unmeasurable. If you want to become involved, but don’t know where to start, here are a few resources:
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