In 1976, the Teton dam in Southeastern Idaho failed, damaging or destroying about 80 percent of the structures in the small town of Rexburg. Living then as I do now in Salt Lake City, my father invited me to join him and a volunteer group to Rexburg where we helped dig mud out of a basement and otherwise work to salvage a home. As an 11-year-old kid that was a lot of fun. The whole trip took about 24 hours, leaving about 2:00 AM, arriving at dawn, working all day, leaving at dark and returning after midnight. Now, I’m not a big guy. Picture me as an eleven-year-old standing next to a shovel—I wasn’t as tall as the handle and just lifting the empty shovel was a task for me. I’m sure I was of virtually no real help that day, but the experience has come to define my life. I felt so good helping people that day that I promised then I would never miss an opportunity to serve.
Of course, I have missed many opportunities to help. I was, perhaps, distracted by building a successful finance career, but ever since I was let go from my position as the CFO for a global food and beverage company years I have focused on channeling the enthusiasm of my youth to do my part to make the world a better place.