Tell us about your role at Publix.

In short I have the responsibility of total store operations for a Publix location in Roswell GA. I get to work with a team of 15 dedicated managers to work on continuous improvement of our location. Together we staff, train and develop our store teams to execute the sales and marketing strategies we create. I also serve as the chief ambassador of the Publix culture at my location.

How have you seen your work change in the last 18 months?

The grocery business has been in a constant state of change forever. The biggest change over the past 18 months has been the level of uncertainty. The pandemic brought unprecedented increases in our business as people began to prepare meals at home more. Growth normally creates an opportunity to add staff and of course as we quickly learned there were more available jobs than workers. I have never spent so much time and effort on talent acquisition as I do now. Another transition I have had to make is toward supply chain flexibility. Just because we plan for a promotion does not mean we will be able to fully implement the plans as initially intended. My team has had to learn how to quickly pivot toward plan B (and even plan C sometimes). The past several months have really opened our eyes to the interdependence of links within our supply chain. We never had to consider that fact the manufacturer of sport drink would produce their products in advance of the warm weather, but staffing shortages or damage at the plant of a supplier of packaging can throw deliveries behind by months.

You have been supporting United Way for about 31 years! What inspires you to Live United?

I have the amazing fortune of working with an organization whose founder was passionate about supporting the communities that made us successful. 92 years later we are still growing a culture of associates that show they care the most about the people they serve. Very early in my tenure I was mentored by a Publix leader who invited me to what was then called “A Day of Caring”. I was hooked! Since then I have served on the Board of Directors of two United Way funded agencies and headed 23 annual fund raising campaigns. I have also had the privilege of guiding hundreds of Publix associates (through my experiences) to make the commitment to become Leadership supporters of United Way.

How do you incorporate giving back into your free time?

It is a family value I that was instilled in me at a young age and as I matured it only grew. My wife served on one of the boards I was on. We have served dinners at shelters together, volunteered our time on holidays and supported about every service event sponsored by Publix. As our family grew we began taking our young daughter along with us to community activities. Our family motto has been to give until it feels good. My proudest moment was one Saturday when my (then 10 years old) daughter woke up early and began baking before sunrise. She had decided to raise money for the local Humane Society. She caught the bug! Making a difference if a personal choice. Through her actions I’m even more inspired to make a difference through sharing my time, my talents and my resources.

We love the ready-made items at Publix, what is your go-to Publix deli treat?

I have to admit I am addicted to the Limited Time Only Boar’s Head Jalepeno Popper sub. It has 3 varieties of cheese, bacon and jalepenos. It’s decadent and delicious.

Tell us about your role at Southern Company.

I lead the accounting team at one of Southern Company Gas’ non-regulated businesses – SouthStar Energy Services. I also serve on the Board of Directors for the company’s sponsored credit union, as well as Treasurer of the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation.

How have you seen your work change in the last 18 months?

We embraced the new dynamic during the first few weeks of remote work in 2020 by ensuring personal connections for long-term and new employees remained strong. This included having dedicated time to connect in person or by video for purposeful conversations to celebrate together the milestones of life that we used to do in the office. I found that many of us actually know more about our work colleagues, as work and personal was blurred together on our screens. Clearly the future of in office work will be different than before and being flexible to a hybrid work model will be important to our success as many of my colleagues thoroughly enjoy less time in the office.

Southern Company Gas also embarked on meaningful and challenging DEI discussions, which I have heard others describe like climbing a mountain, and you look down and say we have come so far and we are proud of ourselves, but then look up and see how much further we have to climb and we have a long way to go.

You have been supporting United Way for almost 20 years! What inspires you to Live United?

One of Southern Company’s values include total commitment to the success of our communities. This is important in who we are as a company. I also recall my first United Way Campaign in 2001, and through each subsequent year the personal stories of those in the community that have benefited from the United Way motivates me to continuing my support. I believe one of the reasons for the success of metro-Atlanta is due to the United Way.

United Way recently launched the Unite for More campaign. What do you want to see more of in our community?

At this point in the pandemic, we need to advocate for more housing assistance for those who are at risk of losing their homes.

What is your favorite book?

Usually the last one I read, which happens to be historical background on Greece and the island of Santorini, which I hope to visit later this year.

How long have you been involved with United Way?

I have been a donor to and volunteer with the United Way in Atlanta and NE Florida for 20+ years.

What prompted you to get involved?

I initially donated a very small amount through a corporate campaign with not a lot of background on all the great work United Way does in the community. I have visited affiliates like the Atlanta Children’s Shelter over the years and witnessed the incredible impact the United Way makes with each donation and that has made me keep giving and increase my gift when possible.

Why is philanthropy important to you?

What other community organizations have you been a part of?  The spirit of giving back is what truly makes a community special and I was fortunate to have that emphasized early on in my life.  I think each of us possesses the ability to share our talents and time to help others.  That can be mentoring, cleaning up a park, or giving financially.  I previously served on the board for the DeKalb Habitat for Humanity affiliate and I am currently an active volunteer advocate for CARE and help with United Way events as much as I can.

What made you encourage your partner to attend Women United events?

I know United Way events are always well presented and Women United events match her interests.  More people thinking about the issues of our city and ways to help is always a good thing!

What is your favorite quote?

“It Always Seems Impossible Until It Is Done” – Nelson Mandela