There was a tremendous energy in the room this morning as Durham Young Professionals joined the Young Leaders Society of the United Way of the Greater Triangle to kickoff the YLS’s Executive Roundtable Series. About 75 young professionals from around the Triangle gathered for a highly-motivating roundtable. One of the themes:  no business can succeed without engaging in the community around them on a meaningful level.

All four of the panelists spoke about their personal support of philanthropy and how they incorporate that into their company. Jedidiah Taylor, CEO of Caliber Technologies, is a young professional that was raised in a military family where his dad was away and money was tight.  He now operates a triple bottom line company that gives 3% (gross sales) to various charities that support the families of our troops. 

Mike Constantino, Managing Partner of Ernst & Young LLP, has a group of young professionals at Ernst & Young that discuss and decide upon activities for community engagement for the company.  They focus on companies that support their mission of corporate responsibility. They have a Volunteer Wall of Fame  where employees are featured giving of their time to local non-profits. As most people who volunteer will tell you, you always get more than you give.

The Chamber’s very own Casey Steinbacher was a panelist along with Kevin Trapani, CEO of The Redwoods Group, and both emphasized the ethic that was drilled into them as children: to whom much was given, of him much will be required”.  Professionals will realize great rewards when they give of not just their money, but their human capital as well (time and talent). Kevin finally spoke about the myth that in the business world, it is a “Me vs. You” culture – he believes it needs to be viewed as a “You and I working together” climate where we can accomplish much more for our community.

It was a great way to start the morning! Check out the Durham Young Professionals page and the Young Leaders Society page for more information.