In August, Orange County United Way launched a mentorship program through Emerging Leaders United, the next generation of professionals in our community. Through volunteer projects, leadership advancement, special networking events and the new mentorship program, the group aims to foster connections, personal growth, and to inspire a culture of caring. By pairing our Tocqueville Society members and Board Members with these aspirational and inspiration young professionals, we hope to encourage philanthropic collaboration to ensure that more children and families in our community have a quality education, sustainable income, good health and stable housing.
A Meet Your Mentor Mixer hosted by Edwards Lifesciences was the springboard for connecting the next generation of civic and business leaders with influential forerunners from some of the most successful companies in Orange County. John McGrath, Corporate Vice President Quality, Regulatory, Clinical at Edwards Lifesciences and an Orange County United Way Board Member and Campaign Cabinet Chair, has been instrumental in developing the program.
McGrath provided insights from the highly successful mentorship program at Edwards Lifesciences that pairs senior-level staff to employees to navigate their way through corporate culture and provide professional development. Emerging Leaders United Council Member Chris Ramos of Paul Hastings moderated a panel discussion. Panelists included Steve Rousch (Summit Healthcare), Suzanne Fradette (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and John McGrath, all longtime supporters of United Way.
United Way President and CEO, Max Gardner, who was formerly President of the Irvine Company Apartment Communities, is encouraged by the response. “A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future and believe it can be attained. It’s really powerful when we can help connect volunteers and donors who are passionate about creating a stronger community,” said Gardner.