Your teeth play a larger role than what most people give them credit for. They are an integral part of the structure of your face, and healthy teeth are vital to diet, health and an overall sense of well-being. However, dental hygiene can often take a backseat in people’s lives due to a lack of resources.That’s where Dr. Richard A. Weinman comes in. Devoting several hundred volunteer hours each year across several organizations including the Ben Massell Dental Clinic, Donated Dental Services and Georgia Mission of Mercy project through the Georgia Dental Association, in addition to the Special Smiles program, this Atlanta-based dentist gives his time and talent to treat more than 180 low-income patients annually across the state of Georgia, at no cost.
Many years ago, as a fellow of Leadership Philadelphia, I attended a seminar where an accomplished anthropologist spoke about the power and influence of networks. She asked the group of leaders, “what is the most valuable currency that will move a critical agenda forward in your company or organization?” Fellows, which included CEOs, executive directors and other C-suite leaders, took their best guesses – money, power, position, influence – but none were correct. The greatest currency? Trust and respect, she shared. That is the currency that moves civilizations.
I am lucky to love what I do. For the last eight years I have had the privilege to watch and encourage the incredible growth of civic and social engagement in companies. Over this time, we’ve seen incredible growth – from only 24 percent of companies offering pro bono programs (CECP, Giving in Numbers, 2011) to 56 percent offering such skilled talent to communities today (CECP, 2018). From CEOs speaking out to Super Bowl ads focused on social action, companies are leading and lending talent and resources at an unprecedented scale.
That first spark of amazement in a child’s face is what drives Lori Morton’s volunteerism, day after day. “When a kid looks into a microscope for the first time, and sees an ant or a bumblebee at high magnification, and realizes there’s this other world complexity … being a part of that moment is wonderful,” said Lori. By day, the 47-year-old scientist from Chappaqua, New York, is vice president of research at a biotechnology company, but her free time is dedicated to providing STEM discovery for kids. Through many community-based organizations and projects, Lori is providing new opportunities for kids to have fun and engage in STEM activities, in addition to underscoring the importance of science with the leaders of tomorrow.