Why Volunteer?

Why Volunteer?
ESAweb — April 19, 2022

My goodness, how time flies. As we are approaching the final few months of my tenure as Chairman of ESA, it is a good time for some reflection. One of the questions I get is “Why did you do it?”. The bigger question for me was why I started volunteering in the Association in the first place.
Before answering the question of “why” it is important to understand how rewarding this time has been. I have had the privilege to get to know some of the most influential people in the industry. I remember sitting down with someone who runs a large company and to hear their perspective on what challenges our industry will be facing. In the sequence of questioning them, they talked about what individual companies should be looking at to survive these weird and uncertain times. Additionally, we talked about how ESA can work to position itself in a way that can better serve our members. This is one of so many stories that could be told, and I just can’t say thank you enough to those that felt I was the right person to sit in this role. It has been super enriching for my life both personally and professionally.
So why did I volunteer in the first place? My Dad is an amazing man that understood the value of associations and more importantly involvement. I remember him taking me to a convention when I was very young, and I remember looking up to him and feeling super meaningful that my dad knew everyone, and they knew him. In talking with him afterward he told me “Son you will only ever get out of anything as much as you give.”. You realize later in life how much moments like that shape you. It has been incredible how this has been so true in so many areas of my life. I think about my Church life, Marriage, and of course Professional career.

With this story giving shape to my journey let me go through three evolving reasons.

First – I needed something.
It’s tough to get away from the “what’s in it for me” isn’t it? Coming from a locksmith background I knew nothing about the security side of our business and I was struck that we didn’t as a company know much about what we were actually doing. I’m fortunate in our state to have an association that had an amazing president named Mike Miller. A past president and Weinstock winner. He welcomed me into his business and helped me to realize what our business could be. I asked him how I could possibly repay him and he said, “Volunteer!”. What choice did I have?

Second – Fun!
Now involved I found a group of amazing like-minded individuals that cared about our industry and each other. Now having grown friendships and driving change in the industry, it became fun. Still work but fun work. I looked forward to the meetings and our time together and no matter how difficult the issues we faced together as a unit.

Third – Reward.
Being able to work with peers and titans to positively impact the industry is exceptionally rewarding. We all want to know that what we do makes a difference. I can’t think of a better way to give back to the industry that puts food on our table and buys our toys than to volunteer to make it better. I won’t belabor this point other than to say, try it.

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