April 14, 2022
Volunteering as a Lifestyle: How Service to Others Moves Us Forward Individually and Collectively
Greetings COMTO Family,
I started opening my salutations in my emails and correspondences to the COMTO Columbus chapter many years ago in that same manner. I refer to them as family. Why you may ask? I believe that when you have a heart and desire for the well-being and development of those around you, that makes them family. That is exactly how I feel about the COMTO organization, you are an extension of my family. The month of April is recognized as National Volunteer Month, and as many of you know, COMTO is comprised mostly of volunteers. Everything we do for COMTO members through our chapters, we do utilizing our personal time, talents, and treasures to make sure the COMTO organization as a whole is successful.
I have been involved with COMTO since the first day I started my career in the transportation industry. To be part of an organization whose mission is to ensure opportunities and maximum participation in transportation for ALL (minority individuals, veterans, people with disabilities and certified MWDBE businesses) was something I knew I wanted to do. I have always considered myself a servant leader. I have come, not be served, but to serve. In the Columbus chapter of COMTO, I have served in many roles, currently as President. At the National level, I served as Chair of the Membership Committee and currently serve as a Council President Representative and National Board member. While I did not seek these positions, it is my passion for the mission of this organization that fuels my commitment.
COMTO has played an instrumental role in the success I have established within the industry and within my organization’s — Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) — Equity Diversity & Inclusion Division. COMTO has provided pathways to partnerships with numerous corporations, agencies, and non-profits across Central Ohio and nationwide.
I have had the privilege of serving beyond my commitment to COMTO. As an ordained minister, I co-lead Marriage is Ministry and co-facilitate Minister in Training Classes in my local church. I serve on the Executive Board of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. My love of golf has allowed me to create over $100K in scholarships to minority and female students seeking careers in STEM fields by way of our Annual Golf FORE Education outings.
My professional highlight of 2021 was receiving the Reverend Jerry Moore President’s Award from COMTO. However, my personal highlight for the last 20 years has been my wife and life partner who has supported and encouraged me each and every day. She too is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in her role as a teacher. Our greatest blessing is our daughter who is completing her freshman year at Hampton University where she volunteers as a Student Ambassador.
I say all this to say that volunteering is an integral part of my life as well as my family as we pay it forward. In what ways do you give back to your community? I challenge you this National Volunteer Month to think about ways to give back to COMTO; an organization that has given to so many in the past 51 years – thanks primarily to volunteers like you and I!
Council of Presidents Representative, COMTO Board of Directors
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Administrator, Central Ohio Transportation Authority (COTA)