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Connecting Nonprofits, Aligning Passions

Civic Warriors Podcast Episode 14: Victory Cup Initiative

"It's really connecting their heart to a cause in our community"

In her home state of Florida, Ashley Vann founded the Victory Cup Initiative and has successfully connected over 2,000 business leaders to nonprofit organizations. Inspiring individual’s to connect with their passion, giving nonprofits a platform and teaching others the importance of giving and the large impact it can have on communities, Ashley has truly defined what it means to lead with your heart. Tune in to find out how this organization is uplifting, and inspiring others to connect with what’s most important, giving back.


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This podcast was transcribed through a third-party application. Please disregard any misrepresentations.

Civic Warriors:
Innovative, dynamic, gritty, determined warrior.

Hosts:
This podcast is about the innovators, the leaders on the front lines of adversity, the all around good people doing good deeds. They are the civic warriors of the world. Withum’s guests are the leaders in the nonprofit industry affecting change. They try, they fail, they overcome. Through their stories we can join forces to become civic warriors.

Brad:
Yeah. So, Hey everybody. Thanks for being here. Um, on the, uh, on the show today, we have Ashley Vann from the Victory Cup Initiative, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in central Florida, uh, on here as well. We have, uh, my coast, Ashley crappier, and also one of my partners here from Orlando office and with, um, Lena Combs. So thanks for being here, actually, we really appreciate your time. You know, we, uh, we shared some, uh, uh, good conversation on our first call and, uh, just really loved the story that you have and, uh, really appreciate you spending the time with us.

Ashley :
Great. Well, thank you so much for having me and thank you, Lena, for inviting me to be here.

Brad:
Awesome. So, so Ashley, why don’t you start and just, um, you know, give us, give us a little bit of information about, about yourself, how you, uh, came to find, or how you founded a victory cup and, and a little bit about the organization.

Ashley :
So I am the founder and the executive director of the Victory Cup Initiative, and I am someone who’s dedicated to helping others, uh, connect with their, uh, to connect with missions. That really meant a lot to them to find the missions that align with who they are and who they want to be and how they identify built a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping not, um, individuals find a nonprofit that they can be passionate about either to volunteer with, to donate financially, or potentially maybe serve on the board of directors and take a leadership position. It’s called the Victory Cup Initiative. We’ve been around for five years. And then the last five years, we’ve probably connected over 2000 business leaders in central Florida to over 50 nonprofit organizations. We’ve given away almost $300,000 and, um, we’ve attracted lots of community volunteers. And like I said, local leaders to support the nonprofit organizations. Um, I grew up here in Winter Park and I am the youngest of five. So, um, I’m someone where I’m growing up. We always talked about money and how much things cost and the importance of being able to talk about money and how blessed we are to have what we do have. And so, because of that, I’m very passionate about generous giving, which led me to want to start a nonprofit, um, to teach others about the value and the importance of.

Brad:
From your perspective, why do you feel that giving is important? I mean, you’ve kind of touched on it just, you know, you’re very mindful of, of dollars and cents, but why, why do you feel that that being generous and giving to others is, is, uh, something that we all should do more of as well as something that you’re passionate about? Why, why is that?

Ashley:
Sure. Well, even though it’s been about, I believe it’s been about three weeks since we last spoke. Um, I think the current environment has, is definitely very, um, important to why I feel it’s important to give and to encourage others to serve. I don’t know why I’ve been given as much as I’ve been given or been blessed with as much as I’ve been blessed. And I really feel as though it’s my responsibility to be mindful of those who are less fortunate, who those who are living in marginalized communities. And I think we all need to always be looking around for how can we serve others. I believe personally, that God made the earth and that the earth is perfect and that the earth is adequate and serving all the men, women, and children that live on the earth, but that it is man who has, um, disproportionately abused its resources. And so that it really is our responsibility to find ways to, um, get back to sharing, loving one another and just really being a part of a greater community. I also think that anyone over the age of 40 is looking for something bigger and better than themselves. They’re looking for something that says, Hey, my life matters. And it’s more, there’s more out there than just me, the car I drive the house I live in, um, what’s going on just within the four walls. And so, um, I’ve just really called to continually raise awareness for what’s really going on in our community.

Lena:
Ashley, what was it in your background? I know we talked about this before, but that created this idea that you – to match the people with money to the people who need money.

Ashley :
Well, it’s really exciting because for my corporate background is as a financial planner with Merrill Lynch. And, um, I was there for about seven years. And after that, I moved on to Wells real estate funds, where I worked for the private real estate investment trust. And, um, I have experienced professionally raising money, but, um, after I did that, I started having children and I stayed at home and I knew that I wanted to take that professional experience and use it to serve the nonprofit community. So I started taking classes at a local organization here called the Edith Bush Institute. And EBI is, um, this amazing resource to all nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Florida. And they have classes it’s actually housed, and it’s a program of a liberal arts college here called Rollins College. And the first time I took a class at Edith Bush Institute and actually the first couple of classes I took to learn more about the nonprofit industry, I would sit in these classes with anywhere between 8 to 20 people. And every time we would have a class that the facilitator would ask us to walk, go around the room and introduce ourselves and who we are and what was our connection to the nonprofit sector. And I was always extremely humbled by the men and women that were sitting in these classes with me. They, you know, I could honestly tell these were people who made a lot of money, but they, their hearts were just overflowing with love and passion for serving something that meant so much to them. I remember there was one woman who has less lost her baby within three days of her baby’s birth. So she started a nonprofit to serve mothers, grieving mothers who had lost their children in their first year of life. Um, there was another gentleman who was extremely passionate about mental illness for veterans. And so he was starting an organization about providing shelters for veterans. And as I sat and I listened to their stories and I listened to their personal connections to the work of the nonprofits, I thought to myself, there are so many successful men and women here in Orlando in all of central Florida who want to hear these stories, but they’re too busy raising their own families or building their own careers or living their own lives that they don’t know how to connect to these nonprofit organizations. And they don’t even know where to get started. And it’s interesting because our Victory Cup Initiative culminates every year in a breakfast and the two biggest comments that we get every year. And this past year, we had 529 people attend our breakfast. And I guarantee you, at least 20 people said on their way out the door, the person on the stage was telling my story, or I never knew that organization existed. So taking those classes and learning more about the nonprofit organizations, I just realized that people want to hear the stories of the nonprofit, the nonprofits, they want to know what’s going on. They want to be able to find missions that they can connect with personally.

Brad:
Yeah. And, and, and, and, you know, you don’t hear about it that often either about NFPs connecting other NFPs, right? I mean, I think when I first heard about the concept and how you’re, how you’re approaching it, it’s very unique in the sense that, you know, your mission is to raise awareness and to, you know, build a, build a community. And get the dollars in the hands of the people that, that have a unique, you know, mission very, very similar to kind of the mission of our podcast, right? It’s it’s to raise awareness issues, to identify other nonprofits that we can connect to other nonprofits with. I’ve had some cool stories that have come out of even this, that, you know, one nonprofit has listened to a podcast and said, wow, I want to talk to that person. Cause like maybe we can work together. And I think what you’re doing is, is, uh, is amazing just in, in, in bringing people together and sharing stories and giving people the opportunity, uh, and doing it in a very fun and unique way. Um, you know, I guess, I guess my first question is why, why did you pick a breakfast? Why is, why is your, your victory cup, uh, a breakfast meeting?

Ashley:
Well, that’s really interesting. You know, when I started attending those classes, I was a stay at home mom before I kind of went back to work and originally we were going to do a lunch, but the first year that I, we launched the idea of the victory cup. And I say, we, it was, it was really just me and my 83 year old dad who I said, hey, what do you think about this idea? And he said, we don’t good luck. Um, I didn’t really know a lot – of my business career was in Atlanta, Georgia. So we live back here in winter park, Orlando Ford at the time and I didn’t really have a lot of business connections, but I am a natural networker. And I know when most people hear that word network or networking event, they’re like, oh God, that sounds so miserable. But I really think networking is all about just like sharing who you are and what you have to offer and learning about what other people have going on. So you can find a way to maybe connect and support each other. And so I literally had coffee with 88 people that I did not know that very first year. To say, Hey, I’ve got this idea, we I’m thinking about hosting a lunch where we have 10 nonprofit organizations get up. And during the lunch, they each have two minutes to pitch who they are and how they’re making an impact. And at the end of the breakfast, we would like to invite everyone in the audience to vote. And at the end of the breakfast, we’re going to give away $25,000. So, hey, what do you think about that idea? And two, would you be interested in buying a table if we created this event for $500? That was my big closing sentence.

Brad:
You got to raise the 25 somewhere.

Ashley :
Yeah. And so people they’re actually two people who said, one person said, that’s a horrible idea. They said, um, and I I’d love to tell Lena off camera who it was. Cause she knows this is a small town, but, um, that person has since come around, but they said the people will only vote, they will vote for the organization that their table captain wants them to vote for. And I said, no, that won’t happen. Because when the people walk in the room that morning, we really have no idea what people are experiencing in their own personal lives. We really can’t limit the power of connection that these men and women have when an organization stands up and talks about Alzheimer and dementia and their parents not even knowing who they are or recognizing their sons and daughters, when they walk in the room or parents who have children with disabilities, you know, we have no idea what that fight is. Unless you have a child with a disability or a child who’s maybe being abused or the power of teaching someone to read. I remember the very first year we had the adult literacy league, uh, was a, uh, contestant. And they said, if you don’t know how to read, you can’t fill out a job application. And I just remember that shot like a lightning bolt through my heart. I just, I thought this is what victory cup is all about. If everyone in the room can remember that one sound bite about the adult literacy league and how important it is to teach people to read. I always, of course I knew it was important to read, but to give that example, I just thought that can change the trajectory of someone’s life and really open up, give them ideas and ways that they can serve that they would have never thought of before. Right. When you talk about reading to employment, what business leader does not want to do something to inspire employment, right? Because employment changes so many things for generations to come. Um, I digress about that. The other thing that people would say when I would meet with them is that lunches were too hard for people to get in and out of. And it puts since this was a new event and not a lot of people knew about it, it would really be best to do a breakfast. So the first year we had a breakfast and I do say the two things people always say is, Hey, they were telling my story, or I didn’t know that organization existed the first year half the people said, Oh, we finally get it. We know what you’re talking about now because I was just pitching it to everyone that I talked to. And so that was really exciting. Um, we had 262 people at the very first breakfast and we had 529 people at this breakfast in this last February. So it was really exciting. And then I want to go back to Brad, something that you said about the nonprofits collaborating, you know, there are certain sectors of people I want, I want to say this the right way. So, um, that just the work that they put in is not rewarded by how much they are paid. And for example, I think of teachers, maybe police officers, um, maybe like city of city workers. And there’s just, they’re just industries where we know that people don’t get the financial reward that they deserve. And I really believe in my heart that the nonprofit industry is one of those as well, passion, far exceeds paychecks. And I know as a fundraising consultant, my dad, whenever I’m negotiating a contract, I’m always, you know, surprised at how much people want to pay. And my dad says, well, people think that because you work in the nonprofit sector, you don’t want to get paid that you don’t care about how much you make. And that couldn’t be farther from the truth, right? Because we all have bills. We all have responsibilities. And typically most of us are caring for someone else, whether it be older or younger. Um, so probably the third pillar of the victory cup is about the collaboration between the nonprofit organizations. I know I’m with them. Smith and Brown has been extremely instrumental in this piece, but we have events throughout the year. Well, we bring nonprofits together, their leaders, their development directors, and we try to provide educational content. We to provide an opportunity for them to network and hear about what’s working with the other one. We try to completely eliminate the competition between them. We, we typically will give away financial rewards to all of them, just to kind of make it worth their time to come, which I think is good. We believe more in not a win win. And I like you be the winner and we’re going to win too, but we want you to win more than we do more of a redemptive frame on that. And, um, so we really try to eliminate the competition piece between the nonprofit organizations, because we want them to walk away with two to three really strong relationships with other nonprofit organizations in central Florida, that they can reach out to for the rest of their careers for support advice, wisdom, collaborations.

Brad:
Now, is it an aggressive competition? You mentioned that you try to create a noncompetitive environment, but you know, sometimes he can’t take that out of people.

Ashley :
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I’m a little competitive myself, so I can’t put it down too much away. And we did give away $52,000 this past year, which was really exciting. And you know, I do think that the size of the purse is very important to the victory tab. And I have noticed since we started other competition doing different things or are giving away more money, which I think is really important, um, to, to give away a lot.

Lena:
Brad, all the nonprofits are kind of in it together. You know, they go through a storytelling workshop where they learn how to tell their story effectively in front of the group. Right? Part of, part of the purpose as well is to teach these nonprofits how to tell their stories to the people who have money in a short enough timeframe that they can capture their attention and make their point and hold someone’s interest, right? The quintessential elevator speech type of thing. So they’re, they’re together. They watch each other, they, they help each other to kind of go through the process together. And when you hear them talk at the event, they don’t talk about it. Like it’s a competition, they all talk about it. Like it’s an opportunity and what they’ve learned together. And there’s been some fantastic collaborations because even inside the nonprofit space, they don’t all know what other nonprofits are out there and what they’re doing.

Lena:
So it creates the same opportunity for learning for them inside the space, as well as for those outside in the, not in the space.

Ashley:
Yeah. And a great example of that is this past year we had an organization called Michelee Puppets, and this is a woman for the last 25 years. She’s tackled really difficult issues for children and she’s done it all through puppet shows and it’s been fascinating. And since our February breakfast, she’s now collaborating with the Lifeboat Project, which is an organization on human trafficking to present human trafficking. And so she’s putting together a show for them and she actually was reconnected with the Alzheimer’s dementia resource center because about 10 years ago, she was doing some work with them. And now they’re getting ready to roll out some new programs together that they’ll be working on. And, um, Selena’s absolutely right. There are so many different ways, um, for them to be collaborating. And, you know, if I’m at my heart, if I’m passionate about Alzheimer’s, you know, but my father has Alzheimer’s. So I’m extremely passionate about Alzheimer’s. So I wasn’t passionate about this cause four years ago. Right. But I am today. And so there’s no competition for me wanting to support that group. And I think that’s really what victory cup does is it’s, it’s really connecting people, connecting their heart to a cause in our community that they’re already connected with, whether they know it or not.

Ashley :
Yeah. And if they get ideas from one another, if that ends up being the case too, then it’s just enhancing what their original mission is. And I’m sure everybody’s on the same page with trying to help. So that’s the goal I’m sure, across the board.

Ashley:
Yeah, absolutely. And some groups are great at social media. Some groups have an amazing golf tournament every year. Some groups do a 5K some do a black tie event. You know, everyone has got to find their niche in raising financial support. And I think it’s, it is important for collaboration, especially for those organizations that are trying to do everything it’s like well pull back, talk to some of the other people that are doing things really well and figure out what’s the best for your organization.

Brad:
And you said it like be unique. I think, I think uniqueness is something, you know, everybody holds a golf outing, but you know, you’re competing with how many golf addings, you’re competing with, how many missions you’re competing with, how many people, you know, obviously everyone, as you said, I mean, everyone’s time is valuable. Um, and you know, in order to capture their attention, you have to capture their attention. You have to find a way that makes people believe in your mission. And, and generally speaking, um, you know, people, people support causes that are personally relatable to them. So as you said, you know, maybe four years ago, you may not have been, uh, you know, the number one, cause for you may not have been Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer’s research or, uh, developing some type of some type of solution. However, now you may be experiencing something personal that now that becomes more of a relevant, uh, initiative to you. And so, you know, people’s trends and habits and, uh, what’s the word can’t think of it doesn’t matter. Their passions, you know, they change over time and, and, you know, a lot of that’s dependent on life. I mean, I’m sure, uh, in light of everything happening right now through COVID-19 through a lot of the protests and going on, I’m sure people’s, uh, passions and desires and causes, they want to support are drastically changing. Right. So even, even as we talk today, I mean, I think, um, you know, I think it’s very helpful that you have an organization that people can share thoughts that can share, uh, you know, share their insights because 2020 is probably the weird year for most of us. And, you know, I think every day, you know, in our world, in the accounting world, right, this is the boring stuff, you know, every day we get a new FAQ about the, uh, the PPP loan, right. And, uh, you know, for the nonprofit community, I’m sure, you know, I’m sure there are it’s own, uh, every day something’s happening. So, you know, it’s, it’s really great what you’re doing in that aspect and giving people, you know, not only, Hey, we’re providing you a place to meet, but we’re giving you the tools to maximize that meeting or to, to help, uh, you know, maximize the benefit you’re trying to achieve. So I think that’s that educational component, uh, you know, is definitely a very important part. It sounds like of what you do.

Ashley :
Yeah. It is really important. And we’ve been really lucky to partner with the, with, um, several key communication leaders in our community. We work with several, uh, instructors at Rollins College. We work with a local columnist, uh, Scott Maxwell. He helps us with the coaching. We work with, um, a woman from Disney. We work with someone from the Dr. Phil’s Performing Arts Center, which is, you know, our, our big, um, uh, entertainment complex here. But, um, it is really interesting to me, how many people don’t know how to tell the story of their organization. They don’t know how to share the impact of what’s going on and they don’t know how to cater it to the person that they’re listening to. Um, usually if I meet someone, I’ll talk to them for 20 minutes before I even will mention a nonprofit, because I’m always trying to kind of gauge where their heart is and what type of story, and to your point about a PPP story every day, that’s something I don’t know a lot about, but that is fascinating, right? Teaching nonprofits, how to tell their stories through numbers, you know, it’s okay if you had a bad year, it’s okay. If you had to get rid of a bad employee, but get ahead of it, talk about it. Know, the reasons why, why was it, you know, why was it negatively affecting your bottom line and talk to your donors and the people in the community about it so that we’re all in it together. I mean, people make mistakes, bad things happen. It’s what you do after those bad things happen that is, is a real, um, I think, uh, community builder, I think within an organization.

Brad:
And I think, I think, you know, one thing in there too is, is his intention. Um, you know, I know in listening to very most successful business leaders, most successful nonprofits, you know, it’s okay to try and fail, but it’s a question of where you intentional about the try and did you learn from the fail? And I think a lot of times people don’t necessarily realize what their intentions are or you know, where they focus their time. And if you really take a step back, you know, there’s a lot of things that we do that try and fail, but, but if you’re aimless about it and you don’t have a strategy and you don’t have, and you don’t have a direction or you don’t have a vision with it, you know, you’re, you’re kind of spinning your wheels, you’re, you’re going in a fruitless direction. And so, you know, I think, um, you know, teaching people how to, how to navigate that, I’m sure is probably probably something that, that you do well is, you know, how do you create that vision? How do you, how do you purport that vision that, that makes people believe it?

Ashley :
Well, you know, it’s really interesting because, uh, we will, our season, we really kick off in August and then we work through April and then we kind of take the summer off a little bit with what our strategy and, you know, it’s a few, I’d say two months ago, people were calling me and they were saying, you know, for victory cab, why don’t you focus on the nonprofits that are being effected by COVID-19 or the nonprofits that are on the front lines of COVID-19? And I thought, yeah, we could do that. But February, 2021 is a long way away from now. And then just last week I had someone call me and they said, why don’t we, why does it victory cup focus on nonprofit organizations that are serving people of color or that are dealing with racial injustice? And I thought, yeah, we could absolutely do that. But February, 2021, it’s a long way from here. And I hate to say it, but we don’t know what else is coming. We don’t know what other tsunamis are on the way. So Victory Cup is at a huge crossroad. We don’t really know what the next 12 to 18 months look like. We are financially healthy. So we feel really good about that, but I’m really encouraged next week is our board retreat. And I’m really encouraging our board to spend the next couple months listening, listening to what they’re hearing within their own organizations, listening to what’s going on in the nonprofit community. How can you know, everyone’s telling the nonprofit leaders be creative, be innovative. I mean, if one more person tells me to be creative and be innovative, that’s like someone telling you, tell me something funny quick, tell me, joke, make me laugh. You know? And so, and I think innovation comes over time. So we’re really focusing on it’s like, how do you make being innovative? Seem like it’s so easy. It’s like a really well run event. You make it look really easy, even though you’ve been sweating for six weeks, do you know, putting it all together. So I just bring that up to say that, um, a lot of nonprofits, we’re at a huge crossroad right now. And, um, one thing that we have done really well, and we’re kind of trying to figure out what that means is while we serve the nonprofit organizations, we have a huge following in the, for profit organizations, our events sell out every year. Um, we have a waiting list. Um, I mean, an hour after this year’s breakfast, I probably had six organizations text me that they were in for next year. And it’s kind of during the last, since March 13th is really when Orlando shut down since March 13, I’ve probably had 10 people call me from the victim breakfast and say, Hey, we want to put money on the front lines with organizations who are serving those who are immediately being affected by COVID-19, what should we do? So there’s an opportunity right there for Victory Cup to kind of share our nonprofit evaluation process with other donors in the community to kind of help them pick organizations that align with their mission so that they can, you know, and it’s a great way to build employee morale and increase your employee culture and just get your entire company excited about organizations that you want to support. So that could be something that we do a well.

Brad:
Yeah. I like that. I like, I like, I like the way that you’re thinking, I like the way that you just approach it. I mean, it’s definitely, um, not everybody thinks about it that way, which is, which is good, you know, from your personal,

Ashley :
What do you mean by that? Which way are you, what are you saying?

Brad:
Just the fact that, um, not everybody thinks like, listen, first people like hear something and then they want to do it. I think your approach to it is a lot more, uh, a lot more. We are, we are who we are and we’re not going to change forever around us. However, there may be circumstances that we probably need to pivot to it, but we’re not just going to rush into it. We need to, we’re going to go about it the way we go about it. Right? Like you have a mechanism, a way of going about, uh, even as you said, like the way that you select nonprofits, uh, or the way that you, you think about supporting nonprofits, um, you know, you just mentioned that you have a checklist or an evaluation system of how you, um, view nonprofit organizations. I think, um, not everybody, not everybody thinks that way.

Ashley :
I’m never going to be the smartest person in the room. Never. I’m never going to be the smartest person in the room, but I’m pretty good at finding out who that person is. Or at least I’m good at creating a platform where people feel comfortable sharing their ideas and sharing what they know so that we get – the cream rises to the top, right? So we get the best from the people in the room. I mean, collaboration is something that Victory Cup is really, really good at. And maybe Lena, you could speak to that as well. But I do think that we work. I mean, if you, in my opinion, if you come to a meeting and you don’t participate, then don’t go to the next meeting, right. I want to hear from everyone in the room, no matter what their role is.

Lena:
It’s definitely a very engaged group. Um, and to your point about, you know, tell me a joke. We do are tasked with trying to innovate and still be relevant, right? The Victory Cup now five years old when it started, it was new and innovative and it still is. And there’s constantly the striving for what’s the next thing I’m like, yeah. We have a youth initiative where we have middle school kids from two different schools who actually go out to the nonprofits and make videos that then they share. And part of that premise is teaching children the importance of giving, right? Cause some of that’s been lost, um, and also kind of getting them involved in that system. So there’s, there’s a constant striving for doing something new, keeping it fresh. And how do we continue to raise more awareness and have more exposure for the nonprofits, have more exposure for people to the nonprofits and create a sense of collaboration. So, uh, you know, to actually putting it as a great board and everybody works very well together as engaged and participate, there’s no low hanging fruit.

Ashley:
Yeah. And I’ll talk about the youth initiative just for a minute. I’m glad you brought that up and you know, you, don’t, I’m a mom of a middle schooler. Um, when we started the youth initiative, I wasn’t the mom of a middle schooler, but, um, you know, for years this has like been the weapon, right? This is like what our middle schoolers or high schoolers doing with their phones. What is social media all about? What is Snapchat? I mean, I can’t even think of all the different, different mediums that are on the phone that our kids have access to. That’s really scary. Um, but at the same time, I do have a 14 year old daughter and I think Morgan is 16. And everyone on this planet is marketing to my 14 year old daughter and to Lena’s 16 year old daughter. And if you don’t think they are, then you’re completely clueless. And so we, as a board, a couple years ago, everyone was talking about the millennials and I definitely want to hear what the millennials have to say. And we have millennials on our board and they definitely have a really smart perspective. I’d love, I love listening to different generational leaders, but we kind of agreed. We wanted hear what the high scores think. We wanted to hear what the middle schoolers are thinking because they are the ones who are so much technologically, more advanced than any of us. So we created the youth initiative. So basically we invite, we work with two different middle schools and we invite students to create a one minute, no, uh, is it this year, we upped it a 92nd video, them telling their story of what the nonprofit organization does. And it has been life changing. SeaWorld picked it up our first year. And I think we ended up with 22 students overall. They invited all the students to Sea World for the day. They took them on this backstage pass. They asked the students to create a video, telling the SeaWorld story. Then the students created a video telling what the victory cup experience meant to them. SeaWorld showed it to all of their employees in the state of Florida. We showed it to everyone. And the video in the video, everyone who participate that said at the age of 13 and 14 said, now I know I have the power to make a difference in this world. And I think that’s pretty exciting and that’s to me, innovation, but then to keep it going this year, my daughter actually had the opportunity of participating in the youth initiative. So I was able to kind of dig in deeper as a parent, which is always really interesting. And what I under, what I uncovered is that the videos are kind of dead now, but we need to move into something else. And that as I was interviewing the children and I was around them a lot more hearing, we need to let them decide, what is the medium that you want to use to tell the story of the nonprofit organization? So I’m super excited about where that’s going to go for next year and just to kind of go on for another minute. My daughter and her friend, uh, their organization was called the Center for Independent Living. And here in Orlando, this is an organization that helps adults with disabilities, find a place to live and helps them find a job. And it also helps, um, wherever they are living, be more accessible to whatever needs that they have. So Louise worked with the center for independent living and they help adults with disabilities really just in any way. Um, they have volunteer groups, build ramps. And when she and her friend came home from their very first interview, they were on fire. They, they had no idea about the capabilities of this organization. They were so excited that they were able to like share how this organization was helping people. I mean, at the very end, they said, they kept saying, Chance said this and Chance said this for the next 48 hours, everything my daughter said was, and then she has did this and she answered this and Chance was the employee who worked with the kids at Center for Independent Living. And you know, what chances the development director for the Center for Independent Living. And if Chance is a role model for my 14 year old daughter, I think that’s a, okay. I think that’s totally awesome. And then Catherine, her partner, it was really great because at the very end, she said, I would donate my money to the Center for Independent Living. And so I just thought that was really great. And then of course I called her dad and said, hold onto your wallet. Cause it’s coming.

Brad:
Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I think that, I think that’s an incredible story. And to answer your question, I think it’s TikTok. I think that’s what I think that’s the,

Ashley :
Yeah.

Brad:
You’re not going to get me tick talking, but apparently, you know, creating your own little dance videos and voicing them over is the thing these days. So –

Ashley :
Well, Brad, if you wanted to talk about it now, it’s probably not cool anymore.

Brad:
Oh yeah, no, no.

Ashley :
Or we knew about it now. It’s not so cool.

Brad:
Yeah. Yeah, no, I realize that. Yeah, I’m on Instagram. And the only reason I use Instagram is not for the reason everyone else does. I just share pictures on there. Right. Isn’t that the reason why Istagram was created, it’s now it’s now it’s probably the biggest political platform in the country, so interesting. Right. But anyway, um, so I guess, you know, actually walk us through, I guess a little bit, cause we, we talked a lot about this, but, but not everyone has had the joy or experience of actually being at one of your events. You want to walk us through maybe, maybe, maybe how the day goes or, or, you know, how nonprofits kind of get involved and how it, how it evolves from there, how they get selected as a, as a winner. Maybe, maybe give us a little story about that or to put frame reference to it.

Ashley :
Yeah. So it’s really exciting. We open up our applications in September and so people have 30 days to apply for the victory cup. It’s a very simple application. It’s about 15 questions. And typically every year we get about a hundred applications this past year, we actually had 10 organizations that had applied for the last five years. So we were really excited that one of those made it into the finals. So that was really terrific. And we use an online system for evaluating the actual applications. And this is something really neat that we do back to collaboration and back to connecting business leaders and community leaders and anybody with the work of nonprofits we actually have, what’s called our community evaluators. So starting in August, there’s a team of, well, there are about eight to 10 of us that will work diligently to invite businessmen and women to help us review the applications. So for example, um, Brad, if you were one of our community evaluators, once our application process closes, you would get an email and we would ask you to evaluate anywhere between eight to 10 applications and we give you two weeks to do that. So then at the end of October, we have all, um, all 100 applications have been evaluated at least eight to 10 times by eight to 10 different people. So what that means is this past year we had 85 community evaluators helping us select the final, not 10 nonprofit organizations. And that in itself is a really exciting program. And that’s really our program for business leaders. So when October we host a big breakfast, we invite all our community evaluators in. We inspire them. We share, you know, just a little bit about the nonprofit sector, but we really stress the integrity of our program and the importance of their involvement and how much we need them to help us pick the final 10. And then that’s really neat because then for the next two or three months, they say, you know, my, the, my favorite one didn’t make it, or I didn’t, you know, the one picked to the top. And it is interesting because so many people will say, Oh, I picked the winner. And that’s really, if you look at an almost impossible problem, everyone, we noticed that they pick the winner, but anyways, um, so community evaluators evaluate the applications in November. And then in December we do a debrief where we announced the 10 finalists and we have a meeting where we go over the rules of the competition and then starting in January, we start the training. So we do storytelling training for all 10 nonprofits and everything that we do, each nonprofit has to bring three people from their organization. And we do that because we’re making a huge investment in them. And we know that there is high turnover typically in nonprofit organizations. And so we want our investment to stay with the actual organization. So that’s something that the nonprofits struggle with at first, they’re like, gosh, how are we gonna take three people, you know, out of the office for that event or this training, but as soon as they come to the first event, they’re so happy. They see this is the best team building we’ve ever done. You know, I’m so happy. I got this time out of the office with Lena or Ashley. It was just terrific. And so during January we do the training. We also invite our very top corporate sponsors to any event that we have of the 10 finalists. So if you’ve given $10,000 or more to victory cup, you’re invited to everything that we do because we want to provide a marketing or a networking opportunity for, um, for our biggest benefactor. So that’s really cool. And then at the end of January, we do a dress rehearsal and this is probably the most stressful part of our process. We, um, we have a panel of five liters here in central Florida and the nonprofits have to come in and they have to actually give us their presentation. And this was done two weeks before the actual breakfast. And, um, after they give us their presentation, we give them some extremely constructive feedback, um, about their two and a half minute program. And it’s really tough on the nonprofits. We’re very honest with them, but at the same time, we’re giving them an opportunity to share in front of 500 people. And we don’t want them to mess up right. Again, we don’t want them to be nervous. We want them to put their best foot forward and we want them to get to the podium that morning and feel like I’ve got this I’m ready, you know, and win or lose. I did my best today. And so that’s a really, really exciting part that we do is, is the dress rehearsal. So that’s a, that’s a really big day for us. And then a couple of weeks later, we have the victory cup breakfast. We have a ton of volunteers. We probably have about 40 volunteers help us with the parking lot, directing people to the event. It’s we do it on a college campus at Rollins College, which is in the heart of Winter Park. And we do it on the second floor gym because we needed a space that big. And they said, yeah, they do it for us. So we can’t beat that. You know, that’s fantastic. And the first couple of years I had a DJ that I loved, but now we’ve moved into a string quartet. So we have a string quartet. And, um, you know, another really nice compliment is people just talk about all the leaders that are in the room and that it’s, and I think that’s really exciting because I don’t know who 80% of those people are, you know, I’m, I’m behind the scenes, but you know, lean has got a great table. Greg’s got a great table, Carrie’s got a great table. And so it’s, it’s a lot of really influential people. So that makes it kind of the place to be, which is just a huge blessing for our organization. And Lena, maybe you could talk to that as well. And then we kick off the program, we explain the rules to the audience members. Each organization has two and a half minutes to pitch who they are and how they’re making an impact in our community. And at two and a half minutes, we have a pianist who starts playing music and he plays them off the stage. And, um, when the program is over, it takes about 26, 27 minutes. Thank you to William Smith and Brown. We have a text message voting, um, software that we use that they sponsor. And so we have a team that they stand up, we provide ambassadors for all the guests and make sure that they have their phones and they’re able to vote. And everyone votes and Lena kind of oversees that process. And she lets us know when we’ve got 90% of the crowd has actually voted and it takes about, I would say three to five minutes at the most, more really takes about two to three minutes. And, but we, we hold it open just to make sure. And then as soon as it’s over, we announced the winner. And first, second, third place, first place gets $20,000. Second place gets $15,000. Third place gets $10,000. And this year we were really excited because the other seven contestants got $2,500, but they continue to receive gifts. After that one group received $10,000. The next day, the Christian service center, they’ve got $10,000. The next day family promise, they got $500 next day, initially puppets. They want a grant for $15,000 because of Victory Cup. And then we did have a family foundation in the audience who sent all 10 nonprofits and additional $2,000. So it’s really exciting to see the excitement in central Florida that happens the 30 days after the event. Um, typically their, their fundraising events sell out if they have them in the spring, after our event. And they get, they get a lot of notoriety in our community for the next 12 months for participating in victory camp. So it’s a huge amount of exposure for these nonprofits. And even if they bomb, which they don’t, but even if they get up there and they bomb, they’re still because of the numbers. There’s still five to 10 people that want to go up and talk to them afterwards and say, Hey, you told my story. You know, how can you help my little brother? Or how can you help my grandmother? How can we connect? It’s just a really, really powerful morning.

Brad:
With the, uh, with the, with the presentation. So you said there are two and a half minutes, right? Is there any magic behind the two and a half minutes? I know, uh, like, like for example, like Ted Talks are 17 minutes because there’s this whole psychological component about how that’s the perfect amount of time to share what you have to share. Is there any magic behind the two and a half minutes?

Ashley :
Well, it is interesting when I first had the idea I was in my dad’s driveway and I said, Hey dad, what do you think if we had this lunch? And we invited 20 nonprofits to pitch, you know, but they only had like a minute or two to do it. And my dad said, well, he’s from Kentucky. He said, I think that’s just too much time. I don’t think people have an attention span to hear from 20 nonprofits. Why don’t you do 12? So then we narrowed it down to 10. And the reason why we came up with the two and a half minutes at first, we came up, it was just two minutes. They had two minutes to pitch. What I’m want to tell you. They complained so much that very first year that there’s no way they could do it in two minutes. So I don’t like to say this, but we did kind of get nudged a little bit. So we said we would give them two and a half minutes, but when I get pushed back about the two and a half minutes, I’ll remind everyone that no one’s listening after 20 seconds. No, one’s no one’s reading the third line of your email. No, you know, people are moving fast. People are being pulled in a lot of different directions as a nonprofit leader. You gotta be able to connect, share your mission quickly. And then, you know, is there interest, is there potential for support? If not, you gotta move on. So I think it’s really important if it were up to me, I think we could get it down to a minute. And then when you see the youth initiative videos and you see how much they accomplish in just a minute, it is really, um, it’s inspiring to see that now that as long winded as I have been today, I’m really sorry about that. But, um, I think, I think it’s better to be succinct, articulate.

Speaker 2:
I would agree. No, that’s good. That’s, that’s, that’s good to hear it. I think, um, yeah, it’s always interesting. How, how, like how, you know, this, this is created in evolves, right? Like, you know, you learn what the right amount of time is, or you learn how many people you need to have, you know, all that comes through feedback, it comes through, you know, what’s funny is probably the first gut reaction is probably the right one, right. When you were going to create this, like it’s going to be two and a half minutes, 10 people, and then someone’s like, it should be 25. You’re like, yeah, it should be 25. And then you’re like, man, should be 10 again. You know, like, I feel like, I feel like it’s funny how the evolution like always comes back to like your original reaction of this is what I think. Because for whatever reason, you know, God bestowed, our original thought is the right thought. And then we complicate it by overthinking it, but –

Ashley :
Well, and you know, it’s interesting. I mean, I can think of about, I mean, we’ve worked with 51 nonprofit organizations so far, so, but I can think of about five leaders who throughout the process have said to me, I’m a really good speaker. You know, I speak all the time. I’ve been talking to groups for the last 25 years. And I think to myself, I can’t even hear one word you just said, cause I, I can’t even pay to, like, you’re not a good speaker. Like we want to help you be a better speaker. I don’t being a little Sharky now, but like, it’s like, don’t get too comfortable. I think people get too comfortable and they have a fiduciary responsibility to always be learning and always, you know, trying to be better. And um, I mean, there’s one person, there’s two people in particular that, um, when I called him to let him know that he had a finalist in the victory cup, this is about three years ago.

Speaker 3:
He said, Oh, I’m just walking into this UN meeting. I’m getting ready to present. And I thought, Oh my gosh, we pick someone. Who’s an expert. You know, he’s going to blow everybody out of the water. No, he didn’t blow anybody out of the water. He was probably like ninth or 10th in the voting. He, he was, he did speak a lot and his nonprofit was this amazing organization, but he didn’t know how to connect with the audience. He didn’t know how to ask questions to kind of figure out where people were before he started speaking. He didn’t, it was, it was just really interesting. So, um, but he’s someone who loves collaborating with the other nonprofits. And whenever we talk to him, he comes to every event that we have. And he says, I just love being around the other nonprofit leaders. I learned so much from them.

Ashley :
So he was able to find, you know, what he needed out of Victory Cup.

Ashley:
Yeah. You’re teaching everybody to how to refine what they’re saying. So that as many people that have the opportunity to speak, it opens the doors for clear representation of what they’re doing. So everybody walks away understanding, and their attention has been held. If it’s, if you’re right, if it’s over a certain amount of time, it’s harder to get the message across and kind of let people soak it all in for really what they want to be the message that they want to be getting across. So you’re teaching them that, and then these children that are interacting and involved in that program, they’re probably going to grow up with a different mentality about giving and what it means because they’re involved at a young age too. So across the board, um, it’s about getting the message across and inspiring excitement amongst these organizations.

Ashley :
Yeah, I totally agree. And you know, if I had to think of who, who ends up doing the best to me in any type of presentation or meeting it’s those people who are the most authentic, right? Like it’s okay to say, Hey, I’m nervous or it’s okay to just be yourself and share what’s going on. Um, we had one, one organization called jobs partnership, which is a really neat organization here in town. And they provide job training for a lot of, um, individuals from marginalized communities. And they have this gentleman named pastor Robertson and he hands down was the most popular guy in any of the events that we had, any of the trainings that we, we facilitated. Everybody loved him, but when he would get up to the podium, for some reason, he would get really serious and he would lose his personality. And I kept saying, pastor Robinson, we want to just speak from your heart. Like, you’ve got a great story. You’ve got a great talk, but just speak from your heart. And I was so excited because when it finally came time for him to get up and present, and this was last year when we had, I think we had about 485 people last year, he got up and he got real close to the microphone and he got real low. He goes, she didn’t tell me they were going to be so many people here and the whole place just started roaring laughing. And then he ended up, he proceeded to go and tell this great story about how they had changed this woman’s life when he won second place. And I think he told a great story, but I think he really got everyone out of their chairs and immediately connected to him because he just was real. And we have another woman who she had a woman from Next Step Orlando. And she was a 24 year old paraplegic who had been in a horrible car accident, but her whole life, she was a dancer. And when she got to the, um, when she was on stage and we start the clock, we start the clock when they say their first word. And so her name was Amanda. And when Amanda said her first word, we started the clock and then she blanked out. And for like 15 seconds, she could not remember her next line. And she’s looking and she’s looking and she’s looking and her mom is off to the side and her mom starts walking towards her. And then she goes, boom. And it’s like, she woke up and she went right into her speech. And she said, there, she said, there are hundreds of gyms in this town. And there isn’t one gym for someone like me. And it just brought the house down and everybody started crying. She ended up winning that year. And it was so interesting when we called her name that she won, she was in the bathroom crying because she thought she had done such a bad job because she had missed the first 15 seconds. And so, you know, so much of what we do, whether it’s, you know, work in accounting or help people tell their stories better, or you’re a doctor or you’re a teacher it’s about being authentic, loving others, listening, and just figuring out, Hey, how can I serve those around me? And how can I have those who are at a disadvantaged circumstance who don’t even know about? And I couldn’t even contemplate because of where I am right now. And that’s really what the victory cup is all about. And it’s just been, it’s such an honor to serve these nonprofits and, and hear, hear about the work they’re doing. There is one other thing I want to say. And, um, I just had a really cool moment this past week. I really like it when I get the soundbites from the nonprofits. And I remember them for the rest of my life. And I, I could give you 10 right now from 10 different organizations because they mean so much to me, but there was one, our first year we had the Seminole County, Seminole County legal aid speak, and this young black woman spoke and she was so smart and so articulate. She just knocked it out of the park. And one of her closing statements was an injustice for one is an injustice for all. And I had never heard that. And again, it was like a lightning bolt to my heart. And I thought, that’s it. I get exactly what Seminole County legal aid does. And, and she had told this really great story about helping a young immigrant. And, um, just this past week I was listening to a Ted talk and they were quoting Martin Luther King. And I guess that quote is from him. And I didn’t know that. And again, I just felt like I just felt like it was a really powerful, full circle moment of hearing his words be spoken by her five years ago at this event. That’s one of the most important events of my life that the inaugural Victory Cup. And just to hear that woman using his words was just a really cool moment and connecting all of it together.

Brad:
So what’s next. I mean, you you’ve accomplished so much in five years. I think, you know, your story of just bringing people together is incredible. You know, what, what’s next for victory cup, where do you, where do you want to take it? Where do you, what are your plans in the future?

Ashley :
You know, my goal for Victory Cup is that we have a board of directors that super excited about leading our organization and that super excited about helping us figure out what’s next. And that we have leaders who want to engage in serving nonprofits and want to help us figure, um, what that looks like. Um, there are so many different directions that we could go into. We could go in other cities. You know, our mission statement is to inspire excellence in our community. One story at a time. I love that because I think we could inspire excellence in Birmingham. One story at a time we can inspire excellence in Charlotte, North Carolina, one story at a time. I think we could also really help donors, um, connect with a mission that they care about so that they feel more comfortable to give more and to engage at a higher level. I think that’s kind of a different business route that victory cup could take. I also think we could give away a lot more money while we’ve probably had about 2000 people attend our breakfast. I think we have over 2 million people who live in our city. So there’s plenty more people who should be coming and hearing the stories and hearing about what’s going on. So, um, I hope we just continue to stay focused on service, on love and on excellence, and that we are a resource for people who want to do more and be more to those who are less fortunate.

Lena:
That was a good, that was a good 60 second summary.

Ashley:
Thank you.

Lena:
Maybe we could get it down to a minute. No, that was good. That sums it up pretty well.

Brad:
So where does victory cup need assistance from the public? You know, do you have, does this victory cup, you know, if you were to, to, uh, you know, give your elevator speech of how, how others can get involved, you know, what, what would that be? And, you know, what, what, uh, I guess what would help victory cup have more of an impact than you’re already having?

Ashley :
Well, two things right off the top of my head is if you could encourage nonprofit organizations to apply, if you could encourage them to be a part of the victory cup experience, if you could encourage them to come to our events, you know, there are so few organizations, like we want nothing from them, but for them to be better and grow stronger. So we don’t want them to be discouraged if they didn’t make it one year and they didn’t make it two years in a row, we want them to keep being a part of our community so we can continue to uncover ways to serve them. So we need to do a better job of really marketing ourselves to the nonprofits and to continue them to take advantage of our programs. And then the other thing I would say is if you’ve been to victory couple, couple years in a row, it’s kind of like the old church call, like give your seat to someone else. You know, like if you’ve been to Victory Cup for three years in a row, and you’re not giving away at least $10,000 a year to one of those organizations then finds, you know, invite someone else into what we’re trying to do and invite someone else into the storytelling concept so they can hear about what’s going on and they can, um, be a part of transforming nonprofit organizations in central Florida. So those would be kind of the two things right off the bat. And then, you know, we always are looking for volunteers for our events and then just really strong leaders, you know, um, entrepreneurs. And I love meeting people who have had a business in this community for 10 plus years and saying, Hey, I want you to come to victory cup and hear about, hear about what’s going on. You know, what’s going on all over central Florida that you may not be seeing in your daily commute, or when you take your child to school or when you’re going to church on Sunday.

Ashley :
And do you guys have social media platforms and a website and all that good stuff where people can donate or reach out? Yes, we would love the most talented, innovative, artistic, creative, social media expert to come and call me and volunteer for the next five years and run our LinkedIn, our Instagram, our Facebook. And, um, we will get you a Costco membership and a gift card to Chipotle and Five Guys. And, um, and we would just love some social media. It’s just not a language I speak. And it is so important. It is so important and I get it and it’s, it’s just it’s everything. And so we would love some help in that area.

Lena:
We do. We do have, we do have some.

Brad:
What’s what’s funny is we’re holding a webinar on, I forget what date main actually just selected to have a webinar on, on maximizing social media for your nonprofit.

Brad:
We’ll make sure we’ll make sure you get that. But that Matt who works in our department, in our marketing department, he helps, he helps me. I always, I reached out to him. I reached out, you know, I actually know his, I reached out. I’m like, what do I do with this? I’m the same way. I’m not a, or you’re probably better than I am, but I’m not, I’m not savvy with it the way that you need to be savvy with it. You’re right. I mean, there’s so much, especially with the younger generations. I mean, you know, to some degree, that’s the only that’s their, their first and only source of information is, is, is, you know, this, this guy. So, you know, the more that you can connect with more people, um, it’s just, yeah, we all need to be better.

Ashley :
You know, I’m a solicitor, you know, that’s what I do. I have a company called and I met with a nonprofit. There I go, I need to raise money. We need to do this. And I said, how’s your social media, right? Cause everyone wants to know what’s my social media strategy. And I said, what’s your social media strategy? They said, Oh, we just interviewed someone. But I mean, she wanted $12,000 for a year. I said, grab her. I said, to reach everybody who’s 40 and under like run, don’t walk secure that person. That is an amazing gift to your organization because I respect it. You know, I, I’m not proud to say I’m not good at it. I’m embarrassed that you asked that question actually, because we need to, we need to be really responsible about it. You know, I, I, I feel very strongly about that. I, um, it’s, it’s really, really important.

Ashley:
Yeah. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about it. And like you said, every organization has things that they’re really great at and other aspects that maybe they need a little help with and that’s like anything and everybody, you know, and it’s awesome because social media is basically, I mean, there can be paid ways to, um, get followers and get your message out there, but it’s pretty much free promotion of your stuff that’s going on. So as much as everything’s out there as it is, there’s, there’s always extra help that comes from the promotion that can be done on these platforms. And it’s awesome. And there’s definitely tons of different opportunities for it. But, um, yeah, somebody out, somebody out there will be like, yes, I’m a hundred percent on board. I’m going to help them. Their mission is wonderful. And, and that’s all a part of like where you were saying, you talk about what you do. You talk about your mission and people ends up kind of coming into your world now because they’ve heard about what you do. They want to help. And again, not everybody can be an expert in everything. And that’s okay.

Ashley:
Absolutely. Yeah. I do want to just talk about one other piece of victory cup. Um, one of the key pillars that victory cup is about connecting people to giving. And we really believe that people may or may not give for a couple of different reasons. And I personally believe that people don’t give, because one, it wasn’t modeled for them when they were growing up. Maybe their mom or dad didn’t give or too, um, a lot of giving principals are spiritual. And so some people aren’t spiritual or they haven’t found a practice that they identify with. So there aren’t spiritual teachings about giving that they identify with. Um, the third reason why I think people don’t give. And when I say give, I mean financially, but also of their time, because time for me is my most valuable asset right now. Um, the people don’t give because they haven’t found that one mission that resonates with them a hundred percent with who they are. And at the beginning of our conversation, I talked about over these last five years, there have only been two people who actually said to me, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I don’t think this is going to work. And both people I asked them. I said, as the conversation continued to evolve, I said, if I were to give you $20,000 and you could give it to any organization that you wanted to, who would, what organization would you give it to? Or what cause would you give it to? And when I would hear them explain who they would give it to, I would get to know their heart. Right? I got to know who they were as people, I got to understand where they were coming from and why that cause was important to them. One woman was very passionate about prison reform and about working with, um, people when they get released from prison. You know, that’s a very personal passion, right? There’s a story there. And an, a very important story. Um, the other person really was passionate about not helping foster kids, not helping foster teens, but helping people, children who had made it through traumatic childhoods, but were on their own in their twenties. He was very specific about that. It was about helping children who had, had to traumatic childhoods or had been abandoned in what they were doing in their twenties. He really felt like that population of people had been forgotten. Well, whether or not after my conversation, they’ve supported victory cup or liked Victory Cup or not. I was able to establish a lifelong relationship with those people. And now they’re my friend. And whether they believe in my work or not, I believe in them. And I got to see their heart and I want to be, I want to support them and who they are. And so that’s really what victory cup is about. It’s about exposing people to what’s really going on and then encouraging them to get involved, to give financially, to give through their time, to volunteer or potentially to give a service and something of that same kind.

Brad:
I love where your head’s at on this. And I think, um, as I told you in our initial call, you know, when, uh, you know, if you can just sign the book and send it over to me when you’re done writing, and I think, you know, you have such a great story, such a great background, such a, a powerful message. And, and it’s really the gift that keeps on giving. Right? You know what I mean? You talk about generosity, but, but you know, there there’s a pay it forward concept that you’re talking about that resonates where not only are we not only are we teaching people how to sell their own story, but we’re also teaching those people so they can teach people so that they can teach people. And it seems as though that, that, that gift is exponential and then you’re getting people in front of corporations. So you’re developing a network for them. Uh, you know, there’s so much to what you do, that, that, that resonates and creates this lasting impact that it’s, it’s really inspiring to hear. So, you know, we really appreciate you taking the time with us and sharing your story with us. I think this is definitely, uh, definitely, you know, uh, inspiring to me as well as eye to just hear kind of how you go about it. And, and, um, you know, some of the impact you’ve had already, as well as kind of where, where you’re taking it. I think, I think it’s a, it’s a wonderful organization and a wonderful mission that you have.

Ashley:
Well thank you so much.

Lena:
Thanks guys.

Brad:
Hey warriors, thanks for tuning in. On the next episode of Civic Warriors. We’ll talk with Serena Grecco from People Are There (P.A.T) about raising awareness to mental health issues and being there for your friends, family and community. Make sure to subscribe to Civic Warriors and thanks for all your support. Have a great day.

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