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Q&A With The Tocqueville Society Campaign ChairsDecember 08, 2011
We sat down with 2010 & 2011 Tocqueville Campaign Chairs Roy & Marty Jordan and Vice Chairs Stephen S. & Jan Riven and asked them about their experience.
What was the most unforgettable personal moment for you as a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, Alpha Chapter in 2011?
Steve: What stood out to me the most was a change in spirit and effort that we keep refining at United Way. United Way Campaign Chair Bob Dennis has done a remarkable job leading the charge, not just in running a successful campaign, but also in reigniting a positive change in attitude. His efforts do not go unnoticed in the community.
Roy: It had to be the re-energized leadership of long-time Tocqueville member Ken Melkus and the esprit de corps he created. His excitement was infectious and bled into the overall momentum of 2011’s campaign. I was honored to present Ken a game-winning Titans football at our Fall Leadership Luncheon in recognition of his victorious efforts on behalf of the Tocqueville Society in 2011.
What can you tell your 36 new members to expect from their involvement with the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, Alpha Chapter?
Steve: Most importantly, this United Way runs like a business. We have a high level of professionalism and clear leadership from members like Dr. Frist, Bob Dennis, Ken Melkus and Mayor Dean. The needs in our community are never going away, and we really have the right people in place who all enjoy seeing our partnership with the community get better and better. New members should expect to get called on for their own leadership skills.
Roy: Real Change. Through involvement in the Tocqueville Society, you know you are making a difference in your community. This is the best way to smartly invest your dollars and know you are making the community better. Our opportunities at United Way are exactly in alignment with the mayor’s office and the Chamber.
Even after 30 years, the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, Alpha Chapter, continues to be one of the strongest Alexis de Tocqueville Societies nationwide. What do you think makes our society so special?
Steve: The key is a combination of leadership and performance by members and United Way staff working as partners. They all are passionate about seeing this chapter continue to grow and improve lives in Nashville. It’s a special combination. United Way’s President & CEO Eric Dewey has led the charge with professionalism and has gained the respect of the entire community. Together we are making the biggest impact with our members’ dollars.
Roy: The Tocqueville Society was founded here so roots run deep in Nashville. It’s an amazing opportunity to be in the company of such influential philanthropic founders who’ve set a worldwide precedence of giving. With the common bond of being a member of the Alpha Chapter, there is a level of communication that would otherwise not be possible.
As the number of Next Generation Tocqueville members continues to grow, how do you see that group affecting the overall impact of the Tocqueville Society?
Steve: It is imperative to the future success of the work of the Tocqueville Society to offer opportunities for young leaders to see their impact on the community. Our Next Generation membership provides stepping stones for our city’s future philanthropic leaders and this is unique among all our young leaders groups. The effectiveness of peer group influence is undeniable because young philanthropists attract other young philanthropists.
Roy: The Next Generation group continues the legacy of the Tocqueville Society. Helping the next generation grow into philanthropic leaders is an incredible gift to our community. Our unique match program makes Tocqueville Society membership more accessible to young philanthropic leaders. It also allows them to network with the society’s original founders, which ensures the future success of what we do.
What benefits can be enjoyed by the distinction of a Tocqueville Society membership?
Steve: A commitment to leadership and great successes that rubs off on members. To be a Tocqueville Society member is to be a part of something that’s experiencing huge growth opportunities. We’re helping more people in our community than ever.
Roy: I think the most important benefit is the ability to make a significant impact in our community and continue Dr. Frist’s legacy. Networking and exposure to some of Nashville’s most influential leaders is also huge, not only from a philanthropic standpoint, but also from a business level.