PM360 recently spoke to Greg Cohen, Sr. Manager, Social Media & Influence at UCB, about the personal and professional fulfillment he gets by volunteering.
PM360: We hear you are heavily engaged in volunteering. Can you tell us a little about the groups you are involved with?
Greg: I serve as the President of the Young Atlanta Leadership League for Camp Twin Lakes, which provides life-changing camp experiences to children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges. I even planned last year’s Camp Fest, our major annual fundraiser, which exceeded all fundraising and attendance goals.
I was one of the founding members and serve as the Chair of the Young Professional Leadership Council for the American Cancer Society, which is globally headquartered in Atlanta. We host about 10 events annually, engaging with the next generation of leaders at some of the biggest companies in Atlanta.
Finally, I serve as the Mentorship Chair for the Atlanta chapter of the American Marketing Association. I helped to relaunch the mentorship program last year, and we’ve developed a system of more than 60 mentors and mentees who range from entry-level candidates to presidents and CEOs of large and local companies.
What makes you so passionate about volunteering with these organizations
Overall, I consider myself to have been a very lucky person in life with amazing family, friends and professional mentors to guide me. I’ve dedicated time to these organizations so that I can help others achieve their life goals whether or not they even know what those are yet. It also changes your life as well as your perspective on what’s actually difficult in life when you watch campers—who would normally not be allowed away from parents/caregivers for extended periods of time—build confidence literally before your eyes during activities such as the high ropes course. We always tell people that it’s super easy to be passionate about volunteering once you see the results of your work. On a personal level, I continue to meet amazing individuals who share similar interests. I even met my wife, Lauren, while volunteering with Camp Twin Lakes.
How has your involvement with these organizations evolved over the years?
I’ve definitely moved from a traditional entry level worker in each organization to a more strategic leadership position with different focuses depending on the cause. From a professional standpoint, it allowed me to improve skills such as managing team dynamics and group communication, while playing to my personal passions and making the experience fun. It is easier to develop skills in volunteer situations and later apply them to professional settings where people’s motivations are much different.
Were you inspired by someone to get involved with these groups?
My parents raised me to think of community first. Whether that meant the gift of getting to choose an annual charity to donate money to, or spending time with those less fortunate on certain holidays, I’d say my parents were tremendous role models in developing this passion from the very beginning.