Thursday, January 19, 2012

Take Five: Pablo More (Orlando)

Originally Posted: 1/24/2010
Pablo More, president of BDPA Orlando chapter, is part of the new generation of leadership on the National BDPA Board of Directors. BDPA Orlando is the 21st largest chapter in the nation.

Pablo is one of those rare leaders who walks the walk. He has many ideas about ways that BDPA can improve ... and he volunteers his time, talent and energy to see those ideas implemented on both a local and national stage.

I'm pleased that Pablo agreed to participate in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I first came into contact with BDPA through the BDPA Boston Metrowest chapter where I met Edwin Sapp (Aflac) and Tim Wilson (T.A. Wilson & Associates) at a Harvard University function in 1997. I was not very active in the chapter due to my full-time work and school schedule.

    I searched out BDPA when I moved to down to Orlando, Florida in July 2006. I found Bessie Peoples (Disney) and attended program meetings hosted by BDPA Orlando chapter. BDPA Orlando Chapter had about 3-4 program meetings a year at that time, typically one per quarter. Also to the general public the chapter was stagnant since there was not a whole lot of activities taking place.

    BDPA Orlando had a good team of committed folks, like Bessie and Jimm Middleton (Disney), who wanted to revive the chapter. Other leaders in the community who wanted to rejuvenate the chapter included Tonya Farquharson (Lockheed Martin), Glenn Brown (Lockheed Martin), JC Walker (Valencia Community College) and Haki Nkrumah (Umoja Consulting Group). I was a general member for my first two years in Orlando. I became chapter president in December of 2008 took over leadership and attended my first NBOD quarterly board meeting in November 2008.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - The most rewarding aspect for me is the opportunity to give back and see the results of those efforts. One of the best jobs that I had was that as a volunteer instructor for a neighborhood community center in Roxbury, MA where I taught a class of 25-30 students ranging in age from 25-75 on computer literacy. This was a night class held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from January thru May after work for two (2) hours.

    I felt more excited and got more nourishment from teaching that class after work than anything I did during the day at work. The reason being is that at work all your efforts and productivity goes to projects having to maintain or improve systems, reduce costs and increase profits. There is no human element factored in, you do not get to see how your work improves the quality of life or gives back to humanity.

    BDPA helps to fill the void that exists when you ask yourself, what good have I done? Whom have I helped? How can I give back to my community?

    A carpenter can see the fruits of his/her labor in that which he/she builds. A teacher can see the impact he/she has in the progress of their students. I am an IT professional. I need to see the fruits of my labor and know that it's had an impact beyond a company's bottom line.

    I believe the BDPA motto taking people from "classroom to the boardroom" provides us with a means to educate and give back to our communities, work with like-minded peers, grow professionally and stay connected and rooted in a cause that is bigger than just one of us and will have an impact beyond one's single life since we exists to establish and leave a legacy.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - There are many defining moments in my life but one that had a big impact was the death of my father and grandmother in 1996 ... less than three months apart. I loved them both but did not really appreciate them as much until they were both gone. I did not get to learn about my father's history from my father or my grandmother's history from my grandmother. There were opportunities before their deaths but there was always a "next time" in my mind.

    I learned more about my father at this wake then I did when he was alive. There were many people that came from all over to testify at his wake and pay their respects and say thank you. He helped so many and I did not know. I found that my sense of activism comes from him. He came from Havana, Cuba in the 1960's and worked to establish a life here in the states.

    My grandmother was born in southern Chile and was such a blessed soul, very religious and so very helpful and kind.

    I learned to appreciate the here and now, recognize that tomorrow is not guarantee to no one. Capture the history of your family do not wait, show love, understanding and appreciation always. Roots and culture is so very important!
  4. Who is your hero and why? - My mother is my hero since she has grounded me and kept me focus on what is important in life. I came to this country from Chile with my mother back in 1978. We were welcomed by a huge blizzard with record snowfall that was hitting the Northeast at the time. My mother who only had a high school education is one of the wisest persons you will ever meet. She stressed education, discipline and hard work. She would always say remember where you come from an appreciate the opportunity that exists here in the U.S., take advantage and do the best that you can. We recognized that as immigrants nothing can compare to where we came from where running water, electricity, even a phone was a luxury that few had in the small town in Southern Chile. My mother took night classes to learn English and lead by example and she enrolled me in school. I can never thank my mother enough for all that she has done. I love her and appreciate her and recognize because of her actions and the lessons that she has taught that I need to do better and give back.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - We are not alone in this world. We each have someone whom has helped us along the way. There is always someone whom is having a more difficult time, that can be helped by giving whether it be your time to a local BDPA Chapter as a volunteering or mentor, or to help with a program OR giving a donation to BETF. No donation is too small.

    We must recognize that there are many people whom are trying to achieve what you have ... an education, a job, a career ... and just need help. Please pay it forward today, do not wait. Do the following: (a) Donate to BETF; (b) get active in your local BDPA chapter; and (c) thank someone who has helped you. It is never too late to show appreciation.

    We are not alone in this world. Let us each work to make a difference and leave a legacy that makes us proud.

This blog encourages its readers to use the COMMENTS option to share their thoughts on these interviews. Pablo shared some personal insights ... I hope that you share some BDPA-love in return.

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