Dan Robison is the recipient of our 2016 DHG Community Impact Award, an award he received for the work he is doing to make a difference in his community of Dallas/Fort Worth. In this podcast we get a glimpse at the amazing work Dan is doing with the Boy Scouts, among other organizations, and how he is able to achieve career goals while sharing time and energy with his community.
AGH: Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of our DHG Podcast series. I'm Alice Grey Harrison, your host, and I love this venue because we get to hear from our people about the things that matter the most to them; their careers, flexibility, and of course, stories about our people. Today I have with me Dan Robison, who is the recipient of our first Community Impact Award. We introduced this award back in January and the competition ran from January through July. The award is basically given to employees who have given their time to the community and logged their hours through our DHG Gives website. Dan is an amazing community contributor through his work with the Boy Scouts and several other organizations and causes. So without further ado, I would like to introduce Dan, and get a glimpse at the work he's doing for his community. Welcome, Dan!
DR: Hey, thanks. I'm glad to be on here.
AGH: Awesome. Okay, so tell me about the work that you do for your community.
DR: All right. So some of the things I'm passionate about are giving back to the community and finding different ways that I can help those in the area I live. One area that I give a lot of time back to is Boy Scouts. I'm the Scoutmaster of troop 3735 over here in Fort Worth, Texas, and with the troop we end up doing a lot of outdoor activities, we do a lot of community service. I spend a lot of time with the boys helping them grow, progress and develop leadership skills. Really, one of the big things with that is it's a service organization as well. For boys to advance, they have to find community service projects, and throughout the year, I help the boys come up with different ideas, come up with different projects that they want to do. And ultimately in the end, for an eagle project they have to develop their own project, lead people, and help change their communities. For example, one of the things that we're doing in our community this weekend is taking the boys out and there's a non-profit that we've connected with that we're going to help paint houses for a few hours on Saturday morning to give back to the community for those people that need it. So really, the things that I do, it's a wide range and that's what I really love about giving back to Boy Scout, is you're working with boys, you're working with the community, you're helping develop leaders for the future.
AGH: That's terrific. I think it's quite amazing the amount that you're able to give back and at the same time continue to progress in your career by providing excellent client service to your clients. So what do you do for DHG?
DR: So I'm a senior associate over here in the Fort Worth office and I work in the dealership service group, so I'm on the insurance side and so I help out with audits and reviews.
AGH: So, I know the dealerships group, they're pretty intense. How do you manage meeting performance expectations here at DHG, now new family obligations — Dan's a new dad — and your volunteer work?
DR: I think it really just comes back down to creating a great team around you. At work, I know what I have to get done, my managers know what I have to get done, and so when it comes to the week I have to plan and organize my week accordingly. If I know I have a Scout camp out during the upcoming weekend, I know that there's work I need to get done before Friday comes to make sure that I can go and help those boys out on that camp out. It's also communicating. I think that's one thing that's very important in this whole process is making sure you're communicating enough. Whether it's with your managers, your partners, they know that I'm a Scoutmaster, they know that that's important to me. They know that I'm going to get my work done, but they know that I need to leave on certain Fridays to get out so I can take the boys camping. Now, in my personal life, I have to have the support of my wife. She supports me wholeheartedly as a Scoutmaster, knowing that there are going to be times where I will be busy at work, busy with Scouts, and that there will be times that I'll be able to have time at home. I just have to communicate and let her know that, "Hey, this is what we have going on," and without her support it wouldn't be possible. Then with the new son, that's something I'm working with right now, but I think it's a benefit overall volunteering because it makes me a better person, makes me a better father, and helps me develop those attributes that will help raise him to be a better man.
AGH: Wow. That's awesome, Dan. I couldn't agree with you more on that. So why do you think it's important that DHG has a community impact award each year?
DR: You know, as I received this award I was thinking, "What's the value that it's going to bring to our firm?" I think we have a great firm and we have so many people doing so many great things in the community that I think it's important to recognize those people for the value they're bringing, not only to their communities, but also showing that they're adding their Life Beyond Numbers, that they're finding ways that they get enjoyment out of life, outside of work. I think, as people see the value in this award that, "Hey, there's value in giving service, there's value in giving back to those around us," that it will get more drive, more people giving. I find that when I take time and focus on other people, I'm a lot happier. When I'm sucked into what I'm doing on my own, that sometimes I get more selfish and I get more self-centered and I'm not as happy. But when I'm helping other people, that really brings joy into my life. So for this award, I think it'll drive some of the offices to grow and give more back. I know that DHG gives so much with the canned food drives. Whenever there are natural disasters, it seems like there is always someone quick to start a fund to help donate to those in need. I think it just helps drive people to serve more and look for those ways that they can help their communities and that we can be a better part of the communities in which we work and live.
AGH: Yeah, I totally agree. When we started talking about this award, it just, it was really exciting for me and really great to help elevate the way giving is perceived in the firm. Not that it really needed that, because DHG really does live it's values and give back in so many ways. But this is just another way to highlight and share in the success of our people. So if I were listening to this, feeling inspired, which I absolutely am, what advice would you give someone to select the right volunteer opportunity?
DR: You know, there are a lot of different opportunities out there. The most important thing is something that you're passionate about. Something that when you think about your time out of work, what would you want to spend your time doing? Because you don't want it to be a drag that you have to go do this after work, or that you're going to have to give up your Saturday, instead of doing what you want to do, but helping others. It has to be something that you're passionate about, something that gets you going, that makes you want to give back and that you look forward to, that you'll re-organize your day so that you can have that time to give back. It's really just a self-reflection and figuring out what you really want to do, what strikes a chord with you? For me it's Boy Scouts because that impacted my life so much as I was growing up. I was a Boy Scout, became an Eagle Scout, and learned all those skills. I had Scoutmasters who sacrificed so much to help me become a better man. So there are so many organizations out there that need people to help, that need on a daily basis. So I would invite those people to find ways to give back. Find something you're passionate about, even if it's a few hours a month, and you'll feel so, so good about the work that you do.
AGH: Well, Dan, I would say that you are truly an example to all of us and represent DHG so well. We're lucky to have you on our team. Thank you for taking time out of your day to share your story with us.
DR: Oh, I appreciate it. Thank you.
AGH: Thank you everyone for listening to Life at DHG, our premier podcast series. If you like what you just heard, we hope you'll tell your friends and colleagues. Be sure to check out our DHG blog for more great stories about our Life Beyond Numbers. Join us next time for another edition of Life at DHG.