Redefining Upward Mobility with DHG Alumni Partner Craig Anderson

Portrait of Craig AndersonRetired DHG Healthcare partner Craig Anderson has been on the move since the day he left DHG in 2014 – and now he’s helping the less fortunate get moving as well. We talked with Craig from the shop floor of Mobility Worldwide, where he is volunteer president of the organization’s Cleveland operation.

What is Mobility Worldwide?

We’re a not-for-profit organization that makes and delivers three-wheeled, hand-cranked carts for people in third-world markets who are leg-disabled and cannot walk or otherwise move about. Many of these people have spent their entire lives, quite literally, living in the dirt. They are frequently destitute and often treated as social rejects.

What is your role there?

Worldwide Mobility produces some 8,000 carts per year in 22 U.S.-based shops and two in Africa. I manage the Cleveland facility where we make about 800 carts a year. Our 100% volunteer workforce includes retired schoolteachers, lawyers, airline pilots … there’s even a 93-year old man who comes in every single day.

How did you become involved with Mobility Worldwide?

I’ve known about Mobility Worldwide for some time and occasionally provided financial support. However, for Christmas of 2016 my daughter made a contribution in my name that essentially paid for the construction and delivery of one cart. As part of the gift, I was invited to the shop to affix a sticker with my name onto the cart. As soon as I arrived, I knew this is what I needed to do. I came back the very next day and started sweeping floors. Six months later, when the shop president retired, I was asked to step in. I’ve been here full-time ever since.

How has this impacted you, personally?

When someone gets a cart, their whole world changes. Children get to go to school. Adults get to go to the market. I know a man who makes charcoal, drives it in his cart several hours to market, and is now able to support his wife and three kids. When you retire, I believe that you need to ask how you can give back to society. And this lets me do that – it’s energizing, purposeful and rewarding like nothing I’ve ever done.

Let’s talk about your time at DHG. How did you come here in the first place?

I started with EY in Boston in 1976.  I then relocated to Cleveland to lead EY’s healthcare consulting practice. After retiring in 2000, some friends and I formed Charis Healthcare, a healthcare consulting organization focused on physician practices.

Charis evolved to the point that, to provide sustained career paths – which was fundamental to our culture – we had to significantly grow or merge. Several big players wanted to acquire us, but they didn’t have the people-first culture we desired. When my partner, Kevin Locke and I met the DHG team, we were immediately enamored with its culture. It was a great fit as we were able to dovetail our consulting capabilities into DHG’s healthcare practice which, at the time, was primarily focused on audit, tax and reimbursement services. We joined forces in 2014 and viewed it as a merger made in heaven.

What did you enjoy most about your time at DHG?

Collaborating with leadership during the Dixon Hughes and Goodman merger was truly a wonderful experience. Working with amazing people to develop our mission, vision and culture … and putting in ink the guiding principles that helped make DHG what it is today – that’s something I will always treasure.

Who are some of the DHG people who most influenced you?

I’m truly indebted to Matt Snow (CEO) for his leadership. Edward Stall (retired partner) taught me you can be an executive and caring human at the same time. And I was privileged to work side by side with Larry Hughes for two years before he passed of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Larry showed me what it means to live – and die – with purpose. He really changed who I am.

Other than Mobility Worldwide, what else have you been doing in retirement?

Due to not being able to see my grandkids due to COVID-19, I’ve been writing a book, The Covid Chronicles. It’s about a mouse named Thomas and his adventures with a cast of characters, each modeled after one of my 11 grandchildren. It’s been a fun way to keep us connected. Spending time with my growing family has been a priority. In 2018, we took a family trip to Hawaii. There were 21 of us, including my wife, Nancy, our four adult children and their spouses and all our grandchildren.

I’m also doing some motivational speaking and leadership consulting, all of which benefits Mobility Worldwide.

What advice do you have for future DHG alumni?

Think about all the capabilities you have to make a difference in world. We’re all here a designated number of hours and days. It’s human nature to put your feet up and relax, but I challenge everyone to contribute. Find out what you’re passionate about and once you figure that out, jump in with both feet. Don’t wait, do it now and do it significantly.

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