To see the FULL list of SBA Finalists, click here.
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
Loudoun Youth has gotten to where it is today thanks to a great deal of determination from a small group of volunteers who bought into the idea that forming a not-for-profit who had a primary focus on bringing the community together in support of our youth was a great idea. They brought together government, not-for-profits, corporations, individuals and youth throughout the county in an effort to make sure there are great programs to empower, lead and connect the youth. They understood that putting forth thousands of volunteer hours and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for these types of programs would prevent and reduce an immeasurable amount of known risks to our youth population. They put into action the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Over the years, more and more youth recognized that the programs were not only educational and beneficial, but they were also interesting, fun and a meaningful experience that they will likely remember for decades to come. The Youth Advisory Council, Loudoun County Parks and Recreation, Loudoun County Public Schools, the Loudoun Chamber, AOL, The Wellness Connection and many others joined and strengthened their partnerships with Loudoun Youth over the years increasing the reach and quality of the programs we offer. Those partnerships also allow us to stretch every dollar received from corporations, foundations and individuals to make the biggest impact possible in the community.
After 10 years in service to the County, that dedicated group of volunteers at Loudoun Youth decided it was time to hire their first full time employee in 2015. Since then, the added focus of this paid position has enabled us to once again expand our reach creating new and deeper partnerships and programs that will benefit thousands more youth every year into the future.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
It would mean so much to Loudoun Youth Inc. to be recognized by the Chamber and the business community in this way. It would help validate in the public’s mind that our programs are so much more than fun activities to keep the kids “busy” or out of trouble. It would be recognizing that over a decade of dedicated volunteerism and activism on behalf of the County’s youth is paying off with County-wide recognition that we are indeed contributing to the efforts of making Loudoun County the best place to live, work and play…and grow up!
3. If you weren’t running your own business, what would you be doing?
If I were not volunteering to run this not-for-profit, I would be spending some additional time at home with my family.
4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?
Unfortunately, I don’t really have much time at all for books. My reading consists of trade magazines and online articles related to the health insurance industry.
5. What is your favorite app (computer/phone)?
The Fitbit app has been very enlightening for me over the past year. It has helped me increase my physical activity, improve my eating habits, get more sleep and lose weight.
6. If you have 24 hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
Being addicted to volunteering, I would likely try to catch up on various projects for Loudoun Youth, Boy Scouts or one of the teams I coach. I would also clean the house and or garage a bit.
7. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
Taking the time to build relationships and being helpful whenever possible has paid the greatest dividends.
8. What did you want to be when you grew up? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
A teacher. I have always loved learning and I love sharing things I have learned with others, especially with our youth and younger professionals.
9. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
John Wolff’s business successes, wisdom and his very genuine giving heart has had a great deal of influence on me over the past nine years.
10. What is your favorite thing about living/running a business in Loudoun County?
The sense of community is tremendous within the Chamber and within the not-for-profit communities. They make it an absolute joy to live work and play in Loudoun County!
Thanks, Jared Melvin, of Loudoun Youth, Inc., and congratulations on your nomination!
Click here to see all of the “Meet the Finalists” posts.
We will be continually posting them as the event approaches.
The 22nd Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards is Friday, November 4th! Register Here