Each year, United Way Emerging Leaders honor five community leaders for their commitment to the Milwaukee area through their Philanthropic Five awards. In 2014, the winners were Griselda Aldrete, Jon Donahue, Anne Martinelli, Derek Mosley & Joe Villmow. We asked them about the best career advice they had ever received and what they would like to share with the next generation.
What is the best advice you have ever received that has helped you both professionally and personally?
Griselda: Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed. That is advice that I follow in my personal life and with mentors.
Jon: Be humble in all that you do. Life is a long lesson in humility.
Anne: Be true to yourself. There are a lot of people who want to dictate what the right thing is. For me, spending time one-on-one and just listening to what that person in front of me has to say, and doing what I know is right regardless of questioning and sticking to that.
Joe: Find out what your strengths are; play to your strengths. What’s your weakness? Find someone who has that as one of their strengths and learn from them. That’s how you grow. Surround yourself with successful people.
Derek: The best advice I have received came from my mother. In fact, I have it on my bench in the courtroom. She told me, "to the world, we are just one person, but to one person, we can be the world."
Do you have any advice, or wisdom, that you want to share with the next generation of youth in our community?
Griselda: Get involved. You have to step outside of your comfort zone, look at what the needs are for our city if you want to create change.
Jon: Focus on your passions. You get out what you put in.
Joe: Dream big, write a personal mission statement, then figure out how to accomplish it. Ask questions. And network.
Derek: My advice: it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.