“Paying it forward” is something most of us embrace as parents, grandparents and in some cases even great-grandparents (as in my case). It’s also something we as businesses should hold dear. Whether our work involves keeping our earth healthy for future generations, paving the way for creative expression or helping to educate our youth, investing in the future for our children should be a personal and business driver. Not only is it the responsible thing to do, it’s the way we make a difference. It’s also how we build on our experience and pass it on.
The Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association (DPHA) Council of Fellows, of which I am a member, took this mantle when in 2008, we created a Scholarship Foundation for the education of children of the industry. The Scholarship Foundation honors the memory of all industry leaders with two scholarships that are presented each October at the Annual DPHA Conference. Candidates must complete an extensive application which includes information on honors, sports, extracurricular activities, as well as an essay on “why I should be considered for a DPHA Fellows Scholarship.” Last year we had 13 applicants, and, as one of the judges vetting submissions, I was in awe of the hyper quality of scholastics and activities shared by the applicants. All 13 of the students were exemplary, and as representatives of the current generation, give me confidence about the future.
In the years since the inception of the Foundation, the Fellows have built a Scholarship Fund valued at about $130,000. Corporations, companies and individuals have made tax deductible donations to a 501c fund, managed by a wealth management advisor, in conjunction with Jim Babbitt, Executive Director, DPHA, and several DPHA Fellows who are responsible for vetting the applications and choosing the scholarship recipients. The vetting process is an awesome experience. Knowing we can make a difference in the lives of these talented individuals is powerful stuff.
Being both a good industry citizen and personally devoting time to advancing the causes of others, makes for a healthy balance in our work and our personal lives. As you review your opportunities to make a difference, and the luxury of being able to do so, I hope you will keep the DPHA Fellows Scholarship Foundation in mind. I nnow you’ll want to help.
- Ken Rohl, Chairman/Founder