Learning to find solutions: A DelVal alumnus takes his education into the community
Posted on February 7, 2014 by Jamie Haddon '95, President & Chief Executive Officer of The United Way of Bucks County.
I was the high school senior that guidance counselors worry about: bright, full of potential – and slowly becoming way too apathetic.
Luckily, that changed when I got to Delaware Valley College. The student to teacher ratio was so low that “coasting” wasn’t an option. There was accountability both in and out of the classroom. There was a sense of community. There was a deeply held belief that doing the right thing matters, and that it is up to each of us to “be the change.”
Today, I am United Way of Bucks County’s President and CEO, and my organization touches more than 1 in 10 lives in our community.
I owe a lot to my college experience. Here are some of the ways in which Delval shaped my life:
Knowledge: My classes at Delval were not about rote learning. They were about learning how to find solutions. This is a very particular kind of knowledge that adds tremendous value in the “real world.”
As a CEO, I tap into this knowledge daily. My mission is to tackle the biggest issues facing our community by uniting the people and organizations with the passion, resources, and expertise to find the right solutions.
The knowledge I gained at Delval allows me to be a solution-oriented leader.
Experience: The scholar Warren Bennis says, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Very true, but learning how to translate your vision takes experience. Bottom line: Leadership takes practice. I got that practice – that experience – at Delval.
Today, I am fortunate enough to be a leader at my organization and in our community. I was proud and humbled to be named one of Bucks County’s Top 10 “Movers & Shakers” this year.
Becoming involved with student government at Delval gave me the experience needed to translate vision into reality.
Compassion: My work today requires a broad range of knowledge, abilities, skills, and experience. It also requires a high level of compassion.
My time at Delval helped me to become a more compassionate and humble leader. I was always impressed by how people treated one another – students, administration, faculty. We were (and are) on the same team. It’s a team that chooses to make a difference, to build community, and encourages each and every member to follow his or her passion.
Jamie Haddon ’95
President & CEO of The United Way of Bucks County