Career portraits and interviews collected from the frontlines of fundraising.
Left to Right: Graham-Pelton CEO Elizabeth Zeigler, Brian Crockett, and Graham-Pelton Executive Vice President Pat House.
Virginia Military Institute Foundation
I left the computer sales business in Manhattan to help others the way they had helped me when I was a student-athlete and scholarship recipient at Rutgers University. I started my fundraising career raising money for intercollegiate athletics and I relished the unique opportunity to motivate, inspire, and encourage others to provide financial support for deserving young men and women.
When I think about the tough times throughout my life and career, I’m reminded that I would tell my colleagues to focus on what was really important – usually that means reflecting on your core values. It also means reflecting on relationships developed, and how they evolve over time and ultimately become even more powerful. An example of this is my relationship with Elizabeth Zeigler [President and CEO, Graham-Pelton] and Pat House [Executive Vice President, Graham-Pelton]. That’s why I wanted to share this photo of the three of us. What started as a consulting relationship has evolved in ways I could have never imagined. It’s a reminder that you never know what is in store or who will be woven into the fabric of your life.
I also believe in a plan. Create one, believe in it, stick with it. Right now, my plan has been to check in with all my friends and family, pray that everyone is healthy and safe, and to use this as a way to unite people across geography, identity, and more in a common effort, to make things a little better in spite of tough circumstances.
As much as I believe in a plan, I also try to live each day as it comes and in the spirit of those no longer with us, whether that’s working with my horses on my equestrian farm, showing my 1969 GTO Judge, or drag racing at the speedway. I always encourage those I mentor to spend time each day thinking about where they are going yet to never forget that if where they are is where they want to be, they don’t need to go any further.