January is National Mentoring Month. Mentoring is close to home for many people, including Commissioner Boyd. One thing you may not know about Commissioner Boyd is that mentoring is something that he is very passionate about. He is involved in several mentoring organizations including Counting Scouting, the Boyd Venture Fund at UT, tnAchieves and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He encourages everyone to get involved in mentoring whenever they have the opportunity. Giving back to your community is a crucial part of making Tennessee the best place to live and work.
In honor of National Mentoring Month, we sat down with Commissioner Boyd to ask him some questions about his mentoring experiences.
1. When did you first get involved with mentoring?
Informally, I think we all mentor in small ways every day. More formally, being a Cub Scout Den Leader for ten years was my first real mentoring role. I followed that by becoming a Boy Scoutmaster for seven years. A leader’s job is to mentor young boys to learn about values, leadership, self-reliance, service to others and a love for the outdoors. For the last eight years I have been a mentor for four to five students per year in tnAchieves, the support organization for the Tennessee Promise. In this role, my task is to insure they complete the FAFSA, register for college and get off to a successful start. I’ve been a mentor and “Big” to Joseph in Big Brothers Big Sisters for five years. Throughout my career in business over the last 25 years I have been an eager mentor to any entrepreneur wanting to start or having started a new business, along with being a mentor to some of my teammates within the company.
2. What made you want to be a mentor?
I have been blessed with many great mentors. My father taught me the value of hard work at an early age and my mother still stresses the importance to always be learning. My first Scoutmaster taught me about leadership and a love of the outdoors. I’ve had a dozen Board members who have taught me countless lessons on how to build and sustain a great company that makes a difference in the world. Now, Governor Haslam has taught me the impact that public service can have. I am indebted to so many for so much, if I dedicate the rest of my life to paying them back by mentoring others, I will still die in debt.