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Employee Spotlight – Giving Back With The Carters

April 25, 2012

I recently joined Bill.com as the Director of Training, and am BrandonCarterCenterreally excited about helping to transform the world of financial services with our unique cloud-based cash management platform. One of the reasons I joined Bill.com was because of a meeting I had with our CEO René Lacerte. He expressed to me Bill.com’s vision of creating a culture where each of us can not only contribute to the bottom line, but also contribute to making the world a better place. It was important to him that we have a shared value system that put not only our customers first, but our communities as well. That message resonated with me, and as a person who has made a career helping others improve their performance and their lives, it’s vitally important to me that the work I do give back to the community and the world. I’d like to take a minute today to share with you an organization I’m affiliated with that really is trying to make a positive change in the world: The Carter Center.

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn and is in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A non-governmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts, advancing democracy and human rights, preventing diseases, improving mental health care, and teaching farmers to increase crop production.

My involvement with The Carter Center began in 2007, when I met with a couple of volunteers who were local to the Bay Area, and were asking me questions about social media and how they could get started with a Facebook page. I dug a bit deeper, and decided to get more involved with the work they do. I joined the Ambassador’s Circle, which is a group of Carter Center volunteers who help guide and direct specific aspects of the Center’s work.

If you step back and look at some of the accomplishments the Carter Center has made, you’d quickly realize how much impact the organization has had throughout the world:   
       
● Observing 90 elections in 36 countries to help establish and strengthen democracies.
● Teaching techniques that have helped more than 8 million small-scale farmers in 15 African nations to double or triple grain production.   
● Furthering avenues to peace in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda, the Korean Peninsula, Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Middle East.       
● Strengthening international standards for human rights and the voices of individuals defending those rights in their communities worldwide.               
● Advancing efforts to improve mental health care and diminish stigma against people with mental illnesses.

Since my involvement with the Carter Center began, I have had the pleasure of traveling to the Atlanta offices several times to meet with organizers and donors and help to explain and discuss the Center’s peace programs with visitors. I’ve been fortunate to meet with Mr. and Mrs. Carter as well, and even became friends with Mr. Carter’s Navy bunkmate! I find the work I do with the Carter Center to be rewarding and fulfilling because it exposes me to a wide cross-section of local, national, and international issues facing people all over the world.

One program that I try to be as involved with as I can is the Center’s Americas Peace Program. In 2011, the Americas Program held a Dialogue Forum with influential citizens from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and the United States. Over the course of several meetings, the group was able to recommend ways to improve cooperation and provide a report on drug policy in the Andean region.

Although all the programs supported by the Center are important, I find the Health Programs to have the most direct and positive impact on the people the programs serve. The Center leads campaigns to halt diseases like the Guinea worm. The Guinea worm disease is a painful and debilitating condition caused by a waterborne parasite. Through use of simple tools like health education and fine mesh filter cloths to strain infective larvae from drinking water, cases of Guinea worm disease have been reduced more than 99.9 percent since 1986, from 3.5 million to fewer than 1,100 in 2011. We are also working on eliminating river blindness, blinding trachoma, and lymphatic filariasis.
               
The Carter Center helps families around the world fulfill their potential and lead healthier lives. I’m proud to be involved in the great work the Center is doing. I’m also proud that all of us at Bill.com find it important to give back to our communities, and the world in which we live!

Brandon Carson
Director of Training
Bill.com

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One Comment
  1. Love it! What a great way to give back. The impact carries on for generations. Very cool.

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