26 Oct When BUSINESS & PERSONAL Meet for the Nelson Family
As program manger for Invesco’s Global Thought Leadership, Stephanie Valentine coordinates ‘‘the smart thinking in the company” so content is globally coordinated while allowing for regional nuances.
Senior Managing Director, Andrew Schlossberg, decided North America should adopt a charity annually. He observed first hand how successful this model was while leading the European division. He put the idea in motion when he returned to the Atlanta headquarters.
Employees also have the opportunity to support local charities based on their interests through Invesco Cares in multiple U.S. cities.
By popular vote, Ronald McDonald House Charities won. “I’m honored that my story may have played a role in colleagues selecting RMHC as the charity of the year,” says James Nelson, head of U.S. Institutional Product Strategy & Development and Atlanta RMHC Advisory Council member.
James was one of those families. As an Advisory Council member for Atlanta RMHC, he has done the usual things such as volunteering at the House and inviting the President & CEO to speak to Invesco Cares. “While I was motivated to help a good cause through encouraging my colleagues to join me in volunteering, cooking meals, and donating resources, my connection was not personal yet.”
His perspective changed when his college-age son Jayden was diagnosed with lupus. Jayden’s first stint in the hospital lasted 100 days, with him battling for his life as lupus attacked his entire body, shutting down his organs. “We almost lost him three times. My son was fighting for his life, and I wanted to be next to him whenever possible.”
James’ daily routine became driving from McDonough, to work in Atlanta, spending as much time with Jayden as possible, before driving back home. When he fell asleep while driving, he knew something had to change. The Advisory Council member became a beneficiary of not just a room but a haven at the Ronald McDonald House.
“The House gave me rest. I could walk to see Jayden, and the drive to work was only 15 minutes. That was a game changer.”
James also enjoyed a “bunch of other good things” the House provided. “I didn’t have to worry about food and could talk with people who could relate. That’s all
great. But the peace of mind knowing I could see my son every day —that was huge.”
Jayden now lives on his own and manages his lupus symptoms while adjusting to adulthood and his new normal.
James willingly tells his story of the Ronald McDonald House with his hard-earned new perspective. “I am honored to do it because of what the organization did for me. Mine will be a lifelong commitment to this organization.”
Invesco recently extended its one-year commitment to two. While the company donated funds, and its volunteers helped in whatever ways they could, the pandemic prevented activities in the Houses. Invesco looks forward to more opportunities to serve now that COVID restrictions are being lifted.
“We are excited to spend more time at the Houses,” Stephanie says. “But we understand the sensitivities of the families and children receiving care. That’s our number one priority.”