BLI Graduation Year: 2011
Phillip A. Ginter, LMSW, MPA
United Way of Broome County
Director, Community Impact & Engagement
Tell us briefly about yourself and please update your classmates on your personal/professional experiences since graduating from BLI: Since graduating from BLI I have continued to work at the United Way where my focus is on building the capacity of local nonprofits to bring about lasting positive change in our community. However, it is in my personal life I have had the greatest accomplishment since graduating from BLI. In December of 2013 my partner and I became foster parents and on November 24, 2014 we finalized the adoption of our two children, Travis (5) and Jude (1).
Favorite books/movies: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed has become my new favorite book. OK, so it’s not the most intellectually stimulating read but after a long day at work there is nothing I look forward to more than sitting down with my daughter to read and act out Five Little Monkeys. I also enjoy books by John Maxwell and appreciate his insights on leadership and communication. In particular, his book 360 Degree Leader, is a must read and can help anyone regardless of their position in an organization learn how to exert leadership and create change.
Of course, as a child who grew up on the original Star Wars I am eagerly awaiting the release of Star Wars Episode VII and the return of the original Star Wars cast.
Current and Past Notable Civic Activities: For the past five years I have served as a member of the Broome County Youth Bureau Advisory Board. I have also served on various national committees for United Way Worldwide on volunteer engagement.
Interests/Hobbies: I enjoy spending time reading and playing with my kids. When they’re in bed I enjoy getting caught up on the television series Walking Dead, listening to acoustic folk-American music, and reading. I’m looking forward to building our swing set this summer and spending warm sunny days playing in the yard.
How did your BLI experience change your perception of the community? I am a lifelong resident of Broome County yet I was amazed at how much I didn’t know about the community I call home. From the extensive agricultural presence to the growing arts community and high tech innovations, our community not only has a rich history but a bright future because of the people who make Broome County home.
How did your BLI experience motivate you to become more involved in the community? For me, it wasn’t about how to become more involved but how to connect the dots. There are a lot of bright, gifted people who call Broome County home. BLI made me more motivated to get connected with other people and to help those people get more connected to causes in the community where they could make a difference.
What was your most memorable BLI activity/moment? Without a doubt, my favorite time at BLI was our opening day trying to get everyone through the spider web. Spending time on the ropes course getting to know each other and learning how to work together laid the foundation for all the great things our class achieved together.
What was the most valuable benefit to you from your BLI experience? Connections. Through BLI I feel I made stronger connections to my community and began to develop connections with people I may not have otherwise come across in my professional or personal life.
What “nugget of wisdom” do you have for your fellow BLI alum? Leadership starts with leading yourself. John Maxwell puts it best in his book The 360 Degree Leader when he says, “…if you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else?”