Roger Carlson named Mentoring Excellence Award Finalist
Roger Carlson, Past President of the WITS Board of Directors, was named a Mentoring Excellence Award finalist by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews. Awards will be presented on September 13 at the sixth annual Community Leadership Awards in New York.
Roger is one of three finalists for the Mentoring Excellence Award, given to a financial advisor who demonstrates qualities of a role model and "champion for youth" in his or her local community. The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews received over 250 nominations for this year's five awards that honor the philanthropic spirit of financial advisors.
Over the past two decades, Roger has been a tireless advocate and volunteer for WITS programs and the more than 2,600 students we serve. He has served as a dedicated member of the WITS Board of Directors for 18 years, serving as Board President for three years and Board Chairman for an additional three years. Roger has served on numerous Board Committees, including the Finance, Development, Long-Range Planning, and Governance Committees, and consistently works to promote WITS' fundraising efforts.
Of course, Roger's leadership influence extends far beyond the Board room. Programmatically, Roger played a critical role in the start-up of our Early Childhood program. Roger and his wife, Ginny Carlson, spearheaded this program and helped to secure a funder to underwrite the first two years, giving young students early exposure to books, beginning literacy skills, and a lifelong love of learning.
In addition, Roger introduced Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to WITS, a company that has participated in WITS' two corporate volunteer programs, Mid-day Mentoring and Workplace Mentoring. The partnership with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney began in 1996 as one of WITS' first corporate partners and continues today with 79 volunteers at two different locations participating in Workplace Mentoring during the 2011-2012 school year, serving students at Peabody and Cameron Elementary.
Roger has been elemental to the success of WITS today. Not only was it his initiative that started the Early Childhood program and formed the lasting partnership with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (among other corporate partners), but also, Roger is an active participant in WITS programs. In the past, Roger served as a tutor, spending time each week working one-on-one with his student partner. He remains a substitute tutor today and recruits new volunteers for WITS every year.
Congratulations to Roger, from everyone at WITS, on this amazing honor of being named a Mentoring Excellence Award finalist. You truly are a role model and champion for youth in Chicago.