Behind the Shield: Meet Brian Mekka, Milwaukee County Advisory Board Member
Brian Mekka has been on the Advisory Board for Milwaukee County a little over 3 years now. He started as a representative of Kohl's Department Stores, which is headquartered in Menomonee Falls, when the previous Kohl's Advisory Board member left the company. Kohl's has had representation on the Advisory Board for a number of years, and he is happy to keep it going. Being involved in this way makes him a great spokesperson within Kohl's to encourage other Associates to get more involved with the organization - especially through volunteer events and the Kohl's Volunteer Grant program. Brian is on the Social Services Committee, as well as acting as a liaison to Echelon MKE, which he helped get off the ground shortly after joining the Board. His day job at Kohl's is Director of Shared Services in our Credit & Customer Service Division. Read more about Brian below:
Q. How did you first learn about The Salvation Army?
A. I've known about the Salvation Army for years, but having the chance to serve on the Advisory Board and see the organization, its people, and its positive impact from the inside out, has been incredible! Anything we can do to get more awareness of The Salvation Army in our community will garner more understanding, support, and advocacy for this great organization.
A. Seeing the diversity in the backgrounds of the people involved with the SA, the various industries they represent on the Board, the different communities they represent in a true desire to further the mission of the Army continues to amaze me.
Q. What has been your favorite experience at The Salvation Army?
A. Being involved at the outset of Echelon MKE was incredible. I had the privilege to serve as co-chair of the Echelon Service Committee, and set in motion a calendar of events and opportunities for the Echelon membership and their network of contacts in the community at large. I'm proud to see some of the ideas we turned into reality from those first couple years still continue as annual traditions today!
Q. What is one thing you believe the world should know about The Salvation Army?
A. We are there. Always! You hear about big corporate donations and other organizations with a more visible and marketed presences in places and times of need, and those are all great things. But trust me; the Salvation Army is always there, more often humbly offering the assistance and support that is needed during dire situations, and content to work behind the scenes without the recognition and fanfare that they really deserve.
Q. What are 3 words you would use to describe The Salvation Army?
A. Accepting, loving and supporting.
Q. What is your favorite project to work on?
A. I enjoy opportunities to make a tangible difference in the community around us. Fundraising and working on strategies for the future are important, but I enjoy rolling up my sleeves and building something, fixing something, giving real physical things to people in need. The Salvation Army has given me those opportunities, to provide fresh accommodations to the homeless, a special plated dinner to those who have never eaten in a "fancy" restaurant and new clothes for those preparing for job interviews. Being a part of those chances to truly give something to those in a time of need has had a big impact on me.
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