Diversity Leadership Circle Member Spotlight: Jason Preston

Tell us about yourself (job, home town, any other fun facts)
I grew up in Illinois just outside of Champaign. I’ve been with Lilly for over 16 years now working in marketing and sales, privacy and now data analytics. Fun fact: My wife and I have attended over 80 weddings over the years!

 

What are you passionate about?
Helping children reach their potential. I have a 12 year old daughter. When she came into our lives, I realized how vulnerable children are, but at the same time I realized how resilient they are as well.

 

When and how did you first become involved with United Way?
I initially became involved as part of company campaigns going back prior to my Lilly years. Over the years, though, I have been involved in many ways: I have been a ReadUP tutor for several years, I participated on the steering committee of Emerging Leaders, I was an internal business area ambassador at Lilly and the last two years have helped lead a committee that is part of Lilly’s internal United Way core team.

 

Why do you choose to support United Way’s mission?
I have seen firsthand the strategy UWCI takes when identifying and addressing the needs and opportunities of our community. They also take accountability. I feel strongly that supporting UWCI is one of the most impactful things I can do to make a local difference.

 

As a OneAmerica/Chase/Lilly/Katz Sapper Miller/etc. employee, how do you feel about the new level of partnership with United Way?
United Way, and community support in general, is a strong part of the culture at Lilly. It seemed like a natural fit when Lilly further solidified that partnership with United Way Worldwide last year.

 

Is there anything you hope to gain from this type of partnership?
I appreciate that this partnership goes beyond what we see and do in Central Indiana. With Lilly’s global presence, I am interested to see how we extend this involvement to other countries as well.

 

When did you become involved with Diversity Leadership Circle?
I officially joined over the past year, but raising awareness and encouraging participation across all of the UWCI affinity groups is the focus of the Lilly-United Way core team I lead.

 

What interested you most about Diversity Leadership Circle?
I feel like societal trends have moved many people to isolate themselves to those who act or look most like themselves. I see DLC participation as a way for me to interact with other people — to be exposed to different ways of thinking and different motivations.

 

What is your favorite memory or event with Diversity Leadership Circle?
Diversity Leadership Circle has introduced me to an interesting concept — diversity beyond race. This includes things like how we view the world, why we make the choices we make, how we surface and understand the assumptions we make – our perceptions. Diversity comes in so many forms that race itself does not show—education, health issues, poverty, family dynamics.

 

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