As Ivan and I travel around to many BNI regions all over the world, we are constantly amazed at how philanthropic our members are. I guess it should come as no surprise that business professionals who are drawn to an organization whose philosophy is Givers Gain® would be givers themselves.

We want to shine the spotlight from time to time on these members and tell you a little bit more about what they are doing that is having an impact on their own communities. Our first spotlight member is Jay Bell, a financial adviser for Northwestern Mutual in Maryland and member of the Baltimore B Chapter of BNI.

Rising StarJay was recently named a Rising Star by the Living Classrooms Foundation and the Baltimore Business Journal. This award honors up-and-coming young professionals in philanthropy.

A native of Baltimore, Jay pledged to raise $3,000 during the months of August and September, 2013, for the Living Classrooms Foundation, which strengthens communities and inspires young people to achieve their potential through hands-on education and job training, using urban, natural and maritime resources as “living classrooms.”

I spoke to Jay over the summer and learned that he is passionate about helping young people get ahead, especially those who feel they do not have a chance. Jay’s work will help more of them get a leg up and move upward and onward through the Living Classrooms Foundation’s initiatives.

As of this post, Jay has met and nearly doubled his pledge! He raised $4800 and has referred Living Classrooms Foundations to the BNI Foundation for a $1000 Givers Gain Grant, which is pending approval. Ivan and I congratulate you, Jay!

We are grateful that BNI is full of charitably minded individuals like Jay, and we look forward to introducing more members like him to you in our blog.

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