Celebrating 30 years with Franco Public Relations Group, our CEO Dan Ponder has cemented himself as a business leader in Detroit. But Franco is far from his only commitment in the region. Ponder is also an active member of the community, serving in leadership positions for organizations throughout the state, including the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, St. John Providence Health System, The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division, Crime Stoppers of Michigan and the United States Army.
As public relations professionals, our careers are based on building strong relationships, whether they are with the media, clients and their audiences or the community as a whole. I sat down with Dan to gain a better understanding of how his leadership positions have shaped his career.
Ponder has selected the organizations that he serves in the community based on topics that he is passionate about: promotion of business in the community, creating a connected regional community for businesses of all sizes and giving a voice to those in need.
With Crime Stoppers and The Salvation Army, Ponder works with other board members to improve services for those in need in Detroit and the surrounding communities. These organizations improve our region by addressing key concerns of crime, safety and poverty in Metro Detroit by providing a support system to those who need it – an objective that Ponder is passionate about addressing.
With organizations like the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Ponder works to build relationships between Michigan businesses of all sizes.
“Michigan’s businesses depend on one another to share their skill sets and work toward shared missions,” said Ponder. “It is important that businesses of all sizes get involved in the community to work together and ensure our collective voice is heard by policy-makers and community leaders.”
This regional view of the business community has changed the way that Ponder views the community. The business and community decisions made in Detroit have an important impact throughout the state and region, and through his community involvement, Ponder has applied this knowledge to all aspects of his work, whether that means daily operations at Franco, or his work to build a healthy community in our region.
Ponder also shared his advice for those interested in becoming more involved in their community through leadership roles:
“Make sure the organization is something you’re passionate about that can also tie to your own career and organizational goals. I believe actively participating in all of the organizations I work with, and it helps to engage when the organization is working toward similar goals to your own.”
Ultimately, community involvement is a win-win-win for public relations professionals. Engaging with other leaders in the region leads to an improved community, stronger relationships and increased cooperation between businesses for a strong regional business climate.