David Ruiz is a prominent figure in the community and a representative of exactly what United Way aims to accomplish. As the retired UPS Florida President, he is now turning his expertise and passion towards serving as the 2016-2017 Campaign Chair.
What are your passions?
There are so many things that have been impactful to me over time. My family comes first to mind though, I’m a big proponent of family. But there are other components. I spent 38 years at UPS and they were my secondary family. It was a priority to me to take care of my folks at UPS! I wanted to ensure a good, safe, healthy work environment so they could bring the best of themselves to the job.
Of course there are other things I’m passionate about like helping others. It’s a lifelong journey. You can help yourself be the best you can be and help others to be their best.
What motivates you to volunteer?
I grew up in an inner city, melting pot community. There was inner city strife, like gangs and drugs. I was blessed that there was a boys club and my parents had me go there. While there I was really engaged in athletics and working there. It helped build a foundation of integrity in me and that made it easy to volunteer later on as I got older.
When you give of yourself, you get so much more back. It’s a win/win/win situation for you, others, and our whole community. Over the years, people helped me by volunteering and it’s my personal commitment to pay it forward. It’s a great feeling when you can give someone an opportunity to achieve something they didn’t think they could.
Why did you choose Heart of Florida United Way for volunteering?
I’ve traveled a lot over my career, and I’ve always been connected with United Way with every assignment I had. United Way is trusted and well-respected organization that understands how to have a local and global lens. That aligned with my vision and perspective. I wanted to have the ability to impact local community and society as a whole. United Way gave me that ability.
What do you see as some of the biggest issues facing our community?
Education. It’s a critical area that I continue to push. If education is instilled and ingrained early on, it helps takes care of a lot of issues that might come along such as basic needs and stay healthy. You can get a better job with a good education and learn how to make better financial decisions.
How can the business community tackle those issues?
Many businesses are doing the right thing and continue to engage. Their leaders are believers are making companies better. It has to come from the top. If the leaders are engaged and involved, they foster a workplace environment that encourages their employees to get involved and improve the community.
As Campaign Chair, I’m very humbled and honored to be asked to work with out great community to try and improve it. You don’t look for that spotlight but being asked to take on that roll is humbling and I’m blessed by the opportunity. I’m going to go out there and work with everybody. T
At the end of the day, it’s about building your legacy. These are ways that I build on my own legacy. It’s not about how many awards or how many titles you’ve had but about when people say your name, they say you are a good person. Be caring, get involved. That’s what they are going to remember about you. How do you want to be remembered?