James Petro  Engineering Director, American Electric Power

James Petro
Engineering Director, American Electric Power

What inspired you to become a part of United Way?

I was motivated to become part of the United Way when I saw the amount of time and effort that my co-workers at D.C. Cook put into different United Way events to help our community (Christmas in June, Rock the Boat, Annual Campaign, etc.). I knew that I could, and I should do more.

Why do you serve on the board?

Serving on the Board is a way to exercise additional influence with the United Way, beyond giving and participating in the events. I am fortunate for the opportunity to serve.

What is your leadership philosophy?

When leaders establish a healthy culture at work, there is really no stopping the workforce. There is absolutely nothing that can’t be accomplished when everyone is excited to come to work because it’s a great place to be.

What is your most memorable volunteer experience?

When we were dropping off food at a local food shelter during the Christmas in June event, a large family was there in need of food for that day. The food shelves were nearly empty, and if not for the efforts of many people who pulled together the event and made it so successful, that family, including young children, would have gone to bed hungry that night.

What is your motto?

Hard work is the world’s great equalizer.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My father. He taught me the real value of hard work, education, and manual labor.