Q&A: Getting to Know the Shircliff Society

April 23, 2021

The Shircliff Society engages and inspires developing leaders to become advocates for a compassionate and just society. Named after Robert T. “Bob” Shircliff (1928-2020), this society focuses on improving the health of our community through volunteerism and philanthropy.
 
We sat down with two Shircliff Society members to learn more about why they joined this impactful young professionals group. If you’re interested in becoming a member, learn more at the Shircliff Society page on our website.

Meet Ty King
Director, Relationship Management, Forcura

Shircliff Society Member for 8 Years

Tell us more about yourself and why you decided to join the Shircliff Society.
As I returned to Jacksonville to start my career, I was eager to become involved and commune with like-minded, young professionals in an organization focus on bettering our community. I was familiar with the mission of Ascension St. Vincent’s, and I found that the Shircliff Society was a great fit for me.

How has being in the Shircliff Society impacted you personally?
During my time with the Shircliff Society, I have seen, firsthand, the amazing impact that Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation has on our local community. I have also been able to develop great relationships with peers in Jacksonville that I would not have otherwise crossed paths with.

What has been your favorite experience in the Shircliff Society thus far?
I have really enjoyed establishing and growing the Bow Tie Ball, our annual gala event to raise funds for the hospital. We have raised funds to purchase several Panda Warmers, to support infants immediately after birth.

Have you found meaningful connections being part of the society? If so, please describe.
Yes, I have found several meaningful connections through the Shircliff Society. I have also found the Shircliff Society as a way to foster ongoing relationships. Namely, I have reached out to peers in Jacksonville I have lost touch with to bring them into the fold of the Shircliff Society, which as allowed me to develop a closer relationship with those individuals.

Is there an Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation program that you feel called to support specifically? If so, which one and why?
The Shircliff Society’s efforts to support the Family Birth Center have had special meaning to me. After we initially established the grant for the Book Nook, that Family Birth Center has grown so much. It is always a pleasure to visit and see the kids enjoying the area.

What would you say to someone considering joining the Shircliff Society?
While there are many young professional groups, the Shircliff Society has a deep connection to the community and is always driven to give back more.

Meet Melinda Powers
Business Consultant, Florida SBDC at UNF Coggin College of Business
Shircliff Society Member for 2 Years

Tell us more about yourself and why you decided to join the Shircliff Society.
I attended college in Tallahassee have been a resident of Florida since 2007 (originally from Detroit, Michigan). After 13 years of practicing law full-time, I transitioned into Business Consulting full-time two years ago. I enjoy reading, travel, learning and music of all kinds. Volunteering has been a mainstay for me since I can remember so it was only natural that I continued to expand my experiences, which led me to the Shircliff Society. I had been considering it for years before I decided to attend the Bowtie Ball in 2019. While there, I sought introductions to members of the board and the rest is history.

How has being in the Shircliff Society impacted you personally?
Being a member has connected me to some awesome individuals! I am a natural networker, and I really enjoy the group that we have as it has grown. Also, in learning about the many ways Ascension St. Vincent’s enriches our community, I am humbled to be a small part of that collective group.

Please describe why you feel the Shircliff Society makes a difference in our community.
The Shircliff Society provides a way for young professionals to connect, develop as leaders, and get engaged more deeply in the local community. Being able to provide opportunities for colleagues as well as people in need offers a distinct balance that every community needs to thrive and grow. We must continue to cultivate young talent to maintain the momentum of community growth and development in Northeast Florida.

What has been your favorite experience in the Shircliff Society thus far?
Aside from simply collaborating with my colleagues, meeting the financial goal for the Bowtie Ball last year was a great experience. There were some obstacles that had to be overcome in order to pull it off, and we did a good job.

Have you found meaningful connections being part of the society? If so, please describe.
Absolutely! My fellow board members are all amazing, and I really do enjoy our meetings and events. Getting to know everyone beyond our shared board work is something I deeply value. Though I always learn something new when we come together for meetings, I also spend time one-on-one or in smaller groups with members outside of our Shircliff obligations.

Is there an Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation program that you feel called to support specifically? If so, which one and why?
I am very partial to any initiatives involving women and children, of which there are quite a few. That is why the Shircliff Society’s support of the Family Birth Place has really resonated with me. The proceeds of our Bowtie Ball have been used to purchase Panda Warmers that assist with keeping babies warm and healthy after birth. It is innovative technology that can be very expensive. Therefore, our contribution is very meaningful to me both as a member of the board and personally. It feels good to be able to help more families.

What would you say to someone considering joining the Shircliff Society?
Don’t be shy! If you’re interested or even unsure, reach out to someone and allow us to share our experience with you. Also, come to our events and get a feel for what we have to offer. You’ll be glad you did!

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