It seems that everyone has an opinion on millennials these days. Some say they are entitled, lazy, or too socially connected. At UnBoundRVA, we stand behind millennials and see them in a much different light. They are the Richmond movers and shakers, who are generous and eager to make connections in order to make a change. At UnBound, we are fortunate to have secured ten of the most motivated, energetic, and passionate millennials we know who serve on our Emerging Leaders Board (ELB).
The Emerging Leaders Board is a group of dedicated UnBoundRVA activators who meet bi-monthly as they work toward creating fundraising initiatives, increasing awareness within our community, and supporting events while building the entrepreneurs’ book of businesses. For the first time, the ELB has selected two chairs to lead the board. These co-chairs, Matt Crane and Chris Milligan, have been with UnBoundRVA since the early days, and we could not be more thrilled to share more about them, their work and their passions!
Matt Crane first discovered UnBound through the networking group, Synapse, and was immediately interested in our work. After his continued support and attendance at both Class One and Class Two graduations, he was invited to join the Emerging Leaders Board. Since that time, Matt has found that his favorite characteristic of UnBound is that “it provides such a pragmatic and logical solution to people at the receiving end of issues that are complex and systemic.” He enjoys the hands-on involvement and the support that comes from community members and professionals across the city. Matt employs his abstract thinking, creativity and ability to unite individuals to achieve concrete goals on the board, knowing that he is helping to provide “a powerful hand up to people who need a little extra muscle getting their dreams and lives off the ground.”
Matt has done far more than spend time on the ELB, as he also served on Class Three owner Nathan Kent’s advisory board for his business Egghead. He noted that it was a powerful experience because he wanted nothing more than for the UnBoundRVA entrepreneur to succeed. Matt has also valued the friendship he has built with Royal McCargo of 1010 Post Construction, and appreciates his “work and how he has gotten to where he is.” We value Matt’s deep desire to seek ways to be proactive and make the community, or an individual’s life, better as well as seek out the spaces where he can truly make a difference. UnBoundRVA appreciates Matt’s behind-the-scenes work that allows our organization and businesses to function better.
Chris Milligan knows the importance of giving back to his Richmond community, largely due to the encouragement from his bosses at Alpha Omega over the past six years. Over three years ago, Chris searched for Richmond organizations to be apart of and felt that UnBound perfectly matched his passion for small business. He joined a Class One business advisory board only after proactively contacting UnBound co-founder, Richard Luck and has secured a spot on the ELB since those early days. Through his commitment, Chris discovered that his favorite aspect of our organization is the “people from all sorts of backgrounds with different life experiences coming together for a common cause.” Chris firmly believes that “the private sector, through entrepreneurship and small business, can narrow the wealth/income gap and improve communities in Richmond.”
Chris’ gift to develop strong relationships expands beyond those which he has with his parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He makes everyone he meets and works with, especially the entrepreneurs, feel like family. Chris is quick to offer business advice or help entrepreneurs on the job, listen to their stories and watch their progress through the UnBound program, and celebrate the entrepreneurs’ victories. We value Chris’ continual optimism he brings to our organization and lives. While Chris says that “most things that happen in life are outside of our control,” he stresses that “there are two things you always have 100% control over: your attitude and work ethic.” He believes that “if you are able to use those as strengths, there are no boundaries to what you can achieve.”
We cannot express how grateful we are to have Matt and Chris on our team leading the Emerging Leaders Board. They plan to develop the relationships with the board in order to strengthen their collective vision, and thus our community. Opportunity lives in Richmond, and we are thrilled about the opportunity to extend our reach through these ELB co-chairs! Stay tuned for the exciting projects, events, and updates Matt, Chris, and the rest of the ELB have in the works!
About the Author: Lindsay Palmisano
Lindsay is a Cleveland native and 90s age fanatic whose unfamiliarity with smart phones dates her back to the stone ages. She can be found exploring Richmond or getting lost in it, and is frequently spotted using printed Mapquest directions. Lindsay will meet with others over iced black coffee at any hour of the day, and her preference for coffeehouse conversations includes social justice issues, haphazard traveling, and Pinterest DIY projects and recipes.