EDGE Mentee Stories: Kirby Green

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One of the unique aspects of EDGE’s mentoring program is its ability to connect people across different states. Kirby Green is a testament to that.

While living in Indianapolis, her bible study teacher – who was an EDGE mentee at the time – encouraged her to learn more about it. “I love how EDGE fosters that ‘let-me-tell-you-about-this-awesome-organization’ effect on those who are part of it,” Kirby said. Since then, Kirby has moved to Kentucky and started a family, but her relationship with her EDGE mentor and EDGE group have only strengthened over time.  

“Without a doubt, EDGE has provided me with some of the most encouraging relationships I have as a young professional,” she said. “Now with four years of involvement, I can look back and say that EDGE has been transformational in my career and in my walk with the Lord. Specifically, I think back to the time frame when my first child was born. My EDGE group alone was one of the most sustaining and uplifting groups I had in my life, and I'm forever grateful.”

From job relocations to welcoming children into the world, my EDGE mentor and group have been there for every hill and valley.

Aside from the encouraging and supportive nature of her EDGE group, what Kirby loves most about it is the focus on living out the Gospel in every aspect of life. “We will spend time on a professional development book or discussion and always focus on tying it to the Gospel and what that means for our lives,” she said. “My EDGE group is full of incredible women that are doing big things for the Kingdom in the workplace, in their families and in their communities.”

As for her mentor, Valerie Jones,
Kirby can’t imagine her life without her guidance and their conversations – which have led to some of the biggest breakthrough moments in both her career and personal life. “Valerie draws from her own experiences in the workplace to walk alongside our EDGE group members, but she’s also the best at simply listening and asking questions,” Kirby said. “I feel like there isn't a scenario, question or idea that I can't call her about. That's probably the best thing about her.”

One of Kirby’s pivotal career breakthrough moments with her mentor happened over lunch at a McAlister’s Deli. “After my first child was born, Valerie told me that as a mother who works outside of the home, I didn’t have to try to ‘do it all,’” Kirby said. “She told me to find opportunities to delegate and to rest. It was both life-giving and freeing in that season of life – she transformed the way I thought about this and lived it out.”

But Kirby’s EDGE mentor serves as more than just a source of wise words – Valerie has also taught her mentees that there’s often more value in shutting up and showing up instead. “Valerie shows up in our lives with coffee dates, handwritten cards and Christmas ornaments for newborn babies,” said Kirby. “Our EDGE friend Bob Goff would call that ‘love does.’”

From Kirby’s EDGE experience stemmed her personal mission to give young professionals the opportunity to experience conversations like the many she has shared with Valerie. The Sharpen podcast – named after Proverbs 27:17 – shares the EDGE mission of sharpening the influence of millennials.  

“I love listening to podcasts while driving for work and was searching for one geared entirely to young professionals, while encouraging this audience with strong examples of leadership in the workplace,” said Kirby. “It’s a podcast structured like the conversations that take place among EDGE mentees and mentors.”  

Check out Kirby’s podcast here. Episode 4 features our own CEO Dave Neff and the topic of mentorship!

EDGE Mentee Stories: Chris Moorman

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About a year ago, Chris Moorman was getting ready to meet with a venture capital firm here in Indianapolis when he noticed the Forty Under 40 issue of the Indiana Business Journal (IBJ) sitting on a counter. Flipping through the pages as he waited, he saw EDGE’s CEO – Dave Neff – on that list, and was intrigued by EDGE’s concept of faith-based professional mentoring.

It was intriguing because Chris had spent the early part of his career as a trader in New York, admitting that he would have labeled himself as many things in Manhattan – and “Christian” certainly wasn’t one of them. “I was hesitant to join EDGE at first because of the faith aspect. But a buddy of mine told me, ‘As long as you don’t actively shut God out, sometimes he has a way of finding a way in on his own. Just don’t put up a wall – everything else will be fine.’ And he was very much right.”

After reaching out and applying to EDGE, he was placed in a group with Doug Wilson, chairman of Monon Capital, as his mentor. “There have been times I’ve looked around and thought to myself, ‘Somebody really knew what they were doing when they put me with Doug,’” Chris said.

While Doug has always been a leader and a mentor, he’s revolutionizing the meaning of mentorship with Chris and the rest of his EDGE group. “Doug has a passion for developing talent, but it’s in a different context here with EDGE than with his company,” Chris said. “When you’re the CEO, you need to develop talent so it can perform at a high level for the organization. But when you’re an EDGE mentor, you just want to do it for the joy of seeing people grow.” 

As the founder and CEO of his own company, Rubicon Agriculture, Chris has been able to turn to Doug and his EDGE group for both guidance and balance while navigating a career path that’s a world away from his life in Manhattan. He’s seen the cut-throat side of business and the never-ending quest of “more” – more money, more promotions, more pride – and he had a problem with it. So he asked Doug how he has learned to handle success. Doug’s answer was simple: “When I was your age, I met with a financial advisor. And he said, ‘I have two questions: How much is enough? And what are you trying to accomplish with it?’”

“For Doug, it’s about having an understanding of what’s truly important and what you’re trying to accomplish for others with what you have,” Chris said. “You could have whatever you want, but you’ve made a decision and said, ‘I know what enough is. And beyond that, I want to accomplish these goals in my community.’ That’s the greatest lesson Doug has taught me – how to handle success as a solution for others instead of an addiction for yourself.

Almost a year after picking up that Forty Under 40 issue of the IBJ, Chris has had hours of meaningful conversation with the men in his EDGE group, he’s become a stronger leader for his company, and he’s even taken a trip to Washington, D.C. with Doug.

“Doug and I were able to sit down with two senators while we were there, and I ended up in five different congressmen’s offices, telling them about my business and what my plans were,” Chris said. “EDGE opened up a very different network for me. By not putting up a wall and by allowing people like Doug to show me that success doesn’t have to be ruthless – I was able to see success from the perspective of abundance instead of scarcity. That was refreshing, and it really does reinvigorate your faith in people.”

An Interview with: EDGE Mentor Rob Wiley

We recently reached out to mentor Rob Wiley to get his perspective on why engaging with EDGE has been such an important decision in his life.

Here's what he had to say...

What role has mentoring had in your development?

"Had I been left solely to my own devices, I would be an arrogant, self-centered, lonely, and insecure man.  While I still am encumbered by those characteristics to a degree, some combination of God’s grace along with kindness from friends and mentors, have helped me focus on “who I will become” rather than “what I will accomplish”.  Mentors have shown me tactically how to develop particular skills as well as modeled how to live life well regardless of circumstance.  I am grateful to my past, current, and future mentors who have guided me in my professional, personal, and spiritual formation."

What led to your decision to apply to EDGE?

"I love the frothiness of people who are in their 20’s - lots of “firsts” and “figuring it out”.  EDGE allows me to engage with a group of high-caliber mentees who are choosing to invest in building community with one another as they grow professionally, personally, and spiritually.  In addition to our work, family, and church commitments, we build our relationships in a sustainable way by meeting together virtually 2x/mo and by having regular 1:1 interactions throughout the year."

What would be your advice to recent Taylor grads?

"Purposefully choose to do “life together” with your church, work, and community, and always choose to have mentors, mentees, and friends in different areas of your life."

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Thanks for your thoughtful insight, Rob!

 

An Interview with: EDGE Mentee Melissa West

We recently reached out to Jill Robbins' mentee, Melissa West, to get her perspective on why engaging with EDGE has been such an important decision in her life.

Here's what she had to say...

What lead to your decision to apply to EDGE?

"I had never heard of EDGE, but when a friend invited me to join the EDGE|X conference at Grace Church, I was intrigued. I loved the idea of developing professionally in a faith-based environment with business leaders in my community."

How has EDGE impacted your transition from college?

"I graduated a few years ago and am a recent member of EDGE, so while I have already transitioned into the business field since my time at Taylor, I can say with complete confidence that EDGE will positively impact my career going forward. No matter where you are in your career path, having someone who is more experienced to reach out to for advice and guidance is invaluable."  

What would be advice to new Taylor grads?

"Jump in with both feet! Get to know your group and invest in those relationships. Participate in the calls and meet your mentor for coffee. Invite others into your life and your growth as a young professional. The business world is a community, so make sure to have trusted advisors and peers to help you navigate the complexities of your career."

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Thank you for your thoughtful insight, Melissa!