So many unimaginable and unprecedented things happened in 2020. Opening the doors at Unless made complete sense.
Darren began his career as a lawyer in 1995 and words like sustainability and corporate responsibility did not exist (neither did monetize and touch base, thankfully). There was public interest and nonprofit. After spending a little time in each, he joined America Online and saw what happens when a company embraces philanthropy. The Helping Hands Initiative partnered with celebrities to use the AOL shopping platform to raise millions of dollars for charity. A few years later, Darren got to implement a corporate giving campaign at Advanta. The KivaB4B program encouraged the company’s small business credit card cardholders to support entrepreneurs around the world by offering a match.
But career only matters until it doesn’t. In 2005, Darren’s second child, Simon, died suddenly and unexpectedly from an undetected heart condition. He and his wife co-founded Simon’s Heart, an organization to prevent sudden cardiac arrest and death in children, teens and young adults. After running it as a volunteer on nights and weekends, Darren became CEO in 2012.
Under Darren’s leadership, Simon’s Heart created a youth heart screening program; authored and advocated for a law to protect students athletes in fourteen states; built a digital registry to promote pediatric heart research; launched a crowdfunding website for distributing AED devices into places where kids learn and play; produced award-winning educational videos and awareness campaigns; introduced a CPR experience using balls and music; and created cause marketing partnerships with companies and collegiate and professional sports teams.
Darren’s purpose is to show that strategic philanthropy can help businesses become more productive, personal lives more meaningful, and communities more prosperous. He attended The Ohio State University, Capital Law and Graduate Center and Arcadia University. He currently teaches at Villanova University.