VOL. 129 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 3, 2014
Park Expresses Purposeful Giving in Book
ERINN FIGG | Special to The Daily News
Whether it’s on television, on the radio, in print or around town, Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club President Jeremy Park seems to be everywhere, and a quick scan of his professional history reveals a similarly expansive career.
He’s held influential positions with prestigious Los Angeles-based production and marketing agencies, along with such titles as advisory board member for the Motion Picture Hall of Fame, actor, professional singer and head tennis pro at Beverly Hills Country Club, to name just a few. He counts Merv Griffin and Dick Clark among his mentors. Locally, he’s received numerous accolades for his leadership efforts in the Mid-South.
Now, Park can add one more accomplishment to his resume: published author. His new book “Giving Back With Purpose: Fueling Growth Through Community” spotlights the many ways Memphis companies, people and nonprofits are giving back to the community.
A conversation with the 34-year-old Park reflects a true love of Memphis and a sincere desire to do whatever he can to make it a better place.
Yes, he’s kind of a big deal, but he’s also the real deal.
“When people ask me, ‘What’s your dream job?’ I tell them I’m living it now,” said Park, who also is vice president of communications and a member of Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance LLC. “Really at this stage of the game, it’s about helping people. It’s about making Memphis better tomorrow than it is today.”
Park isn’t alone in this mission. His 160-page essay collection highlights more than 40 nonprofits, companies and individuals also working to make a difference in Memphis. What’s more, 100 percent of the book’s proceeds will be used to purchase books for local literacy programs.
“It’s a book about giving back that also gives back,” Park said. “That’s what we’re all about in the organization. It’s not about what you can do for yourself but what you can do to inspire others.”
Established in 2005, the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club (LPBC) is a group of partner businesses that join forces and funds to collectively benefit the community. Among other initiatives, Park authors a weekly Giving Back column that originated in The Daily News and now runs on Sundays in The Commercial Appeal. His new book is an expansion of those columns.
“It was a really great opportunity to compile the older columns and give them a whole new life, update statistics, add new material,” Park said. “It’s not a typical reading experience. You won’t read through and get a story. You’ll read through and get many stories. And the message is always, ‘Here’s what’s going on in our city and we’re proud of it.’”
He hopes people will draw inspiration from the book by recognizing their own power to act as a catalyst for positive change.
“I honestly believe most people want to help. They just don’t know where to start,” Park said. “I think so much of it is once you figure out who you are and what’s important to you, that’s where you draw your power. At LPBC, we try to make it really easy for people to get involved and understand that all they have to do is one small piece. If each person contributes one small piece and everyone else does too, then as a city, we can all make a huge difference.”
To those people who are still searching for a calling, Park suggests an exercise he’s done throughout his life.
“One of the things that’s really helped me grow is starting every day with the resolve to do three things that will move me forward, and they can be small steps – they don’t have to be huge,” he said. “It could be setting aside time to go out and meet one new person or doing something through social media to spread goodwill. It could be as intense as knocking out three chapters in my book or something as simple as sharing a positive story with someone else. As long as it’s something special that’s not part of my daily routine, it counts. And I’ve learned that all these little things, you look back on them later and say, ‘OK, that really made a difference.’”
“Giving Back with Purpose” is $15.95 and published by Main Street Books. The book is currently available at The Booksellers at Laurelwood, the Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance office and Napa Café. It’s also available online at thelpbc.com/book.