October 16th, 2012

On Thursday, October 4, 2012, APP hosted our second annual benefit dinner at Woodrow Hall in Birmingham’s Woodlawn neighborhood.

More than 100 business, higher education, and nonprofit leaders gathered for dinner by Chef Chris Vizzina of Campus Dining Inc., and conversation with Wayne Flynt and Mike Warren.

Wayne and Mike’s conversation centered around religious unity on the issue of poverty and the potential for the business community to facilitate social change.

Coining the term “public corporate executive,” Wayne, APP co-founder and professor emeritus of history at Auburn University, challenged Mike, CEO of Children’s of Alabama, to give insight into the mind of business executives who expand their outreach beyond the boardroom in order to “solve systemic problems of injustice in society.”

Mike, who served as CEO of Energen Corporation for 25 years, offered his Methodist faith as the center of the intersection of his personal and business lives.

“One of the guiding lights for me has been how do you remain true to not only your faith, but the inner core – when people are looking, but also when no one is looking,” said Mike.

After 30 minutes of dialogue, Wayne and Mike invited dinner attendees to join in the conversation. Responding to a question, Mike advised a two-fold approach to incorporating business leadership in social change efforts: One, identify a business leader passionate about that particular issue; And two, establish a clear goal for that individual to achieve.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and donors, the benefit dinner netted nearly $30,000 to support APP’s work to reduce poverty and its impacts through strategic partnerships with higher education institutions, community partners, policymakers and faith-based organizations.

Thank you again to our sponsors: