During his Leadership Tomorrow class experience in 2016, Bill Cunningham was serving on five working nonprofit boards and running the emergency response team building consulting and OSHA training firm he founded. His visits to the Orange County Rescue Mission (Housing/Transportation Day), CHOC (Heath and Human Services Day) and Think Together (Education Day) left the most significant impressions, as LT broadened his understanding of Orange County’s community needs and moved him to narrow his focus for greater impact in future involvement.
Immediately after graduation, Bill took action and started tutoring the Rescue Mission’s “students” over the summer months. When randomly assigned to a small group at each week’s evening tutoring session, math and percentage calculations in particular came up time and time again. During the final tutoring class, he asked everyone to work on calculations of sale price percentages that they gathered from local retail stores.
The real-world application of this exercise brought a mother of four to tears, as she realized the power of what she just learned. She had always relied on cashiers to charge her the correct amount, and she often had to return items when the total exceeded the amount of cash in her hands. No one had ever explained to her what “sale” and “discount” mean. This poignant moment impacted Bill and set his action on a new course.
A U.S. Coast Guard veteran himself, Bill went on to support the Rescue Mission’s Tustin Veterans’ Outpost, which serves Orange County veterans, giving them a hand up to successfully transition to civilian life and self-sufficiency.Realizing he could make the most difference in this area, Bill now applies his business expertise to his work with the Disabled Veteran Business Alliance, assisting 50-70 veteran entrepreneurs each month. He also serves as an LT Board Member and is passionate about the new Marketing Committee he leads and his work on Housing and Transportation Day.