Service champion Featured

7:00pm EDT November 24, 2006

Some of the inspiration for Umberto Fedeli’s many contributions to the community came from a letter someone once sent him.

The letter said, “In life, the secret to happiness is to love, and the essence of love is to serve.”

Fedeli has taken that message to heart and works to give back to his community both on a personal level and in his position as president and CEO of The Fedeli Group, one of the largest privately held insurance brokerage firms in Ohio.

The reasons for getting involved aren’t nearly as important as the end results.

“Regardless of whether you are doing something with a more charitable agenda or something with more of a public relations and community involvement agenda, it’s OK to do both,” Fedeli says. “If you want credit from God, then that’s charitable. If you want credit from the community for being a good corporate citizen, that’s not necessarily bad, you just have to understand your purpose.”

You need to understand why you are getting involved, and you have to believe in the cause and that you can make a difference. Fedeli says lending leadership support to local organizations is as important as giving financial support.

“The better the leadership, the more success the entity will have,” he says. “CEOs have the organization skills, the credibility and the status within the community to talk to other CEOs or entrepreneurs. So often, those at the charity level do not have those relationships or access to those people.”

By providing leadership, you can help the organization make the contacts it needs to be more efficient and maximize the effect it has on the community.

“I really believe every company should be involved with some level of community or charitable participation,” Fedeli says. “How involved they are or at what level is up to them to decide. If every business in the state got involved, the compounding and exponential effect of that would be incredible. People get involved by seeing others getting involved.

“If everyone got involved, the world would be a better place.”

HOW TO REACH: The Fedeli Group,