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January 02, 2017

Board Spotlight: Todd Saxton

We’re ringing in the New Year by sharing a little more about our organization. One of the core values that this organization is founded on is passion. Our board members epitomize what it’s like to be passionate about a cause, and we’re so thankful that they choose to share it with Fight For Life. Whether you’re new to following our organization or have been a longtime friend, take a few moments to get to know the friendly faces behind FFL!

Board Spotlight: Todd Saxton

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My name is Todd and I’m the Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at IU Kelley School of Business. My wife Kim and I moved from the East Coast (Philadelphia area) to Bloomington, Indiana for grad school/PhD’s from 1991 to 1995, then spent two years in Madison, Wisconsin. We moved to Indy in 1997 and have been here since. I teach in our Evening MBA program, online Kelley Direct MBA program, and Business of Medicine program for physicians.

How did you hear about or get connected to Fight For Life?
We met Marlin at Saint Vincent’s Sports Performance where we both did athletic training. Marlin was in the NFL at the time, and we were training for triathlons. Marlin helped my wife Kim out by participating in a walk for the homeless. We subsequently worked with Marlin in the early stages of converting FFL to a full-time endeavor.
What do you love about Fight For Life?
Aside from being able to work with a great group of folks on the board, it’s the kids. It is wonderful to be able to work with the youth in various programs and see their development as they learn and incorporate the elements of social/emotional learning into their lives.
Do you have any favorite events or memories?
I have two:
  • Reading “Peef the Christmas Bear” to Phalen Scholars during the holiday celebration. They were so overwhelmed and appreciate of not just the presents, but the whole experience. And Peef is such a great story of love and giving.
  • Seeing the “aha” moments for the teen participants in the Seal the Deal summer football camp when covering SEL concepts like dreams. One young man specifically started with a somewhat off-the-cuff, sarcastic response—”I don’t got no dreams.” I think it hit his fellow participants first during the silence after, and the looks changed from smiles and snickers to realization of what that meant for him and for themselves. That led to a good and spirited discussion of their possible futures. Certainly an impactful moment for me, and I hope for them.
In 10 years you see Fight For Life…
As a national leader in social and emotional learning programs providing education and resources for deserving but underserved children. Marlin just got interviewed by NPR for his pathbreaking efforts. The first cohorts of Building Dreams will have graduated high school, and most have enrolled in college—an unprecedented percent for this population. Their prospects are bright and they look forward to giving back to FFL by helping the next generation.
We’re so thankful for all of your support, Todd!