- Jan 19, 2017
Paul Kaufmann, Volunteer of the Year
Volunteer of the Year is selected for consistently helping the Chamber achieve its goals.
At almost every Chamber networking event, program, fundraiser and volunteer meeting, you’re likely to see Paul Kaufmann working quietly in the background, taking it all in and assessing if there is any way he can help. His unassuming presence is in stark contrast to his bright green and white van that boldly advertises Shred Spot, his document destruction business, often visibly parked in front of the Chamber office before a program, or at an off-site event or fundraiser.
Paul Kaufmann’s impact goes beyond merely attendance, however. At a networking event serving as an Ambassador, he can always be counted on to help a new or prospective member feel more welcome. At a volunteer meeting, he listens carefully to the goals and objectives, assessing what is needed, steps up to help out and is known to reliably follow through. When there is a last minute need for assistance, he is consistently the go-to person everyone looks for.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Paul on numerous volunteer committees,” comments Bob Caldwell, Hallmark Homecare. “His contributions are always valued and his dependability is unsurpassed. His award is well deserved.”
Paul’s involvement and commitment to help out the Chamber started over four years ago when he attended his first networking event. After an extensive career ranging from commercial real estate to residential development and construction, consulting and even flight instruction, he was looking to build his new Northbrook based document destruction business. Not sure where to turn, he was led to the Chamber by numerous colleagues and even customers who urged him to check the organization out. He immediately joined the Chamber, realizing the value of attendance and involvement, and quickly enjoyed becoming known as the Chamber’s “shredding guy” and watching his business grow. In turn, he helps out and often refers the many Chamber members he has come to know so well.
Hoping to give back to the organization that helped him so much, Paul began volunteering to help with the Golf Outing and Auction and Taste. “Getting involved is enjoyable as you get to know and work with like minded people,” he comments.
He was then tapped to be a Chamber Ambassador, helping others to navigate networking events and benefit in the same ways he has over the years. “I enjoy helping newcomers and hope they can learn from my experience that the more they give to the organization the more they will get out of it.”
Paul finds the Northbrook Chamber much more welcoming and supportive than some of his other professional associations. “It really is a remarkable organization with great camaraderie. Giving back to an organization that helps so many of us is just something we all should do,” he says.
Paul’s involvement with the Chamber has fostered even further interest in volunteering in the community. He also donates time to the Northbrook Civic Foundation and Northbrook Days as well as The Hunger Resource Network, and lately helped found an informal group of Chamber volunteers who are helping the Chicago homeless.
“Knowing all that the Chamber offers members and does for the community, I tell everyone it’s an easy thing to volunteer. Plus it’s often a lot of fun.”