by Rachel Lewis

Communications Director, Workers Compensation Fund

Young Leader Member, Guest Blogger

Mark Miller started to choke up at the Lunch with a Leader event a few weeks ago. He was retelling a story from his childhood about having dinner at his grandparent’s house.  Under each dinner plate, his grandparents had placed a $100 savings bond. Mark told how his grandparent’s example of giving that night had a lasting impact—enough to stir feelings of gratitude and high emotions decades later. I don’t hesitate to say that it touched everyone at lunch, as did the other stories Mark shared about his life, his philosophy on giving, and partnering with United Way of Salt Lake.

After our tour of his state-of-the-art Toyota dealership, he humbly told about the opportunities he’s been given in his life. I think I may have verbally said “wow” at least 15 times by what he has accomplished in his career. He personally programmed the first auto-dealer software program after attending IBM School. He’s in the history books for being one of the youngest owners of a GM dealership. And he has created one of the most impressive LEED certified dealerships in the world–and everything he’s done, he has done with passion and sincerity.  But beyond what he has achieved in his remarkable career, his history of philanthropy is even more impressive. He not only has created a foundation to help with many of the financial needs in the community, but he personally has flown more than 150 flights for Angel Flights an organization that arranges free air transportation for charitable and medical needs. He has sat on numerous boards and is working on donating his second million dollars to UWSL Community Learning Centers in Utah.

As I left lunch that day, I kept thinking how much better this community is because of Mark Miller. I’ve also been wondering how he manages to have so much passion and energy for everything around him. I resolved that the only way to figure this out is to do as he did at dinner at his grandparent’s many years ago: remember what you learned and try to emulate the good example put before you.

Thanks for all you do for our community, Mark!  You are an example of what it means to LIVE UNITED!