Andrew Petitto, an IT Audit Manager, shares how his experience as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Ambassador has helped him build a network of young professionals and develop leadership skills while supporting charitable causes.
Andrew first became involved with philanthropic work while he was attending Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. However, at the time, his involvement was limited to one-day volunteer events, such as soup kitchens and clothing drives.
But after graduating and launching his career with DTCC in July of 2014, his philanthropic journey continued and grew as a CSR Ambassador for the Jersey City, N.J. office.
Meaghan Brown, Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer of The United Way New York City spoke highly of Andrew, following the announcement of his co-chair position on the Young Leader’s Council (YLC).
“Andrew has shown tremendous leadership over the past 6 years and was honored last year as our YLC Member of the Year. Being recognized for not only his accomplishments but also his leadership potential is significant, and I’m continually impressed with his enthusiasm and unwavering commitment to the YLC’s mission and its membership community.”
Read on to learn more about Andrew and his experience as a Jersey City CSR Ambassador.
Q. How has your increased involvement with YLC impacted you personally?
AP: Being involved with the YLC has opened my eyes to a lot of the different communities within New York City. I live in Astoria, Queens. I’m familiar with this area, but I really didn’t know anything about Mott Haven in the Bronx. That’s one of the communities the YLC sponsors; we do a lot with the students in school there. I didn’t realize the parallel between literacy and incarceration rates. And that’s why I really push the ReadNYC program. We’ve really worked to get books right in the hands of kids. We get books delivered directly to their houses, and this has proved especially important in the pandemic while many kids are learning remotely.
Q. How has your involvement with CSR initiatives impacted your community?
AP: Through my position as co-chair of the YLC's Event and Fundraising committee, we have helped the YLC raise more than $200,000 to support of New York City's low-income families through a multitude of in-person, and more recently, virtual events. Additionally, the YLC has been able to provide NYC children with hundreds of books and backpacks loaded with school supplies every year. Even with the ongoing pandemic, the amazing group of volunteers that make up the YLC were able to provide nearly 5,000 presents to students of the Mott Haven community through a Virtual Holiday Gift Drive. It is amazing what this group and the NYC community has been able to accomplish in this new virtual world. I am happy to say that we have not let the coronavirus pandemic hinder our impact on the community. As a matter of fact, on January 28, 2021, we virtually hosted our annual winter fundraiser and raised nearly $50,000.
Q. How has your CSR involvement impacted your work and advanced your career at DTCC?
AP: I have built a great network with other young professionals across many different industries, as well as other departments throughout DTCC.
It has given me a platform to organize a panel with DTCC Executives and external panelists such as the panel on how philanthropy helps young professionals advance their careers and expand their network. The panel was moderated by Murray Pozmanter. Susan Cosgrove and Ann Diver were panelists. I was also able to bring in YLC members from Facebook and JPMC who provided the external perspective. This is something I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do in my everyday activities.
CSR has also allowed me to peek behind the curtain into the world of event planning. This is something that I’ve always been interested in, but not something that I would be regularly exposed to as an IT Auditor.
Q. Which charitable organizations do you work with, and how are you involved?
AP: I have been working with the United Way of NYC's Young Leaders Council since 2014. In January of 2020 I was named the Young Leader of the Year. Starting on January 1, 2021 I have been appointed as a co-chair of the Young Leaders Council. I am excited to serve my initial two-year term which I will have the opportunity to extend. My goal is to align YLC’s initiatives to make a greater impact in the communities we serve.
I have also been a supporter of the Travis Roy Foundation (TRF) since 2013. My role with TRF has been mostly related to fundraising. My fiancé and I began hosting an annual New York City fundraiser for the Foundation in 2017. Within three years, we were able to grow our annual event proceeds from a few hundred dollars to over $4,000.
Q. Why should employees take time to volunteer?
AP: Besides the great leadership development opportunities, there is a profound feeling of accomplishment that you achieve through philanthropic work. Knowing that the actions you are taking will have a direct, positive impact on someone's life is very rewarding.
Since some volunteering entails donating significant time, it is important to pick a cause that you have a close connection to and truly care about. Picking the right organization and volunteer opportunities will make it feel less like "work" and have a more positive impact for all involved.
To be honest, I have a lot of fun volunteering with the United Way of NYC and the Travis Roy Foundation. Both organizations have afforded me opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to experience on my own.
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