Add Passion and Stir
About This Show
Add Passion and Stir: Big Chefs, Big Ideas is the weekly Share Our Strength podcast about people who are changing the world. Each week, Billy Shore, the founder and chairman of Share Our Strength, has a conversation with a guest from the culinary world and an industry thought leader creating a thought-provoking discussion. As much as food has become a source of pleasure and celebration, it’s amazing how food is central to our health, environment, educational achievement, sustainability, and overall quality of life.
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How much do you think about how you contribute to society? Is it important for you to help others and give back? Two social sector advocates whose deep values and empathy guide their own career paths discuss the importance of doing good. Dan Cardinali, CEO of Independent Sector, and Bren Herrera, Cuban private chef and lifestylist, chat about food, culture, personal transformations, and their deep passion for helping others with Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, on this episode of Add Passion and Stir.
Cardinali, a champion for the social sector (nonprofit and philanthropic institutions), reveals its vastness: 1.5 million institutions that employ 1 in 10 Americans and serve or engage 1 in 4. However, that impact is often overlooked and there is a misperception that the sector is weaker and less effective than the private sector. “Nonprofit and philanthropic institutions are critically important to America because they often are working on those issues that neither government nor market strategies are able to address,” says Cardinali. “In many regards, they are much more effective than either government or business can be, yet they are often looked at as being subpar to those two institutions.”
This perceived second-class standing of social sector organizations also affects the individuals who choose to work there who are, according to Cardinali, “extraordinarily heroic folks willing to suppress their own desires for wealth and praise in service of bettering the community.” Based on her own transformational path from law to life coaching, Herrera agrees. “Our purpose in life is not to make money… it’s to do the best that we can to make our global community a better place,” she believes. However, she also poses the question of how to attract bright young people into the sector. Shore feels it is critical for young people to know the social sector is a viable option. Speaking about Share Our Strength, he says, “Having the best people in the country feel like, ‘this is a place I want to be,’ becomes very important to our ability to succeed.” Cardinali reinforces this point. “Many social sector institutions take on the most difficult and intractable problems in the world – and you want the… best talent addressing the most difficult challenges.”
All three participants agree that food can play an important role in improving our society. Herrera shares stories of how food can heal and connect people from he