President’s Letter: Purpose

On May 19th, several members, along with EFBC staff attended the Coleman Entrepreneurship’s Sixth Annual Purpose Pitch Competition. EFBC, you missed out! Everyone watched four startups pitch their greater purpose and how they plan to fulfill that purpose through their business objective. There was a theme around ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) throughout the pitches. The passion these startups exhibited inspired me to consider my purpose especially around social. A part of our purpose as an organization is to maintain a relationship with a university and champion their students.

I live to care for and serve my family. I strive to be a loving father to my four children and instill in them the values that I believe in. I encourage them to listen and empathize with others, so the world is a more compassionate place. I want my kids to try new things and to get out of their comfort zones because that’s where growth happens. I aim to be a devoted husband to my wife, Anette, who inspires me every day to be strong and captivates me with her sparkle. I love my wife and I live to see her joy.

Our company values are to be capable and dependable. Corporations and municipalities rely on our quality service and professionalism to serve them. I also bring that to my team and employees. I want to create a company culture that excites my employees to come to work. I aspire to be a great leader and the first step is showing up for my team, my customers, my vendors, and mostly for my family. I even have the privilege of working with my mom every day so I get to merge my family and company values daily, as we do in family business.

I’m thankful to the Purpose Pitch teams for inspiring this reflection. To remind me that my purpose is to take care of the people that are important to me, pursue lifelong learning and continuous growth, and be kind to others and myself. And I’m excited to continue elevating our relationship with Bruce Leech, Director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, and DePaul University. We are grateful to call them home. Lastly, I’ll leave you with this question – what’s your purpose?


Neil O’Donnell
VP of Business Development, Progressive Industries
EFBC President 2021-2022