Daniel Sultan is the Chair of the Jays Care Foundation’s Young Professionals Board. Sultan, with help from the board of young professionals, created the Extra Innings event which goes into its second season at the end of this month. The Young Professionals Board invests in children in need from coast to coast by fundraising within their community.
Who are you and what do you do?
Obviously I am Daniel Sultan. I am the Chair of the Jays care Young Professionals board. And number 2 in my day-to-day life I work in my family business; we own a company called Stone-Tile International and we are in the flooring business so, we import and distribute flooring, ceramics, slabs and counter tops across Canada and the U.S. And I am director of International Corporate development for that company.
What makes international corporate development so important?
We actually created the position a few years ago, because there was a need – it was a family business started by my mom 25 years ago – and we were really in a big transition period to improve talent and structure within the organization. So a lot of what I focus on is improving the department and the systems and our personnel to help us get to that next level.
Why did you join the Jays Care Young Professionals’ board?
I actually started about five years ago, I was just a regular member. I kinda grew up through the ranks and became fundraising chair and then in my third year I was chair. Really, I got involved through a family friend and thought it was a great cause. At the same time baseball was always instrumental in my life and this is my way of kind of paying it forward because of all the opportunities I’ve had in my life. It was an easy yes to say to.
What skills from your day-today work do you use in order to stand out on that board and really make the change it sets out to accomplish?
I think one of the biggest things is we are all volunteering here and obviously giving out time to the cause. So as a leader you have to be understanding of that and work with your board members, not work as a hierarchal kind of leader but more so on the ground with them. To get them motivated and want to be productive, effective, show up to meetings, show up to events – to help push the cause.
To raise the level every year from what the board is expected to raise and do. You know, trying to be the best young professionals’ charity in the city and country, which is what we’ve been achieving over the last few years. It’s bringing in the right talent and that’s something I focus on day-to-day is always having the best talent. That’s really what my focus has been as chair is to have the best talent; whether it be fundraising, events expertise, bargaining expertise.
What has your biggest accomplishment been with the board so far?
I think it has to be last year when we were staff meeting with our events and finding ways to grow. We created the Extra Innings event, which we are hosting on July 27th, and what was really great about that is we determined “what do young professionals want?” And they want to network and mingle, or they either want to have fun and party. So the great thing about Extra Innings is that we are doing both in one night. It’s a speaker panel series where people can network and learn from mentors and those who have succeeded. Then right afterwards it turns into a really crazy nightclub party on the concourse so everybody can have fun and mingle and do their own networking. That’s what our demographic really looks forward too and I think that’s a big accomplishment. Because we were lacking that in the first three years – that true understanding of “what young professionals want?” “How do we engage more with young professionals and get them more involved in our cause?”
One more thing I’m proud about is the fact that in our second season we were able to get a brand like Marcus Stroman to want to be a part of it. With all the awesome feedback we got in our first year, to get someone like Marcus Stroman to want to attach his name to this, that’s a huge accomplishment. In such a quick period of time.
That’s probably what I’m most excited about, you know all that hard work we put in before and how quickly that’s seemed to pay off. I don’t think any of us expected that.
What will your role be at the Extra Innings event?
At the end of the day it’s just to make sure everything we’ve been planning for the last six months comes to fruition and goes live with our activations. I’ll really be there just as kind of morale support to the events team and the marketing team who will have all the hands on approach. Trusting them and empowering them to know they can strive to do even a better job than last year. Cause’ last year we had three hundred people come out in our first season and this year we are probably seeing about seven to eight hundred people. Quite a significant increase.
How do you keep yourself driven every day?
I think it’s just that pursuit of always wanting to be different. So A) to do something different and B) never wanting to be average. And if you’re going to tie yourself to something – put your name to it – make sure you do it well.
What do you do to unwind after a day at work?
Oh god, I don’t unwind, but if I do it’s at the gym or hanging out with friends.