Michele Greene is a State Farm agent in Lighthouse Point. Michele began her volunteer works 22 years ago as a new agent and business woman looking to give back to her community locally and countywide. Expecting a child herself at the time, Michele wanted to work with children and young mothers. Children’s Home Society of Florida provided the opportunities she was looking for. Michele now serves as Chairman of the Board for CHS in Broward County and on the state board as Chairperson of the Development Committee for Florida.
Michele has been the President of the Lighthouse Point Chamber of Commerce for the last 3 years. Membership has tripled and the signature event: the Annual Taste of Lighthouse Point has gone from netting $2000 to last year over $31,000. She states that when you take a good idea, bring in a lot of hard working business owners, it is limitless in what a good team of folks can do together!
In addition to CHS, Michele volunteers with Toys for Tots and through her church – St. Elizabeth of Hungary as a volunteer teacher, Eucharistic minister, and pastoral council member. Michele says everyone can be a volunteer. She has been the top volunteer state wide for State Farm Insurance Companies for the previous 3 years. If you can only do it once a month or even once a year, the reward of knowing you have helped a child is worth it. It is easy to do and can make a lifetime of difference.
As I begin each day in whichever arena it may be, I realize that what may appear to be a challenge, ends up at the end of the day to be an accomplishment. Assisting an insured, raising money of the awareness for those without a public voice, nurturing my son and family and taking time with friends – it is a blessing and it is my pleasure.
- American Business Women’s Association: Business Leader of the Year - - 2009
- 2006, 2007, 2008 Volunteer of the Year: State of Florida – State Farm Insurance Companies
- 2004 Appointee to the Agent’s Advisory Board of South Florida
- Member of the State Farm Florida Region Gold Club
- 1998 – 2004, 2007, 2008 Ambassador Traveler Qualifier
- Golden Triangle, Silver Scroll, Bronze Table and Legion of Honor Qualifier for 15 yrs
- 1999 Volunteer of the Year Honoree by the Florida Marlins
- 1998 American Cancer Society--Woman of the Year Honoree
- 2004-2012 Board of Director for Children’s Home Society – State Level - - Development Committee Chairperson 2004-2008-2012
- 1994-2010 Board of Director for Children’s Home Society – Intercoastal Division
- 2008-2010 Board Chairperson of Children’s Home Society – Intercoastal Division
- 1998-2000 Board Chairperson of Children’s Home Society – Intercoastal Division (Ft. Lauderdale-Broward County)
- State Farm Insurance: Toys for Tots annual holiday drive for toys, clothing and gift cards for local charities – agency liaison with Public Affairs Department 1998-2009
- 2004-2010 Board of Director of the Lighthouse Point Chamber of Commerce
- 2007-2010 Lighthouse Point Chamber President
- 4th, 5th and 6th Annual Taste of Lighthouse Point Event Chair: raising funds locally for schools and recreational city projects
- 2005-2009 Board of Director for Share-A-Pet, a pet assisted therapy organization
- Pompano Beach High School Booster Club Corporate Fundraiser Coordinator
- State Farm volunteer for Junior Achievement in the high school 2002
- Deerfield Beach/Nova University Ambassador Entrepreneurial Program mentor
- State Farm Insurance political team captain for Legislative Day on the Hill – 1994-present
- Eucharist Minister: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church
- Mass Lector: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church
- Religious Education Instructor for St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church 2000-present
- St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Pastoral Council Member 2007-present
- Strategic Committee Chair 2009-2010 St. Elizabeth / ADOM
- Annual underwriting sponsor for many local community based fundraisers
- Agent participant with Public Affairs at the State Farm House
- Agent participant with Public Affairs for City of Deerfield Fire Fighters salute day
Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment? The growth of my agency and the assimilation into the community that I receive my business from. A giving back for all that I receive and continue to receive over and above the continuous changes the insurance industry goes through.
What do you enjoy the most about your work? I LOVE going into work each day and the feeling of accomplishment is so rewarding!
Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input? I believe that everyone that I come in contact with is a mentor for me. I take away a little from each encounter and incorporate into my daily lifestyle.
You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met? I had the opportunity to spend my 21st birthday at a Leo Buscaglia presentation and when I went up to the stage to ask him to autograph my copy of his then current book, he looked into my eyes and the energy he sent was unbelievable.
What program with your organization do you get the most excited about? I meet with clients in person or over the telephone all day long. To be able to convey the information that I need to and have it received but so many different types of people is exciting.
How did you determine which charitable organizations you would support? I support charitable organizations that I feel make a direct impact on their clients and the community that they are located it. It is important to be a part of and give back a large part of yourself locally.
Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year? The charitable events that are fund raisers are nice, but the events that include the component of the community that they serve is so much better. To reach out and literally touch those that you are directly helping makes it all worth it.
How have things changed for you through the years? Change, it is inevitable. Days change and become years. Life changes and if one is not ready for the roller coaster of a ride, and then I am not sure how they can embrace change. The organizations I serve have to change with the needs of their community and I have to change my ways of handling things so that I can be a least one step ahead of the new expectations.
What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization? I can and do relate to the children’s charity: Children’s Home Society of Florida that I work for and with. I compare their needs with the needs of each and every family that I know in my work place and throughout my community. What I need on a day to day basis to run my home and office is magnified 10XXX for these families that do not have the ______ to be able to “make it happen” in their own homes.
What is your greatest challenge at this time? The greatest challenge of our times is money, time, patience and public awareness for those children and families that do
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Happiness however perfect it can be is a healthy family with whom spending time with can make such memories.
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years? What I have learned through the years is to communicate and be consistent in my actions with everyone that I come into contact with and with whom and for whom I maybe making a difference.
How do you relax? I treat myself to a day of pampering and that re-energizes me for a few more months.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot? I think Bermuda is a beautiful vacation spot, but here in south Florida, just going to the beach early in the morning can be a quick vacation moment.
What do you wish you could have a never-ending supply of? A never ending supply of hugs and kisses would be great.
If you found a treasure chest – and you could keep it, what would you want to be in it? Peace from its simplest form to its universal meaning.
How can we reach out to other people in the world? We can reach out to other people in the world here in our own backyard of south Florida. We are fortunate to have such a variety of people from all over the world that we can learn from. But today, after the earthquake in Haiti – reaching out to them now through local organizations is so very important to them there and their families here.
What can make you laugh? The innocence of a child is the best laughter, the best medicine.
What can make you cry? If you ask my son what can make me cry, it’s everything that I am passionate about and then add to it a chick flick and I am a puddle.
Are you where you hoped you would be at this point in your life? Do any of us really know where would be 25 years out? All I know is that if I had to do it all over again, I would with very little changes…so Yes, I guess I am.
What do you still hope to accomplish? I would like to be more philanthropic and have more time in a day and week to be more involved. But that is what retirement times are for and that is what I want to be doing later on.
When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a pediatrician or a teacher when I grew up…and if I reflect on my life, I am fulfilling those roles, but within different arenas.
What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today? The biggest problem we are facing in this country or around the world is that the next generation lives in a disposable society and
How do you want to be remembered by future generations? I hope my great-grandchildren and their friends will remember that my love was unconditional
What do your want your epitaph to read? 1957-2057 – what a great life!
Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life? Share yourself with others from your heart, be consistent in your actions and communicate your feelings.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? Everyone I meet is interesting in their own way.
What word best describes your life right now? ENERGETIC
What charitable organizations are you involved with at this time? Children’s Home Society of Florida – Intercoastal Division and State Board
Is there a non-profit event you really look forward to attending each year? No
What is your proudest achievement? My proudest achievement is my son.
What is something your parents taught you that you will never forget? The value of the dollar.
What is your idea of a perfect vacation? A pampered day alone or with girlfriends is the perfect vacation day break.
In order to thrive and survive in the corporate workplace, we sometimes have to desensitize ourselves in order to get ahead. Not being real and authentic, isn’t that a big sacrifice to make? Yes it would be, so I try not to desensitize myself and I try to compromise for the better good of the issue at hand.
How does one hold on to their true self in the corporate world and still become successful? Do the right thing over and over again in my own office and then replicate it into the larger picture of the corporate structure that I am a part of.
How do you stay so motivated and committed? I wake up each morning with a feeling of new beginnings and look forward to making a difference today.
When does someone know when it’s time to move on? 3 attempts and then I move on…persistency does not pay sometimes
What is your favorite sport? Watching the last 10 minutes of any event to catch the final score…or the final end of the season game….I am not loyal to any one sport, they are can be enjoyable.
Do you feel women have made progress in their quest to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace? Yes, if you treat others in the fashion that you would like to be treated, you will be.
How does the “seasoned” woman compete in a marketplace that is focused on looking and being young? Maturity, knowledge and the get it done attitude are talents that outweigh youth and looks.
Is there a special “aha” moment in your life when you knew “I get it now!”? When you can see your teachings and guidance in others replicated by them to others.
You are evidently a very capable and talented woman/man, what other talent do you wish you had been born with? No, if I was any different, I do not think I would be as capable in the ways I have been fortunate to have made a difference.
What is the best book you have ever read? Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh…reading and audio
What’s the best movie you have ever seen? Gone With the Wind and City of Angels with Meg Ryan.
What three things are always in your refrigerator? Champagne, juices and milk - morning, noon and night liquids
What is your most treasured possession? My photos of family and friends – the memories.
What is your favorite restaurant? Any place that shops, cooks and cleans is my favorite restaurant.
What will we find you doing on a Saturday night? Family time or just down time to end a full week and get ready to start another week.
What is your favorite room in your house? Each room that has an outside view of Mother Nature. It allows me to ground myself.
If your house was up for sale, and a potential buyer did a walk through, what would your home say about you? It is and they have said: “wow, what a house, what a location and what a view!”
What is your greatest weakness? The answer is probably the same, when I join something, I give it my all, and I usually end up becoming an officer or director and serve and give of my time and energy.
What are you most disciplined about? I am a systems person and organized, it helps me when I have a lot of hats in the air.
What is a moment you will never forget? Childbirth for so many reasons
What is something you have learned from a pet? Unconditional love, I have 3 Shih Tzu’s and an English bulldog and I love them, but they love me more.sh
Do you have a Fashion Addiction? No, but the basic black wardrobe with accessories of a splash of color lasts for decades.
What is your favorite snack? Anything chocolate
What is your favorite Ice Cream flavor? Peppermint Ice Cream
What is your biggest fear? Confrontation.
What do you like the most about yourself? Just who I am today.
What would you still like to learn how to do? Photography.
What do you have to say to all the young women/men out there ready to take on the future? When you start something new, make a manual – one for yourself to learn from, but also when you rise the higharchy, you have a hand-me-down that would be greatly appreciated by your replacement.
How do we get our young people more interested in charitable giving and community volunteering? Whatever you give in life you receive back 10 fold sometime later when you exactly need