Andy Roddick was the keynote speaker at a Luncheon hosted by Austin Gives, a program that recognizes philanthropy for all central Texas businesses donating one per cent or more of pre-tax earnings.
Roddick talked about his foundation's mission to bring opportunities to young people in the community, and used the word hero frequently to refer to his friend and tennis legend Andre Agassi.
One of Roddick’s insights came from a half hour conversation he had with Agassi when he was still in his teenage years and starting out as a professional. Roddick asked the question of Agassi: “What has been your biggest regret?” Agassi’s answer was not about tennis.
“Not starting his foundation earlier,” he said.
Another bit of wisdom came in the form of very direct call to action. The “best thing is to get involved,” Roddick explained. “Help children. If you care about something else, find a way to add value,” and “play to your strength when it comes to philanthropy.”
The three of us representing Encast at the Luncheon smiled, realizing that, too, is our message: “Don’t wait to engage with the causes you love.”
And as Roddick encouraged us all to “help activate someone else’s work,” we became aware that we were having lunch with precisely the kinds of people whose work we want to activate.