Leading From the Heart
What’s behind a company’s motivation to be compassionate and giving toward their communities? Inspirational leaders are behind that aspiration. Raincatcher CEO Marla DiCarlo is one of the inspirational leaders at Raincatcher. That said, we are proud to announce that Raincatcher CEO Marla DiCarlo has been nominated for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year Award.
The “why” behind Marla's passion for service started from a young age. Her father was a Marine who served in Vietnam and then joined the Highway Patrol for the remainder of his career. A man who followed rules, he taught Marla to value drive and integrity. When Marla was a teenager, he told her that, “the only thing you take with you out of this world is your integrity.”
That lesson has never left her consciousness, as she is reminded of the power of each individual’s words and actions. Her mother is, “the sweetest person” and taught her to love people. Her mother demonstrated that love by contributing to the community, volunteering at school events, and participating in neighborhood drives and events.
Another influential figure in Marla’s life was her maternal grandmother. Marla describes her as, “one of the most compassionate and strongest women you would ever meet.”
Marla’s grandmother, like her mother, taught Marla unconditional love and shared her faith. Faith drove everything that her grandmother did. Marla learned to lean on her family’s values when she went through periods of hardship. Over time, she grew in character and learned how to glean the positive from negative events.
She began honing her business skills at a very young age too. Starting at only eight-years-old, and every weekend until she was 16, Marla worked at her family’s pet shop. She worked the cash register, helped with inventory and animal care, and practiced her sales skills. It was at that time, when she was 12, that Marla decided she wanted to be a psychologist. Driven by a desire to help people and understand the “why” behind their behavior, she eventually studied social work in college.
Marla may have never considered how she could help people with her business skills if it hadn’t been for the Director of Human Services at her college. The Director pulled Marla aside one day and asked her if she really wanted to continue with social work, versus business, as Marla asked different types of questions than those of her classmates. She also had a hard time separating herself from her cases. The Director not only saw in Marla what Marla didn’t see in herself but also helped her find her real passion.
It was a pivotal moment in the development of what would become Marla’s career: her professional “why” became to help abused women by teaching them bookkeeping. She became dedicated to helping people help themselves.
Marla still shows up to work every day, driven by that same passion to help others. She inspires those with whom she comes in contact to live with integrity, love others without condition, and lead with compassion and service. She, along with the other leaders at Raincatcher, lead with their hearts and also strive to care for their communities. One of the many charities that Raincatcher contributes to is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).
The LLS is intensely focused on finding cures for blood cancer, leading at the forefront of the fight. Compared to other blood cancer nonprofits, they are the largest funder of cutting-edge research to advance cures with nearly $3 billion invested in research. Over the years, support from the community has been instrumental in the advancements that have doubled, tripled, and in some cases quadrupled the survival rate for some blood cancers.
Jason Thomas, VP of Business Brokerage Services at Raincatcher, is also a close friend of Marla’s. He nominated her this year for the LLS Woman of the Year competition.
Battling blood cancer had hit close to home for the Thomas Family. Jason’s daughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in March of 2015. Madison was three-years-old at the time. She also went on to become the LLS Girl of the Year in 2017.
Madison and the entire Thomas Family bravely endured a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer that involved weeks in the hospitals, countless rounds of chemo, and numerous visits to the doctor.
The entire Raincatcher team celebrated with them the wonderful moment in time it was announced Madison’s cancer was in remission as of September 2017! Their story, along with so many others, is the reason that we proudly support the efforts of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society both individually and as an organization.
Marla and Jason are leaders in our corporate consciousness of how we, as individuals and as a company, give back to our communities. We have a symbiotic, inspirational relationship with them. They walk their talk and they have planted that seed of giving back to the community in each one of us. We, in turn, inspire them to continue their great work for a better existence for those that are less fortunate. They are personally involved in exemplifying our company values of integrity and service.
When asked what is the one word that Marla uses to describe herself, she quickly responds with: “tenacious!” And after having worked alongside her at Raincatcher, I wholeheartedly agree. She’s tenacious in all areas of her life and truly inspires us every day to do our best, lead from a place of heart-centered service.
Marla’s intentions are to leave a legacy that exemplifies her compassion and care for others. She wants to make a difference in the lives of others. Marla and the rest of us here at Raincatcher are leaning in to help others and hope to lead the way with a servant’s heart through giving back to our communities. Let’s grow together.
Please click here to donate to the LLS as a part of Marla's fundraising campaign. The fundraising begins Thursday, March 4.
- This story was written by Raincatcher Team Member Sara Burnette