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Senior vice president, Baird Private Wealth Management

“If you make opportunities easy for people, whether community service or financial planning, they’re more likely to get involved,” said William Liles, senior vice president at Baird Private Wealth Management. Liles has a long history of volunteering, from participating in middle school and high school service clubs, to currently serving on the boards of the Rotary Club of Nashville, the Family & Children’s Service and the Middle Tennessee FPA chapter.

Nashville is packed with millennials who are particularly interested in volunteering, he said, responding to a very strong nonprofit community supported by high-profile role models from the entertainment and sports worlds. To attract younger civic volunteers, it’s important for nonprofits to offer meaningful volunteer opportunities in strategic decision-making, hands-on experiences with programs, and networking, especially with access to senior professionals, Liles added.

His own volunteer service is satisfying in several ways. “I’m interested in the nonprofits as small businesses themselves. I enjoy helping them drive strategy, engage and grow the membership, and add and evaluate programs,” Liles said. “It’s also very helpful to work with people with diverse perspectives – to see what people face. It helps me in my practice when communicating with people going through different experiences.”

— Deborah Nason