Rising to the top ranks at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, marketing executive and community leader Tina van der Ven is a mentor with big plans and great passion.
It’s 8 a.m. on a Thursday and Tina van der Ven, chief strategy officer at NewStar Media, is answering a barrage of emails, DMs and Linkedin messages. While a relentless stream of communication is typical for a marketing executive, van der Ven isn’t interacting with clients or reporters. Rather, she’s responding to many of the participants who heard her speak at an event for Impact Circle, the young professional’s division of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Miami. Held in the offices of Greenberg Traurig, van der Ven — along with Carolina Menendez of First Horizon Bank, Christopher Drew of JLL and Matthew Jafarian of the Miami HEAT — spoke to professionals ranging from 25 to 35 years old employed in a variety of industries. The information attendees wanted most: secrets to the speakers’ own success, despite the tremendous workforce challenges.
Mentoring, in fact, has been the very mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami since 1959. For seven decades, the organization has been working to develop future leaders, strengthen families and build communities by matching at-risk youths (referred to as “Littles”) with professionally supported adult mentors (called “Bigs.) Serving more than 4,000 children and teens each year, BBBS has been recognized by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as a strategy proven to improve academic success and gain essential life skills, paving the way for future economic success. That’s helped in no small part through a network of strategic partnerships with local businesses — think: Baptist Health South Florida, Carnival Corp., Ryder System Inc. and of course, Greenberg Traurig LLP — where kids can get hands on experience.
It was 2009 when van der Ven – 2009 gala chair of today co-chair of the board of directors and former gala co-chair – headed up BBBS Young Professionals