Joe King’s earliest encounters with Concern originated in his native Ireland. He recalls giving his first donations when the organization was just getting started and admits to forgetting all about Concern until he moved to Chicago in 1979 when he became involved again. Thirty-eight years later, Joe has been a steadfast and integral supporter of Concern, having served on Concern’s Board of Directors for the past six years as well as providing vital support to Concern’s Chicago events.

I've been lucky in life, and contrary to the current dominant philosophy, I don't think that individuals alone hold the power to determine their own economic success. Not everyone gets a chance to succeed, and I believe in helping those who are less fortunate to get their chance.

Joe recently traveled with Concern to Sierra Leone, a country still on a difficult road to recovery after being at the epicenter of the largest Ebola outbreak in history. When thinking back to his time in Sierra Leone, Joe says he was immediately struck by how well known and respected Concern was there.

Being greeted with a familiar “Hello, Concern Worldwide!” in the program areas he visited resonated with him as a true testament to Concern’s relationship with local communities, and it demonstrated how Concern’s work is integrated into existing social structures. By seeking out those whose voices often go unheard, we design inclusive programs that meet specific community needs, with the ultimate goal of transferring project ownership to the communities themselves.

Seeing Concern in action, Joe was moved by the great courage and dedication of the teams working in conditions of hardship, suffering, and crisis. This type of commitment is what he admires about Concern -- our ability to build resilience with the most vulnerable people in the hardest-to-reach places.

Joe King is the retired CEO of Molex Inc. He now spends his days on the golf greens between Chicago and Ireland and globetrotting with his wife, Irene.