In the Nation's Interest
2018 Awards Dinner Spotlight: Ted Mathas
Ted Mathas is the Chairman and CEO of New York Life. You can view his bio here. At CED's 2018 Distinguished Performance Awards Dinner, he will introduce Michele Buck, President and CEO of The Hershey Company.
Has your company spearheaded a particular philanthropic or societal initiative that you would like to share?
One of our primary philanthropic focal points is providing support for grieving children. Childhood bereavement is an often overlooked, but disturbingly common, issue in our country today. In fact, 1 in 20 American children lose a parent by the age of 16. Aligned with New York Life’s mission to provide financial support to families following the death of a loved one, the New York Life Foundation strives to bring a measure of emotional support to young people. Our funding goes towards direct services to children who need help, staff training and operational improvements for our nonprofit partners providing these services, and scholarly research aimed at having a long-term impact in this field. We are now in our 10th year of funding this initiative, and to date have invested more than $35 million.
What advice do you have for those who aspire to careers in leadership, or have just started to serve in a leadership capacity?
First and foremost, you must create an environment of trust with your team and colleagues, and work to ensure that all of your actions reinforce this. It’s also important to model the behavior you expect from others – never forget that how you say something is just as important as what you say. And finally, it’s critical for you and your team members to be individually accountable for decisions and actions, while collectively celebrating any success achieved with those around you.
Which aspect of your company’s culture has made the biggest contribution to its success?
A company’s culture is simply a reflection of the values and norms of behavior of the people who work there. I’m particularly proud of how all of us work together – with honesty, humanity, humility and respect for each other. Moreover, regardless of where someone works within our organization, they understand and appreciate who we are and that we’re not simply in the business of generating profits. We fulfill a societal need: providing financial security and peace of mind and being here when our clients need us.