Q: What motivates you to spend your own time and resources to help our community?
A: Giving back is woven into the fabric of my family. As a kid I learned the value of helping others stand on their own two feet by providing a hand up rather than a hand out. As a husband, father, businessman, and philanthropist I feel a moral obligation to bring out the best in a community that has given me so much. I also know that lasting change doesn’t happen by chance. It only happens when forward-thinking people who care about their community choose to make a difference and commit themselves to creating the change they want to see. It really is a higher purpose and if we don’t lead the charge, who will?
Q: What will it take to create a better Broward?
A: Local leadership and private resources. Our Federal, State and County governments do not have new money to invest in Broward. And even if they did, we would have to wait to get it and it would come with strings attached. We’d also be forced to solve our community’s biggest issues using a cookie cutterapproach, which isn’t always the best way forward. Broward is unique and the solutions we create need to be unique too. Philanthropic dollars allow us to be nimble, work faster, and develop our own solutions – solutions that work for us.
A bigger challenge is that Broward is outgrowing existing philanthropic dollars. Broward is the 17th most populous county in the nation, but the Community Foundation of Broward’s total assets rank only 95th among all community foundations. Despite that, the Foundation puts $10 million a year back into the community – which has a tremendous impact on people’s lives. Imagine the difference an additional $25 million a year in Foundation grants would make. It would be transformational. It just takes local visionaries, entrepreneurs and doers to step-up and lead the charge with their philanthropy.
Q: Which community issue matters to you most?
A: There are so many important issues, but being healthy is the basis of our very existence. In addition to being on the Board, I have my own charitable Fund at the Foundation, The Hudson Family Fund. I use it to support programs that help people in Broward get and stay healthy. If you don’t have your health you can’t work and if you can’t work it’s difficult to reach your full potential. I’ve seen this first-hand with members of my own family who have suffered from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. That’s why I’m committed to doing what I can to support programs that teach people to eat better and become more physically active, while helping them take charge of their own well-being.
Q: What is your vision for the Community Foundation in the year ahead?
A: I love Broward. I was born and raised here, and I am currently raising my family here. I’m certainly not the only one who knows what a great place this is. Just look at how the population is booming. Broward is now bigger than 13 states and by 2030 will grow to 2.3 million people. Growth is a good thing, but it also means that our community’s issues and challenges will grow too. In the coming year, I want more local philanthropists to put a flag in the ground and show they care about this community by joining the Community Foundation to create a better Broward.