The Alumni Spotlight shines this week on Jack A. Frost, Class of 1989, who is originally from Baldwin and now lives in Ellsworth. Frost graduated with a business education degree and is now the Director of Philanthropy for Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Foundation in Ellsworth.
Tell us a little bit about what you are doing now:
I am responsible for the Hospital’s fundraising initiatives, which includes: grant writing, annual fund, major gifts, planned gifts, and charity events. For the past decade, I have worked closely with the Hospital’s CEO and Board of Trustees to develop the Hospital’s planned giving program.
Prior to joining Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, I served 14 years with Training & Development Corporation as a Project Manager. This work included oversight of a state-wide job training program for migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM?
The most valuable things I learned while at UMM were flexibility and grit. I have been fortunate to have a successful career and to be deeply involved in civic activities in the Downeast Region of Maine. I have found that being flexible is a key to success. It is essential to listen and recognize others perspectives. Understanding when to compromise and shift in a direction that is best for the majority is not always the path you would like to choose, but it is most often the most successful path. I have found you can accomplish great things by joining forces to work toward a common goal – whether it be raising $5 million for a new capital expansion project for the community hospital, or organizing a $5,000 event to benefit the Rotary Club’s Scholarship Fund.
I feel that ‘grit’ makes a big difference in life. Luck is a wonderful gift, but having grit often allows one to succeed beyond expectations. I’ve always taken pride in my work. Putting in the extra effort often makes for a greater impact.
Do you have any advice for current students at UMM?
The current UMM marketing brochure includes the following quote from Professor Emeritus Rick Scribner – “I get tremendous feeling of accomplishment from watching students take what they’ve learned here and make meaningful careers for themselves.”
This is a great point. I would remind student to keep in mind the importance of obtaining their degree. It is an extremely valuable credential which can lead to a meaningful career and a purposeful life. It’s about the doors that become open to you and the steps you take to create openings for others. Reflect on your passions and interests. While at UMM, seek out opportunities to give back to the University and the local community. This will enrich your life.
How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now?
My time at UMM provided the opportunity to have broad and diverse experiences. Balancing studies, service activities, work study, physical fitness, personal relationships and social activities was so valuable. I try to maintain this balance today. Life if not perfect, but I find that I keep myself in check by seeking out a life balance that is engaging and fulfilling.
How has UMM made a positive impact on your life?
The greatest impact has been the opportunity for career growth. The level of education needed to succeed in the workforce has changed drastically in the past three decades. Those with a college education are in the minority. I am fortunate to have created a fulfilling lifestyle that allows our family to be happy and live within our means. A mantra I have adopted in recent years has been “avoid the drama”. When considering how to solve problems, UMM Professor Emeritus Richard Larson often reminded me to keep it simple – AKA: the KIS principle. It seems very common that people find ways to complicate their life and become overwhelmed with professional and personal challenges.
This quote below from Gordon B. Hinckley is a favorite, and is a constant reminder to appreciate all that I have and never to shy away from giving back.
“Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others… By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”