Disney, Toms, and Bethany Joy
When Blake Mycoskie—social good pioneer and founder of TOMS—asks you to speak on behalf of the company, you just don’t say no. It’s exactly the opportunity Bethany Joy Diehl Clark ’99 was given.
“I’ve been incredibly blessed to do several speaking engagements on behalf of TOMS,” explains Bethany. But, her biggest role as Global Brand Ambassador at TOMS is managing their relationship with the Home Shopping Network.
In 2016, Bethany appeared on more than ten shows. She helps sell TOMS shoes, eyewear, and bags—spreading the TOMS One for One mission as she goes. “Last year alone we were able to provide 20,000 new pairs of shoes to children in need just through the HSN audience,” says Bethany.
TOMS is in business to improve lives. So, what is the One for One promise? With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One. Customer purchases allow TOMS to give in over 70 countries around the world through a network of over 100 Giving Partners. To date, TOMS has helped give over 70 million new pairs of shoes, restore sight to over 445,000 people, and support safe birth services for over 70,000 mothers.
From the Start
Even while at Fredericksburg Christian School, Bethany was an active part of community building. She played sports, learned about leadership as Class President, and stayed involved in year-round extracurricular activities.
“When I graduated, I felt really encouraged and supported to follow my dreams,” says Bethany. She attributes that feeling to the level of investment FCS coaches and teachers had in her life.
From Disney to TOMS
After graduating from FCS in 1999 and James Madison University in 2003, Bethany moved to Southern California to work for The Walt Disney Company. She stayed there for seven years, in the end running their Grad Nite Program, where high school seniors from across the country are invited to Disneyland for a huge, exclusive graduation party.
“Each year, we served over 150,000 seniors at the special event,” says Bethany. “It was a really fun job; rewarding to see the magic and joy we were able to provide to thousands of high school students.” She had the privilege of working under great leadership while at Disney, forming bonds with friends and mentors that she remains in close connection with today.
As she learned about the social good movement, Bethany was drawn to the idea. “I was excited to see that things were moving in a direction where you could leverage business to change lives,” says Bethany.
In 2011, she took a job with TOMS—located in L.A.—as Director of Campus Programs. Since the company was in its early years, they used campus clubs in high schools and colleges across the country to help spread the movement.
The Gift of a Shoe
Over the last six years, Bethany has been a part of three TOMS giving trips—where employees get to travel and provide services to people in need. Among those were Peru; the Dominican Republic; and Little Rock, Arkansas.
“We team up with organizations all over the world—called giving partners—that are on the ground, living in those communities, doing incredible work,” explains Bethany.
On shoe-giving trips, children are provided with one of six types of shoes that match the needs of their community and environment. Giving partners will choose the appropriate shoe type for the culture, whether it’s a warm winter boot for a cold, mountainous region of Peru, or perhaps the girls’ Mary Jane silhouette which is required for school in India.
“To see the looks on the little kids’ faces when they get a new pair of shoes that are just for them in their size, it really reminds them that they’re valuable and that we care for them,” says Bethany.
The Adventure Unfolds
In 2016, TOMS celebrated their 10-year anniversary. It’s a milestone, especially for a for-profit company that has social good at its core. “TOMS has been a forerunner in the social good space and I’m really grateful to have been a small part of the journey.”
Bethany and her husband, Trevor, are off to new adventures and recently relocated to Colorado. With hobbies like marathon running, skiing, and snowboarding, their new surroundings provide the perfect playground. And, a new exciting chapter unfolds this summer as they’re expecting their first baby!
You can find Bethany on Twitter @itsbethanyjoy.
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