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On the Job with Dwayne Myles

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

"On the Job with ... " is a weekly Sunday Inc. series, spotlighting area business owners and executives. Today's interview is with Dwayne Miles, president and executive officer of United Way of Southwest Georgia.

Q. If you were a young adult fresh out of college, what would you do first in searching for a job?

A. Internship and/or volunteer with a firm to start to build my network of business associates. Due to the slow economy, job opportunities are limited and college graduates must think outside the box.

Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first ever paycheck?

A. I received my first paycheck at the age of 12 and I purchased a pair of Air Jordan tennis shoes.

Q. What's the single most effective technique you found over the past two years for keeping employees motivated?

A. Setting goals and high standards, measuring performance and keeping everyone engaged throughout the process.

Q. What was your first job?

A. I didn't get paid for my first job, which was to cut grass and trim hedges around the house. My first paying job was working in the field.

Q. What led you to your current position?

A. I have dedicated my entire career to improving community conditions. Working with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity International headquarters, and the Food Bank of Southwest Georgia have led me to my current path of service. I knew leading a United Way would be my greatest opportunity to mobilize people to work together around community issues.

Q. Do you have a role model or mentor in your career?

A. My mentor is the retired CEO of the United Way of metropolitan Atlanta, Mark O'Connell. My role model has always been my mom.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?

A. Always be prepared for the future financially and emotionally.

Q. If you could turn the clock back on one aspect of technology - examples e-mail, automated phone systems, cell phones, PDAs, etc. - what would you most like to see go away?

A. I think I would say the automated phone systems. People like to talk with people, not recorded messages.

Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?

A. Blackberry.

Q. What was the last book you read? Do you have things you read daily or regularly?

A. "Ending Poverty in our Nation" and "In our Lifetime Until It's Gone." I read "Hope for Every Moment" by T.D. Jakes daily.

Q. I'm up and going by? And what is your morning routine?

A. Up by 7 a.m., dropping the kids to school, grabbing some breakfast, reviewing my work notes from the previous day.

Q. Favorite hobbies or activity outside work?

A. Golf, basketball, coaching my boys, fishing and reading.

Q. Best thing about your job?

A. I get the opportunity to help someone else each day have a better quality life.

Q. Worst thing about your job?

A. Sometimes I take the cares and concerns of the thousands of people in need home.

Q. The most beneficial course I took in school was?

A. Communications.

Q. What would be your dream job if you were able to pick a position outside your current career path?

Sports agent.

Q. Finish this thought; "on the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself...

A. Enjoying life on the beach with my wife.

Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?

A. Vision.

Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod?

A. Jazz, inspirational, gospel.

Q. What do you think is the biggest change Albany will see in the next 10 years?

A. In a positive way, I think Albany will be perceived differently in the next 10 years.

Q. What was the best vacation you've ever taken?

A. Cruise to the Bahamas with the family.

Q. What are the biggest changes you have seen in your specific line of business over the past few years?

A. Funding has been down.