Have You Met?

Interviewed by:  Nancy Koontz.

 There are times you just know someone is a good guy; and those are the vibes you get from being around Lydell.  Prominent Denver Marketing and Advertising Professional, Lydell Peterson, seems to also have found a whole new meaning to his professionalism.  He is out there actively supporting several nonprofits in town that are near and dear to him; and he’s one of the founders of the new Beacon Youth and Family Center Young Professionals group.

A man of deep thought and integrity, Lydell has worked in high-level positions for Fortune 500 companies with 20 years of experience in the financial and telecommunications industries. With his exceptional networking and communication skills, Peterson is known for his ability to problem-solve and create bankable results.
Lydell views the world in such an exciting, positive way, some of his optimism is bound to rub off on you.  He’s also someone you know would be there to help you out in a heartbeat.  Mike Guthrie, the Beacon Youth and Family Center’s Executive Director, glowingly remarked: “As a board member, Lydell is a significant part of our success in many areas, and it is hard to imagine that any nonprofit has a board member who is so committed to the organization he supports.  His role with us is huge, and we benefit even more from the fact that Lydell is a warm, friendly, engaging and enjoyable person.  He’s great for Beacon Center and is a pleasure to work with.  One caution, though:  He’s ours, and I won’t willingly share him.” How about that for an endorsement! 

Lydell is entertaining different career opportunities in Marketing Communications at this time. 
There’s so much more Lydell wants to accomplish, and with his conviction to his commitments, we know we will be hearing more “good things” from this outstanding community leader.

How did you become involved with the Beacon Youth and Family Center, and what makes them unique from other non-profits? I was on the committee for the Cherry Creek Nordstrom’s grand opening, and the Beacon Center was one of the nonprofit beneficiaries. Coincidentally, I had been thinking about getting more involved with an organization that helps children, and as fate would have it, (the late) Anne Robinson, our Executive Director, at the time approached me about becoming a Board Member and the rest is history.

There are so many worthy organizations and nonprofits throughout the metro area, but what I like most about the Beacon Center philosophy is the ability to positively impact young lives and help them be productive members of society. We offer several programs to help them cope with mental, social, emotional, and substance abuse challenges.
Tell us about the new Beacon Center Young Professionals Group? A vision that Anne had was to encourage young professionals within the community to get involved in any organization, but also to obviously capture a piece of that demographic to help create awareness of the Beacon Center mission and be active throughout the year as some of the older demographic transitions into other areas.
That being said, this year we wanted to create an actual “Young Professionals” event to generate awareness and to ultimately create ticket sales for the upcoming Cherish the Children “Casablanca” gala on Saturday, May 15th. The Young Professionals benefit should be a very exciting event that we hope to do annually; and my hope is that it will dovetail into some other development efforts throughout the year. (For more information about “Casablanca” – go to blacktie-colorado.com – event calendar.)
Is the economy posing special problems for a nonprofit like Beacon Center? Yes, I absolutely believe that we all are feeling the impact of the economy,  but in the nonprofit world, the decline of program funding (largely public sector funds; state budgets and Medicaid) has an immediate impact combined with tightened individual budgets that appears to directly impact charitable giving which creates a double negative of sorts.
However, we have entered our 41st year in business, so charitable donations, foundations, and events like our gala is an even bigger issue than in previous years.  If we can't maintain our relationship with donors, it is very hard to stay in business.
In addition to your involvement with the Beacon Youth and Family Center, are there any other events or nonprofits you also support? Yes, there are several that I have supported in one form or another, but to name a few; Denver Hospice, Susan G. Komen, The Links, Sean Lough Memorial Scholarship Fund (their Kentucky Derby event), Denver Active 20-30 (Denver Polo), Junior Achievement, Denver Art Museum/Culture Haus, Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital (Mutts & Models), Safehouse Denver, and Denver Rescue Mission.
Lately in your life, what has been your greatest mental challenge?  Emotional challenge? The realization of how fragile and short life can be is always an eye opener. Plus, watching a family member go through struggles or challenges of their own and not really being able to do much of anything other than support them and provide unconditional love can be very challenging.
Can you share with us a treasured childhood memory? Playing in the backyard with my brothers was fun! And I always enjoyed tetherball, kickball, and dodgeball.
What are you most proud of?  What do you see as your greatest accomplishment so far? There are so many things that come to mind, but to name a few I would say; being the first in my family to graduate and earn my degree from Colorado State University (go Rams!), my philanthropic involvement, successfully completing two half marathons, finishing the Triple Bypass, cycling to the top of Mount Evans, a loving mother, and awesome friends!
What’s it like being young and single in Denver? Truth be told, I’m not that young!! But, I hope to keep a youthful attitude and appearance for as long as I can! Being single (unmarried) in Denver has a lot of advantages as there are so many things to experience. I have done a lot of things that I never fathomed as a child and have had a lot of fun along the way.
What’s happening out in the corporate world these days?  What’s the climate out there, and what shifts are you seeing? Well, I’d like to believe that the climate is changing in a positive way; however it seems to be very slow. It can be very disheartening to pass by businesses that have been long standing that are now closed. Although, I don’t believe we are through this recessive environment - yet, the state of Colorado appears to be “weathering” things much better than other parts of the country, and I’m hopeful that corporations will begin to help create job growth and opportunity. 
As you see it, what’s the most important issue out there for our youth today?  Access to care is critical. With the current economic environment, services have been dropped significantly. The need for program funding continues to be necessary to support youth/kids that may be at-risk. We need to care for them and break the negative cyclical chain, so that they become responsible adults and not become harmful to themselves, their families or society in general
How can all of us help? I would encourage people to get involved through participating, volunteering or financial donations. There are so many good causes and so many needs that it is my firm belief that we all play a role in each others’ success. The mantra “think globally, act locally” can apply in many different ways.
What are your short-term goals?  Simply to stay healthy and enjoy what life has to offer! And maybe winning the largest Powerball Jackpot ever awarded!
What are your professional goals? Currently, I am seeking gainful employment and trying to stay open-minded regarding the industry; but my general goal is to pursue an opportunity within Marketing Communications or a management position in general. I am hopeful that with continued networking and visibility, the right opportunity will present itself sooner than later.
In your eyes, what would be the ideal job for you? Definitely something sports related. I always joke that my perfect job would be as a broadcaster for SportsCenter on ESPN or maybe a big time sales rep for Nike. How much fun would either of those be?!

What do you hope your legacy will be? Good question, and also difficult to answer. But understanding how short life really is, I hope to do God’s will to the best of my ability and have a positive impact on the lives that I may touch and the people that I meet. Whether it is for a moment or longer, I try to make each action and every word count.