From Commute to Community: A Transition that Enhanced the Life and Community of First Rate’s Chief Business Development Officer
During the first 18 years of my professional career, I lived in the Arlington area while working in either Dallas or Fort Worth. For those who are unfamiliar with the area, that translated to a twice daily commute lasting somewhere between 30 minutes and over an hour. Back then, my idea of community activity revolved around our two young daughters and trying to squeeze in time for YMCA programs and PTA meetings.
In 2000, I had an opportunity to join the First Rate family working in Arlington, TX. I jumped at the chance to finally live and work in my hometown! It excited me to not only get back that extra 1-2 hours a day in commute, but it also opened up the door for me to become much more involved in the Arlington community. Joining First Rate felt like a natural progression, because I was able to combine my professional and personal passions. I was passionate about being involved in my community, and the values of First Rate (Love, Give, Serve & Enjoy) were completely in line with that. Since I began working for First Rate, I cannot recall a time that I was required to be absent from a community event due to a business conflict or felt pressured to select one obligation or passion over the other.
Due to the support of First Rate and my colleagues, I have been able to actively participate in several non-profit organizations. I have served (and currently serve) on a number of local boards of directors and in an advisory capacity to Arlington community organizations in which I share common beliefs and goals. I also enjoy volunteering for non-profit events, such as the free outdoor concerts at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. It is an honor to assist in bringing the community and families together in a safe and fun environment for fellowship and an opportunity to support artists from all over the country.
First Rate also provides employees with contribution dollars each year, which has allowed me to invest additional resources in my community and in the non-profits I am passionate about. I am able to truly live out my version of what we call First Rate Living. Once I caught the First Rate Living bug, it manifested itself in my everyday way of thinking about our community.
Candidly, I always feel I receive more (in my heart) than I give in talent, effort, or resources. It’s a wonderful feeling to live a life as fulfilling as I have been able to live these past 19 years. I am not sure where the next 19 years will take me, but I hope I can continue serving our local community with the hope that I can leave it a little better today than it was yesterday.
Terry Gaines joined First Rate in 2000. He works closely with customers and other experts in the industry to anticipate the needs of the performance measurement industry. In addition to his role at First Rate, Gaines serves his community through leadership positions with the Arlington and National YMCA, The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Junior League of Arlington and Leadership Arlington.