Monday, December 3, 2012

Light the Leadership Path with Ed Soto

Catalyst Miami is uniquely defined by  five intrinsic values: leadership, collaboration, innovation, self-empowerment, and compassion. Combined, these values tell the compelling story of how individuals connect to our organization and thrive to make a collective impact in their communities. Enjoy staff member Gina Ha's beautiful original paintings and story as they unfold over five days leading up to Give Miami Day December 12. Follow our journey of five noteworthy Catalyst Champions who embody these values. 

The journey starts with leadership; the ability and willingness to dream with an internal compass that points to the sky. The destination is ambitious, the journey quite cloudy, and the method of locomotion not yet determined.

As the son of a father who worked for Eastern Airlines, Edward “Ed” Soto spent many of his childhood years shuttling between Miami and New York. But when he became a teenager, he told his parents he wanted to stay in Miami for good. “It was much smaller then, of course,” he recalls. “But Miami still has that appealing, open quality that made me want to live here.”
So, after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his law degree from Columbia University, Soto made Miami his home—and the home base of his distinguished career as an attorney. The senior trial partner and head of the litigation department in the Miami office of Weil, Gotshal & MangesLLP, Soto has effectively represented an array of powerhouse clients in complex, high-stakes cases for more than three decades. 
Active over the years in many public service organizations in the Miami area, Soto first met Catalyst Miami CEO and President Daniella Levine when he reached out to fellow Columbia law graduates in the Miami area. “I was fascinated by her amazing dedication to using her time and talents to give back to our community,” he recalls. “So I asked how I could help.” 
Through his volunteer efforts with Catalyst, Soto says, “I’ve become involved not only with Catalyst programs such as the Prosperity Campaign, but with community organizations such as Roots in the City, Camillus House, and Casa Valentina. Catalyst gave me a new perspective on Miami.” 
Soto was particularly intrigued by Catalyst’s work with Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that helps young people build professional and advocacy skills through nonprofit internships. Two of his own four sons completed yearlong Public Allies internships, and their experiences have inspired their brothers, in turn, to get involved in the public sector.

“Community is a social contract: a series of ideas that we believe benefit the whole,” Soto continues. “Part of that means looking at how, as a community, we can serve each other’s needs.” Toward that end, Soto considers Catalyst’s approach to building community through a multifaceted commitment to direct service, civic engagement, and assistance to fellow community groups uniquely powerful.

So when someone asks Soto why, among hundreds of community organizations, they should support Catalyst, he has a ready answer: “There may be hundreds of rock groups, but there’s only one Beatles.”

Ed Soto is a Catalyst Champion. Would you consider becoming a champion as well? Commit now to support Catalyst Miami on Give Miami Day December 12th and join our local movement to connect for good.
Our Stories: 

Light the Leadership Path with Ed Soto, Collaborate Across Ages with Woody Pagan, Create Innovation with Caitlin McLaren, Engage and Empower with Maisah Williams, Caring and Sharing with Myrian Crissien


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