When long-time Naperville resident and businessman Robert Seidl was looking for a place to make a difference, he found it with 360 Youth Services. And as a new board member, he will have plenty of opportunities to offer his expertise.
Executive Director Ron Hume said that’s exactly what they’re hoping for.
“Bob has taken an active interest in understanding the depth of our programs, the foundation of 360, and the services we provide,” Hume said.
Seidl, 59, grew up in Chicago and went on to attend Loyola University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and later an MBA in marketing.
He is the chief global officer at POLA-Orbis Holdings, the Japanese parent of H2O Plus, and is responsible for directing five international companies. Before that, Seidl was president and CEO of H2O Plus for seven years, directing the global Chicago-based cosmetics company through the sale process to Goldman Sachs in 2008, and then POLA-Orbis in 2011.
Before joining H2O Plus, he served as president and CEO of Zotos International, a large subsidiary within parent company Shiseido Cosmetics. His career includes executive positions at Unilever’s Helene Curtis and Motorola.
His initiation to 360 Youth Services began after being invited to a fall gala event offered by the group, and Seidl recalls being struck by the testimonials given by a few young men who were being helped by 360 Services.
“I was invited to this annual gala by a past president of the organization, and I knew about them as a result of my travels,” Seidl said. “Our family had relocated back here in Naperville, and I was interested in giving back to the community. Two or three residents of the program got up that night and gave testimonials about how much 360 services meant to them.”
Seidl described those testimonials as “heartwarming and heartfelt” and said he was struck by how “unique and contributory” 360 Youth Services was.
Hume said that Seidl’s name was given to the government committee and that afterward there was no doubt about whether he would be offered a position on the board.
“There is no debate about Bob contributing to the board,” Hume said. “I feel like we got a No. 1 draft choice.”
Seidl said his hope is to help the organization expand to give more opportunities to more people.
“In business, I’ve learned not to contend with the status quo, and in order to grow, it takes a strategic plan and a vision to fulfill that plan with practical mile posts,” he said. “I’ve been on a lot of business boards, and this one is outstanding. There are a lot of talented, engaged people.”
Seidl said, despite the vast number of charitable organizations throughout Naperville, resources to support them still remain untapped.
“We still have voices that have not reached the community, and it’s our collective need and mission to have them understand who we are and what we do,” he said. “We have a bit of a transient population, and we need to make connections to reach a broader audience to get involved.”
Seidl said he lived in Naperville with his wife and two daughters from 1984 until 2001 when business interests took him to the New York area for a while. The family moved back seven years ago thanks to the experiences they had living here the first time.
“Naperville gave my daughters wonderful opportunities growing up, and this is a caring community that to its credit has become more diverse,” he said. “We never gave another thought to living anywhere else when it was time to come back. When you leave a place and come back — we found it was similar but different. But Naperville has evolved for the better.”Tags: 360 Youth Services, community service, From the Top