PhilanthropyMiami recently interviewed The Children's Trust President and CEO James R. Haj. The interview was posted on PhilanthropyMiami's website and is included below.
Miami is special because…
It’s my hometown. I was born and raised here, and care deeply for everything that happens. We are lucky that it is such a beautiful, diverse and young city that has grown so much in the last several decades.
What does our nonprofit community need to be at our best?
Resources, support and also more collaboration – we need to figure out how the nonprofit sector can work together better in a continuum and with institutions in the community to streamline and make systems more efficient.
What is the biggest thing you are working on right now?
Three things: Elevating access to quality early child care. Preparing to release all of our solicitations in next year or two to support children across the county from birth to 18. And embedding all our racial and social equity work in that.
What are you reading?
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
Where is the one place in the world you are dying to go?
I’m lucky enough to have traveled throughout the world, and next I’d like to visit our own backyard to see the northern states in the Midwest – the Dakotas, Wyoming, Utah – and all its great national parks.
Who inspires you?
My father. He raised me and instilled values in me. He still inspires me to this day. Also, the people who make up The Trust: our board, our provider community and our staff, who work tirelessly every day to make a difference in our community.
If you could invite any five people, dead or alive, to dinner, who would they be?
My father, my grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.
When you are not working you are…
Spending time with family and friends. Being an Uber driver for my kids! Or training for my next marathon.
A night on the town is…
A nice dinner followed by finding a great, new place to hang out with my wife. We like trying new places.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To enjoy the ride. You experience and learn a lot of things, and there is a lot of stress, movement, and activities in life, but they all make you a stronger and better person. And I would tell my younger self to make a conscious effort to enjoy one’s family and individual moments. The more you can enjoy the ride, the better it is for you.
This article was published on the PhilanthropyMiami.org website in November 2021.