Penn Mutual Carolinas, Rugby Community Unite Behind Giving Back
December 12, 2019
The strength of the Penn Mutual relationship with the rugby community lies within a set of shared values. That relationship has blossomed in cities across the country, including Atlanta and Charlotte, and has seen rugby become a vehicle for individuals and corporations to give back.
Dr. Tomas Parks, Managing Partner of Charlotte-based Penn Mutual Carolina Partners, has had a passion for serving children thanks to his upbringing. His father ran a local YMCA and, from a young age, instilled in him the need to support and develop young people.
“I have always had a passion for giving back to youth because youth are our future,” Parks indicated.
After Penn Mutual began its relationship with rugby, he wanted to bring that passion for supporting children to the local rugby community. At that time, Parks was Managing Director of the Atlanta office of Penn Mutual agency, 21st Century Financial. He spearheaded an effort to sponsor Atlanta Youth Rugby, an organization that provides after school rugby programs for kids in inner city Atlanta.
“Early on, I learned that the rugby community is a special group. They are tight knit, incredibly loyal, and give back to the community in so many ways,” Parks said. “The members of the Atlanta Youth Rugby organization do so much for the kids in that community and we were proud to help.”
In 2018, Parks was promoted to Managing Partner of Penn Mutual Carolina Partners and one of his first goals after moving to Charlotte was to build a relationship with the local rugby community. With the tight knit nature of the sport, Parks was introduced to and able to build relationships with the leaders of Charlotte Junior Rugby Association (CJRA).
Since 2018, Carolina Partners has sponsored the CJRA, which brings rugby to Title One schools with at-risk youth. Believing the sport teaches character, sportsmanship and competition, the organization provides elementary and middle school-aged kids the opportunity to learn and play rugby, while teaching them valuable life skills. Carolina Partners has provided balls for the program and recently sponsored, and helped host, a Rugby 101 event that introduced hundreds of local kids to the sport.
“Coming to Charlotte gave me an opportunity to build an organization that gives back to the community. With the Charlotte Junior Rugby Association, we have been able to find a niche where we have been able to help in a very tangible way,” Parks added. “Penn Mutual truly embraces giving back to the community through our support of rugby and I am glad to extend that to a local level.”
With a commitment to core values of integrity, respect, community and loyalty, both Parks and the local rugby community share a passion for helping kids become the next generation of leaders.