Darlene Templeton
“I know that my community
involvement gave me the
confidence, the experience
and the ability to be more
successful at IBM,”
says Darlene Templeton.

Darlene Templeton
“I volunteer because
it is all about others,
and doing something
for others enriches me
personally and professionally,”
says Anna Astakhishvili.

Part five in a series. “Voices of IBM Volunteers” is part of the SkillsBuild program to reach one million young people through STEM-related volunteering in 2018, and five million young people over the next five years. Watch the video (YouTube, 04:20)

The drive to close the global skills gap is among IBM’s most important initiatives. SkillsBuild will call on IBM volunteers to promote activities that enable digital literacy with young people, introduce them to hands-on problem solving, and spark their interest in STEM learning—using resources and support on the IBM Volunteers web site.

IBM volunteer: Darlene Templeton

I worked at IBM for 36 years, and retired almost eight years ago.

My time at IBM was such an amazing opportunity and education for me. The leadership and management experience, the outstanding training, and the people that mentored and helped me along my journey gave me the confidence and courage to start my next chapter after I retired.

I am now the CEO and Founder of the AMAZING Women Alliance and AMAZING Women’s Leaders Program, a leadership development organization for women that provides a community that supports them, both personally and professionally.

I am also an executive coach, a national professional speaker to Fortune 500 companies, a business strategist, a community leader, a trainer, an author, and a few other things!

All I am doing today would never have been possible without what I learned at IBM. One of the greatest things that I also learned was how to volunteer, get involved, network and support the community. Thank you so much IBM!

We have all heard the statistic one in every eight women will have breast cancer. Each of us knows someone it affects, and this is very personal for me too.

My family and many friends have been impacted by breast cancer, including my niece. I wanted to “fix it” for her and I didn’t know how. By working with Cherie Mathews and the organization Gifting Care, I found a way to help and support my family and so many others during this very difficult time.

Cherie Mathews is a dear friend of mine and a former IBMer in Research and Development. She utilized the business experience, leadership skills and problem-solving expertise she gained at IBM to invent and patent the amazing postoperative “healincomfort” shirt for breast cancer mastectomy recovery. Cherie wanted to help 100 women when she started her journey and today she has provided healing with comfort and dignity to over 15,000 patients.

Gifting Care is a 501(c)3 organization that provides postoperative comfort kits, including the shirt and other helpful items, to breast cancer patients at no charge. The AMAZING Women Alliance group and IBM joined together to donate to this very deserving organization, so they can continue their heartfelt mission to gift these comfortable, soft shirts to thousands of patients every year.

By volunteering at IBM, I gained so much personally and professionally. I learned about leadership, management, networking, community support, business skills, and much, much more, while giving back. Volunteering helped grow my career in a way that I never expected. I know that my community involvement gave me the confidence, the experience and the ability to be more successful and achieve my goals and dreams at IBM.

As a retiree, IBM continues to support my volunteer activity through the community grants. Don't leave this opportunity on the table. It’s out there for you! Go find something that you are passionate about, supports your community, and will grow your leadership and business skills.

You think that one person can’t make a difference, but when you’ve got IBM behind you, your own determination, and support, you can have a huge impact and influence on so many others!

Thank you so much IBM for giving me the opportunity to truly have impact and influence on so many others and to do what I truly love to do in my life after IBM!

For over 100 years, IBMers have created positive change in the world through their day-to-day work and their service in local communities. Since 2004, nearly 300,000 IBM employees and retirees have contributed more than 20 million hours of volunteer service.

About these stories

Read about IBMers whose volunteer efforts are improving communities around the world.

Activity Kits

IBM’s volunteer Activity Kits include everything you need for a range of activities.