At the Procter and Gamble Alumni Reunion in June of 2009, GiveLight Foundation founder Dian Alyan was presented a Humanitarian Award: “For an individual who has made a significant contribution to the humancondition through their time, effort or expertise.”
In the picture Dian is with Ashraf Alyan and Mr. John Pepper, former P&G CEO- someone she admired and who taught her how to be a great leader. Below is her acceptance speech.
In the name of God the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful and on behalf of orphaned children around the world, I humbly accept this honor.
I’ve always yearned to do great things with my life and to find my own way to conquer the world. My career at P&G fulfilled those yearnings. But it was not until I decided to work for orphans that I was able to fully embrace my existence and capacity as a human being.
Through GiveLight, I want to show the world the beauty of human hearts. I want to reach out to orphans from the Pacific Coast, to the mountains of Tibet, all the way to the barren deserts of Africa. Look at us here tonight: for the amount we spend for one night in this hotel, we can actually feed another human being somewhere in the world for an entire year.
I want us to think about our capacity, individually and collectively. Some of the best business leaders in the world are here together. I want us to believe that we can make a positive impact in this world, not only by the power of our mind but also by the power of our ability to love and to be compassionate.
Charity and service are at the core of every faith. Whether you are Muslim, Jew, Christian or Atheist, if you have a good moral compass, then you will want to do something for other human beings.
And this award belongs to so many people: my parents who taught me with love and compassion, my amazing team of volunteers, but there are three people I want to call out tonight:
First and foremost, my husband, true love – one of the greatest blessings from God in my life- my most dedicated volunteer and great supporter – Ashraf Alyan. When I started the GiveLight Foundation, my youngest son was only six months old and Ashraf supported me throughout the process, so thank you for that.
The second person I want to call out is my role model, my mentor. He is a brilliant business leader, but more than that he has a big heart, generous not only with words but also financially: Martin Nuechtern.
The last person is a man that we all love. He taught me so much and I learned so much about leadership from this person. But the one thing that stayed with me even long after I left Procter & Gamble is his ability to make every body feels special and his ability to bring out the best in people. And that I think has enabled me to bring GiveLight to what it is today, 100% volunteer based and we were able to touch lives. I think we can guess who that person is: Mr. John Pepper.
In closing, I’d like to share a quote: “When you want something with all your heart, the entire universe will conspire to help you achieve it”. That was exactly what happened to me when I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to pursue this noble cause.
Thank you for having me and thank you P&G for making me who I am today.
Delivered June, 2009 in Rome, Italy.