The scene was something akin to reality TV — the CEO of a major corporation on a ride-along with an air conditioning technician, the unlikely pair bouncing around in a company truck together and exchanging pleasantries despite a slight language barrier. They inquired after one another’s families and their daily lives. They talked about their children.
But the conversation took an unexpected turn when the technician began speaking about his young daughter Camilla, who had been born with a life-threatening heart defect that required surgery when she was just two weeks old. It was the experts at Texas Children’s Hospital, he said, who had saved his baby’s life.
And after a moment, as they continued to drive, the technician looked at his employer in earnest and said, “Texas Children’s — they do good. We should support them.”
Direct Energy president and CEO Badar Khan was touched that day, not only by the technician’s story, but also by the connection the two men shared. All three of Mr. Khan’s children, ranging in age from 1 to 11, had experienced the world-class care that Texas Children’s provides.
“I just can’t speak more highly of the doctors, the nurses, the staff,” said Mr. Khan. “These are tough times — taking your child or your baby to the hospital — and I think at Texas Children’s, the team there really understands the emotional needs of the families and the parents in particular.”
Texas Children’s compassionate care and commitment to the community has also struck a chord with Direct Energy employees. Philanthropy and community support are ingrained in the corporate culture at Direct Energy, with more than 6,000 employees supporting causes and charities worldwide. But for many years, one organization especially has received both generous support and volunteer time — Texas Children’s Hospital.
“There is nothing like volunteering your time in anything that you support. But I think volunteering at Texas Children’s is special.” – Badar Khan
In addition to the hours of support that Direct Energy employees provide through volunteering at Texas Children’s, the company is also a proud inaugural member of Corporate Ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital, a passionate group of business leaders and decision-makers committed to supporting the hospital’s mission to provide the highest quality care for children and women. It was that same dedication to Texas Children’s mission that motivated Direct Energy to make a $5 million gift to the Promise Campaign. The gift will support expansion at the Texas Medical Center campus — and Texas Children’s Heart Center in particular — and is the largest corporate commitment ever to a campaign priority at Texas Children’s.
“In today’s environment, where oil and gas prices aren’t where they used to be, it’s incredibly important for companies that can give to step up and provide leadership. I feel proud, I feel lucky to work for a company where we’re able to make this kind of commitment, and to an institution as great as Texas Children’s.” – Badar Khan
Texas Children’s Heart Center
Texas Children’s Heart Center has been leading the way in pediatric cardiac care for more than 50 years and provides the full continuum of care, including cardiology, congenital heart surgery, cardiovascular anesthesiology and cardiovascular critical care. The Heart Center also houses programs in adult congenital heart disease, coronary anomalies, developmental outcomes and preventive cardiology.