Christopher Haigler is a graduate of the Young Leaders Council Nashville Class 77 Cohort and serves as Trust Officer at Southeastern Trust Company. As a recent graduate of the program, Christopher shared his experience with the program this semester and how the training he received has prepared him to make a lasting contribution as a nonprofit board leader.


As a Trust Officer with the Southeastern Trust Company, what do you enjoy most about your work?

As a Trust Officer, I manage and administer Trust accounts, Investment Management accounts and qualified retirement accounts for our clients in a multi-family office setting.  I truly enjoy coming to work each day as each trust account, client and matter is unique and presents an entirely different challenge from the day before.  I take great pride in knowing my career revolves around assisting our clients to foster and deliver their family’s legacy. 

What inspired you to want to participate in the Young Leaders Council training program?

I was referred to YLC from a friend and after researching the mission of the organization, I knew participating in YLC would be the foundation I was seeking to contribute to the nonprofit community in Middle Tennessee.  YLC provides an exceptional curriculum to mold an individual with passion for giving back into a confident contribution to the nonprofit community.  I am looking forward to supporting YLC in different capacities in the future. 

As a new YLC grad, what have you enjoyed most this semester?  Did you have a favorite session or topic? 

I absolutely enjoyed each presentation this semester.  Each topic provided an experience tailored to a specific objective to better prepare me for nonprofit board experience.  I am most appreciative of the presenters and facilitators of the sessions as real-world scenarios were discussed to shape our learning experiences to be relatable and provide the highest impact.  My favorite session was, Planning for Sustainable Impact.  Each session throughout the semester has prepared me to tackle individual matters, and I feel the Planning for Sustainable Impact material concentrated on leveraging techniques mentioned in previous sessions and transforming the ideas into measurable and effective contributions to the organization. 

As you prepare to transition into your board internship, do you feel more prepared and empowered to be successful as a nonprofit board leader?

The YLC curriculum has done a terrific job preparing me to confidently contribute as a nonprofit board member.  I am a true believer in the saying, “confidence is key”.  The YLC training program detailed the key subjects to lay the foundation for nonprofit board participation and provided me the confidence needed to take the next step and contribute to the community.  Each YLC graduate knows they have a storied network of resources to depend on as they begin their journey and that is invaluable.    

What advice would you give to any young professional looking to engage more in the work of our Middle Tennessee nonprofit community? 

In short, follow your passion.  Determine what mission in the community is your passion and then become involved with the organization that you believe provides, or has the potential to provide, the most impact toward your selected mission.  Be ready to listen, roll your sleeves up and contribute to the organization in whatever way is needed.  Remember that the day you wake up and no longer have passion for your mission is the day you are no longer providing the drive and conviction the organization requires to thrive.  There is nothing wrong with realizing this as everyone evolves, just ensure that you are still in the right place and don’t be hesitant to make a change when you feel the need.