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The Father Factor


Meet NFI Dad Roland Warren

dad deserves more than one day




Father's Day is over. June is on its way out the door.

But NFI made a promise, we are holding to our promise of "Celebrating Father's Month."

This is our last video interview and the last is ceratianly not least. In fact, we saved our very own NFI President for last.

Remember what this campaign was about - we at NFI think dad deserves more than one day. We featured dads throughout the month, simply as a reminder to celebrate the dads in our lives.

Today, meet Roland Warren, NFI President and Chief Dad.

Roland has two sons, ages 27 and 29. Watch Roland talk about the lamest gift he ever gave his dad, why clothes are so important for fathers (yes, clothes) and what he's most looking forward to at this stage of fatherhood (watch out Warren men!).

When you see Roland talk fatherhood, be inspired to celebrate the dad in your life today.

For tips and tools on how to connect fathers with kids during this month and beyond, sign up for our Dad Email.

Meet the rest of the NFI Dads who are Celebrating Fathers Month.

Meet NFI Dad Vince DiCaro

Dad Deserves





Father's Day may be over, but NFI is still "Celebrating Father's Month" because we think dad deserves more than one day! As you probably expected, NFI has a lot of dads on the team. 

We're featuring dads as a reminder throughout the month -- to celebrate your dad more than one day. Today, meet Vince DiCaro, NFI Development and Communications.

Vince has a son who's a toddler. Watch Vince recall stories of the lamest gift he's ever given his dad, little league baseball and one thing his dad is always saying.

When you hear Vince's stories, be inspired to celebrate the dad in your life today.  

For tips and tools on how to connect fathers with kids during this month and beyond, sign up for our Dad Email.

Meet the rest of the NFI Dads who are Celebrating Father's Month.

Climb Mountain, Get Water: The Father Factor in Kenna's Cause


I recently attended the 10th annual Cause Marketing Forum (CMF) conference in Chicago to learn about how non-profits and corporate brands can support important causes together. During the conference keynote, musician Kenna made a special appearance to share about Summit on the Summit – a campaign he created raising awareness and funds to provide clean drinking water by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

Working at NFI has given me “fatherhood glasses” and what stuck out to me from Kenna’s story was that it was his dad who inspired him to create this campaign.

Kenna is an Ethiopian-born American musician. He told the audience at CMF that he attempted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to celebrate his second album but could not finish due to a reaction to anti-altitude medication.

kenna and dad

When his dad asked him why he wanted to climb the mountain, Kenna replied that he felt like he hadn’t reached his life’s mountain yet. His dad reminded him that he had been born at 19,000 feet altitude and perhaps he didn’t need the anti-altitude medication. “You were made to climb that mountain, Kenna,” his dad said. “Maybe you have added something artificial to your life, like the medication, that is keeping you from reaching your life’s mountain.”

Kenna’s dad told him he wanted to dig a well in his native country, Ethiopia, to provide clean drinking water. Though he was born in Ethiopia, Kenna grew up in the United States and he took clean drinking water for granted.

Then, he learned that his dad had almost died from a waterborne disease that left him in great pain through his teen years. This disease killed many others in his community. Around the world, over one billion people lack access to clean, safe drinking water.

Kenna says his father’s experience with this global crisis made him realize his dad did not come to America and provide a good life for his family just so his son could walk a red carpet and be famous. His father’s story and his close relationship with his dad motivated Kenna to help his dad fulfill his dream of providing clean drinking water to his native community and others in need around the world.

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Kenna created Summit on the Summit to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with a team of celebrities (including Lupe Fiasco, Emile Hersch, and Jessica Biel), humanitarian workers, corporate brands like HP, and the United Nations.

The extreme nature of their effort was intended to raise awareness of the extreme need for clean water. Watch a video about this project here.

The campaign was successful! Months later, Kenna returned to Ethiopia, which includes some of the driest parts of the earth, to dig a well 50 yards from where his father had contracted a waterborne illness years before. Kenna continues to campaign for access to clean drinking water even though his climb is done.

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Kenna says, “Everything I wanted to accomplish as an artist I had done. I wanted to do something that would impact the world, but I never thought I’d do that by impacting my own family. It’s been the most meaningful existence.”

At NFI, we say “fathers change the world one child at a time.” In this case, Kenna’s father truly made an impact on the world. His relationship with his son motivated his son to devote himself to a cause close to his father.

While your children may not have the celebrity status Kenna was able to leverage for an important cause, you are making a difference everyday by shaping what your children care about and value. You never know what they will be motivated to do because you invested in their life.

How have you been inspired by your dad?

Fathers, President Obama & BBQ!

Our 2012 Military Fatherhood Award recipient had a big day yesterday!

First Lt. William Edwards enjoyed an extra-special lunch yesterday with President Obama (Photo: ObamaFoodorama).Edwards and Obama

Edwards was then honored at The White House where NFI's President Roland Warren presented Lt. Edwards with his 2012 Military Fatherhood Award. Warren presented the award to Edwards at The White House "Champions of Change" event.

warren and edwardsThe USA Today reports, Obama salutes Father's Day with military lunch to honor Father's Day and the military.

Obama lunched with two serviceman and a pair of local barbers involved in the administration's campaign to promote better fatherhood.

"These guys are also young fathers, and they're doing great," Obama said during the lunch at the BBQ smokehouse in northeast Washington.

Obama said: "It turns out that with the father being involved, the kids are less likely to do drugs ... girls are less likely to get pregnant. And so that message is something that we want to make sure gets out there."

Watch video of the lunch here:

President Obama does well to point out that involved fathers matter. Absent fathers change everything. From incarceration and crime to teen pregnancy and childhood obesity (See Statistics on Father Absence).

Edwards is an example of an involved father. Lt. William (Bill) Edwards of the U.S. Army is the 2012 Military Fatherhood Award Winner.

Edwards is based at Fort Jackson in South Carolina where he lives with his wife of 13 years, Esther, and their four children. Lt. Edwards uses his musical and cinematic talents to stay connected with his four children before, during, and afterhis deployments. He was deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division Band in 2007-2008 for 14 months in Iraq.

Click here for more information on NFI's Fatherhood Award.

The Father Factor Blog > Where Fatherhood Leaders Go To Learn.

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