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38 NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2015 goodDEEDS Passionate About Philanthropy ASHLEE AND CHRIS KLEINERT EMPOWER OTHERS WITH ENTHUSIASM Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Ralph Waldo Emerson Ashlee and Chris Kleinert have certainly taken this quote to heart. In 2008 during the countrys financial crisis the Dallas couple and parents of three grown children founded Executives in Action EIA a pro bono consulting firm connecting out-of-work senior level executives with nonprofit organizations. Unemploy- ment was high Chris says. Wed seen in personal relationships how job loss can have a devastating effect on both employees and their families. At the same time many nonprofits were struggling to keep operations going due to decreased donations. The impact of EIA is two-fold says Ashlee. The executives feel like theyre contributing to something greater and the non- profit benefits from their expertise which they probably couldnt otherwise afford. Its more than a temporary jobits a life chang- ing experience she says. Since its inception EIA has part- nered with more than 270 nonprofits and utilized the expertise of nearly 700 executives. Theyre now consid- ering Students in Action captur- ing what they believe is the younger generations prevalent philanthropic spirit. Ashlee the daughter of Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt CEO of Hunt Con- solidated grew up seeing charity in action. The notion of quiet philan- thropy has stayed with her through adulthood and its something shes shared with Chris since they met. In her soft-spoken way Ashlee claims Theres nothing spe- cial about Chris and mewere just part of a team of really good people and great collaborators trying to figure out where we can do the best work. And then there are Ruthies Food Trucks the highly success- ful company that Ashlee started in 2011. One of Ruthies philan- thropic programs Ruthies Dozen promotes a different nonprofit each month through print and social media. Ashlee says We fig- ured the sides of our trucks are a great place to post information. People can read all about a nonprofit while they wait. Weve had wonderful feedback from donors volunteers and also recipients who were unaware of the services offered. Ruthies Random Snacks of Kindness RSK program gives back to the community by offering free food to those in need. The recent Executives in Action Kind Truck allows executives to deliver items such as books for schools canned goods for food pantries or supplies for victims of an apartment fire. More recently the Kleinerts have turned their passion to New Friends New Life which helps women and girls whove been trafficked andor sexually exploited. Though Ashlee has been in- volved with the organization for a long time she and Chris know that human trafficking is a growing problem. Earlier this year the organization formed the Mens Advocacy Group twenty men dedicated to education advocacy and awareness. The good news by Kristin Cicciarelli Contributor Ashlee Kleinert serving food from a Ruthies FoodTruck a company she and Chris foundedin2011whichoffersgreatfoodandapercentageofprofitstonon-profit organizations. TheresnothingspecialaboutChrisandme were just part of a team of really good people and great collaborators trying to figure out where we can do the best work. - Ashlee Kleinert