We talked to Patrick O’Neill of Amp Your Good about #GiveHealthy movement and COVID-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Patrick O’Neill: We’re OK. My wife and I have four children, three of whom are in college. A couple of us have had COVID19 but recovered.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Amp Your Good.
Patrick O’Neill: I graduated from West Point and served on active duty in the US Army Corps of Engineers. Following that, I’ve been in the private sector. I’ve served in a number of leadership positions and on boards of both privately held and publicly held companies. I’ve spent about 20 years in the real estate and energy sectors and the last 10 years in technology. I have also been involved with a number of non-profit organizations, including the Military Families Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and the Family Outreach Foundation. I’m currently on the board of Food Bank News, a non-profit dedicated to covering Food Banks and all things related.
How does Amp Your Good innovate?
Patrick O’Neill: We identify social impact opportunities that are scalable and create business models to address them.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Patrick O’Neill: Our #GiveHealthy food drive platform is a way for groups to run virtual food drives. Since the pandemic began, our food drive activity has grown since most groups can’t conduct traditional canned food drives (while operating virtually), so many have turned to us to run their drives.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Patrick O’Neill: My difficult choices have always revolved around work/family balance. If you are in business for the long run, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Amp Your Good in the future?
Patrick O’Neill: Exercise and sleep are my best ways to deal with stress and anxiety. As we are growing during the pandemic, we expect that to continue through the rest of it and once it’s over.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Patrick O’Neill: No direct competitors.
Your final thoughts?
Patrick O’Neill: Startups are hard. If they were easy, everyone would be doing it (successfully). They are also an amazing learning process. For us, we’ve made it through the early start stage, during which many companies don’t make it, so we think our future is bright.