Why I Give: Jim Zink

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Jim Zink, President of Zink Distributing

Jim Zink, Jr. is the President of Zink Distributing Company, the exclusive distributor of Anheuser-Busch products in several Indiana counties and Indianapolis. A poignant story involving a colleague’s daughter as well as a direct request to get involved from another colleague inspired Jim to get involved with Riley Society.

Q: How did you become involved in Riley Society?
I joined Riley Society in 2010 by making a donation to Riley, and that same year I became involved in the Riley Society Advisory Committee (RSAC.) Craig Huse, owner of St. Elmo Steak House, a colleague of mine and a member of Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors, talked to me about joining. He was already giving his time and support to Riley.

The way I looked at it, if there’s one group to get involved with, Riley was certainly that group.

Q: Do you have a personal Riley connection?
No, but Riley oncologist Dr. Rob Fallon is a family friend. I also know David and Libby Symmes, who founded the Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment in honor of their daughter.

I’ve also had several employees through the years who were Riley kids, are parents of Riley kids, or who participated in dance marathons.

Q: What is the most exciting thing that is happening at Riley Hospital today?
All the new technology is amazing to me. I was not at the event with the daVinci® surgical robot, but that type of innovation is incredible. It’s amazing to me what Riley can offer. 

I’m also impressed by the number of patients who go through Riley for treatment. Riley serves the entire state.*

Q: Your mission at Zink is to “exceed the expectations of your customers through excellent service and attention to detail.” How can Riley Children’s Foundation “exceed the expectations” of its donors?
Riley Children’s Foundation does a good job of exceeding donor expectations. They communicate consistently with their donors with general updates on Riley Hospital, and they are always ready to answer the question, “Exactly where is my money going?” Some donors want to know that. The Riley Society newsletters help with communication. When donors give to Riley, the foundation is good at telling them ‘Here is a need that’s recognized’ on a regular basis. 

Q: There are a lot of worthy non-profit organizations. Why do you support Riley?
When you see the presence in Indy and throughout the state, it’s amazing. The affinity people have for Riley is heartfelt. The whole family aspect—Riley treats the entire family. And families that don’t have money still can have their child receive care.

When you see sick kids, that’s not the way they’re supposed to be. Kids are supposed to be running around and healthy. Adults complain about it all the time when they’re sick; kids are so young and don’t complain. They’re inspiring.

Q: What do you hope gets accomplished during your tenure on RSAC?
The thing I would like to really nail down is one signature fundraising event; they are trying to make the Riley Society event that I host at Zink Distributing, and I think that’s great. I do hope it’s that one. I’d like to see it grow.

Q: Anything you’d like to add?  
It’s always amazing to me that Riley physicians are incredibly approachable. They are regular people. Rob Fallon—we play golf together at golf outings. I’ve played golf with Riley cardiologist John Brown. You hear him speak about surgeries that he’s called in to do last minute, and he doesn’t even think twice about it. And Dr. Firulli is a cardiac researcher at the Wells Center for Pediatric Research. He is also a huge craft beer fan. When I see him at events, he’ll ask me, ‘What’s your new favorite craft beer?’”

And thinking of the Wells Center again, there’s Dr. Mark Kelly – you see all this research he’s doing for pediatric cancer that is having an effect around the world. 

Outside of their work, they’re just normal people. But they are so smart, and so good at what they do. Like I said, incredibly approachable, but incredibly talented at taking care of kids too.

If you’d like more information about being a Riley Society member, visit RileyKids.org/RileySociety or contact Jim Zink at JimZinkJr@zinkdistributing.com.

*over 300,000 patient visits to Riley physicians throughout the state.

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