Why I Give: Josh Smiley

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Josh Smiley, Carmel, Ind.

Josh Smiley thought Eli Lilly and Company would be a temporary stepping stone in his business career when he moved to the Indianapolis area from Boston. Twenty years later as Lilly’s senior vice president, finance, and treasurer, Smiley is happy to share what made him fall in love with Lilly: the opportunity to make an impact on the world.

“What we do at our core is invest in scientific research,” says Smiley. “As an anchor institution in Indiana, one thing that makes it easy to stay with Lilly is realizing the collective impact we can have both locally and globally.”

Smiley his family recently made a philanthropic gift supporting pediatric research at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health—a gift that was doubled by a Lilly Matching Gifts program. “A lot of the work we do at Lilly is in diseases that tend to affect people who are older,” says Smiley. “So to be able to partner and provide funding for direct research for kids through places like Riley is a home run. It feels good to leverage Lilly resources to help Riley.”

Smiley experienced Riley’s world-class care firsthand 10 years ago when his son Nick, now 20, was hospitalized for a week with a severe kidney infection. “What impressed me was how caring the physicians and staff were, and how much was done to make it as calming for children as possible,” Smiley recalls.

Lilly has been a supporter of Riley since before the hospital opened its doors in 1924. Josiah Kirby Lilly served as one of the incorporating members of the Riley Memorial Association (now Riley Children’s Foundation). The company has also made significant corporate gifts in support of Riley pediatric research. Today, Lilly President and CEO Dave Ricks serves as the Riley Children’s Foundation Board of Governors Chairman, carrying forward the Riley/Lilly legacy of working together to advance pediatric medicine. 

“To be able to combine the resources of Lilly with the passion and cutting-edge research at Riley—it’s an easy thing to be a part of,” says Smiley. “Dollars invested in pediatric research have such a high return on investment. Anything we can do to help a child get better is profound.”

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