December 6, 2023
Nonprofit Leader Heads Organization Dedicated to Keeping Commitments
October 31, 2019
Registration for AAPA 2020, to be held May 16-20, in Nashville, Tennessee, is now open. Founder and CEO of because i said i would, Alex Sheen, will be the keynote speaker during General Session at AAPA 2020. because i said i would is an international social movement and nonprofit inspiring millions of people around the world to keep their promises.
Sheen asks, “Who is the most reliable person in your life?” Even with the small things, “Who shows up for you?” One of the greatest qualities to carry into this world is to be a person of your word, he advocates, keeping promises you make to others and to yourself.
“My father was an average man. He was no war hero. He never wrote a book. He never ran marathons. He was a pharmacist. No recognition. No fame. But for everything that made my father ‘average’ and ‘everyday,’ there was one thing he did exceptionally well. He kept his promises. My father was a man of his word.
“On September 4, 2012, my father died of small cell lung cancer,” Sheen says. “My family asked me to give my father’s eulogy. In those final resting words, I chose to speak about my father and how he treated his promises. Too often we say things like ‘I’ll get to it’ and ‘tomorrow.’ One day there is no tomorrow. The promises we make and keep and those we choose to dishonor define us and this world.
“On that day, I handed out for the first time what I would call ‘promise cards’ to help remind people of the importance of our commitments. Simply write a promise on the card and use it as a symbol of your honor. I offered to send 10 promise cards to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost to them.”
Tired of living in a world of broken promises and sparked by the loss of his father in 2012, Sheen began sending promise cards to anyone who requested them at no cost. That led to establishment of because I said I would, an organization dedicated to changing the world through promises kept.
Since his father’s death, because I said I would has sent 11.3 million promise cards to 153 countries. The nonprofit also hosts chapters with programming for high school and college students, plus individuals at adult communities and correctional facilities.
Sheen honors his commitments. He once walked more than 240 miles across the state of Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise to the three Cleveland women who were held captive for 10 years. He committed to volunteer at 52 different nonprofit organizations in a year.
Prior to launching because I said I would, Sheen served as a corporate strategy lead at Hyland Software, featured in Fortune’s 2014 Best Companies to Work in the United States. As the youngest manager in a global company with more than 1,500 employees, he established and managed Hyland’s corporate-wide innovation program. Sheen earned a bachelor’s degree at Ohio University.
A four-time TEDx presenter, the story of Sheen’s promises has been shared virally on social media and international news. He has appeared on CNN, the Today’s Show, and many other programs.