As humans, we need to belong – to one another, to friends and families, to our culture and country, to our world. Belonging is fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being. It’s probably why Diners Club International chose ‘You Belong’ as its slogan. After all, a major credit card company would want its members to feel like they belong to a safe, secure organization. No surprises there.
But when I was asked to do a portrait of Eduardo Tobon, president and CEO of Diners Club International, I was surprised when he made me feel like the VIP. He was so gracious of my work and grateful for the time and effort I spent during the shoot. In fact, I so often find the more responsibility a person carries on their shoulders, the cooler they are. And by all accounts, Eduardo Tobon is one cool guy.
He’s responsible for Diners Club’s entire business, including marketing, product management, operations, service centers, client relations and business development. Diners Club is owned by Discover Financial Services, one of the most recognized brands in the world. Prior to this, Eduardo served as CEO of the U.S. Cards and Payments Division at Sovereign Bank-Santander in Boston. Throughout his career, he’s lived and worked in several countries, including Canada, Germany, and Colombia.
Photographing the essence of this highly accomplished man, I soon discovered that wisdom and warmth just shines from him. I suppose those are just a couple of traits that got him where he is today…not to mention a lot of smarts. But more than that, I realized that treating everyone like they’re the most important person in the room is a concept that belongs in all of our lives. No matter how long your list of credentials, it’s not just business; it’s personal, too.
Eduardo Tobon was gracious enough to make me feel like I belonged. And that’s precisely why he belongs in my blog.