Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work, is to love what you do.” And to be honest, we couldn’t agree more. For most, February is the month to celebrate love. Although it’s usually dedicated to a special someone we love, we at Next Stage wanted to shed light on a different type of love, the love we have for our work.


Luckily, we aren’t the only ones who love what they do. To prove it, we reached out to a few of our friends to find out exactly what and why they love what they do. Check out their responses below:


“I get to use my talents, passion and skills in a very tangible way to change the future. I get to dream big and work with amazing people (like you guys at Next Stage) to overcome fears and make a reality a big beautiful dream for the future of our community. I see the impact of my work daily in the lives of young people and families. And all of the above gives me hope.”

— Banu Valladares, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool




“My love for food and obsession with creating memorable taste experiences brought me to the culinary industry and a passion for pollinating relationships to create a community of like-minded chefs and farmers launched me into the work of Piedmont Culinary Guild. It’s thrilling to think what a small unified voice can do to effect change within the world of food, and there is nothing I would rather do than walk in cadence with others in PCG members towards that goal, which I do every day. While I do love my work, it’s almost more fulfilling to know my work loves me back… if it didn’t, we wouldn’t still be together in this.”

— Kris Reid, Piedmont Culinary Guild



“I love what I do because if I get it right…if I succeed, then the beneficiaries are people (primarily children).  Ultimately in designing, developing and operating a science/technology museum, I work on one hand with donors and foundations that seek to provide resources for doing good for people and the community.  On the other hand, I work with communities and people to implement learning experiences that can improve their lives and lead to the activation of their talents.  I love what I do because if I get it right by connecting these two populations effectively then both benefit. Joy!!”

— Stephen Saucier, Carolina Aviation Museum



“I love working at Charlotte Rescue Mission because we see the transformation every day.  Men and women who have lost everything to their addiction (house, kids, jobs, friends…) and had nowhere else to go are now thriving in jobs and being reunited with their families.  Their journey is a soulful one that we get to experience on the other side when they come back to share their successes over a cup of coffee (at Community Matters Café) and a hug.”

— Sharon Bremer, Charlotte Rescue Mission




“I love what I do because the word “work” does not describe it. I create, give, collaborate, dedicate and sacrifice and I rarely tire of it. What I do gives so much more to my soul than I give to it. That is love.”

–Kelly Finley, Girls Rock CLT






“I love what I do because ArtPop Street Gallery provides a platform for local artists to be seen and be successful. We also make art accessible to our community during your walks, bike rides and highway/airway commutes. There is nothing else I would rather do.”

— Wendy Hickey, Art Pop Street Gallery





“Being able to help make someone’s life a little easier – is why I love what I do.  The bonus of creating a solution to the amount of food waste in our city, as well as getting that food into the hands of those that are hungry, makes what I do a blessing not work.”

— Mendy Godman, Feeding Charlotte





We really hope you are able to do something you love, because it doesn’t only benefit you, it also positively impacts the community around and in which you work.

So, let us know in the comments below if you love what you do and why you love it so much. We are excited to hear from you.