Double Deac Delvon Worthy (’08, MBA ‘13), a Partnerships Manager at Participant in Los Angeles, CA, speaks with Alumni Council member Brian Starr (‘01). Delvon shares his passion for societal impact, film as a storyteller, California nature, and of course, his experience on the Wheel of Fortune.
BRIAN: Regarding your recent appearance on the Wheel of Fortune, what is the most memorable part of that experience?
DELVON: I mean it’s a surreal moment being on the show that you grew up watching as a kid! The Wheel of Fortune game show is a show that carries with it a deep connection within my family, as this was a favorite gameshow for my dad, who in recent years, would also play it on his iPad. My father passed away last year; the opportunity to participate on the show that he was so connected to, so soon after his passing, was something that I am incredibly grateful for.
Life has so many high and lows, and even in those low moments you have to keep going and moving forward, as you never know what is around the corner. Having the experience of participating on the show and then getting to watch it so soon after his passing was like having a family event of watching together. I also received tremendous support from my Syracuse, NY, community around my appearance on the show and felt honored to bring some joy to the amazing people there. After all, the light you bring to others is what matters most.
BRIAN: What is the story or connection that brought you to Wake Forest?
DELVON: At the time of looking at colleges, I wanted to move away from home and find a place warmer after growing up in Syracuse. My aunt lived in Winston-Salem and introduced me to Wake. I visited campus and fell in love with it and the friendly community that connected with me right away. I felt strongly that Wake was the school I wanted to go to. It ended up being the only school that I applied to.
BRIAN: What was your experience like at Wake Forest?
DELVON: It was a great experience overall. I had the opportunity to meet lots of great people and created amazing friendships during my time on campus. Some of those same friends from Wake are still my closest friends today. I ended up going back to Wake to get my MBA several years later through the Winston-Salem Evening MBA program and had a great experience in that program, again meeting some great people, and a few I keep in contact with.
BRIAN: What was your first job?
DELVON: I have had so many different types of jobs over the years, but my first job was working at the library. It was around the corner from my house, and I didn’t have to depend on transportation from my parents. Working at a library was an interesting experience and allowed me to build my work ethic.
BRIAN: Regarding your professional career, there seems to be a common thread around community engagement and passion for a broader positive societal impact as part of that work. Where did that broader thread start from?
DELVON: It’s been an interesting journey, and I grateful for all the “turns” my career has taken as it has led me to where I am today. The journey started with an interest in going into healthcare administration. I loved the thought of not being able to do healthcare without thinking about the service you’re giving a person. I did an internship my last semester in college at Novant Medical Center. After the internship, I ended up working in the strategic planning and development department for over four years.
As part of the strategic planning work, I learned about the transferable, practical skills of presenting work quantitively and communicating necessary information succinctly. This experience was fundamental and tremendously useful as I progressed in my career. Working with executive team members, physicians and partners who were putting together business plans oriented around growth and continued innovation positioned me well for being able to tell the story of the hospital. The ability to understand and communicate the value and purpose of the hospital led to an opportunity to help lead the hospital’s United Way campaign. I fell in-love with telling the story of how the donations made by donors connected to valuable impact.