Two Minutes With Kevin Aman of Rich Products

Pulling double duty as Rich Products’ VP of community engagement and Rich Entertainment Group’s VP of communications, Kevin Aman knows how important it is to make space for the voices of others. In this latest installment of Two Minutes, we give the floor to the Rochester-native and talk about inspiration, corporate responsibility, and the enduring spirit of the Buffalo community.

  1. First question: Where do you look for inspiration?

    Nature, good conversation, insightful podcasts, museums, and YouTube

  2. What’s something that’s inspired you lately?

    Ben Lustenhouwer’s YouTube oil painting tutorial “3 Color Zones in the Face.” I’m fascinated by how artists see light and color.

  3. A lot of your work is focused on community engagement in and around Buffalo. How would you describe the Buffalo community?

    Vibrant, proud, industrious, imaginative, good-humored, humble, and resilient

  4. What have you learned from working with the community here?

    Perhaps it’s the sports culture in this city, but people seem predisposed to cheer each other on. It’s wonderfully supportive.

  5. Corporate responsibility has been a hot topic as of late. If a business wants to become more socially responsible, what are some questions they should be asking themselves?

    What’s your purpose? What are your motivations? What don’t you know? How are you soliciting dissenting viewpoints? Who’s not at the table? And, by the way, whose table is it to begin with?

  6. Are there mistakes you often see other organizations make in how they approach social impact work and community engagement?

    I’m just concentrating on my own mistakes. I’m the expert of my own lived experience, and that’s about it.

  7. You once said that making an impact is less about looking for a problem to solve and more about listening. How can we all be better listeners?

    Look at that, you must’ve been listening! I’m trying to talk a lot less and leave space for others. Is that why you only gave me two minutes? Brilliant.

  8. What’s the last song you listened to that gave you joy?

    “Souled Out”–The Very Best of Hezekiah Walker (Live)

  9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

    Keep showing up.

  10. How does it guide you forward?

    I can feel immobilized thinking about all that needs to get done—personally and professionally. When I just commit to being present, the rest usually falls into place.

  11. Rich Products and the Rich family are strongly tied to mission and the community. As VP of community engagement, how are you trying to build on that legacy?

    Do no harm! The good work has been going on quietly with Rich’s in the community for decades. I’m focusing my work on bringing more stories to light, so people can better understand how to get involved in meaningful ways.

  12. What’s the biggest challenge you currently face in your role?

    Community work is a sprint and a marathon. When do we move with urgency? When do we hunker down for the long haul? How do we pace ourselves?

  13. Your job is rather unique. How did you end up here?

    Bob and Mindy Rich lead a company driven by curiosity, always asking “What if there is a better way?” As a result, much of my job and my career have been shaped by inquiry.

  14. Any advice for future changemakers on how they can make an impact in their community?

    Experiment. Get involved and try stuff out. Be practical. What’s the biggest impact you can make with the smallest commitment you can keep? Start there.

  15. Lastly, what are you most hopeful for?

    You know what? I had a colleague point out to me a few years ago that I used the word “hope” a lot. She said “Kevin, hope is not a strategy.” Since then, I’ve been hoping less and acting more.

To learn more about the work Kevin and Rich’s are involved in, visit Table, their magazine (designed by Block Club) dedicated to spotlighting changemakers in Buffalo and beyond.

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