Judge Interviews: Leon Chen of Tiff's Treats
Co-founder and CEO of Tiff’s Treats, Leon started Tiff’s Treats in 1999 in partnership with his wife Tiffany while sophomores at The University of Texas. Since then, the company has grown to over 350 employees and 20+ locations in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, with national expansion plans in the works. In addition to running Tiff’s Treats, Leon was a former Director at Epic Brands, which sold to General Mills in January 2016. He has also been involved in SKU, an Austin based consumer packaged goods incubator. His volunteer work includes being the past Chair of the Small Business Council, on the Board of Directors at The Austin Chamber of Commerce, Past Chair of The Fifty and being on the board at the Foster Angels of Central Texas.
This will be Leon’s third year serving as a Philanthropitch Austin judge and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on the panel! We asked Leon a few questions about his involvement with Philanthropitch and his passion for giving back:
Why is it important to you/your company to support local nonprofit organizations? Which organizations are you/your company involved with?
It’s so very important to Tiff and I to support the local community. On of the reasons is that we believe that the only reason there is even a Tiff’s Treats today is because of the support we received from the local community when we first started out. That kind of support meant the world to us and we feel it is our duty to pay it forward the best we can. In addition, there are so many great causes out there and it is motivating to us and to our entire company to be able to make a small difference in the lives of people that are in this community. We have worked with many charities in the past, Austin Dog Rescue, Easter Seals, Safeplace, Make-A-Wish of Central Texas and many more. Currently we work closely with Foster Angels of Central Texas, a wonderful organization that I am on the board of that provides daily needs and special needs requests for foster children in Central Texas.
What is your favorite part about serving as a Philanthropitch judge?
I love the giving part! It really is true that it is better to give than to receive. We love to see that our donation is going to great causes, local causes that can make a difference.
Have you learned anything about community challenges or gotten involved with any of the finalists after Philanthropitch?
We have definitely learned that there is so much need out there for many wonderful causes. Some of the big name charities get a lot of the attention, but there are many new and fledgling charities that are doing amazing work that need help and support as well.
Why should people attend Philanthropitch on May 2nd?
It’s a wonderful event for great causes and because Clayton Christopher is a very handsome man, and he’ll be there as a judge I am assuming. [ed note: Clayton will be there!]