Volunteer Profile: Aaron Steiner

Author: Gene Stowe

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Aaron Steiner, who knew of the Haiti Program when he was earning a bachelor of management degree at Notre Dame in 2010, decided to volunteer for three weeks this summer between his consulting job at Deloitte and the start of his MBA program at the University of Michigan. The experience left the Haiti Program with a strategic business plan for increasing fortified-salt market share in three communities. It also left Steiner with a deepened appreciation for the social benefits of business.

Steiner and Annie Sescleifer, a biological sciences major who graduated this year, developed a two-year budget and strategy for targeting areas where lymphatic filariasis (LF) is endemic, gaining market share for salt fortified with LF-fighting ingredients over non-fortified salt. The focus is a sustainable approach that puts service over profit.

“It opened my eyes and caused me to ask more questions about what I want to do,” Steiner says. “I kind of went in with the expectation that I wanted to get something small accomplished for myself and the program. I came away with a lot more awareness of the structural and economic challenges of meeting a public health need with a social enterprise.”