Scott Ligouri, Managing Partner, The Insurance Loft, a B:CIVIC member company, shares that, “The betterment of our employees and our community is at the forefront of our mission for inspiring a healthy work/life balance.” The company has a flex schedule, so employees are not capped by a number of volunteer hours they choose to log, and they are encouraged to participate in community and charitable organizations that are inspiring to them personally, as well as causes shared by the company. Scott pointed out that, “Allowing all team members the freedom to give back in a way that is meaningful to them personally, has dramatically improved our company, and more importantly our community.”
The company is a proud partner of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization and has been a prominent sponsor of the Volley for Kid’s Sake volleyball tournament for the last 3 years running. Employee volunteers have installed home smoke alarms with the Red Cross and provided free Insurance 101 courses for college students and private organizations within the community.
They see their dedication to charities to be an extension of their business model – a proactive prevention against loss – and that giving back helps the community to retain its value and human assets. With this in mind, The Insurance Loft proudly displays their B:CIVIC member badge on their web site.
Recently Points of Light announced its 50 Civic Honorees, those identified as top community-minded companies, based on the companies’ U.S. community engagement efforts. Four factors of engagement were assessed, including investment, impact measurement, institutionalization (policies, systems, incentives) and integration.
Integration was looked at from the angle of how the company integrates their U.S. community engagement programs into key business functions, including employee engagement, marketing/PR, diversity and inclusion, recruiting, stakeholder relations and skill-development. We at B:CIVIC think the integration factor offers significant opportunity for up-scaling the impact of CSR in the community, in the scope of outcomes achieved, and in its potential to increase CSR’s relevance and value within companies.
In assessing the engagement factors, Points of Light found that “companies are putting “doing well by doing good’ at the center of business, … and Civic 50 honorees use community engagement to drive key business functions, including employee engagement (88 percent), diversity and inclusion (84 percent), marketing and PR (84 percent), and skill development (72 percent).” And interestingly they also found that “at nearly 70 percent of Civic 50 companies, executive leaders support community engagement by participating in community activities at least once a month.”
Link to CSRWire for more on the Point’s of Light Civic 50 2017 Honorees, including other key trends and highlights gleaned from their assessment process.
B:CIVIC companies are passionate about giving back and gratified to help inspire and support other businesses in the pursuit of being civic. They are showing and speaking that commitment in many ways. And they are identifying themselves as members of B:CIVIC, a community of companies who know that “good works.” They are placing the B:CIVIC member badge or logo on their websites, and in their citizenship reports, social media, advertising, special events and other community outreach.
If you want to support and work with companies that are “doing good,” check out our members, and see a few examples below of how they are standing up to be counted as members of B:CIVIC!
Otten Johnson Robinson Neff Ragonetti CPR Radio underwriting- B:CIVIC shout-out
The Hound Restaurant
B:CIVIC founding member Fidelity Investments believes they have a responsibility to future generations, which for them means being a good neighbor and steward of the environment, and showing continuous improvement in everything they do.
They put those values to work when more than 120 Fidelity Investments volunteers, including friends and family, descended on three metro Denver Boys & Girls Clubs last Saturday to complete 15 projects at the Johnson, Cope and Boettcher Clubs. Volunteers added mulch to playgrounds, cleared weeds from play areas, brightened teen centers, deep cleaned, painted, and built gardening areas, furniture, and storage units.
It was all part of the Fidelity Cares program, and looking at the smiles of the volunteers in the picture above, it’s clear they enjoy giving back as part of team “Fidelity Cares.”
The Fidelity Cares program works to ensure children receive a quality, foundational education delivered in an environment that helps them thrive. What special about the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver? They serve 150-225 children daily, providing them with at least one meal, and an enriching space, and all for a $2 per year membership fee. Certainly, a worthy organization aligning beautifully with the values of Fidelity Cares!
Fidelity Investments’ corporate citizenship encompasses a commitment to education and financial literacy, sharing technology know-how, partnering with nonprofits, and environmental sustainability.
B:CIVIC founding member Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell (WTO) recently won the Denver Business Journal’s inaugural Workplace Wellness Award in the extra-large category. The award recognizes WTO’s commitment to the help employees take care of themselves through yoga at work, and qualified expenses for a new bike, fitness classes, ski pass and most anything that helps employees take care of themselves. WTO also provides resources to support the mental, emotional, and financial wellness of employees and their families. Shown here is Connie Proulx, Executive Director, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell Foundation holding the award, which is aptly topped with an apple.
And why is this relevant to CSR? Cone Communications recently completed their national 2017 CSR trends study and found that almost 95 % of consumers believe that “being a good employer” is key among the factors marking responsible business practice. Certainly, supporting wellness for the whole employee is part of that.
WTO was also named the #3 Best Place to Work in Denver by the Denver Business Journal in the extra-large company category, sustaining its 3-year trend to be among the top three and among the top-ranked law firm across all size categories. The Denver Business Journal and Quantum Workplace conducted the survey. In selecting WTO, the DBJ highlights numerous benefits of working at the firm, particularly a culture that encourages and values teamwork, collegiality, appreciation, and respect.
And WTO takes those values of caring and respect for each other out into the community through the twelve years of work of the WTO Foundation. the WTO foundation facilitates the efforts of WTO lawyers, staff, family, and friends who give time and donations to a wide-range of community service efforts. In fact, WTO cites more than 40 nonprofits benefiting from the support of the firm, its employees, and the foundation.
Read more about the WTO Foundation here.
We at B:CIVIC believe that there is a wide spectrum of ways that businesses can be involved in growth through social responsibility, and B Labs and the new Best for Colorado Campaign is yet another important element for Colorado companies.
Whether you are just beginning to find ways to engage your employees in volunteerism, further your community philanthropy, advance a strategy for community involvement, or are a fully focused Pledge 1%, B Certified Corporation, or Benefit Corporation, you are so important to our state and world. B:CIVIC was created to lead and serve this community, and we believe collaboration and partnership with other like-minded organizations like B Labs and Best for Colorado will strengthen all of the efforts.
The Best for Colorado campaign launched June 8 to provide a challenge and on-line impact assessment that helps businesses measure the impact of their worker, community, and environmental business practices. The Best for Colorado Challenge is the core of the Best for Colorado campaign, which encourages and supports Colorado businesses making positive changes to their business practices.
The program is coordinated through B Labs and the City of Denver, along with several partners including B:CIVIC. B:CIVIC also serves on the Steering Committee, and B:CIVIC member Dan Mulligan of YellowDog Printing & Graphics and yellowDogLab, was one of the speakers.
“Colorado is home to some of the most innovative, inspiring, and impactful companies in the world. And yet, we have room to grow. If even one percent of businesses in our state stepped up to do just one thing to help create good jobs and stronger communities, it would affect the future of thousands of Coloradans,” says B Lab Colorado Director Kim Coupounas.
She added, “We’re so proud to have B:CIVIC as a Best for Colorado Partner. Together, united around the cause of business as a force for good, Colorado’s great impact-focused businesses, municipalities, and civic organizations like B:CIVIC can do so much more for the prosperity of our state than any of us can do alone.”
B:CIVIC encourages businesses to participate, and for full details, click on: https://best-for-colorado.bimpactassessment.net/about
MORE: Video on CherryArts Art Education
Donate: You can make a donation to CherryArts and it will be matched dollar for dollar (up to a total of $2,500) by Janus Henderson Investors (through June). To activate the match, note “B:CIVIC/Janus Henderson Investors “ along with your name or company name in the special request line of the on-line donation form.
Art, Connection, and Purpose – B:CIVIC with a Flair
B:CIVIC member companies and special guests gathered this week in the lounge-like setting of the Janus Henderson Investors lobby to enjoy food and drinks, share CSR ideas, and view the Cherry Creek Arts Festival Mobile Arts Gallery. Margaritas, wine, and beer complimented the Cajun shrimp skewers, Korean chicken and more, all generously provided Little Pub’s The Hound in Cherry Creek, which has a new look, menu and chef. Little Pub is a founding member of B:CIVIC and owner Mark Berzins serves on the B:CIVIC board.
(top left) Mark Berzins, B:CIVIC Board member and The Hound Owner with The Hound management/staff
(bottom left) Su Hawk, Pres./CEO B:CIVIC address guests- photo by Andrew Yang -The Other Guys Visual Productions
(bottom right) Brandy Rady, Suncor and Sally Croker, Creative Strategies Group
For the past 17 years, Janus Henderson Investors has underwritten the CherryArts Mobile Arts Gallery and student arts education /art buying program. The Education Coordinator for CherryArts spoke to the B:CIVIC crowd, explaining that students interview festival artists, determine what piece they want for their school and then present their decision to an audience. All this develops students’ skills in observation, critical thinking, teamwork, strategy and public speaking. Three schools have the opportunity to purchase art for the Mobile Art Gallery, which travels to schools, libraries and community centers throughout Colorado.
(top left photo) Ruth Rohs (left facing camera), Exec. Director, IMA Foundation and B:CIVIC Board member, gestures while speaking with guests
(top right photo) Mark Berzins (left), Owner, Little Pub and B:CIVIC Board member, with family and member company guests
(bottom left photo) John Dowling (right), CPA, President, Audit Labs Ltd and B:CIVIC Board member, with member company guest
(bottom right) Shaina Belton Education Coordinator, CherryArts, addresses event guests
Eating Today? Ball’s “Let’s Can Hunger” Drive Makes That A “Yes” For Many
One in eight people in the U.S. struggle with hunger, making the question of whether you’re eating today a very real challenge for many. Stepping up with their recently completed 2017 “Let’s Can Hunger” drive, Ball Corp North American, its employees, and the Ball Foundation joined forces to address this issue. They collected almost 270,000 pounds of canned food- a record amount for their drives- as well as more than $330,000 in donations. The drive benefits more than 40 nonprofits addressing food insecurity in communities where Ball operates in North America.
Employees in Ball’s corporate, packaging and aerospace offices participated in the effort. Besides collecting food, employee dollar donations were matched by Ball Corporation, and The Ball Foundation also provided a dollar per pound match of food. The Ball Foundation* focuses on education, recycling, disaster relief and food security.
“Providing 1.5 million meals to our communities was a tremendous effort and demonstrates the generosity of the Ball family,” said Chris Chavez, director of global corporate citizenship and corporate relations at Ball. To get a feel for the incredible “can do” culture of the Ball, as shown in the spirit and engagement of Ball employees, see the video above.
It’s clear the employees are proud to be part of this company, and B:CIVIC is proud to count Ball as a member!
* The Ball Foundation’s mission is to provide financial support to nonprofit organizations that sustain the communities in which they operate by improving and promoting education, recycling, disaster relief and food security.
MORE- Did you Know?
Veterans buried at the Golden Cemetery include Captain George West, one of the founders of Golden, and Captain Edward Louis Berthoud, who’s namesake is familiar to Coloradoans.
As Denver’s second oldest operating cemetery, Fairmount Cemetery’s rich and fascinating past stretches back to 1890, the year it was founded. Fairmount is home to Colorado’s most extensive arboretum, filled with numerous Champion Trees and one of the largest collections of Heritage Roses in North America.
Ashford Univ., Univ. of the Rockies and Xcel Energy bring power to caring on Memorial Day
B:CIVIC members Xcel Energy, Ashford University and University of the Rockies teamed up to honor our nation’s fallen for the Memorial Day weekend. At Fairmount Cemetery, volunteers placed flags at the headstones of service members, and learned about some notable figures laid to rest, to include three Medal of Honor recipients that called Colorado home. “As an Army veteran, it is a privilege to be able to recognize the service and sacrifice so many have given for us” said Kynnie Martin, of Xcel Energy. “To me, the Memorial Day weekend is more than an extra day off from work. It’s a time to reflect on the history of our military and grieve the loss of so many fine men and women while being grateful for the freedoms, family and friends that surround me.”
Jana Mathieson of Ashford University and the University of the Rockies reflected on the events, “Our Military Volunteer Committee was honored to be invited to participate in this important remembrance opportunity. Being able to bring our friends and families and work alongside volunteers from Xcel Energy and other community members was particularly meaningful. Along with Education and Youth, Military is a pillar of service at Ashford, Bridgepoint and Rockies, and it was great to be a part of recognizing the sacrifice of our service members.”
Peak Resources, a B:CIVIC founding member company, provides consulting and professional services for IT Systems integration, and a focus to “Compute Globally and Invest Locally.” Their volunteer and philanthropy efforts are focused in education, particularly in working with local DPS schools. They provide the PEAK Scholarship for Technology; school garden support at nearby Fairview Elementary, and financial literacy programs through Junior Achievement.
Over the past seven years, PEAK Resources has provided a 4-year scholarship and a laptop to assist college bound students from KIPP Collegiate High School who are interested in pursuing a degree in a technology. KIPP is a tuition-free, college-
A few days ago, Tom Brinegar, Vice President and CFO for PEAK Resources, presented KIPP student Manny Garibay with PEAK Resource’s most recent scholarship award during the school’s Collegiate Pennant Celebration. Pictured here (top photo) are Tom, standing on the left, and Manny, on the right. Manny will be going to CSU where he plans to study business and focus on entrepreneurship.
Other Peak Resources scholarship recipients have gone on to study computer science, engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering and business at places such as Duke University, CU, DU, Carlton College, Regis, and Metro State.
Among Peak Resources core values is a commitment to exhibit social responsibility in their actions and in acceptance of diversity in individuals and organizations.
Besides the KIPP scholarship and JA activities each year PEAK employees give time and muscle to help build, repair and cultivate the school garden at Fairview Elementary, and students work the garden to grow vegetables. Tom Brinegar is pictured here working at the Fairview Garden.
Almost 100% of PEAK’s employees have chosen to be involved in one way or another in the company’s community involvement efforts, whether through the three main focus areas of the company or in serving on local non-profit boards, including Colorado Succeeds, PEBC, Metro Volunteers and more.
PEAK Resources has been in business in Denver for 26 years. Over the past four consecutive years, they have recognized by INC as an “INC 5000 fastest-growing private company in America.” Clearly, they are also growing their connection to the community and helping students and neighborhoods to thrive.