There’s been a lot in the news lately about developing women’s opportunities in technical and science-based industries, so we wanted to share what Xcel Energy, a B:CIVIC member, has been involved with to help grow the pipeline of STEM talent.
This summer, 40 Xcel Energy volunteers helped implement a successful Energy Week for the Girls Inc. of Metro Denver Eureka! program. Through hands-on STEM learning opportunities, field visits, and service projects, Eureka! aims to build girls’ confidence and skills.
The program included tours of the Cherokee power plant and the Xcel Energy operations center in Golden, as well as a service project where 30 Girls Inc. participants worked alongside 20 Xcel Energy employees to build bikes which were donated to 31 first and second graders at Girls Inc.
The bike build took place in partnership with Wish for Wheels , and CBS4 Denver covered the story, capturing images of lots of happy girls. Energy Week also gave the girls and volunteers an opportunity to explore educational stations at Metro State University, where the girls learned about solar energy, wind energy, circuit kits and electric safety.
The Girls Inc. Eureka! program is an intensive five-year STEM-based program. Xcel Energy, not only supports the Girls Inc. Eureka! program with a $25,000 grant but also with significant volunteer time. And Liz Gardner, Xcel Energy’s social investments representative, serves on the Eureka! advisory panel.
B:CIVIC Expands Board, Reflecting the Increasing Influence of Business Philanthropy
and Corporate Social Responsibility
At its recent meeting, members of the B:CIVIC Board of Directors named four new board members, a move reflecting the growing force of businesses involved in implementing and shaping corporate citizenship. New board members include D.J. Close, Village Giving Manager, DaVita; Brandy Radey, Senior Advisor, Sustainability & Communications, Suncor; Patrick Riley, Senior Vice President, North Market; FirstBank; and Shanda Vangas, Community Investments and Partnership Manager, QEP Resources. DaVita, Suncor, FirstBank and QEP Resources are each Founding Member companies.
The four new board members join 12 other directors. Representing healthcare, energy, banking, business services, engineering, finance, insurance, real estate, restaurants, law, and business and philanthropic associations, the board’s expanding reach brings additional influence and voice to business social responsibility. “The expansion of our board deepens our ability to lead and fulfill our mission with exemplary companies, and is a testament to how important business philanthropy and community involvement is for Colorado,” said Lori Call, B:CIVIC Board Chair, and Stakeholder Operations Leader, Kaiser Permanente.
“The expertise of our new board members, alongside our existing board, is significant as we undertake new initiatives and show the positive impact that companies are making in our community,” said Fred Baumann, Partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie; B:CIVIC Vice Chair, and Chair, B:CIVIC Nominating Committee.
D.J. Close, Village Giving Manager, DaVita
Brandy Radey, Senior Advisor, Sustainability & Communications, Suncor
Patrick Riley, Senior Vice President, North Market; FirstBank
Shanda Vangas, Community Investments and Partnership Manager, QEP Resources
Board Chair: Lori Call, Stakeholder Operations Leader, Kaiser Permanente
Board Vice Chair: Frederick Baumann, Partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
Board Treasurer: John Dowling, CPA, President, Audit Labs Ltd.
Board Secretary: Demesha Hill, Community Relations Manager, Janus Henderson Investors, and Managing Director, Janus Henderson Foundation
Directors (excluding the new directors shown above):
Mark Berzins, Founder and Lead Dog, Little Pub Company
Jack Fox, President, The Fox Company and Founding Board Chair
Joey Ham, Senior Manager, Global Partnerships, Western Union Foundation
Kate Lyda, Philanthropic Services Officer, The Denver Foundation
Alexis Owen, Director of Brand, First Western Trust
Ruth Rohs, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Executive Director of the IMA Foundation
Ellen Sandberg, Executive Director, CH2M Foundation and Vice President, Community Investment, CH2M
Kirsten Vermulen, Program Director, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation
B:CIVIC Board of Directors
Be Strategic: Eight Reasons To Enroll in the Certification In Corporate Social Responsibility Program Which Begins August 30.
August is already here, so it’s not too early to think about what you or someone you know can do this fall to gain knowledge of best practices to deliver value to your company and the communities it serves.
Businesses are seeing the need to evaluate their success on the “triple bottom line” – their impact on people and the planet, as well as making a profit. And consumers are expecting this.
In response, B:CIVIC is pleased to offer the second year of the Certification in Social Responsibility (CCSR) program in partnership with the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) at the CU-Boulder Leeds School of Business. The fall semester begins August 30.
Eight reasons why you or someone you know should enroll in the CCSR program:
- It equips you with the knowledge to advance your company and career.
- It focuses on the essential CSR core competencies everyone must know.
- It’s local, so there is no out-of-state travel time or expense.
- It’s compressed, it’s just once a week (for 14 class sessions).
- It costs substantially less than most other programs. And, if your company is a member of B:CIVIC, you receive an additional $500 discount.
- You’ll gain access to guest speakers, instructors, peer networking, and best practices.
- Topics include CSR strategy, sustainable business, HR and culture, stakeholder relations, and CSR reporting and measurement.
- It’s beneficial to those changing careers and those looking to move ahead.
The program will be held at Leeds, and students who are with B:CIVIC member companies receive a $500/person tuition discount. Whether you are an experienced CSR professional or wanting to make a career change, this certification program will further your knowledge and network.
Get the certification for yourself, or share this with someone you know or work with, who wants to make a difference, and to grow and learn alongside other great professionals!
Read more, apply or complete a brief interest form.
Initiative designed to help communities impacted by disasters over the next three years
Pictured left, B:CIVIC members Chris Chavez, Ball Corporation; and Gloria Schoch, MillerCoors join Gino Greco, American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming to celebrate Ball and MillerCoors commitment to providing drinking water to communities impacted by disaster.
When disaster strikes it takes the efforts of many to respond to a community in crisis. As a way to help meet basic needs of those impacted, Ball and MillerCoors are joining forces to make canned water available, using cans produced by Ball, packaging donated by Graphic Packaging International, and water provided and distributed by MillerCoors. During this year’s hurricane and summer storm season, this water will be made available to requesting relief agencies, in coordination with the Red Cross, to ensure that clean water can be provided to people in need when disaster strikes.
Additionally, The Ball Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, financially supports the Red Cross in advance of major disasters as a Disaster Responder member. Funding ensures the Red Cross can respond immediately with comfort and care whenever and wherever disasters occur, help families during the recovery process, and ensure communities become better prepared for the next disaster.
MillerCoors also has a long history of providing financial support to Red Cross dating back prior to the launch of MillerCoors in 2008. Leveraging its employees’ time and talent to produce and distribute clean water is the next step to better provide help to communities in need.
“The Red Cross depends on the generosity of its donors to fulfill its mission,” said Harvey Johnson, senior vice president, Disaster Cycle Services. “Ball’s and MillerCoors’ donation of canned water will help ensure that the Red Cross is prepared to provide the necessary care to disaster survivors who are in critical need of support and supplies after a disaster strikes.”
”Ball is proud to partner with MillerCoors to provide relief to communities when they are most vulnerable,” says Chris Chavez, director of global corporate citizenship and corporate relations at Ball. “By working together with the Red Cross, our companies will be able to get clean drinking water to more people and make a difference in the lives of those affected by disasters.”
“At MillerCoors, one of the things we pride ourselves on is being a quality corporate citizen, and our partnership with Ball and Red Cross will allow us to do that on a higher level,” said Karina Diehl, director of community affairs. “Providing clean water to communities enduring a crisis will aid in recovery and hopefully give some sense of comfort to those in need.”
Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters across the country, including home fires, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires. Red Cross services are provided to people in need of assistance at no cost and regardless of income through the generosity of Red Cross donors.
This week we held a successful B:CIVIC Members Working Lunch, the second in a series we have launched this year. The lunches are designed for professionals across many roles and are a chance for the host to showcase their company, and for attendees to share strategies and suggestions on the topic at hand.
More than 25 people from diverse companies, in HR, internal communications, marketing, CSR and Senior Vice President roles gathered at First Western Trust (FWT) for our session, “Cultivating Employee Engagement.” Alexis Owen, Director of Brand, FWT facilitated the gathering (pictured here) and shared the strategy FWT used to assess and build their culture and employee engagement. She showed how and why they view engagement in its broadest context, where CSR is a crucial tool for engagement, but just one of several aspects of engagement. Attendees discussed their challenges and solutions with engagement in small group discussions, which were also a nice opportunity to network.
MORE: Takeaway ideas
During the working lunch discussion, various “best practices” and suggestions emerged, such as:
- Hiring managers must be schooled in the company’s CSR/employee engagement approach and initiatives, and better, they should experience it themselves so they “own it” too. Potential hires are increasingly using CSR and engagement as a factor in judging the company.
- Engagement increases when the company finds ways to give a voice to employees in what and how employees will be involved, give ownership in the activity, and participate in decision-making.
- When asking for donations, it is important to make the experience more human, by showing how the donations change outcomes for recipients and nonprofits. Get creative with videos, guest speakers, or testimonials from fellow employees who’ve been there with a connection to a nonprofit.
- Where branch offices exist, and not everyone can be gone at the same time, consider creating volunteer opportunities for people from different branches to work together and get to know others with whom they don’t usually interface.
- One way to interest senior management in employee engagement is to share with them the Glassdoor ratings for their company, which could be eye-opening as to perceptions and the need for change.
B:CIVIC’s mission is to promote business philanthropy, business social responsibility, and community involvement, and to help companies and professionals who are committed to the same. So, we are proud to be part of the initiative to offer the Certification in Corporate Social Responsibility (CCSR) program in partnership with the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) at the CU-Boulder Leeds School of Business.
The next session of the Certification in Social Responsibility begins on August 30—just a few weeks away. The 14-week course will meet Wednesday evenings at the CU-Boulder Leeds School of Business. Get more information and complete an interest statement or application form.
Wondering why this may be relevant and beneficial to you or your company?
Consider that more and more businesses are evaluating their success on the “triple bottom line” – their impact on people and the planet, as well as making a profit, in response to increasing expectations from consumers, shareholders, and society to be more socially responsible. In turn, companies and their teams are looking to learn best practices that can help deliver value to their companies and the communities they serve. The CESR Certification in Corporate Social Responsibility is a valuable and effective means to gain this understanding and skills.
Here is what Lora Ledermann, CCSR graduate and Founder of Scream Agency (a B:CIVIC Member) has to share about her experience in the certification program:
“If you’ve been trying to find the perfect professional development course on Corporate Social Responsibility, look no further. CU Boulder’s CCSR class gives you relevant readings, tools, benchmark studies, and worksheets to use in your current (or future) position. And with smart, experienced instructors who keep you on task but still allow for collaboration and sharing, you’ll get the best of the professional-meets-academia worlds.”
– Lora Ledermann, Founder of Scream Agency
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.
Top community-minded companies are using community engagement and “doing good” as a means to propel their business efforts and success. This was among the key findings of a Points of Light survey to identify its 50 Civic Honorees; those identified as top community-minded companies, based on the companies’ U.S. community engagement efforts.
For example, 88 percent are using it in their employee engagement efforts, 84 percent are using it in both their diversity and inclusion efforts, and marketing, and 72 percent are using it as a component of skill development. Top minded companies are recognizing that their philanthropy and community engagement builds their business, so there is a strong trend of over 60 percent measuring how their community engagement affects marketing, employee engagement and diversity and inclusion. 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.”
Four factors of engagement were assessed to identify “top- minded” civic companies, 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.
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.