OneAccord Partners Principal Mike Eskridge was hired to serve as president of BestWorth Rommel, the manufacturing business recently acquired by Solomons Fund, the investment arm of OneAccord Capital. What he writes here about serving client companies is one of the practical ways our commitment to preserving legacy plays out after a deal has closed.
As part of our OneAccord leadership mission, we seek opportunities to support the communities surrounding our clients. Charitable giving, sponsoring local groups and teams, donations of time or funds, and providing facilities or material are just a few examples.
As leaders, we also watch for events and efforts that can involve our client’s employees in community giving and other charitable endeavors. Payroll deductions for local and national charities, donations of time to local community groups and client-supported volunteering are often easy to put in place. We’re challenging all of our leaders to think a little outside the box and look for ways to do both when possible. I recently had an opportunity to do so with my client, BestWorth Rommel, in Arlington, WA.
Each year the city of Arlington has a parade and Independence Day celebration, as do most U.S. cities. One of the Rotary Club events during the day is called the Arlington Duck Dash. People buy rubber ducks that have assigned numbers and the city launches them in the river as a race. The first ducks to cross the finish line downstream win. This year’s prizes were a $5,000 grand prize, five $1,000 second-place awards and ten $100 third-place awards. The money raised is used to support many local community groups and charities, such as the food bank, senior center, parks, play fields, trails, Relay for Life, scholarships, drama and music clubs, robotics, the Arlington Education Foundation, Youth Dynamics, Boy Scouts, Arlington Cocoon House, Kids Kloset, Boys & Girls Club, Little League and more.
We could have just sponsored the event, but that would have only been a win for the company. We could have gathered a donation from the employees, but that, too, would have been a one-sided win. So how did we turn this into a win-win?
We bought a ticket for each employee for the Duck Dash. This approach allowed us to get the most out of our giving. We were giving to the community as a company, giving appreciation to every employee and giving each employee a tie into the community, all while building a positive office buzz and enthusiasm over the chance to win a good chunk of cash. It was a win-win trifecta of giving. As a plus, buying the tickets in bulk got us a slight discount on ticket prices. Tickets were $5 or five for $20. We bought a block of 50, had each employee pick one, and then marked any extras as a company ticket. If the company ticket won, we would use the funds for an employee event such as offsite team building or an employee\family event.
Mike went on to challenge every leader in the OneAccord organization to “seek unique opportunities to do more than just giving. Find ways to include employee recognition, family time, contests and comradery as an integral part of the giving process so the gifts and efforts are compounded.”
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