Friday, October 6, 2017

Co-ops Commit to Community

One of the seven cooperative principles is concern for the community. While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members. 

Last year, GENEX adopted a volunteer time off (VTO) policy which enabled its employees to take one day per year to volunteer in their communities. Many of our employees embraced this opportunity as a chance to find a new way to give of their talents to neighbors in need, while others were able to spend a little extra time contributing to organizations they are passionate about.

Chelsea Garrison from Idaho was able to spend time at an animal shelter because of the VTO program. "I absolutely find VTO worthwhile because it gives us a chance to give to the community, and separates us from our busy, hectic lives for a day to focus our attention on a place in need of our help."

A few of those who participated in VTO projects are shown above:
1) Sarah Nugent, Outreach and Solutions Advisor and Anne Davison, Director of Dairy Sales Support, assisted in the dairy birthing center at the New York State Fair.
2) Public Relations Assistant Shelly Swan helped sort Girl Scout cookies.
3) Vice President of Communications Terri Dallas chaperoned a 4-H club trip to the zoo.
4) Bob Stratton, AVP International Marketing; Jayne Gilge, Mailroom Specialist; Dean Gilge, VP Wholesale Markets and Dave Goedken, VP U.S. Sales and Service, used their VTO as part of a mission trip to Budapest, Hungary. They helped with building and painting projects and spent time at a foster home. 
5) Chelsea Garrison, Dairy Consultant, volunteered at the Twin Falls, Idaho, animal shelter.
6) Customer Service Representative, Heidi Heller, took five junior members to the National Brown Swiss Convention in Canton, Ohio, where they competed in several national events.
7) Executive Assistant Karla Braun organized Sun Drop Dayz in Shawano, Wisconsin.
8) Genetics Administrative Assistant Teresa Wachtel chaperoned a school trip to the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin.
9) Morgan Kliebenstein, Dairy Procurement Specialist, helped set up for the Lafayette County dairy breakfast.
10) Accounts Payable Supervisor Connie Viergutz assisted the Shawano County dairy exhibitors set up for the Wisconsin State Fair.

With over 950 hours of collective VTO from the cooperative in the program's first year, employees are certainly finding ways to make a difference in their communities.  

"VTO is an exciting part of working for GENEX. It feels great to be able to volunteer my time and get involved in community events I am passionate about. It’s amazing to work for a company that supports and encourages employees to  give back to their communities. VTO is about not only living and working in a community but being a part of the heart of it," remarked Anne Davison.

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