Employee-led Community Giving organized day of service for 191 participants across 3 states, 10 locations
(October 9, 2018) — They sorted, packed, cleaned, pulled, pried, dug, cut, crafted, repaired, moved, and lifted all across the western United States. Representing eight cities, three states, and over 1000 hours of service, 191 employees took part in Unico’s first ever company-wide all-hands day of community service. Coordinated by members of the employee-led Community Giving, the inaugural event took place last Friday, Oct. 5, across three states—Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—and 10 locations in six cities such as Seattle, Woodinville, Tacoma, Spokane, Denver, and Portland. Participants supported an assortment of organizations: in Washington, Unico employees supported Mary’s Place and Compass Housing in Seattle, the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Farmer Frog in Woodinville, and Volunteers of America in Spokane; in Colorado, participants helped assemble critical medical supplies at a Project C.U.R.E. location in Denver; and in Oregon, employees salvaged building materials for reuse through The ReBuilding Center in Portland.
“[‘All Hands Day’] will be a fantastic day for us all to showcase Unico’s long-held commitment to serving our communities,” said Unico Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board Quentin Kuhrau in an email to employees days prior to the event. Unico leadership were working alongside employees in different markets. Kuhrau, along with Senior Vice President of Real Estate Brian Pearce and Senior Vice President of Development Jackie Costigan, joined the team in Denver. President Jonas Sylvester joined the team in Portland, Ore., Chief Investment Officer Ned Carner helped the team in Seattle, and Chief Financial Officer Simon Misselbrook worked alongside employees in Woodinville.
Members of the Community Giving worked hard to coordinate events in multiple markets and with dozens of property management offices. The steering committee is led by Rachel Bain, Courtney Jolicoeur, and Stacie Chapman and supported by Nick Cousino, Audrey Lyon, and Maria Clark. Bain organized the Woodinville event, while in Seattle, Jolicoeur and Lyon organized events at Compass Housing and Mary’s Place respectively. Chapman organized the Tacoma efforts, alongside Clark for the Denver event, while Cousino organized the team in Portland, Ore. In Spokane, Ron White was essential in organizing Unico’s efforts in that city.
Employees from Unico subsidiaries—Costigan Integrated, Unico Solar Investors, and Unico Sustainability—also took part in the day of service. Unico’s Salt Lake City and Honolulu teams will also participate in their communities in upcoming weeks, bringing total participation close to the 200-person mark.
To commemorate the company-wide effort, Unico employees donned custom designed pacific blue t-shirts to the locations. The t-shirt design was selected by employees via an anonymous poll after an internal company-wide competition. The winning design was by Levi Miller, Unico Helpdesk Analyst, and depicts the Unico logo re-interpreted as human figures hugged by arms or planetary rings. For his winning contribution, he was awarded a $100 Unico donation to go towards his non-profit of choice. On the back of the t-shirts is the hashtag #UnicoGives, designed originally by Mack Benevides, which participants were using to tag social media posts regarding the multi-state effort.
Established in 2017, Unico’s employee-led Community Giving was created in part to reflect Unico’s commitment to the communities they serve and to engage employees in a thoughtful dialog about causes that are near and dear to them. The steering committee identified five impact areas where Unico had focused on giving in the past: housing and hunger, health, youth, arts and culture, and sustainability. After soliciting input from Unico employees, the steering committee in 2018 announced a new focus called “Impact 2018” which prioritized causes on housing, hunger, and youth. “All Hands Day” was one of the events announced in support of the “Impact 2018” program along with the continuation of Unico’s long-existing charitable giving matching and paid volunteer hours programs.
Unico’s team in Seattle affirm their commitment to the community they serve
The largest “All Hands Day” contingent was in Seattle, with 73 participants divided between 2 organizations and five locations: Mary’s Place and Compass Housing. Unico CIO Ned Carner joined the Seattle team supporting Mary’s Place. Courtney Jolicoeur from the Community Giving Committee helped organize the efforts for Compass Housing, while Audrey Lyon organized the groups divided between four Mary’s Place locations.
Elsewhere in Washington, Unico participants supported a children’s museum, homeless shelter, and a non-profit teaching kids gardening
Woodinville had the second largest contingent outside of Seattle with 44 people supporting Farmer Frog, a non-profit dedicated to developing school gardens across Washington and providing on-hands learning opportunities for schoolchildren. In Tacoma, 16 helpers put together kits for children activities at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. In Spokane, 10 Unico employees supported Volunteers of America helping out in a veterans’ shelter. Unico CFO Simon Misselbrook joined the Woodinville team. Rachel Bain and Stacie Chapman of the Community Giving Committee organized the efforts in Woodinville and Tacoma respectively, while Ron White organized the Spokane events.
Unico in Colorado team sorted and assembled medical kits for shipment across the world with Project C.U.R.E.
Employees from three Colorado offices are represented in the Denver effort: Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. Outside of Washington, the Denver effort was the largest group organized with 31 participants sorting through, packing, and warehousing medical supplies. Unico helped Project C.U.R.E. put together medical supplies for shipment to hospitals and clinics in need. Unico CEO Quentin Kuhrau, SVP Jackie Costigan, and SVP Brian Pearce joined the team in Denver. Stacie Chapman of the Community Giving Committee alongside with Maria Clark from the Denver office organized the event.
Portland helped salvage building materials for creative reuse through The ReBuilding Center
Unico President Jonas Sylvester was among the 17 participants in Unico’s efforts in Portland. The Portland team sorted, cut, hammered through building debris and wood to reclaim the materials for creative reuse with the non-profit The ReBuilding Center. Nick Cousino helped organized the efforts in Portland.