Businesses That Care

Published on: December 3rd, 2009

St. Vrain Valley Credit Union 777 21st Ave., Longmont, 303.772.7776; 1444 East 3rd Ave., Longmont, 303.772.7776, svvcu.org “She was our inspiration. She spearheaded this. We have stayed true.” —Julia Davis, business development and community advocate

The community involvement didn’t start out so personal. Five years ago, the employees at St. Vrain Valley Credit Union decided it was time to create a committee to focus on volunteerism. Rhonda Herrman took charge, spearheading the committee and helping the company to set its philanthropic priorities. She was an engaged, impassioned leader and the rest of the St. Vrain Valley Credit Union staff happily followed her into the world of fundraisers, school supply drives and races for the cure. But then Herrman was diagnosed with lymphoma; still, she continued to lead the company’s community involvement committee. She died about a year and a half ago. “After that, we knew we had to stay true to what she had started,” said Julia Davis, business development and community advocate. Over the years—even before Herrman passed away—the company focused on a blend of nonprofits, including Project LINUS, American Cancer Society, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Longmont Humane Society and the Crayons to Calculators school supply drive. It has become a part of the business’ culture, for both employees and customers. “It allows us to bring awareness to employees and members of the credit union,” Davis said. “And they are very generous.” Truly, the emotion behind their efforts has made the community involvement something greater than a team-building activity to build office culture or a marketing tool. For St. Vrain Valley Credit Union, philanthropy is a legacy to which they are personally bound.

Insight Designs Web Solutions 2006 Broadway, Ste. 300, Boulder, 303.449.8567, insightdesigns.com “As cliché as it sounds, we want to make our community and world better and do whatever we can do to help in big and small ways.” —Beth Krodel, partner

Small business doesn’t mean small impact. Along with the financial support of many local, national and global organizations, the 10 employees of Insight Designs Web Solutions have a particularly close connection with Boulder’s Shelter for the Homeless through pro bono website work, volunteering, sponsoring events, donating money and involving others.

WhiteWave Foods Company 12002 Airport Way, Broomfield, 303.635.4000, whitewave.com “Doing good is good business—we use the power of our brands, the energy and passion of our people and the scale of our business to create meaningful change.” —Farrah Lamoureux, contractor

WhiteWave Foods is an all-around do-good company. It starts with the employees, who volunteered more than 2,800 hours in 2008. The company partners with many nonprofits (Meals on Wheels, Community Food Share, Farm Aid, World Soy Foundation, Conservation International) to end hunger locally and internationally. Ball Aerospace & Technologies 10 Longs Peak Dr., Broomfield; 1600 Commerce St., Boulder, ballaerospace.com “Our company’s prosperity is clearly linked to the prosperity and success of others.”—Roz Brown, media relations manager

Whatever your passions in life, chances are Ball Aerospace has donated to something you or your children are involved in: The company’s charitable giving funds local education, diversity programs, health/human services, arts and culture. Also a strong proponent for education outreach, Ball Aerospace supports a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs for local youth through sponsorships, mentoring, volunteering and presentations.

Socially Conscious Coffee POB 61421, Denver, 720.201.1790, sccoffee.org “Being a socially responsible business means recognizing the connection between financial success and acting with integrity to make the world a better place. Certainly, we are connected by our common humanity.” —Stephanie Neves, founder

After witnessing the poverty and malnutrition of Brazilian coffee harvesters, Stephanie Neves founded Socially Conscious Coffee with hopes of breaking the cycle of coffee harvester illiteracy, poverty and poor health by providing education, health care and environmental stewardship. Since its creation in 2001, Socially Conscious Coffee has built a 9,149-square-foot school/medical and dental clinic, provided primary education to more than 120 children and adults, supplied safe water, delivered more than 130,000 meals and created an environmental and reforestation program.

Momentum 1625 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.440.7744, ourmomentum.com “As a business, our purchases have the power to create the power of lasting social change, and we give our customers the opportunity to do the same.”—Jenny Natapow, owner

As a fair trade store that supports artisans and artists around the world, Momentum has a global impact. But the store’s owners and employees also take an active role in bettering their community by hosting monthly events that benefit various nonprofits. Momentum ensures that their customers’ hard-earned and thoughtfully spent dollars do not just benefit a local business but local causes.

Crackpots 501 Main St., Longmont, 303.776.2211, ecrackpots.com “I think it is just the right thing to do. You can’t just sit here in your own little world. Doing what we do gets us out into the community. A lot of people know us because of it.” —Tamar Hendricks, owner

Tamar Hendricks opened Crackpots because it’s the type of business she wanted to see in Longmont: a sweet little pottery studio where residents can come with family and friends. And her contribution to Longmont just spread from there. Hendricks is very nonchalant about her efforts. “I’m a resident of Longmont, and I feel I should be giving back,” she said. The company contributes to arts programs for youth, the OUR Center and the Longmont Summer Outdoor Cinema with sponsorships, contributions and donations.

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