By Anne Deeter Gallaher, CEO/Owner of Deeter Gallaher Group LLC
The familiar proverb “The apple does not fall far from the tree” refers to parents and children, but I think it also has meaning for employees and employers. If you want to understand the culture of a company, watch and interact with the employees. What boards do they serve on, what organizations do they support, where do they spend their leisure time?
High-performing, solution-driven, good-citizen companies attract high-performing, solution-driven, good-citizen employees. They create a framework for workers like Dan Kerr to thrive, and they afford them the freedom to give time, energy, and resources back to the community.
Thomas F. (Chip) Brown Jr., president of Harrisburg-headquartered McClure Company, has spoken often of his desire for the McClure team to live “robust” lives. Chronic overtime or lives chained to fluorescent lighting are not part of the culture at McClure. The upside of this type of work environment is that employees are wholly supported to invest in their own passions. Dan has parlayed his extensive Ironman endurance commitment and his third Ironman race into non-profit in Lancaster County, PA. When I received a personal support letter from Dan in the mail, I read every word.
Before he shared the need and how Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties (BOHLCC) was helping restore women and children to strong, financially independent families, he shared his own commitment. He was training for Ironman, not to win an award or a photo op; he was using his passion to make a difference. McClure not only supports Dan’s “fund racing” with flex time to train, they are the lead sponsor to help him reach his $10,000 goal.
Ironman attracts the hyper-focused individual—yes, it’s an elite individual sport—and Dan is one of the most disciplined individuals I’ve ever met. I have seen his energy at work. He brings the same level of discipline to his training as he does to his work directing the Energy Services for McClure Company.
In a year where corporate donations are down and non-profit distrust is up, Dan’s support of BOHLCC speaks volumes. In fact, it’s all the testimony I needed to add my support. The reality is that for Dan to dedicate months of intense training for an Ironman, it’s not only a commitment for him, but for McClure Company too. Chip’s clear support of robust lives allows the employees to train or volunteer or go on mission trips with the full blessing of the company. If Dan met with repeated resistance from McClure, it would not only be a drag on his enthusiasm and energy, but it would send a message that they diminish the value of giving back and helping others.
McClure’s commitment to living robust lives has spawned hundreds of sponsorships and community investments in support of their 300+ employees. The ripple effect is visible in the lives of young women and children, once homeless in Lancaster, now with homes and the tools to start sustainable, productive lives.
That’s energy well spent.
Donations in support of Dan’s Ironman fundraising for BOHLCC can be made online or through personal check made out to Bridge of Hope LCC and sent to Dan Kerr c/o McClure Company, 4101 N. 6th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110.