In 2015, Genscape relocated its Louisville headquarters to the Old Louisville Business District. Investing in and helping to revitalize the economic, social and cultural community was a priority for the company.
“We’re passionate about giving back to the communities where we live and work,” says Merabeth Martin, Director of Human Resources. “It’s a philosophy that’s very much supported by company leadership and our employees are encouraged to pursue causes that are important to them – and to unite with and work alongside colleagues who share their passions.”
A grassroots approach
“Genscapers” have a proud tradition of supporting local charitable organizations in the community through partnerships, donations and volunteerism.
Employees, like Office Manager Jessica Sousa, have become local champions in each of Genscape’s locations, organizing volunteering events and donation drives held regularly. Some events happen during the work day, others are held on the weekends so spouses and children can participate.
“The focus is so different from one location to the next,” says Martin. “Teams are empowered and have the autonomy to determine what’s important to them.”
And employees aren’t limited to a set number of hours per year either.
“There are no mandates, we don’t micromanage the process. We don’t like to draw boxes around ourselves, so there’s not a lot of policies or red tape,” says Martin. If you’re doing something good for the community that’s heartfelt and genuine – you can have the time you need to do that. Most of the time what you’re passionate about, we’re passionate about.”
Three focus areas
Education – supporting children and under privileged adults.
“Recently our Agriculture and Biofuels team partnered with Metro United Way on a pre-school education program for local neighborhood children,” says Martin. “The team spent weeks collecting donated materials from our own employees and building ‘busy boards’ – sheets of wood featuring objects that teach children how everyday objects work like locks, latches, switches and shoelaces.”
Adds Martin: “Employees also set up collection boxes for donations for Home of the Innocents and local animal shelters during the holiday season.”
“We’ve been really focused on how we reduce our carbon footprint in all our locations,” says Martin. “We just started composting in the office. We’ve also built five community gardens onsite where employees have planted vegetables together and then come together to do a harvest meal.”
“We’re big into recycling as well,” adds Martin. “We have an employee who started collecting plastic bottle caps a few years back – from milk jugs, laundry detergent, etc. In 2015, we collected over 400 pounds of plastic bottle caps that were recycled and repurposed into a park bench for orphaned refuges to enjoy.”
This summer in Boston, Sousa will be leading teams who are volunteering at the local zoo, cleaning up exhibits for the enjoyment of visitors.
Arts & Diversity – endorsing arts; blending backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures
“Now that we’re in Old Louisville and have significantly more space, we’ve also opened our doors for community meetings and events for organizations like Greater Louisville, Inc., KMAC’s Poetry Slam, the Old Louisville Neighborhood Association, the Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Project event in April, and others,” says Martin.
Genscape is also a longtime supporter of Actors Theatre, a sponsor of Old Louisville Live, and last holiday season Genscape team members collected items for Kentucky Refugee Ministries. It’s safe to say their ties to our community are strong.
A champion of the local community
Genscape continues to invest, year-over-year, in local community organizations. Those who’ve received charitable donations include:
- Louisville Science Center
- Olmstead Parks Conservancy
- Kentucky Museum for Arts and Crafts
- Louisville Speed Art Museum
- Louisville Urban League
“When we moved to our new location, we donated all our office furniture to the Louisville Urban League,” says Martin. “In total, probably $50,000 – $60,000 worth of furniture, book shelves and office supplies.”
The Louisville Urban League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, interracial community organization dedicated to the elimination of racism and its effects within our community.
While each office and employee has the autonomy to decide how they approach corporate social responsibility, it’s certainly endorsed at the corporate level, even from Genscape’s parent company, DMGT.
They’ve established “DMGT Community Champions” – a network of corporate responsibility leaders among the entire business portfolio – that shares best practices, recognizes team efforts and serves as a development opportunity.
The company also has a Charitable Match program – Genscape will match employee contributions of $20 or more to a maximum of $200 per employee, per calendar year. It’s Disaster Relief Matching program offers the same generous match enabling employees to join together to alleviate suffering caused by devastating events.
“It’s not uncommon for employees to remind their teams and colleagues about the match program,” says Martin. Many times, we see fellow employees supporting one another’s interests and causes as well. It really builds comradery among team members.”
Want to give back at Genscape?
Check out the open roles for contributing to the company’s and their communities’ success.
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