Founded and headquartered in Louisville, Genscape is a local company with global reach.
Data from more than 140 countries and countless seaports across the globe flows right through Louisville via Genscape. The company operates the world’s largest private network of in-the-field monitors – including satellite reconnaissance, artificial intelligence and maritime freight tracking. Global commodity and energy market players use this data to better understand market drivers, risks and dynamics.
Genscape is a part of DMGT, publisher of the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper that has diversified into a multinational portfolio of entrepreneurial companies that provide information, analytics, insight, news and entertainment to a wide variety of industries and consumers.
Now, in addition to pioneering a niche in the commodities industry, having a global footprint and creating a winning culture housed in a hip, new office space, Genscape has achieved yet another milestone worth celebrating.
Success as a DMGT Community Champion
Genscape was recently selected as a recipient of the DMGT Community Champions Award. The contest, open to DMGT companies that span the globe, selected Genscape for the way it gives back right here in Louisville.
The award recognizes employees for their outstanding contributions to good causes that make a difference in their local community. This year’s winners were chosen from more than 150 nominations.
Winners receive a $7,600 donation to the charitable cause of their choice, as well as an award plaque at a New York City dinner gala hosted by DMGT CEO Paul Zwillenberg.
“Genscape’s work encapsulated what we were looking for in a Community Champions Award application – a DMGT company working in their local community to support a wonderful cause that was close to their employees’ hearts,” says Fran Salas, DMGT Deputy Company Secretary and Head of CR Champions Network. “We are excited to share their success at the Awards dinner and hear more about the project.”
A business strategy rooted in giving back
The company’s significant commitment to and investment in rebuilding both the physical infrastructure as well as the community of Louisville is what secured the DMGT prize. This commitment is part of the social mission of the company, but it also extends to its business operations. Genscape sees the revitalization of Louisville and its ability to attract and retain talent here as “critical” to its business strategy.
“If we can build and maintain a workforce in Louisville, Genscape does not have to compete in the ‘war for talent’ that is currently underway in cities like San Francisco, New York, Denver and Boston,” says Merabeth Martin, Chief People Officer. “For Genscape to attract and retain talent, we need Louisville to be an attractive city in which to live, work and play.”
The company has focused its efforts in three key areas: rebuilding people, physical revitalization and community support.
Rebuilding people through partnership with Urban League
“Both Genscape and the Louisville Urban League share core values for rejuvenating the human spirit and community revitalization, making for a perfect partnership,” says Martin.
The mission of the nonprofit Urban League is to assist disadvantaged persons in the achievement of social and economic quality primarily through education, employment, housing, family, and community development.
The problem was, the existing Urban League office space felt institutional and the furnishings were dilapidated. In order to send the right message to both employees and patrons, the place needed a facelift.
After the mayor’s office connected the Urban League with Genscape, the two organizations formulated a plan to repurpose existing Genscape office furniture for the Urban League space. Ultimately, they were able to repurpose 80% of Genscape’s furnishings. In all, more than $50,000 worth of furniture and supplies went to the Urban League and about 20 other local organizations in need.
“I knew that the community we served needed to walk into a space that was welcoming and bright. Genscape had a reception desk I wanted. Turns out they had the hearts we needed too,” says Sadiqa Reynolds, President of the Urban League. “Our partnership is going to help us transform this community. All of this, because I really wanted a reception desk in the lobby.”
And, according to Reynolds, Genscape’s contributions didn’t stop at furniture. They’ve helped secure additional computers that were needed, and they provided IT support and data collection on behalf of the organization.
“If you know anything about Genscape, those folks work hard and they love to celebrate,” says Reynolds. “They’ve invited us to multiple events that have increased the exposure of our cause to a much broader audience. (We even partnered with them to win second place at the Boo La La Fundraiser for the Olmsted last year!) These events have led to additional support from other organizations, as well as some of the most lucrative fundraising efforts in our organization’s history.”
Genscape plans to continue its support of the Urban League in assisting the underprivileged in obtaining housing, rehabbing vacant homes to clean up neighborhoods, providing budgeting counseling and tax filing, and helping secure employment. In addition, Genscape will support the Urban League’s three youth programs that focus on at-risk elementary age students and college and career readiness.
Commitment to physical revitalization
When Genscape’s lease on its NuLu building expired in 2015, they had to decide whether to stay in Louisville.
“There were plenty of reasons to leave – other cities offered attractive tax credits to relocate, our customers are mostly in other cities, and most tech companies are in hub cities like Boston and San Francisco,” says Martin.
Rather than move, Genscape continued their commitment to disadvantaged urban areas of Louisville by renovating a historic building in the heart of Old Louisville. A former dairy building, dubbed “The Milk Building” has been transformed into a modern, 20,000-square-foot headquarters. Of the $4.5M estimated build-out and refurbishment budget, approximately 66% was spent on local firms and individuals. The project brought to the neighborhood newly paved sidewalks, lighting and trees and has become a model for other renovations.
“Keep it local” focus inspires volunteerism
The award also recognized Genscape’s support of the institutions necessary to create a vibrant urban community through both employee volunteerism and monetary donations. Employees serve on the boards of and are actively involved in programming with the Old Louisville Neighborhood Association, the Speed Art Museum, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, the Kentucky Science Center and the Excellence Academy of Metro United Way.
“The goal is to strengthen the community and draw more people to the area, while also offering leadership opportunities to young professionals at Genscape,” says Martin.
Whenever possible, Genscape strives to “keep it local” in choosing restaurants, hotels and other business vendors to benefit the community.
“Our Friday in-house lunches are catered by restaurants, selected by employees who scout out little-known, locally owned restaurants in need of business and exposure,” says Martin.
Join the Genscape team
Want to join the award-winning team at Genscape? Check out the open roles for contributing to the company’s and their communities’ success.
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