A couple of things you might not know about Genscape, the nation’s first supplier of real-time data for global commodity and energy markets: First, the company is headquartered right here in Louisville. Second, “Genscapers” have a proud tradition of supporting local charitable organizations in the community through partnerships, donations and volunteerism.

Becky Wenning, Executive Assistant and Louisville Office Manager, presenting a check to Micah Jorrisch, Director, Corporate/Community Partnerships at The Family & Children’s Place.

You’d be hard-pressed to find another company of its size (locally, 85 employees) that is involved in as many local charitable activities as Genscape.

One of the primary charities with whom Genscape has partnered is the Family & Children’s Place, a local organization whose mission is to provide services that help heal the trauma of abuse, violence and neglect, and promote safe, healthy and stable families.

Genscape’s Office Manager, Becky Wenning, says that “After moving to the neighborhood, we were invited to a Lunch N Learn at Family & Children’s Place. The presentation was so impactful. The support F&CP shows for sexually abused children and their families makes such a difference. I wanted to make a difference too. Also, I have a very dear family member and a friend who encountered sexual abuse, which makes this organization close to my heart.” Approximately 86% of all funds raised by F&CP go directly to families (national industry average is around 83%).

Genscape’s involvement runs the gamut from participating in the organization’s events, such as: Keep the Pinwheels Spinning (the blue and white pinwheel is the national symbol of child abuse prevention) where they sponsor pinwheels; The CAPER event (an annual fundraising event in partnership with the University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Team which featured live and silent auctions); and Mashed Louisville (which conducts a blind bourbon tasting to raise money for the Family & Children’s Place.

Genscape employees purchased, wrapped and donated over 400 “Angel Tree” gifts for their Brighter Holiday Program.

In December of last year, Genscape organized a gift drive for the Brighter Holidays program, which helps families at the F&CP by “removing barriers that often prevent them from the providing the holiday season that every child deserves.”  Genscape gathered wish lists from families and dispersed them across multiple departments.

“The employees bought the presents with their own money, had a wrapping party and then a few team members volunteered to take the presents over to the facility. There were hundreds of presents,” said Staci McArter, Genscape’s HR Generalist.

Through their partnership with F&CP:

  • Genscape was the second biggest corporate supporter of the initiative:
  • Genscape employee-led donation drives have contributed over $3,000 worth of items for Family & Children’s Place families (ranging from diapers to school supplies to food)
  • Total money raised by Genscape and employees was approximately $17,000 in the first 18 months of partnering including, sponsorship of the CAPER and Louisville Mashed as well as donations from employees.
  • Around 50 Genscape employees have attended fundraising events like the CAPER and Louisville Mashed

Other charitable initiatives

This year, Genscape is also partnering with Maryhurst, another organization that serves to help children in crisis. It is a place of new beginnings for youth who have been traumatized by unimaginable abuse and neglect.

Natalie Hamel, an Analyst at Genscape, says that she likes helping Maryhurst because it focuses on teenaged girls who have been abused. “It’s such a difficult age anyway but these girls have been in foster care and have faced so many obstacles. There are a lot of organizations for younger kids, but not many for this demographic.”

Maryhurst gives Genscape a tag for each girl in its care. Employees take the tags and then shop, much like the Angel Tree program. “It’s early December and almost all of the tags are taken already.”

Charitable contribution and involvement doesn’t just sit with HR at Genscape. It’s embedded across theorganization, even among the Leadership Team. Although they have company sponsored initiatives, a number of  employees are involved throughout the community, on an individual basis. As part of it’s benefit package, Genscape offers Charitable Contribution to its employees,where they match an employee’s donation up to $200 every year

Community enrichment

Genscape takes great strides to enrich the community in other ways as well. They host a Youth Summit for the Kentucky Science Center one day every June. “This is a day-long event with about 150 kids, where they listen to speakers, do interactive experiments and learn about science. We try to incorporate what we do—data analytics.”

Josef Spalenka (Sr. Research Scientist – Alternative Data Signals, R&D) speaking to Science Center participants about how he applies science to commodity market research.

Deirdre Alphenaar, the Chief R&D Officer at Genscape, brings the summit together every year. “She’s amazing,” said Wenning, “She brings science to a level that the kids understand. At the last Youth Summit, Genscape employee, Josef Spalenka, Sr. Research Scientist, is pictured speaking to the participants about how he applies science to commodity market research.

Merabeth Martin, Chief People Officer at Genscape, says “Giving back to the community is a core value to us. But we identify with The Kentucky Science Center in its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. The kids at the event are the next generation. If we can get these kids interested in science at a young age, that will just grow in time.”

In February, Genscape was chosen out of 150 nominations for the DMGT Community Champions Award for its local community service. The award recognizes employees for their outstanding contributions to good causes that make a difference in their local community. At its core, Genscape strives to make an impact, not only within the commodities industry, but within the local community. Even as the Company continues to grow, its focus on charitable support will remain a key value and embedded in its spirit.

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