Coming from a large consulting firm where I was on the road every week, I missed a lot of opportunities to be involved in the Cincinnati community and I longed to work for a company that not only helped build the city through business, but also through community service and outreach.
Individually Driven Collective Involvement
SEI currently has six locations and each office has found unique and meaningful ways to impact the local community. Just as with the business model of a flat organization and true ownership by each consultant in business decisions, the same model applies to the community involvement. The events that SEI chooses to support are passions of individual consultants or groups in each office and SEI leadership offers the support needed to make those happen. I’m inspired by the impact that SEI has had on the local community and wanted to share a few initiatives that really stood out.
- Atlanta – Atlanta has a long list of involvement in charitable organizations. SEI has been significantly involved with Girls Inc. over the last few years. This organization develops research-based informal education programs that encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges. SEI has been involved in the event for the last two years and has had consultants in key positions for the charity during that time. During the years of SEI involvement and leadership, the Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta “Strong, Smart & Bold Awards” raised close to $250,000 to help the organization’s mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart & bold and attendance has been at an all time high! Some of the other organizations that the Atlanta office supports include the Atlanta Food Bank, Toys for Tots, Women in Technology, Camp Horizon, Kaiser Permanente 5k, Camp Twin Lakes, and participating in activities that support the Ronald McDonald House.
- Boston – One of the largest charities that the Boston Office supports is the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) which hosts an annual bike ride that raises over $36 million for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute for cancer research and treatment. SEI has been involved with this ride for seven years and the team (Team Forza-G) has increased from a lone rider to six over that time! It is exciting to watch involvement grow year after year as SEI consultants support the community. Boston also supports Pine Street Inn, Friends Fighting Breast Cancer, and many smaller charities that our consultants have either started or taken a personal interest in.
- Cincinnati – One of Cincinnati’s largest events, the Christmas Adopt-a-teen program through Lighthouse Youth Services, is supported by our Cincinnati office each year. This program teams up with Cincinnati companies and individuals to help teens in need by purchasing Christmas gifts, which range from everyday needs like towels and soap to sports equipment for after school activities. On top of the individual donations by our local consultants, when the program didn’t have enough volunteers to pick up all the teens in the “Giving Tree”, SEI took on every remaining teen so no one was left out and all 62 teens received gifts. Cincinnati also supports the Josh Cares Foundation, local soup kitchens, book drives, the Susan G. Komen foundation, and a family founded breast cancer charity.
- Dallas – Although a smaller office, Dallas is still heavily involved in the community. One way the Dallas office is making a meaningful impact in the community is through a program one of our consultants and his wife are involved in where they serve as mentors for refugees through two different organizations (The Melting Pot Dallas and Free City International). These programs serve and equip refugees from all parts of the globe who have resettled in the Dallas, Texas area. The couple has mentored several refugees over the last year since relocating to the Dallas area themselves. Consultants in Dallas are also involved in weekly volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, the Junior League of Dallas, and starting a new leadership program through the Dallas Regional Chamber.
- New York – Although the newest SEI office to open, the same culture and caring is already in place. New York consultants not only participated in the Boston PMC ride but also rode with a few of our current clients in the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure this past year in New York. The office hopes to continue gaining support and ride with even more consultants next year. As the New York Office brings on more consultants, it will be exciting to see this office continue to grow its impact the community.
- Phoenix – As Phoenix continues to grow as an office, we continue to get increasingly more involved in the community. One of the key events supported by this office is a triathlon to raise money for Arizona Special Olympics (Tri-2-Unifty). Over the six years of the event, this program has helped raise more than $250,000 and has increased awareness among more than 600 Triathlon participants about the need of Special Olympics Arizona Athletes. This is the first year that SEI is involved but we are definitely making an impact. The office will have six consultants involved and is contributing towards the fundraising as well. Phoenix also provides support to American Heart Association, The Phoenix Zoo, Waste Not, Arizona Parks & Recreation Association (7 Peak Challenge fundraiser).
Making an Impact
Clearly, our offices are having an impact in the community across many different types of organizations and impacting many lives in a meaningful way. This list is not comprehensive, but just a sample. It is not only the level of community involvement that differentiates SEI but also the support provided by management for organizations and events in which our consultants are passionate. Keep up the great work everyone and let’s continue to help our communities grow!