Employees of TowerPoint, a Midtown-based telecommunications company, have long been engaged in community outreach. But it wasn’t always a focused effort, said CEO Jesse Wellner.
“For the last 10 years, we’ve been really reactive,” he said. “If members of our team had a cause that was near and dear, they came to the partners, and we’d happily do something. But last year, we decided to crystalize around a community investment strategy that we could build on and created a council around it.”
Now, rather than just donating money or having individuals organize various efforts, the company’s Community Investment Council plans eight annual events that leverage employees’ abilities and get them involved in projects to effect change and create goodwill.
The company, with 25 employees in Atlanta and another 25 in San Diego, recently wrapped its fourth outreach and plans more activities for the rest of the year.
The most recent event took place in Atlanta on the MLK holiday, when 25 volunteers partnered with Hands On Atlanta to pack meals and write encouraging letters to students at Nolan Elementary in College Park.
“We had never come together to do something in [King’s] honor,” said Wellner. “This year, we packed 800 meals in about two hours, and we were told that was the fastest time ever. Now we want to create that tradition on Dr. King’s holiday.”
Other initiatives have included a clean-up at Piedmont Park, a toy drive with Atlanta’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul and a beach clean-up in San Diego.
“The idea is to be organic and collaborative,” said Wellner. “This started out as a way to create an opportunity for people to do things they think are important. In Atlanta, we’ve coalesced around youth education and things having to do with children who may be struggling. We’re trying to focus our best skill sets as a group to see how we can leverage those capabilities in ways that will improve the community around us.”
Wellner expects these sorts of outreach efforts will become a pillar of the company, which handles telecommunications infrastructure and real estate. “Instead of just going out and [working] with cell towers all day long, we hope this will really grow into a core of our company,” he said. “We have a responsibility to improve the communities we’re working in.”
The article originally appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution