Actively Investing in Your Community
Community outreach may seem like a concept that’s hard to implement in a business setting, but our partners at EHA Solutions have done just that. I sat down with Michael Goater, Operations Manager at EHA Solutions, to discuss how they approach service. They’ve made community outreach and development an active part of their business, and in turn have created a company that truly puts customers and the community above profit. Watch our video above or read below for the interview!
Launching an Initiative
You have just recently launched your Replant California initiative. It’s something that I know you’re super excited to talk about, and something that I’m super excited to talk about. So, give me the high level. What is the initiative, why did it start, and why did you feel a calling to address this?
It was November of last year that the Camp fires started in Paradise, California. Being here every day, breathing the smoke, and actually driving up as close as you could to get a sense of the devastation, it’s heartbreaking. It’s different then just seeing it on the news. When all of this was happening, Matt and I were actually out of town together at a training, and we were sitting there talking and somebody said something about trees. Christmas trees. It was right before Christmas and these places hand out little Christmas trees to all of their customers and I thought, “Oh that’s nice”. The class started again, and it was an accounting class, so it’s not like it was the most engaging topic and my mind was elsewhere. Matt and I kind of looked at each other at the same time and we were like, “Replanting California”.
We partnered with One Tree Planted, a 501(c)(3) out of Vermont, and for every $1 that we donate, they’ll plant a tree. But they’re going to plant it right here in Northern California. So, our initial focus are the Napa fires, the Camp fire, and the Carr fire, all Northern California areas which have been devastated in the last three to five years by fires. We want to replant those forests right here and let them regrow. Our goal for 2019, and you actually help set it Jim, is to plant 50,000 trees. We’re in the process of working with some tree kit manufacturers, where we can get physical tree kits to hand out. You know if anyone has little kids in the house, we can hand them a kit with a seedling and they can replant that right here in Northern California.
The Motivation Behind Community Outreach
What motivates you to say, “You know what? I am going to sink my teeth into something this large.”. Because 50,000 trees— it’s a lot of trees.
It’s just very gratifying. To know that your efforts, to know that you’re loyal to the company that you serve, to everybody, that you all share this connection that you care. Whether you care about people, it’s all encompassing. It’s the people, the environment, the customers we serve, our internal team members, each other, it’s caring. It feels good. So, the “why” is because it feels good. If I’m going to dedicate my life to busting my butt and rising and grinding every single day, and hustling every single day, from sun up to sun down, I want to know that it’s going to be worth something other than a W2 and a paycheck. Yes, money’s good and all, but at the end of the day I want it to be bigger than that. I want to know when I lay down in bed at night that we’ve had an impact. That I’ve helped other people around me and they’ve helped me, and it was good. That’s what it’s about.
That right. In the past it’s always been about churning and burning leads, margins, and all that kind of stuff—
It's super important. Because without the business we can’t do any of this stuff (laughs), but it’s not the primary. That will come.
Building A Community Starts with Understanding Who You Serve
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