Mortenson volunteers at various projects around the region.
October 4, 2018
Written by Susan Smieja, sr. account manager, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
As United Way staff members, we get to attend many events at area businesses that support United Way. Some businesses go above and beyond to give their employees opportunities to help their community. Mortenson is one of those companies. They recently kicked off their annual United Way campaign by inviting all staff to breakfast to learn more about the campaign and shared a presentation either in-person or remotely. Mortenson did a “stand down” for the campaign, so everyone – even those out in the field – could participate in the kickoff.
According to Mortenson General Manager Jeff Gruhn, “It is really important to us to include all locations and to share communications with all team members, including craft workers, so everyone can take part.”
Mortenson has been running United Way campaigns at their greater Milwaukee location since 1991 and has raised more than $250,000 in the last five years alone. Their employees are passionate about giving back, averaging about 77% participation in the campaign annually.
Their theme this year is Do Something Good and they are promoting both giving and volunteering. In fact, they have organized seven volunteer projects for their employees to participate in. They also do something really unique to encourage volunteerism, for every four hours employees volunteer, Mortenson donates $200 to United Way. As though that were not enough, Mortenson also matches employee donations $1 for $1 up to $250 each. They truly embody what it mean to Live United.
At the kick off presentation, Jeff Gruhn emphasized the importance of giving back to our community and of Mortenson’s core values of service and stewardship. He talked about United Way’s fiscal responsibility and the impact we are having in greater Milwaukee as two of the reasons that Mortenson supports United Way. He said that Mortenson strives to provide for their employees so that they in turn can help others.
According to Jeff, Mortenson encourages employees to look for ways to give back: “With the diversity of our outreach, we have the opportunity to impact many different areas. We have many team members, including our craft workers and new members, who can all give back and make a difference in our community.”
Maggie Bork, a project manager at Mortenson, leads the employee campaign. She said it was an easy decision to take on this role, because United Way impacted her life. “My grandmother participated in a United Way-funded adult day care program that allowed her to stay in her home and stay with her family. Once your life is impacted, you can’t say no.”
Ross Bunchek, an estimator for Mortenson, has helped with the campaign for two years now. He says, “We cannot volunteer for every organization we want to, so donating financially is another way to extend our outreach.”
If you are wondering why Mortenson is so passionate about helping the community, Jeff Gruhn summed it up best when he quoted Mort Mortenson, whose father founded Mortenson Construction, in 1954: “There is no greater gift we can give others than our time and treasure.”
As a community, we are lucky that Mortenson continues to hold these values true today.
Feeling inspired? Learn how your company can have an impact in our community with United Way.