Giving back through purpose
This year, 84.51° embraced its mission of “living our purpose” in making people’s lives easier by supporting youth STEM innovation, empowering women leaders, donating to charities chosen by associates, and contributing skills and talents to community organizations.
Supporting STEM innovation
In supporting the next generation of STEM innovators and trailblazers, 84.51° sponsored TechOlympics23 in February. This premier tech competition for high school students was hosted by the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati. Categories included video editing, coding, engineering, programming and design. 84.51° President Milen Mahadevan was the keynote presenter and he shared insights about our industry and company.
Keith Harris, university recruiter, and Matt Godsted, director of enterprise security, shared tips on how to launch a tech career that included lots of inspiration mixed with practical advice.
Empowering women leaders
From sponsoring the Power to Pursue Summit in May to offering the Women Leaders Program in October, 84.51° is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where women can thrive.
The Power to Pursue Summit is an event that brings together a diverse group of women from various backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, creatives, corporate leaders, authors and mothers. Focus topics included eliminating barriers and embracing the power of one's authentic self. Amanda Woodly, director of solution design consulting for Kroger Merchandising, shared insights on career paths, culture and work/life balance during the “Women in Business” panel, providing valuable advice and guidance to attendees.
84.51°'s Women Leaders Program is designed to provide emerging female leaders in analytics, data, engineering, science and technology functions with the opportunity to refine their leadership skills, earn sponsorship from senior leaders and transition from “functional doer” to “inspirational leader.” Over the past seven years, 84.51° has graduated 45 female leaders from this program.
Employee grant stipends
All 84.51° associates are eligible to provide an employee grant stipend to the charity of their choice that they are active in. This year, employee grant stipends were distributed to a broad variety of charitable organizations in an 89% increase year over year.
Degrees of Giving (DOG)
DOG is an associate resource group that provides charitable funding to 12 nonprofits nominated and chosen by associates. This year, we proudly supported the following charities:
The Degrees of Giving Silent Auction is the largest annual fundraiser for our designated charities. In 2023, we raised more than $60,000 through raffles, games, and a live auction of gift baskets, events and talents to support our local communities and make a difference as a company.
Our company is made up of brilliant and talented individuals. Skills-based volunteering matches associates who are interested in donating their time and professional skills to projects for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
For example, this spring Chief Scientist Andrew Cron, Lead Researcher Alvaro Pasquel and other associates have contributed their talents in problem-solving, research and data analysis to the Last Mile Food Rescue (LFMR),a Greater Cincinnati food rescue organization that connects food donors with nonprofits.
Via a custom survey and report, they uncovered insights such as the food types that nonprofits need most, how much capacity agencies have for storing food and many more insights to help reduce hunger and food waste. Since 2020, Last Mile has saved over 6.6 million pounds of food. This year alone, it has averaged 250,000 pounds a month, and is on track to meet its goal of saving 3 million pounds by the end of the year, reports Cincinnati Magazine.
Brandon Skinner, technical director of data science, has also contributed his talents to helping local communities. Brandon has been leading skills-based volunteering initiatives for Strategies to End Homelessness (STEH) since 2017. In the July episode of Cincinnati Edition, Brandon discusses how data science can help organizations proactively combat homelessness through pattern recognition and other strategies.
Through all these initiatives, 84.51° associates continued living their purpose in 2023 by empowering people and helping communities. This commitment to service strengthens our connections with our neighbors — and as Milen put it, “living our purpose is not just about making our partners and their customers’ lives easier, it’s also about doing the same in society.”
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