Author- Rick Weeks; Portfolio Manager | Managing Partner & Director
1. Tell us why and how you support the region’s active-duty/reserve military and/or national intelligence community, their families and/or veterans.
VWG Wealth Management’s support of veterans and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has its roots in partner John Verfurth’s family’s long history of military service. His grandfather, who was shot down and killed on a mission over Germany in WWII, and his father, who flew missions over Vietnam, also served in the military as aviators. John flew missions over Bosnia during his exchange tour with the Royal Air Force and served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years. Additionally, John’s eldest son worked in Afghanistan for two years supporting the U.S. military efforts in the region. Over time, John has imparted the values and importance of service to our team and our clients. When VWG felt we needed a designated charitable effort, it only made sense to find an appropriate organization dedicated to addressing the needs of military veterans.
2. What makes your company stand out compared to other companies participating in CSR?
We have no idea of how we stand relative to others in our efforts in promoting and contributing to the IAVA. Nor does this matter to us or affect our actions in any way. Our only focus is on IAVA, and on the needs of veteran members who have given so much in serving our country. Our focus is on trying to find ways to increase our efforts and leverage them with our client community.
3. Do you believe contributing back to the community allows your company to have a deeper
connection with its clients/customers?
Our business is deeply personal and intimate, and thus is based on trust, integrity, service and commitment. These values are exemplified by our veteran partner John Verfurth, and we believe they carry throughout our team’s members and culture. A person or a business cannot do integrity and it cannot do engaged service. We must walk the walk. Our hope is that our passion for serving the needs of veterans and highlighting the IAVA wil l flow through to our clients and friends, many of whom are veterans, and who will then champion the cause themselves.
4. What are some events or causes that inspire you and your team?
One of the most inspiring moments in our supporting the IAVA is when Marine Corporal Aaron Mankin spoke to our clients and guests at our 2nd Annual Casino Night in 2014. Aaron is a Purple Heart recipient who has undergone 70 surgeries over 11 years as a result of injuries sustained when his amphibious assault vehicle drove over an IED in Iraq. Listening to his gripping story, relayed with unwavering faith and optimism for the future, brought tears to all. It shook everyone to the bones with the deep message of service to our country by those who offer their lives in defending it.
5. What advice would you give to companies participating in CSR?
Find a cause that you and members of your team or company passionately care about. Then seek out ways to serve that cause, and organizations that are doing the same. Provide time and resources to those willing to serve. Brainstorm multiple ways to serve and leverage your efforts.