Veteran and Military Advocate Award Nominee
Submitted by: Joe Martore, President & CEO, CALIBRE Systems, Inc.
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.
Since its founding in 1989, CALIBRE has focused on military and Veteran clients, and today over 80% of our work directly supports the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. As a result, we have chosen to focus our company’s social responsibility efforts on Veteran and military charitable programs. The focus directly aligns with the background of our employees (44% of whom are Veterans) and our client focus. Our support to the Easter Seals Veterans Staffing Network has resulted in over 600 Veterans obtaining meaningful professional work. Our contracts with Audi has led to employment for almost 300 Veterans through their Vets to Techs program. For the past two years, CALIBRE has partnered with Homes for Our Troops, sponsoring wounded warriors to our golf tournament and annually donating $120,000 to help build fully accessible mortgage-free homes for severely injured Veterans and their families. We also support the Veterans Institute for Procurement, both on their curriculum committee and by teaching classes several times each year to over 200 Veteran-owned companies.
2. What makes your company stand out compared to other companies participating in CSR?
CALIBRE’s purpose speaks to responsibilities larger than just maximizing profit–our core purpose is to drive broader success for our clients and our communities. For our employee-owners, fulfilling corporate social responsibility means embodying our Corporate Objective to “Be Good Citizens.” We engage in activities that fulfill our responsibilities to the communities in which we live and operate. Our CSR philosophy creates a shared value through 1) corporate and individual philanthropy and service, 2) matching employee charitable donations, and 3) employee sponsored citizenship activities. CALIBRE’s CSR program involves more than simply writing a check. We engage with charitable organizations and Veteran owned companies to help drive their mission success.
3. Do you believe contributing back to the community allows your company to have a deeper connection with its clients/customers?
Absolutely! CALIBRE is a company that cares about the success of our clients (over 80% of our work is in support of Veterans and military clients), our employee-owners (CALIBRE is 100% owned by employees, 44% of whom are Veterans), and our communities (since we are a Veterans and military contractor, much of our charitable support is focused on these communities). By engaging personally and corporately with Veteran support organizations and Veteran-owned companies, we are able to make a positive impact and provide improved support to our clients with these additional Veteran resources. CALIBRE’s corporate motto,“Our Success Follows Yours ”exemplifies the link, or the deeper connection. We truly believe that our corporate success is only possible when our clients succeed, when our employees succeed, and when our local communities succeed.
4. What are some events or causes that inspire you and your team?
CALIBRE’s corporate culture guides our behavior in daily business activities and increases CSR awareness among each and every employee, empowering our employees to be good citizens through volunteer hours, corporate donations, and our employee matching charitable donation program (over $550,000 donated in 2014 and 2015). However, it is truly inspiring when giving back also encompasses helping others to succeed. In keeping with the company’s business focus, CALIBRE executives volunteer to 1) support and speak to Veteran-owned business organizations such as the National Veterans Small Business Coalition, and 2) present courses to Veteran-owned company executives throughout the year at the National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement. Following up these volunteer activities, CALIBRE then works with many of these Veteran-owned companies to provide mentoring and business support. We are also inspired by the services provided by Easter Seals in helping Veterans and their families with child development care, adult services, and employment opportunities.
5. What advice would you give to companies trying to participate in CSR?
Although corporate social responsibility is a “softer side” of business, it must be fully integrated in to the “harder side” of your daily business activities. Because CSR should be aligned to a company’s mission and brand, companies should select organizations to partner with that have a mission similar to their own and focus on one or two to which their company and employees can make a substantive and meaningful contribution.