California’s Business Volunteer Program of the Year: Cisco
This week, Cisco announced that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver presented Cisco with the Governor and First Lady’s Medals for Service for the California Business Volunteer Program of the Year. Cisco was recognized at the State’s annual Medals for Service ceremony in Sacramento.
I was fortunate – and honored – to accept the award from the governor on behalf of Cisco, who along with the first lady and California State Secretary of Service and Volunteering Karen Baker, recognized individual volunteers, business volunteer programs and nonprofit leaders whose innovation in volunteerism has had a tangible impact on their communities. Among the honorees were the Bay Federal Credit Union, City of Rocklin Police Department, and WriteGirl.
Cisco was recognized for its significant volunteer programs throughout California, including:
- From 2008 through today, California nonprofits have received over $400,000 in matching gifts for employees’ 76,000 hours of service.
- In the last year, Cisco’s California employees have overseen the contribution of $2.2 million in product grants through designing and implementing networks for nonprofits.
- Cisco’s volunteer efforts have supported numerous California organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank, Family giving Tree and Resource Area for Teachers.
Karen Baker, one of only two state secretaries of service in the nation, heads CaliforniaVolunteers, the largest state commission in the country dedicated to service. I applaud the governor for creating the commission, a move that underscores the important role that volunteering plays in building strong cities and towns throughout the state.
(From Left to Right: California State Secretary of Service and Volunteering Karen Baker, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and me!)
Community service goes beyond being the “right thing to do” for people in need. Studies show that it improves volunteers’ health, satisfaction and leadership skills. And it’s great for business, enhancing employee recruitment and retention as well as relationships with community and business partners. Volunteering – whether recognized with an award or not — is too good to pass up.
What are your “must do” activities for the community?
- Cisco@25 employee volunteer challenge
- Cisco employee volunteering
- Cisco’s employee volunteer fair in San Jose and watch Karen Baker, California State Secretary of Service and Volunteering, discuss Cisco’s approach to employee volunteering.
- Cisco’s 2009 Corporate Social Responsibility Report