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Companies merge with nonprofits to satisfy 'millennials'

The rise of corporate citizenship can seriously impact the bottom line of businesses today. So said Tanya Olliva, Coast Capital Savings' manager of corporate leadership, during Monday's inaugural launch of Richmond Caring Companies.

The rise of corporate citizenship can seriously impact the bottom line of businesses today.

So said Tanya Olliva, Coast Capital Savings' manager of corporate leadership, during Monday's inaugural launch of Richmond Caring Companies.

"Today's millennials (those ages 21 to 35), are driving social change and they expect companies to employ a profit with purpose attitude," said Olliva.

"Through Twitter, YouTube, blogging and Facebook, millenials are driving the social revolution - you only need to look at the Occupy Vancouver movement as an example of how far-reaching their impact is."

Olliva quoted from a recent 2011 Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey, which reported that 61 per cent of millennials would consider working for a company who has a corporate culture of service.

In another survey, 2010 Element of Good Purpose Study, it found that 66 per cent of us are more likely to buy products/services from companies who are doing good in the community.

"Companies cannot hide anymore because corporate citizenship is the way of the world today," she stressed.

More than 80 people packed a conference room in the Sandman Signature Hotel & Resort to hear about Volunteer Richmond Information Services' (VRIS) Richmond Caring Companies program and to hear keynote speakers talk about their companies' community involvement.

In partnership with the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Ashton Service Group, VRIS aims to help local businesses develop a corporate culture of community giving.

The goal of this new initiative is to encourage local businesses and nonprofit organizations to work together in order to benefit the entire community, said Elizabeth Specht, VRIS executive director.

"By creating sustainable partnerships between the nonprofit and business sectors, we will strengthen our community," Specht said.

"Our mission is to promote best practices and strengthen employer supported volunteerism."

Specht went on to say that Volunteer Richmond is planning a number of workshops and conferences beginning in January 2012 to help local businesses create a culture of caring in their companies.

"We will provide businesses with the tools to succeed," said Specht.

"Then, on July 18, 2012 we will host the first annual Richmond Day of Caring to share stories and grow the program."

Specht proceeded to introduce Brian Williams, Ashton Service Group founder and president, as its lead company for its new program.

Williams, who was born and raised in Richmond, donated a 2011 Chevrolet HHR,

TrimLine Graphic Expressions (which donated its services and products), with the Richmond Christmas Fund logo and bear.

Williams also presented Specht with a $5,000 donation to benefit both the Richmond Caring Companies program and the Richmond Christmas Fund.

The crowd stood and gave Williams a standing ovation. After the clapping died down, Williams took to the podium to say how thrilled and honoured he was to be part of this program.

"My wife Julie and I started our business 26 years ago. The support we have received from our community has been tremendous and enabled us to grow to 25 trucks and 41 employees," said Williams.

"A few years back, Julie and I made a decision to give back to Richmond, our community that we love.

"Everyone in our company is excited and they all contribute to the community."

To find out how your company can be a Richmond Caring Company, call Volunteer Richmond at 604-279-7020 or visit www. volunteerrichmond.ca.

mhopkins@richmond-news.com