Medical Mutual SHARE Award
Budros, Ruhlin & Roe Inc., a wealth management firm with a 40-person staff, was like many midsize companies. Employees volunteered with charities through individual efforts here and there, when they could.
Then in 2015, two wealth management administrators, Ryan W. Garland and Matt Ullmer, had the idea — independently — to create firm-wide opportunities for community service.
By organizing the firm’s charitable outreach, it could get everybody involved, Garland says.
BRR employees are encouraged to come up with initiatives every year, so when Garland and Ullmer had similar ideas, one of their initiative advisers suggested they work together.
“We had a lot of smaller events or smaller groups that were going out and doing things, but there was never a formal process or procedure,” Ullmer says. “There was never anything written in the handbook for the firm, as far as taking time off or being allowed to have a set amount of time where you could have those paid time off hours. People were just using their own personal time to do that.
“But this incentivized people to do a little bit more and encouraged those that weren’t previously volunteering to get out and find something that interested them.”
Thanks to the efforts of Ullmer, Garland and others, three initiatives have strengthened BBR’s culture of philanthropy.
During its spring community day, the office closes and all employees participate in a firm-wide service project in the surrounding community. So far, staff has volunteered with LifeCare Alliance and LifeTown Columbus.
For its winter community day, BRR closes early and the employees and their guests attend an evening fundraiser that includes a service activity. Most recently, the event supported Blessings in a Backpack to feed children, who depend on their school’s free and reduced meal, during the Thanksgiving holiday.
“It was a lot of work, a lot of organization, but we have such great employees that everybody pitched in,” says Administrative Assistant Janie Dreher.
Employees also are given eight hours of annual volunteer paid time off. They can volunteer on their own or with a group of colleagues.
These initiatives are run through a Make BRR Better committee, and Dreher says people are coming to the committee and asking: What can I do?
“They are now looking for more and more places to devote their time and their charity,” she says.
It created awareness for people who didn’t know where to start, and everybody has been willing to donate money, time or even use their volunteer hours to help, Dreher says.