Best Partnership Lightning Round: The Lasting Personal Impact of the Partnership Experience

November 2, 2012

It’s time to bring the inaugural Finalist Lightning Round to an end – here’s the final question for the respondents: How has your personal involvement in this partnership changed your outlook or provided you with a lesson that will remain with you through the years?

I’d love to know what you’ve thought about this week-long blog series. Feel free to shoot me a note in the comments section on what you liked or didn’t like in the Lightning Round. We might do it again next year, so I’d also welcome potential questions for the finalists.

Finally, many thanks to the five respondents for participating this year! Please remember to cast your people’s choice vote for Best Partnership by 11:59 ET tonight.  

Q: How has your personal involvement in this partnership changed your outlook or provided you with a lesson that will remain with you through the years?

WellPoint: The Triple Play approach – focusing on mind, body and soul – reminds me that when working towards the solution for any problem, you need to look at the big picture.  The individual facets of any health-improving program aren’t mutually exclusive, you can’t move the needle on one without addressing them all.  

Caterpillar: Since working with Tad and the First Response Team of America, I have a much better sense of how devastating natural disasters can be to small towns. There are so many tornadoes, floods, etc. that may not make the national news, but they have a tremendous impact on a community. I can’t imagine having my home destroyed or being without power, food or water for an extended period. I know that if I was in that situation, I would want FRTA clearing the way for relief agencies.

Hilton Worldwide: It only took one story – the story of the Global Soap Project’s founder, Derreck Kayongo’s – to know we would never look at waste in the same way. Derreck, a Kenyan refugee whose friends and family were impacted by the lack of soap in communities, showed us the impact that discarded bars of soap could have in saving lives. This insight challenged us to rethink some of our most basic operations – managing waste. Since announcing our partnership with the Global Soap Project, we have developed other partnerships that enable our hotels to reduce waste while supporting people in need. You realize every item has a purpose – sometimes multiple purposes – and that even the smallest items – a used bar of soap – can help save a life.

Merck: What surprised me most is how well a non-profit organization can operate.  CARE has done an amazing job as the core that holds this partnership together. They operate just as strategically and efficiently as our two major corporations. And, they bring a sense of humanity to the team – love, kindness and social intelligence –that grows in all of us. This partnership is not just about corporations coming in with big ideas or funding to help the non-profit, but instead it is a mutual effort and learning experience. The passion and conviction that CARE, General Mills and our own Merck employees exude will stay with us for years to come.

Intel: Early in my career I was a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, working on a World Vision microfinance project. So my appreciation for World Vision and the non-profit sector began more than a decade ago. But I’ve learned that there’s a great deal of mutual enlightenment and education that can occur when businesses and non-profits work together. It’s not a one-way street.

Meet the Lightning Round Respondents

Michele Sullivan, VP, Caterpillar Foundation
Partner: First Response Team of America (Learn more)
Hilton Worldwide: 
Jennifer Silberman, VP of Corporate Responsibility, Hilton Worldwide
Partner: Global Soap Project (Learn more)
Luke Filose, NGO Marketing & Engagement Manager
Partner: World Vision (Learn more)
Ellen Lambert, Executive Director, Corporate Contributions and EVP, Merck Company Foundation, Merck & Co., Inc.
Partner: General Mills and CARE (Learn more)
Lance Chrisman, Executive Director, WellPoint Foundation
Partner: Boys & Girls Clubs of America (Learn more)