Another aspect of the Guild is professional development. The group regularly engages in meeting sessions with company leaders to learn more about topics such as personal brand building and lean manufacturing as well as internal business processes and long-term strategic goals. Other activities include testing productivity tools for the company and a reading group.
The Development Guild became aware of the Center’s need for facility updates and launched five teams of employees and their families to lend expertise in creating a fresh and inviting environment for Center guests simply by donating time and skills in carpentry, painting and decorating.
“We are always interested in helping make people’s lives better,” said BUNN’s Karen Davison. “In this case we are hoping to create an environment to help children have a pleasant experience while being at the Center.”
Last year the garden produced over 1,300 pounds of produce and organizers are hoping to top that number this year. As it did last year, all of the produce will be donated to the Central Illinois Foodbank.
Additionally, every Thursday beginning the week of August 5th, employees may bring their home-grown produce to be donated as well.
For the last 18 months, members of the BUNN Development Guild have been learning about the challenges faced by people living in coffee growing regions. After months of research, The Guild sent two scouts to Guatemala.
The goal for The Guild on this project is to improve the lives of people living in coffee-producing communities. Guatemala was selected as a country due to the high need of supplies and BUNN’s many in-country connections. The Guild first sent Chuck Clark and Jerry Selsor on a scouting mission in January to many areas in the country. The duo brought back several ideas and opportunities for The Guild to act upon.
Now The Guild is working with a community. During the June 3rd-6th trip, members of The Guild visited the Capetillo Alotenango School and provided water filters to both the school and local farming community. BUNN also donated laptops. Members of The Guild also met with parents, school officials and area children to determine other potential opportunities for future projects.
The two areas of focus on this trip were clean water and education for children. Poor water conditions were identified as a major factor in health issues in the country. The Guild located a source for a simple water filter at a low cost that will last for two years. The filter provides safe drinking, cooking and hand washing water for one family. It filters water at a rate of 1 liter per hour. The supplier of these filters is only a few miles from the selected community. BUNN donated 75 filters which were distributed to local families and school classrooms. The idea is to "seed" the community with water filtration. Its other community members will notice less health issues related to impure water and begin to trust the filtration systems.
The group also donated nine refurbished laptops with the support of the BUNN IT department that will be used at the local school. The Guild members on this trip were guided by Dr. Luis from Ana Café, an organization which provides free healthcare clinics in Guatemala for families in the coffee growing industry. Ana Café keeps track of local health issues, and will be communicating information back to BUNN over the coming months so we can see the anticipated improvement from the water filters.
The project is an attempt to find ways to garden indoors and perhaps teach the technique to others in the community.
“I was surprised to get blooms on the tomato plant, then surprised to get the tomatoes, and even more surprised they ripened,” Deweese said. “We had a taste test and it was very, very sweet and bursting with flavor!”