June 30, 2012
Turning Point at the US National Conference on Volunteering and Service
The annual Points of Light Conference was attended by 5,000 volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors. Gathering in Chicago on June 19-21, 2012, the attendees had an opportunity to learn, connect and be inspired through a wide range of informative plenary sessions, workshops, special events, service projects, exhibits, corporate tracks and more.
Former first lady Barbara Bush (pictured) and founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy spoke at the opening plenary session. Dr. Jill Biden, wife of US Vice President Joe Biden talked about the campaign to mobilize all of America to support troops, veterans and families.
IAVE had a strong profile at the annual conference, led by board member Sam Santiago and executive director Kathi Dennis. Sam chaired both the pre-conference meeting of IAVE’s Global Corporate Volunteer Council (GCVC) and a conference workshop “Inspiring in Global Corporate Volunteering,” organized by Sarah Hayes who is responsible for managing GCVC. It featured GCVC member companies Telefonica (Spain), represented by Lucila Ballarino, and Vale (Brazil), represented by Fernanda Castanheira.
Kathi organized the workshop “Japan 2012: Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami,” in cooperation with Akiko Seto, president of IAVE Japan. Ms. Seto had arranged for speakers from business and NGOs to discuss the volunteer response to the March 2011 disasters. She also presented an overview of corporate response to 3/11, reporting on data compiled by the Keidanren, Japan’s leading business association.
Representing Yamato Transport, Japan’s leading logistics and delivery company, were Mr. Yuichi Usui, Executive Officer, Division of CSR Development, and Mr. Tohru Takamatsu, Manager, Public Relations Dept., Division of CSR Development. They described the far-reaching response of the company, from on-site management of response logistics to significant fundraising by employees and contributions from the company, placing it in the context of the company’s philosophy and commitment to its workers, community and society.
In partnership with Susan Danish, executive director of the Association of Junior Leagues International, IAVE’s National Representative in the United States, IAVE had a booth in the exhibit hall and hosted a reception for members and friends.
With the active support of Points of Light, organizer of the conference and now a Partner Organization for IAVE’s 2012 World Volunteer Conference, there were numerous opportunities to promote the conference to local Volunteer Centers, Corporate Volunteer Councils and businesses.
GCVC Members Gather in Chicago
As has been tradition for the last several years, IAVE’s Global Corporate Volunteer Council (GCVC) met the two days prior to the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. This year’s meeting was hosted by GCVC member UBS.
Member companies represented at the meeting were American Airlines, Lilly, Telefonica, Hilton Worldwide, Manulife Financial, ArcelorMittal, Vale, Disney, HP, Starbucks, Salesforce.com, Kraft and Motorola Mobility. The company representatives shared stories and strategies around the primary meeting theme of “communications.” The company sharing time offered an opportunity to discuss challenges and successes in communicating their programs and volunteer efforts, internally and externally.
On Saturday the members were treated to a panel discussion on “IYV + 10 and Beyond,” reflecting on the value of the year to corporate volunteering and on emerging developments in the field. Speakers on this panel were Mae Chao, United Nations Volunteers; Monica Galiano, Iniciativa Brasil; and Jeff Hoffman of Jeff Hoffman and Associates. They discussed corporate involvement in addressing the Millennium Development Goals and moving towards “sustainable development goals,” how companies strive for more impact and collaboration among sectors and stakeholders, and the potential impact of social media on corporate volunteering.
IAVE’s close partner organization, Partners of the Americas, through staff members Melissa Golladay, Jesse Hatcher and Raaida Manaa, reported on the developing RED2021 initiative to link leaders of youth volunteering online, a follow on to the Second Summit on Youth Volunteering, co-sponsored by IAVE and Partners in Barranquilla, Colombia last year. With so many more young people entering the workforce, their influence on corporate volunteering strategies and activities for the future is going to be increasingly important.
The conference was sponsored by Point of Light, the national US volunteer center founded in 1990.