Led by an active and supportive senior leadership team, Tyson Foods and its Team Members have combined to pledge a company record $521,000 to the United Way of Northwest Arkansas, campaign officials announced.
Tyson pledges were up an average of 12% per team member over last year, which is the single largest workplace campaign increase in this year’s United Way Community Campaign. Tyson’s total pledge, which includes a 25% corporate match, represents a 41% increase over 2009.
Record financial year
“Our company was blessed with a record financial year in 2010 and giving to United Way helps us share our blessings with those in need in our community,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “It also gives us an opportunity to demonstrate servant leadership outside of the workplace by stepping up to help others.”
Wes Morris, group vice president of Consumer Products, led Tyson’s United Way campaign team, which included Ana Castro, Annetta Young, Beth Smith, Carolyn Rehbock, Laurel Dunaway and Paul Davis. Archie Schaffer III and Ken Kimbro led the Pillar Giving Program, which is for donors who give $1000 or more, and many business unit executives served as campaign team captains. In addition, members of Tyson’s Corporate Communications staff, including Mike Mohney, John Moore, and Kristal Delph, helped keep Team Members informed about campaign activities.
“I’m proud of the way our campaign committee coordinated this year’s effort and am extremely grateful for the outstanding response of my co-workers,” said Morris. “They know that giving through United Way is the best way to support local service and support programs for children, seniors, families and others in our community.”
Contributions and pledges to the campaign were made by Tyson Team Members in Benton, Madison and Washington Counties in northwest Arkansas and McDonald County in southwest Missouri. Team Member participation was up more than 25% this year and the number of ‘Pillar’ level contributors increased by 10%.
Tyson’s total contribution includes a $6,000 increase in giving by team members at Cobb-Vantress, a Tyson subsidiary based in Siloam Springs. The Cobb-Vantress campaign was coordinated by Gail Thorp. Donations were also made by Tyson Team Members employed at the company’s Noel, Missouri, poultry complex.
Since United Way is local, every dollar donated stays in the community in which it is given. For example, this means donations by workers in Noel go to agencies in that area. Carl Barnes, Jr., a Tyson production manager at Noel, was so enthused by the opportunity to help children and families in his community that he offered $150 and a paid day off to the Tyson manager who did the best job of educating, distributing and collecting pledge forms from team members. He said, “This is a good cause that goes directly to help the children in our community; they deserve all the love and attention we can afford.”
Tyson’s gifts will help enable United Way to carry out its mission of mobilizing resources to effectively meet needs around education, financial stability and health in Northwest Arkansas.