Company includes service in sales meeting
By Diane Haag
The (Shreveport) Times
About 90 employees from Bristol-Myers Squibb spent Tuesday afternoon volunteering with various agencies as part of their regional sales meeting.
A group of about 20 was soon covered in sweat and paint flecks as they painted a house for Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal.
"We help people through our products, but we're about lives and people and doing things to make a difference," said Kelly Leffingwell, senior territory business manager for the drug company.
Lynn Bryan, volunteer director for Community Renewal, said this was the first time she had been contacted by a company from out of town looking for a way to volunteer.
"People appreciate organizations that contribute to the community," she said. "They're setting a trend for other organizations."
An employee with a particular commitment to service coordinated the events. The company brought everyone in Monday night, a half-day earlier thanusual, so they could work Tuesday afternoon at three Community Renewal sites, as well as the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana and the American Red Cross.
"Usually we're sitting in a hotel for four days talking business," said Chris Young, a sales representative from Nashville, Tenn. "Not only are we contributing to the community, but we're team-building."
The volunteers came from four states and will be in town through Thursday for their meeting.
The painting crew was working on a house that will house interns and other visitors to Community Renewal. They attacked the chipped exterior with rollers, brushes and white paint. Within 30 minutes, progress was noticeable.
Across town, another group was doing yard work at a Friendship House and a third was baking cookies as a neighborhood outreach.
Young said the work is good for the community and the company.
"People see corporations as entities but they're made up of people," he said. "This gives us the opportunity to put faces on the corporation."