WHY COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY

Every entrepreneur spends so much time building their company and creating a brand that sometimes they can forget how much a community can play a huge role in the company’s success.  By acknowledging that it takes a village, you can give back to your community and still continue to reap benefits for your organization.

Increased Visibility & Reputation

Whether you are giving back to your community through donations or volunteering your time, you are doing so much more then increasing awareness of your brand; you are strengthening your company’s reputation.  It’s important to look at your community to see what’s important. Are schools struggling? Host a “community impact” night and raise funds for your local school. This can bring potential customers into your business on a slow day but also leads to building new relationships and network with potential customers. This presents your organization as a leader in the community. By doing nothing, you are automatically behind the curve.

Supports Employee Engagement

A company that volunteers together, sticks together. Community involvement shows a positive work environment and leads to improved employee satisfaction and retention. These benefits are even greater when the employees choose how and where they want to volunteer since it’s typically something they are passionate about. Giving employees a way to give back builds a collaborative and inspired team. When your employees love what they are doing, they do a better job. Volunteering also provides leadership opportunities, which leads to increased productivity and fulfillment. Giving back feels good and being able to give your employees those good feelings will make them happier and more productive. It is a win-win for everyone.

Check out some of the ways that your business can get involved in the community:

  • Join a local organization: If you haven’t already, you should join your local Chamber of Commerce (We’re members of ours! Shout out to the Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce). Take the time to attend meetings, participate and network with other attendees.
  • Hold a fundraiser: You can host an internal company fundraiser or join one established by another business or organization within the community. Donate all the money that you raised to a local non-profit or program.
  • Volunteer: Volunteering shows you are not only passionate about a cause and are willing to get your hands dirty, but you also bring brand awareness to your business (wear a company shirt or hat when you’re out and about!).
  • Sponsor an Event or Team: If you company has the funds to do so, you can sponsor a local event or team. By doing so, your company logo will be printed on any promotional materials and create more opportunities for brand awareness.
  • Participate in Events: If you can’t afford to sponsor an event, consider marching in a parade with a banner or setting up a table at a festival and hand out branded items. This creates a lot of opportunities for chatting with potential customers!


MEET HARRY SEMERJIAN

If you need something cleaned, call Harry. Seriously! Even if it’s not his mess, he’ll offer to fix it for you. As Stellar’s SEO expert, Harry's insight into a client's business is a valuable tool reaching more than just online audiences, but customers in the real world too! Harry has owned a handful of businesses since the ripe old age of 13 ranging from manufacturing to real estate to business services. A true Renaissance man, Harry can speak with someone for less than 30 minutes and have a complete business strategy worked out in his head leading them to definite success. A father of two teenage boys, Harry knows a thing or two about dealing with people on the brink of insanity. He fits in well at Stellar.


MEET BODHI

Named after Patrick Swayze’s character in Point Break, Bodhi joined the Stellar team in May 2017 and we don’t know how we got through the prior 6 years without an office dog! Adopted from Animal House Shelter, Bodhi is a Pitbull/American Bulldog mix that his human Lindsay cannot believe someone gave up. Bully breeds definitely get a bad rap because there is nothing sweeter than this 65-pound “lap dog” climbing into someone’s chair as we gather around the conference table. With as much charisma as his namesake, Bodhi greets visitors to the office with a toy in his mouth ready to play. He hasn’t quite developed any marketing skills just yet, but he can spot a duck or another dog out the window like nobody’s business.


MEET KRISTIN KILIAN

Anything that gets thrown Kristin’s way is handled with ease… at least as far as we know. Coming from the retail industry, Kristin is no stranger to a fast paced, ever-changing environment and has no problem adapting to the chaos that comes with managing Stellar’s high profile clients. With years of experience managing all aspects of communications for Fortune 500 companies, Kristin is able to schmooze clients, conquer any task, and ensure everything is running smoothly… even when it’s not! A Hallmark movie fan, Kristin loves spending time with her firefighter husband and rambunctious toddler.


MEET SYLVIA CARRANO

Lover of tacos, dogs, and all things Justin Timberlake, Sylvia brings an honest perspective to not only projects, but office chit-chat as well! When onboarding new clients, tons of experience making people happy in the service industry and her marketing degree from DePaul allows Sylvia to jump right in and hit the ground running. In her role as Account Manager, Sylvia truly gets to know a client – understanding all the ins and outs that make them stand out from their competitors. Sylvia’s skillset is continually expanding and ranges from social media to email marketing to web design and more. She loves to travel and has been around the world and has visited 45 of our nation's 50 great states!


MEET LYNNE HARKIN

Using a space heater at her desk year-round, Lynne is no stranger to turning it up. With a background in retail and corporate sales, Lynne brings practical knowledge to help Stellar clients determine their path to success. As our content writer extraordinaire, Lynne helps brands find their voice and reaches a whole new world of customers. You may hear her getting flustered from time to time, but it’s always short-lived. Her get ‘er done, take charge attitude works in her capacity at Stellar and as the busy mom of 3 busy boys.


MEET CHRISTINA WOJTOWICZ

As a lover of spicy treats, Christina is a no-nonsense, get the job done kind of a girl. Any task thrown her way is done quicker than you can say Siracha! As our resident Web Developer, troubleshooting issues is her specialty… just like at home as the mother of two young sons! Christina’s ad agency background and experience developing websites adds another layer of insight to our client’s marketing efforts. You’ll often see her hiking and biking with her family (with a stop off at their favorite Dairy Queen for a treat!).


MEET MOLLY FIVELSON

Known around the office as Molly Pee Pee Pants, our resident Graphic Designer has more than just a small bladder. Her experience designing logos, developing brands, and creating amazing materials for Stellar clients brings a fresh perspective and artistic flair.  Molly’s easy-going attitude makes her the perfect candidate to work with constant changes and multiple ongoing projects. When she’s not out saving lives along the side of the road, she lives as a baseball widow and chauffeurs her kids to all their activities.


MEET SIN VAN V

Known for her rainbow hair, Sin is never one to settle for just one style. She pushes the Stellar team to think outside the box and consider things they would have never done before. Her Bachelor’s in Graphic Arts & Illustration from the American Academy of Art is just the tip of what she’s learned. With real-world experience in business management, marketing and promotions, event planning, and vendor coordination, Sin’s experience gives Stellar an Edge over the competition (see what we did there?). Despite her edgy moniker, Sin is a kid at heart riding her scooter, dragging the Stellar team on crazy outings, and smothering her adult son and daughter with embarrassing hugs and kisses.


MEET LINDSAY COATS

Known as the Dream Crusher, Lindsay’s level head keeps the office running like a well-oiled machine. When everyone else is trying to get in human-sized balloons and doing mid-day yoga, Lindsay is crunching numbers in a spreadsheet – literally one of her favorite things to do. With a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Lindsay has the know-how to help Stellar clients make the right decisions to reach their goals. She loves problem-solving and making things work. She has a soft spot for kids and animals… she’s been known to grab babies from strangers and roll on the ground with any dog that will snuggle her.