2009 - First Quarter

Featured Articles

Are You Fired Up?

I have something we should all be "fired up" about: the thought that we all have the capacity, conscientiousness and capability to marry our businesses with our social responsibility to the world. Now I know this is not a new thought and that people have been talking about it for years, but it is so important that it is the kind of thing that bears repeating, reminding and applauding when you see it happen. I can't think of a better time to focus on this than now. With the economy struggling, job losses at a record high and many companies and individuals struggling to make ends meet is exactly the time to think about how you can contribute to the greater good.

With that in mind, we are dedicating this issue of We've Got Liftoff to a few of the companies we work with who are already doing this. Some of these companies, like N-of-One and The Broad Institute do this for their life's work. Others, such as illy caffè, North America, Inc. and Hollister Inc. embrace social responsibility as part of their work and culture, helping impact others in creative and meaningful ways. You will even read about the Ignite team's community service partner for 2009 — Birthday Wishes — an organization that brings birthday parties to homeless children.

Our idea in sharing this information is to spur your own thinking of what you could do to add value. Big or small, you can make a difference in the lives of others. We would love to hear more ideas on how you are giving back in your organizations. If you e-mail me at grace@weigniteit.com, we will share these ideas in our next newsletter. I believe it's always better to start with a list to get people thinking and thus eliminate recreating the wheel.

So read about what some extraordinary companies are doing and remember: it only takes one good action to create many great outcomes!

Founder and Chief Sparkplug

N-of-One...Contributing to the World is their Reason for Being

N-of-OneWe have begun our partnership with N-of-One in its early stages; but imagine as you read this, the incredible value and impact this company will have on individuals and the world...and just imagine being involved in such a wonderful undertaking.

N-of-One came into being based on the belief that dramatic changes are necessary in the way that cancer patients approach diagnosis and treatment. Each cancer has its own unique genetic and molecular signature, which explains why patients with the same disease often experience dramatic differences in their responses to chemotherapy. Advances in the study of genetics and tumor biology have allowed for greater molecular understanding of an individual's tumor, leading to treatments that prolong and even save lives. Unfortunately, the analysis of the genetic and molecular signature of tumors is very complex and time consuming and is not part of the current standard of care in most hospitals, even at major cancer centers.

Many patients simply never get the benefit of the latest scientific diagnostic and treatment discoveries.

N-of-One is very different — enabling patients and their medical teams to access this science when it really matters. "N" is the number of people in a clinical study and for them, there is only one "N" — You. The N-of-One team of physicians, scientists and patient advocates works with a network of leading-edge laboratories, research institutions and the world's top cancer experts to test each individual's tumor and use the most advanced methods to identify treatments that may not otherwise be options. They also carry out extensive literature research, data collection and analysis, and then integrate all this information; the N-of-One staff work closely with patients and their medical teams, to help them make the most informed choices and they maintain the patient's information in an electronic cancer health record. N-of-One takes as much time as needed to create customized diagnostic and treatment strategies, specifically designed for each individual, defining the options that patients need to understand, hope and fight their cancer. They work with patients at any stage in the course of their disease and also with those at high risk of developing cancer.

As you can see, this type of organization can dramatically change the level of patient diagnosis and care. We are thrilled to partner with an organization of this caliber, whose purpose is to assist in changing lives for the better, perhaps even saving them. This company devotes their entire being to contributing to the world. All of us cannot do that, but we can do smaller things that are meaningful. It is truly something to think about. Should you want more information on N-of-One, let us know and we can give you additional insight, or you may want to visit their website at www.n-of-one.com.

Hollister Associates: Making a Powerful Impact through Volunteerism

HollisterHollister Associates, a full-service staffing firm, was founded in 1998 by Kip Hollister; Kip has always believed that her company can only be as strong as the community it serves. Kip and the team at Hollister incorporate social responsibility into the everyday actions and culture of the firm — from volunteerism, to corporate sponsorships, to strategic partnerships with local nonprofit organizations that benefit the Boston community — in other words, Hollister doesn't just talk about social responsibility, the team lives it each and every day and they are making an amazing impact.

The issues of education and mentoring throughout the Boston area are close to Hollister's heart, which drives the focus of their outreach initiatives on developing people at all ages and stages of their lives and making a more powerful impact through volunteerism. Whether it is reading to an elementary school child on her lunch break through the Everybody Wins! Metro Boston's signature Power Lunch program, or prepping a YMCA Training, Inc. trainee for his first interview, or giving a staff member the time to volunteer at a project of his/her choice, the spectrum of their efforts embraces and supports a broad range of diverse community programs.

Hollister has been partnering with Everybody Wins! Metro Boston (EWMB) since 2006 and over the past few years, the Hollister team has become fully intertwined with this organization at every level. This mission of EWMB is to reach children while they are young to stimulate their interest in reading and learning and encourage them to believe that they, too, can be successful. EWMB's signature Power Lunch program matches mentors and children for a one-on-one weekly reading session — an interaction that few of these children get at home. Currently, Hollister provides over 50% of the needed mentors for the Boston area and this figure represents a win/win for both Hollister and EWMB, as each employee who volunteers as a mentor learns the significance of mentoring, its positive impact and the power of giving back. In an effort to support the long-term growth of EWMB and to strengthen the internal philanthropic culture of her company, in 2006, Kip invited EWMB to house their Boston-based agency in-house at Hollister's headquarters. Since that time, EWMB has seen a 133% growth in the number of children served, making this the fastest growing of all EW's affiliates throughout the country.

In addition to their partnership with EWMB, Hollister also established a Philanthropy Committee, comprised of employees from various business divisions; their goal is to manage four company-wide volunteer events annually — all of which take place during normal business hours. Every employee in the company is welcome, and encouraged, to participate in these events. And for those team members who have an individual cause that is near and dear to their hearts, Hollister allows three days off every year to any full-time employees, so they can participate in a volunteer project of their choice.

At the center of these efforts is Kip, whose passion, high energy, commitment and leadership have served in raising the bar for small businesses throughout Massachusetts, as well as sparking a fire within her own firm by celebrating social cause through their extensive volunteerism efforts. Hollister's success — in their business and their community — speaks for itself.

Maybe now is the time to ask yourselves: What can I do to spark the flame of social responsibility in my organization?

The Ignite team is proud to partner with the entire Hollister organization and we applaud their commitment to being a community leader. If you are interested in learning more about Hollister and their commitment to social responsibility, please let us know or visit their website at www.hollisterstaff.com.

The Broad Institute...Fueling the Health and Well Being
of Millions

Broad InstituteThis extraordinary institute founded by Eli and Edythe Broad, and run by world renowned geneticist, Eric Lander, has changed the way genome-based science is accessed and used. The Broad is revolutionary in pulling together leading scientists from all over the world, allowing access to world class research, which enables them to tackle diseases in revolutionary ways and then makes their research and breakthroughs widely available to the world at large.

Although members of the Broad community are formally affiliated with many different institutions, they come together at the institute around a singular goal: transforming medicine with genome-based knowledge. Within this open but tightly integrated community, creative scientists at all career stages gain access to the resources and collaborators needed to test new ideas and to build and apply the critical tools that empower the world-wide biomedical community.

The mission of this generation of scientists is the transformation of medicine by translating a comprehensive knowledge of the molecular causes of disease into effective diagnostic and therapeutic tools.

Ignite is so proud to be partnering with The Broad. The amazing work of this institution fuels the health and well being of millions, feeds knowledge to scientists and gives doctors the answers. Most importantly, their work and dedication can save people's lives. What is cooler than that? To find more about this amazing organization and their mission, please visit their website at www.broad.mit.edu.

illy caffè North America, Inc.: Giving Back by Helping Grow a Community

illy caffeFor almost a decade, Ignite has been partnering with illy caffè North America, Inc., a world-renowned coffee company, which produces a distinctive single blend of gourmet coffee for both brewed and espresso preparation. illy is known throughout the world as the coffee of choice for people who know and love coffee. For over a decade, illy has partnered with Share Our Strength (SOS), a national organization dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger throughout the world. Hunger impairs our children's health in significant and long-lasting ways, including physical and mental development. All of us have at one time or another experienced hunger. We've all craved a midnight snack, wanted something salty or needed some chocolate. But there's a big difference between trying to satisfy a brief craving or stomach growl and wondering where your next meal will come from. The reality is that more than 12.6 million children in America alone — that's one in six — are at risk of hunger. And it's likely that these children will endure lifelong consequences as a result of having limited access to nutritious foods.

illy joined forces with SOS in 1998 to help develop Ethiopia's coffee-growing community — the birthplace of coffee and a source of illy's premier Arabica beans. Today, illy is committed to special fundraising efforts earmarked for building schools in Ethiopia. What's more, in 2004, illy introduced the Cup of Kindness program and over the last five years, Cup of Kindness has raised funding to build and support the illy Community School in Moyale Woreda, a drought-stricken community in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

The passionate employees at illy partner with SOS through special fund-raising events and individualized sales efforts. The Cup of Kindness program is illy's major initiative with SOS. illy is known for its Art Collection of limited-edition collectibles. A recent fund-raising event in New York City featured illy's Cup of Kindness tree, where guests could make a donation to Cup of Kindness with the purchase of a collectible espresso cup created by artist Rufus Willis, a limited-edition coffee can designed by artist James Rosenquist or a sample can of illy. illy raised more than $3,250.00 — and 100% of the proceeds were donated to SOS, specifically earmarked for schools in Ethiopia. This is truly an example of giving back to people who are integral in making illy a success.

illy has sponsored numerous Cup of Kindness promotions over the years. Currently, on its website, illy is featuring the illy "Bean Bag," an authentic jute bag packed with two limited edition illy art collection cans of coffee. The bag is inspired by the rough-hewn sacks that coffee growers use for storing green coffee beans and are made in Colombia from recyclable materials. 100% of the sales from this program will benefit SOS.

Additionally, illy designates one day a year where a percentage of online sales goes to SOS. In ten years, illy has donated more than $1.5 million to SOS — it is truly amazing what an organization like illy can accomplish in a decade! If you would like to know more about our remarkable partner, please contact us at Ignite or visit www.illy.com. If you are considering starting a program that could help to eradicate childhood hunger, please visit Share Our Strength at www.strength.org.

Something Worth Celebrating: Recognizing the Importance
of a Birthday in a Child's Life

Birthday WishesIt goes unsaid, these are tough times for everyone — even more so for children in homeless shelters. Thanks to Birthday Wishes, a nonprofit group based in Newton, MA, young residents in 70 shelters in Massachusetts, from Worcester to Falmouth, won't have their birthdays overlooked. Instead, they will have their special day recognized and celebrated!

Birthday Wishes is the brainchild of three friends — Lisa Vasiloff, Karen Yahara, and Carol Zwanger — veterans of volunteering who noticed that for a homeless child, a birthday party isn't always something they celebrate each year. Shelter staffers often don't have the time or resources to organize a party and resident mothers may not have the money or emotional wherewithal to plan a party either. The trio discovered that some mothers, shamed by their inability to buy a cake or gifts, sometimes don't tell their children about their birthday at all. The organizers and volunteers at Birthday Wishes recognize the importance of a birthday in a child's life and believe that the gift of a birthday celebration provides normalcy, joy and hope in these children's otherwise unsettled lives.

Upon learning about the mission of Birthday Wishes, our Ignite team wanted to become involved right away. In December 2008, we sponsored our first birthday party for the children living at St. Mary's Women and Children's Shelter in Dorchester, MA. The evening was quite a success — fifteen children and their counselors gathered for a few hours of crafts, face painting, goodie bags and of course, ice cream, cake, and presents for the three December birthday children!

As you may know, giving back through community service has always been a value and priority at Ignite. Typically the Ignite team picks one community service project per year and each of the projects has focused on children and how to improve their lives or living environments. Three past projects have included creating a library and re-painting classrooms at a school on the island of Nevis, re-designing the children's playroom and bathroom of a family shelter in Massachusetts and leading the renovation efforts of a non-profit restaurant for at-risk teens in New Orleans.

Our experience with Birthday Wishes in December was so rewarding that we've decided to make this group our community service partner for 2009!

Instead of doing one, weeklong project (as we've done in the past), our plan is to coordinate, fund and volunteer for at least four Birthday Wishes parties in 2009 (likely once per quarter). Now, that's something to celebrate!

If you or your organization are interested in learning more about Birthday Wishes or making a donation for one of our upcoming parties, please contact anyone on the Ignite team. Monetary donations are always needed, as well as party supplies such as cups, plates, balloons, banners, juice boxes, etc. If you'd like more information on Birthday Wishes or finding out how to become a volunteer yourself, please visit their website, www.birthdaywishes.org, or contact Lisa Vasiloff at Lisa@birthdaywishes.org.

About Ignite
Ignite offers a variety of transforming programs that can propel you and your organization to brilliant successes. And we have experience in a wide range of industries, so we can tailor each session to specifically address your needs and goals.

Our Mission
Customized program design, superior results and lasting partnerships are key components of Ignite's philosophy and approach to training and development.