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How Silverliners Give Back to Their Communities

By Kathleen Ferrie 01.17.22
Reading time: 6 minutes

When we say “Better Together” is one of our core values, we don’t just mean in the workplace. With our Silverline Cares initiative, we encourage our employees to be active members of their communities, and devote their time to organizations that make a real impact in the lives of others. 

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, we wanted to spotlight the different ways Silverliners serve their communities. From volunteer firefighting and farming to mentoring veterans and young professionals, our team members are eager to give back however they can. 

Community service and Silverline

Danielle Laffey, Senior Director, Insurance Solutions, is part of The Junior League of Tampa, an organization that gives back to many causes in the community. She has also been a mentor to helping people develop their careers in the Salesforce ecosystem for almost 10 years, mentoring through companies she’s worked for, community groups she’s led, and student programs. 

“I love working for The Junior League as a volunteer because it gives me the ability to give back to a community on a grand scale,” said Laffey. “I, as an individual contributor, can pay it forward and help out multiple organizations in a significant way through the multiple programs that they offer within the Tampa Bay area. Some of the events I take part in are the diaper bank program, the love bundles program for children who are suddenly placed out of their homes, and the MILO program that holds reading programs and disperses hundreds of books to those who can’t afford them.”

“The Salesforce community has tried a couple of formal mentorship programs but I find that individual mentoring has become significantly more impactful for both myself and the person involved if we happen to choose each other versus being assigned to each other,” said Laffey. “It allows me to connect on a deeper level with a mentee who is looking to advance their career and get advice to be pushed by me towards opportunities they didn’t even know existed.”

“I personally get a lot of satisfaction working with both The Junior League and by mentoring people in the Salesforce ecosystem because I know that I am leaving a footprint to make our communities, local and global, a better place,” said Laffey.

Mike Burtner, Business Analyst, Healthcare and Life Sciences, is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and deeply committed to helping other veterans learn about and get jobs in Salesforce. He has worked with HVAF of Indiana for four years, and he also mentors veterans through Veterati, a mentoring network connecting thousands of service members, veterans, and military spouses.

“HVAF serves veterans at every level: temporary housing, food pantry, job training, successful living resources, and transportation,” said Burtner. “A majority of the staff are volunteers and veterans themselves. The thing I admire the most about HVAF is the atmosphere of mutual honor and respect shown to every participant. We have all endured hardships and are reminded that we will all need help.”

“Veterati serves differently, by connecting similar veterans in a peer network,” said Burtner. “I admire this organization because they are all about finding and matching veterans who can help and encourage each other, using technology and social media. Our strongest veteran resource is each other: Veterati creates new networks for our veteran brothers and sisters.”

“Offering help to folks means paying attention to their needs and responding in kind, not just giving things away,” said Burtner. “Time has not been kind to some veterans; the world changes fast. So I offer them time — to listen and find out what is really standing in their way. I want to make sure they can get to the next step. The people I help once volunteered for active duty to help others and they want to be empowered again. I am honored to be part of that cycle.”

Sara Schroek, Solution Architect, is a local Girl Scout troop leader, with a troop of girls ages 5-11. “I really like that Girl Scouts is a girl-led organization,” said Schroek. “My role is often to listen to the girls’ ideas and then help them figure out how to execute. This approach does a wonderful job of building confidence and practicing teamwork. There are also so many different facets of what we do — STEM, outdoor, life skills, citizenship, and arts — one week we’re hiking, and the next we’re painting!” 

“One of my major takeaways from being a Girl Scout leader is that the kids are alright,” said Schroek. “I continue to be so impressed with my scouts, everything from listening to their thought processes to seeing how much they care about their community to just how funny they are.”

Aileen McGrath, Client Services Manager, and her husband are first responders in their community: Her husband is Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department, and she’s a firefighter and emergency responder. “It is critical in our communities, and especially for those of us in small areas, to give back and care for those around us,” said McGrath. “I most admire the dedication of the members of the VFD to give back to the community in all situations and at all times. The generosity and self-sacrifice of the members is incredible.”  

McGrath is also a committee member for the CASA of Montgomery County Gala, an event that raises over a third of the yearly operating capital for the organization, which provides advocates for minors that are in the Child Protective Services system and ensure that every child in the county finds a loving home. “My main takeaway in my years of volunteer service has always been an appreciation for my own family, friends, and life,” said McGrath. “Regardless of difficulties, we are so fortunate to have one another. The giving nature of others and the ability to see the good in each person — and knowing that people come into our lives for a reason — always.”

Oliver Sava, Content Marketing Strategist, is the co-founder of The Key: Young Critics Mentorship Program, a free program teaching young Chicago writers how to pursue a career in arts journalism. Created in 2017, The Key specifically focuses on amplifying the voices of writers of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community, and the program’s alumni have gone on to write about the arts for local and national publications like Rescripted, Chicago Reader, American Theater, and Teen Vogue

“There’s a huge need for the journalism industry to become more inclusive, and there’s a new generation of writers with the skill and the passion to transform arts criticism,” said Sava. “The Key provides these young writers with the industry know-how they need to start their careers as professional critics, and it exposes them to corners of the arts world they may not have access to otherwise. It was especially inspiring to see the larger Chicago arts community embrace our mission and provide resources to help maximize the program’s impact.” 

Renee Laubis, Change Manager, spends a few hours a month as a volunteer for Franklinton Farms, an organization that envisions a neighborhood and food system that respects the land, values all people, and celebrates community. She helps with general tasks in the Learning Garden, the vegetable and fruit gardens, and high tunnels, and assists with community programs and food distribution.

“While I most admire Franklinton Farm’s mission to share food through sustainable agriculture, create beauty, and build a community with improved food security and economic opportunity among neighbors, I also deeply admire the staff and my fellow volunteers,” said Laubis. “Most importantly, volunteering reminds me that a dissimilar group of people can unite around a similar passion to effect positive change within our community!”

In his 15-year tenure with Virginia HIMSS, an organization providing statewide leadership for the advancement and management of healthcare information and technology, David Stewart, Enterprise HLS Health Executive, has served as President, Secretary of the Board of Directors, and Special Interest Group Chair for The Digital Consumer Experience. He organized and cohosted multiple annual state-wide conferences, participated in regional and national special interest events, mentored incoming board members, and developed relationships with key stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. He also championed the VAHIMSS annual scholarship golf tournament, raising more than $100,000+ to support scholarships for US veterans and graduate students from the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2018, he received the “Volunteer of the Year ” Award.

He admires the commitment, camaraderie, leadership, and leviety of the organization’s board members to drive the value they deliver for their membership to VAHIMSS. “We are all volunteer servants enabling the healthcare community by providing accelerated learnings to improve healthcare IT, consumer experiences, quality outcomes, and population health in the spirit of the Quadruple Aim,” said Stewart. “Our educational programs are designed around mentoring the current and future HIT executives in Virginia. I drive the annual fundraising for scholarships for HIT graduate students in Virginia and US Veterans.” 

“Get involved. Improve others. Give back,” said Stewart. “My commitment and investment has opened up doors, kept me current, built a great network and lifelong friendships that are all priceless.”

Join a team that genuinely cares

Silverline is proud to have an official Volunteer Time Off Policy and we love to see our employees connect with organizations that are making a difference. We believe in using the power of our time, skills, and connections to help make this world a better place! Want to join our team? Check out available positions on our Careers page. 

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