The Importance of Community Involvement

Why give back to your community? It’s a good question for many businesses whose top goal is to make money and grow the organization who want to know, “What are we buying for our money?

One could argue, a business-community involvement isn’t buying anything at all. It’s not about what a business can gain. Giving back is about what an organization can potentially create and Anderson Dahlen’s recent involvement in the Mike “Carp” Sery Memorial Golf Tournament is a great example (more on that later).

But first, we’ll examine why community involvement is not an extracurricular activity for a business, but an imperative.

Why Giving Back is so Critical

From a strictly financial perspective, community involvement doesn’t make a lot of sense. Again, there’s that question about the business – bottom line: What are we buying? And it’s true, if you look at the books, the return on investment can be unclear. But we feel that’s the wrong thing to focus on.

If we’re able to run and grow a business the size of Anderson Dahlen, it’s by the good graces of our community. Our community is the very root source from which we build our team, from the shop floor to the back office.

Giving back to that community is the same reason a farmer may fertilize their soil, for example. They’re putting valuable resources into the dirt not because of any hocus-pocus or unquestioning tradition, but because time and again, it works and gets demonstrable results.

Additionally, few organizations besides our industrial leaders have the means and capacity to give back on such a level. It is both a unique privilege and responsibility to help grow the very community on which we depend to make our business everything it can be.

What We Learn from Community Involvement Can’t be Taught

Recently, members of Anderson Dahlen threw in for the Mike “Carp” Sery Memorial Golf Tournament. The tournament (the proceeds of which are donated to the Tri-City United High School Scholarship Fund) is organized and conducted as a passion project of Anderson Dahlen’s Milling Lead in Waconia, Ryan Sery. And we discovered something funny on the way to the 18th green; the many valuable things we can learn from our community involvement can’t simply be taught. They must be experienced.

Who would have guessed, for example, many of the winning teams would give their winnings back? It’s not the birdies we’ll remember from the event, or even the balls we lost in the rough. But, when winning teams returned their $400, $250, and $150 prizes, donating them back to the event’s scholarship fund – that’s a takeaway that stays with you.

With Anderson Dahlen’s donation and profits from the tournament, Ryan helped raise just over $6,000! He and his family will have the honors of donating six separate $1000 scholarships at this school year’s Tri-City United High School Senior Honors Night.

It will be a privilege to recognize and celebrate the academic excellence of our kids heading to college. Our goal is to build up our community, to acknowledge the same goals and level of excellence we aim to accomplish in our own work.

Community Involvement is Fun!

These are the same experiences that, every summer, keep us coming back to sponsor STEM workshops for kids. Aside from laying the proactive groundwork for building our business and raising up our young learners, community involvement is a lot of fun.

Remember fun?

At the tournament, for example, our team strategically placed two decoy geese, one on the first hole, and another on the 17th green. The goal was, whoever could land a ball closest to the decoy would win a separate prize.

But goose decoys, as they’re meant to do, tend to attract a lot of geese. And by the time our team returned to the first fairway to watch the first team tee off, the decoy had attracted a sizable flock until, not only did the decoy disappear in the crowd but, were it not for the flagstick, the hole would’ve been lost as well!

These are the fun memories and stories we’ll be retelling for years to come.

Nothing Helps Your Team Come Together Like Community Involvement

One of the things we love the most about our community involvement occurs in the background.

From building our golf teams, attending and participating in the charity events, and finally, celebrating promising students at a scholarship ceremony it all comes together in a way that’s difficult to describe.

But undoubtedly, we are made better by our contributions. And this can be potent stuff for businesses that are made stronger as their team finds ways to work together more cooperatively and efficiently, to come together to accomplish a common goal outside of work. By proxy, Anderson Dahlen becomes a better place to work.

How Can You Help?

Good news! You don’t need to be a large organization to give back to your community. Even volunteering your time with a cause that you love can help.

Anderson Dahlen is always on the lookout for great people to join our team. Not just skilled craftsmen and women to help us design and build the best industrial equipment in the Midwest, but to help our business become better stewards of our community and find new, fun, and effective ways to give back.

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ADI Spotlight: Matthew Blaha

Meet Matthew! Matthew Blaha is a Program Manager at Anderson Dahlen. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato majoring in