YPs in the Community – OswaldCLIMBS – C to C: The Commitment to Community Podcast
Welcome to this episode of C to C, featuring OswaldCLIMBS, Oswald’s Young Professional organization, formed as a perpetuating engine for Oswald and the industry at large, focused on the acquisition, development and advancement of young emerging professionals. This interview took place during our annual United Way fundraising campaign, led by OswaldCLIMBS and campaign chair, Katelyn Alpine, OswaldCLIMBS secretary Kayla Huff and OswaldCLIMBS chair Kerryn Limongi.
In this season of giving, Alpine, Huff and Limongi speak on the variety of fundraising events OswaldCLIMBS hosted to benefit United Way, the Salvation Army in Greater Cleveland and more.
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ROSSI: Hi, this is Gina Rossi and we are back with C to C, the Commitment to Community podcast from Oswald Companies. Today, we are so excited to welcome our own Katelyn Alpine, Kayla Huff and Kerryn Limongi of Oswald Companies. How are you all doing today?
ALPINE: Great. Thank you for having us.
LIMONGI: Yes, thank you.
ROSSI: Thank you for joining today. Katelyn, would you mind kicking it off and introducing yourself for our audience here and tell us a little bit about OswaldCLIMBS and the mission?
ALPINE: Absolutely. Yeah. My name is Katelyn Alpine, and I am an associate client manager in our middle market, P&C practice. And this year, I have the privilege of helping lead the United Way campaign. The United Way chair as well, just a little bit about our mission. OswaldCLIMBS is our internal young professional organization at Oswald Companies. Our group’s mission has been to develop current young professional employee-owners to be successful leaders, as well as attracting and retaining top millennial talent.
Our initiative was established to set a new standard for our industry and perpetuate the growth of our organization and the industry at large. Kind of what makes us unique in regards to any other Oswald committee is that OswaldCLIMBS has the privilege of creating and promoting events to benefit the company-wide United Way campaign that we hold each fall. This year and every year we work super hard to come up with new ways in more or less words, to get employee-owners excited about donating and contributing to such a great cause. This year we’ve had so much fun hosting these events; it’s been such a privilege seeing the whole company come together to help those less fortunate than us.
ALPINE: Some highlights that we’ve had, the United Way Campaign being one, but as well as hosting many other events for us employee- owners to connect and engage more in this new hybrid work environment. And I’ll touch on some of our events later on. But just a little to tidbit in the beginning.
ROSSI: Yes, thank you for sharing that. And that leads me into my next question. Kayla, can you tell us why we support United Way, not only here in Cleveland, but across all of our market locations? And if you could introduce yourself too before you begin.
HUFF: I’m Kayla Huff. I’m in the retirement Plan services division. I’ve been here for five years and on the OswaldCLIMBs committee I am the secretary. As you know, one of our strong core values includes commitment to community. We’ve been supporting our communities through dedication to United Way for decades now. We were even recognized this year with the Torchbearer award for going above and beyond to support United Way. So even though we are headquartered in Cleveland, we know that poverty is happening in all seven of our markets.
Our campaign this year really focused more on in-person events rather than virtual, so that gave our markets the opportunity to host their own on-site events to raise money in all market locations.
ROSSI: Thank you for sharing that. Yes, there’s been a lot of fun and activity around here at Oswald with all of our fundraisers. I wanted to swing back to Katelyn and ask you about some of those fundraisers that have been going around here that OswaldCLIMBS have hosted?
ALPINE: Yeah. So, every year we try to come up with newer ones and especially like you said, being in a post-COVID environment, we’ve tried to come up with new ones that would entice people to come in. And our trivia night is always a big one that we love and will, I’m sure, always have because that’s such a big hit. But then this year, we also started the Papa John’s Lunch with Leaders, which was really great. And we have so many ideas going forward to even make that even better. But it was just great to sit down with our leaders and hear their vision for the next 5 to 10 years.
And just for them to hear our hopes and our dreams and our visions for what we hope that Oswald is as well, so just really to get everyone together and be collective in our approach going forward was awesome. And then who doesn’t love Papa John’s? So that was fun. And then also Chipotle, which that was super cool because that was such an easy passive way to make extra income. And I’m hoping that next year we can make that even bigger. But it was just great too. You might as well feed your family with Chipotle. And so just coming up with new ways like that.
As well as some of our tried and true events like Card of Cards and other raffles and everything that we’ve done. But there’s been lots of highlights this year. I’m really excited to see where we end up as far as our overall goal.
ROSSI: Absolutely. OswaldCLIMBS has also teamed up with OswaldCares, which is our employee-owner committee that brings all of our fundraising and volunteering opportunities under one umbrella and also, OswaldEngage, which is our internal committee that brings engagement, team building and fun to our work environment, to support the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland Toy Drive.
Kerryn, could you tell us a little bit more about this initiative and also introduce yourself to our audience here?
LIMONGI: Sure. Yes. Thanks for having us. My name is Kerryn Limongi and I work in the group benefits department here at Oswald Companies. And I’m also the chair of OswaldCLIMBS. I’ve been at Oswald for going on five years now. This year, as you said, we have partnered with the other committees here at Oswald to help support and engage with one another.
By doing this, we have seen great success, in not only our attendance at these events, but also the overall success of the initiatives.
The toy drive is about the 4th event that we partnered with the other ERGs. OswaldCLIMBS as a council thought it would be a great idea to not only give back to the community but to help give back to those children in need during this time of the year. Children all over should be able to receive gifts and enjoy the holidays just like everybody else, and we want to ensure that no child goes without a gift this holiday season.
The overall goal of this toy drive is to be able to provide as many toys as possible and by involving all others here at Oswald besides the young professionals, and I believe that by doing this it’s going to be a great success with the help of all other ERGs here.
ROSSI: Absolutely, absolutely. I love that. For those listening, how can the community get involved here and where can they go to donate toys?
LIMONGI: Yeah, absolutely. The toy drive began actually on Nov. 28, and it goes until Dec. 8. So the Salvation Army of Cleveland needs to have the toys in by Dec. 9 so there is enough time to wrap the gifts and distribute to those in need. The toys can be donated here at the Oswald Headquarters office in Cleveland, and they can be donated on the 15th floor here. There’s going to be a big box that’s located upstairs that you can give all your gifts to.
There is a wide variety of toys that can be donated, and that ranges from cars, Legos, action figures, soccer balls, crafts and much more.
There is also multiple ways that you can volunteer for this event. If you have any questions as far as what needs to be donated, you can reach out to the OswaldCLIMBS e-mail address and that’s OswaldCLIMBS@oswaldcompanies.com.
ROSSI: Thank you for sharing that and then lastly to kind of wrap things up. What is on the horizon for 2023 and in the future for OswaldCLIMBS?
HUFF: I would say one of our main goals next year is to kind of revamp OswaldCLIMBS. We want to better outline who we are and how we can make a better impact. So we’d like to prioritize getting in front of new hires, especially just to make sure everyone knows who we are and that we’re a safe space to get involved, to get to know people within Oswald and outside of Oswald. So we’d like to prioritize getting more involved in partnering with other young professional organizations with networking events and community involvement.
ROSSI: Well, thank you so much again Kaitlyn, Kayla and Kerryn for your time today and looking forward to more in the new year.
LIMONGI: Perfect. Thanks for having us.
ALPINE: Thank you so much.
This transcript has been edited for clarity and web formatting.
Introducing the C to C podcast, an oscast by Oswald production
Commitment to Community is a core value of Oswald; it’s the foundation of who we are and the purpose behind all we do. The C to C podcast provides a platform for nonprofit partners to share their stories and discuss the critical issues facing their clients. Our goal: create a halo effect of service and support, inspiring our audiences to align with causes that speak to them and take action in their companies and communities.
Hosted by Gina Rossi, digital communications manager, this podcast series features in-depth interviews and highlights the good works happening throughout our communities.