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Diversified Expects Work with Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen to Multiply

Published: March 9, 2020

Most people would likely not believe that an area that’s so chock-full of innovative thinkers and billion-dollar ideas is also one of the parts of the U.S. with the highest population of homeless people, but such is life in San Jose, Calif. [related]

Diversified senior VP of global marketing Anthony Cuellar has been acutely aware of the issue for a while now and was part of a team of about 20 Diversified employees who helped the San Jose Sharks serve Thanksgiving meals to about 150 homeless people in the area.

“In Silicon Valley, with the sheer wealth that’s been generated there, why would anybody be homeless? There’s so much opportunity,” says Cuellar.

“When you see that on a regular basis, if you’re a compassionate person, you have to ask yourself how you can make a difference. That was big motivation for us to get involved,” he says.

Through the Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen, Diversified employees joined Sharks players, whom the company has sponsored for the past two NHL seasons, in setting up and decorating the local community center where the meal was held.

Diversified employees also helped to prepare the food they would serve, served some of the meals and greeted many of the people who came to enjoy a rare home-cooked meal for them, says Cuellar.

Loaves And Fishes

Before they left, all attendees at the Loaves and Fishes Thanksgiving dinner also took home lunch bags with another meal and $25 gift cards to local grocery stores, capping what Cuellar calls “a very heartwarming event.” In fact, it touched some Diversified employees so much, they’re looking to do more with Loaves and Fishes.

As we’ve grown, we’ve worked very, very hard to be more involved in the communities we serve,” says Cuellar. “We in our industry have been so fortunate in our businesses.

“(Diversified founder) Fred (D’Alessandro) has that same heart and (Diversified president) Kevin (Collins) has that same heart to be very thankful for the success we’ve had and understand where we came from,” he says.

Here’s a closer look at Diversified’s work with the San Jose Sharks Foundation at the Loaves and Fishes Thanksgiving Dinner:

More About Diversified’s Philanthropy

In addition to its work with Loaves And Fishes, Diversified has a…well, diverse offering of philanthropy, including the Diversified Foundation, an endeavor started about three years ago when Houston area employees were ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

That fund is aimed at helping Diversified employees in need and has recently been tapped by those in Australia suffering through that nation’s wildfires.

“That’s the core to our business and our heart,” says Cuellar. “As we have employees going through a family crisis around the world, we want to be able to support them.”

The company also started Diversified Academy as a way of helping former military veterans who are returning from their service commitments transition back into so-called civilian life. Diversified has also helped Habitat for Humanity, many cancer research funds and much more.

“There are so many charitable and community opportunities around the world,” says Cuellar. “Local charities are where we live, where we shop. There’s always a bike-a-thon or a blood drive or some kind of fundraising for an employee’s kid’s Little League team. You can’t do them all.

“We absolutely did more in 2019 than we did in 2018 and I fully anticipate we’ll do more in 2020 than we did in 2019,” he says, noting the company is developing a policy to allow those who want to serve their communities to do it without taking time off from work.

“We love when we can have a relationship with a client and make it into a true partnership,” says Cuellar. “That takes that relationship to a whole new level. The need is there, no question. There’s more opportunity to help than there was before.

“Giving money can be very easy. Giving time can be a little more difficult, but it shows a commitment and really takes that giving to a different level,” he says.

Coming next Monday: The next installment in our Connected to the Community series. If you know about an AV or IT company doing something good, email executive editor Craig MacCormack at craig.maccormack@emeraldx.com.

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