Samsung Employees Celebrate Commitment to Community Impact through Day of Service

Thirty-thousand meals packed and shipped for the fight against global hunger; hundreds of bags filled with garbage that was contaminating our rivers; garden beds, picnic tables and benches built for greener urban environments and mentoring hundreds of young adults to inspire future success. These are just a few examples of community impact Day of Service activities had on Friday, October 13th, fueled by the 4,000 Samsung Electronics America employees who pitched in across the U.S.



“This was actually my third year participating in Day of Service. This will be my first time working with Rise Against Hunger, so I’m excited about the opportunity to help,” said Shirlie Viera, Assistant Manager, Supply Chain. “This is a great cause and it’s great that Samsung’s taking time away from the so-called ‘daily grind’ to participate in something to help the community – not just here in the states, but across the world.”

Viera worked together with 50 of her colleagues in Ridgefield Park, NJ, on a meal-kit assembly line to pack 10,000 boxes with rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and micronutrients for Rise Against Hunger’s mission to end global hunger by the year 2030. Meanwhile, 130 more of her colleagues in Bridgewater, NJ and Mountain View, CA were also packing meal kits, to ship roughly 30,000 to children in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Africa.

“This is part of the Samsung culture to give back and to recognize that it’s important enough to take a day off from work and what we usually are doing to help those less fortunate,” said Steve Reiss, community engagement manager for Rise Against Hunger in the Kearny, NJ office. As a Samsung Gives partner organization that has participated in Day of Service for the last 3 years, Reiss said the opportunity to educate Samsung employees about the group’s mission has a real impact.

“A lot of times the employees who participate during Day of Service will go back to their hometown and bring a meal packing event there. So, it grows organically through us and is a wonderful opportunity that Samsung gives us,” explained Reiss.

Samsung Electronics America employees work with Rise Against Hunger during Day of Service to pack 10,000 meal kits for children in need.

Samsung Electronics America employees work with Rise Against Hunger during Day of Service to pack 10,000 meal kits for children in need.

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Talking Tech in Texas and the Bronx

Meeting with young adults to mentor and inspire their future success always plays a prominent role in Day of Service. Tech Titans (formerly known as the Metroplex Technology Business Council) is the largest technology trade association in Texas, representing a quarter million employees through its 300 member companies. This October, Samsung partnered with the group to disperse 45 employees to 3 local high schools in the Richardson, TX area where they engaged in “speed mentoring” sessions with teens, but Justin Denison, Sr. Vice President, Mobile Product Strategy and Marketing for Samsung Electronics America said that through the experience he was learning from the students too.

Denison added that giving back to the community is not only important from a social responsibility perspective, it’s an integral part of the business.

“Day of Service is all part of this notion of co-prosperity that Samsung pursues as part of our corporate values. We’re drawing on the community to staff our company and to bring in new ideas and new talent and so it’s very important to access all the talent in the local community and to really learn and then give back along the way.”

Samsung Electronics America employees participate in speed mentoring sessions focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects with teens from Tech Titans in Richardson, TX.

Samsung Electronics America employees participate in speed mentoring sessions focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects with teens from Tech Titans in Richardson, TX.

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For Lori Tretner, Senior Marketing Manager with Samsung Electronics America, the day spent mentoring the students was rewarding.

“It’s always fun to get out of what you do every day to do something different and to touch the lives of these children,” adding, “It means a lot to work for a company that’s focused on giving back because that’s part of my personal values as well.”

Hundreds of miles away, at Madison Square Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx, 25 Samsung employees were helping 6 to 9-year-olds with homework, technology and crafts but because it was a Friday, managed to squeeze in time for fun and games with the kids also. For one employee the experience hit close to home.

Samsung Electronics America employees assist Madison Square Boys & Girls Club members with homework and participate in club game activities during Day of Service.

Samsung Electronics America employees assist Madison Square Boys & Girls Club members with homework and participate in club game activities during Day of Service.

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“Day of Service is probably one of my favorite activities at Samsung,” said Anthony Lopez, senior process innovation analyst at Samsung Electronics America. “Being able to be in the Bronx where I was born and raised, giving back to the community that I still actually live in is extremely rewarding.”

Lopez reflected on how growing up in a difficult neighborhood like the Bronx, he wouldn’t be where he is today in life without similar mentoring opportunities like Day of Service is providing now to young people in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “It’s extremely important that I give back in the same exact way that I receive,” explained Lopez.

“At Samsung, everything’s done with passion. That’s the greatest thing about working for this company whether you’re in the office getting challenged by an assignment or you’re picking up a rake or a shovel, it’s amazing here today when you just see everybody going for it – and they’re giving it their all – that’s what Day of Service is about and that’s what Samsung’s all about.”

-Tony Cicio, Vice President of the People Team

Michelle Froah, Vice President of Marketing Excellence, Strategy and Integration for Samsung Electronics America, was also in the Bronx because of her passion for empowering kids through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, a focus area Samsung and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America have partnered on for many years.

“It’s really important for our youth to have STEM skills, because technology and being able to apply technology to your everyday life is going to be critical in the future,” said Froah. She added not only is Day of Service an investment in communities through employee service but it’s also an investment in Samsung employees through giving them that time off to dedicate to areas they’re passionate about within their communities.

Samsung Electronics America employees work with Hackensack Riverkeeper to clean up the area around Samsung NAHQ and then board canoes to clean up Overpeck Creek.

Samsung Electronics America employees work with Hackensack Riverkeeper to clean up the area around Samsung NAHQ and then board canoes to clean up Overpeck Creek.

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Cleaning and Greening for a Good Cause

Decisions around activities chosen for Day of Service are driven by Samsung’s overall corporate citizenship focus on supporting education, health and sustainability, so it’s no surprise that many employees were getting their hands dirty on Day of Service and more than happy to do it.

With Hackensack Riverkeeper, it wasn’t a pretty picture to see the trash that accumulates in the Overpeck River, behind Samsung’s Ridgefield Park offices. So, employees boarded canoes to collect the debris.

Lauren Restuccia, the program’s master planner, along with the Corporate Citizenship team, refrains from participating in the day’s activities to ensure the months of planning leading up to it pay off for employees and partner charities, but said the hard work in planning is rewarded by being able to witness the results.

“The positive feedback coming from our charity partners, energy from employees and the team building that comes out of Day of Service activities always gives everyone at Samsung a sense of pride about how they’ve been able to make positive contributions to local communities alongside their colleagues,” said Restuccia.

Samsung Electronics America employees beautify and maintain Therapeutic Healing Garden for Children’s Aid & Family Services in Ridgewood, NJ.

Samsung Electronics America employees beautify and maintain Therapeutic Healing Garden for Children’s Aid & Family Services in Ridgewood, NJ.

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In New Jersey, 30 employees worked as a team to beautify and maintain the tranquility of Children’s Aid and Family Services’ (CAFS) Therapeutic Healing Garden.

“When we got here this morning there was a lot of weeds, there was a lot of leaves, so there was a ton of yardwork for us to do, but we were happy to do it and everyone was energized because of the cause and they were inspired to really come out here and pitch in,” said Michael Bilow, Channel Marketing Manager in Samsung’s Mobile B2B business unit.

“It’s extremely important that I give back in the same exact way that I receive.”

-Anthony Lopez, senior process innovation analyst

The group was so energized and passionate about how the garden serves to support CAFS’s efforts in caring for vulnerable children, young adults, frail elderly and their families that they finished the pruning and greening ahead of schedule, according to Tony Cicio, Vice President of the People Team.

“At Samsung, everything’s done with passion. That’s the greatest thing about working for this company whether you’re in the office getting challenged by an assignment or you’re picking up a rake or a shovel, it’s amazing here today when you just see everybody going for it – and they’re giving it their all – that’s what Day of Service is about and that’s what Samsung’s all about.”


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