Posted June 24 2013, 9:15 AM PDT by Jill Jacobi Wood, OB Jacobi & Geoff Wood

June Perspectives

Posted in Windermere by Jill Jacobi Wood, OB Jacobi & Geoff Wood

We recently travelled to Washington, D.C. for an event that brought together family-run business owners from all around the country. It’s probably one of the best conferences we’ve attended in recent years because the subject matter was so relevant to both our day-to-day business, as well as our long-term planning.

One fact we were surprised to learn is that family-owned businesses employ 62 percent of the workforce in the U.S. Family-owned businesses also generate 75 percent of all new jobs. But perhaps our favorite statistic was the one that pointed out that a whopping 95 percent of family businesses engage in some form of philanthropy.

That last statistic really got us thinking about family businesses and the important role they play in supporting local communities. Don’t get us wrong; large corporations unarguably do their part to better the world, but family business owners have a special connection to their communities – often dating back multiple generations. In many cases, the growth and livelihood of those family businesses has relied largely on the support of their local community, so giving back is the natural thing to do.

That’s why one of Windermere’s guiding principles is to help those in need in the communities where we have offices. Over the years, those efforts have grown to represent more than 25 million dollars in donations to support low-income and homeless families. In addition to this, every year for the past 29 years, Windermere offices have closed their doors for one day to take on neighborhood-enhancing projects.

This year’s Community Service Day took place on Friday, June 21. Windermere agents from Mukilteo to Missoula donated more than 55,000 hours of service to local projects at senior citizens centers, public parks and schools, low-income housing developments, and emergency shelters, among others. We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of our agents, who have proven time and time again that service to others is not something you do, it is who you are.

After attending the conference in Washington, D.C. and learning more about the critical role family businesses play in the U.S., we have renewed enthusiasm for who we are, what we’re about, and where we’re going. But one constant that will never change is our continued commitment to supporting our local communities and those therein who need it most.