While MEM supports numerous local charities throughout the state with sponsorship and charitable gifts, that support also includes giving of our time through employee volunteerism. More than 60% of our employees donate 2,000-plus hours of volunteer time annually. And that includes members of the executive team.
We sat down with Tim Jackman to learn more about one of the causes he gives to as a volunteer: The Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbia. Jackman serves as President and CEO of Previsor, MEM’s partner in supporting policyholders with multistate workers compensation needs. He has been serving as a board member with the Club since 2017. He was recently named the 2020 Board Member of the Year.
The Club recognized him for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing leadership and safety knowledge to help the organization continue to serve kids during that time.
“We chose a lighthouse inscribed with ‘Thank you for being the light that guided us safely through the storm,’” said Valorie Livingston, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbia.
Since 1997, the Club has helped children get a great start on their future by teaching them how to flourish in spite of the challenges and stress they face at home, school and in their neighborhoods. The mission of the Club, which is open during hours that kids are most likely to need a safe place to go, is to help youth ages 6 to 18 realize their full potential as productive, responsible, caring citizens.
What do you like about volunteering for the Boys and Girls Clubs?
First, much like safety is our number one priority, it also is the top priority at the club. You get the opportunity to work with a terrific team of dedicated and committed staff, that have done a wonderful job serving the youth in the area. The board is an awesome mix of leaders throughout the community. Then the ability to connect with the youth at a personal level, to see the smiles and joy you bring by just your sheer presence, which makes this a humbling, rewarding experience where you really feel like you are making a difference in the lives of others.
What drew you to volunteer as a board member?
I was aware of their mission and knew some of the youth in their program, so I wanted to play a role in helping serve an underrepresented and underserved group of youth achieve their dreams.
What are some of the projects you’ve been able to contribute to that you’ve enjoyed?
Besides providing leadership during the pandemic, I’ve always enjoyed reaching out to prospective and current donors to share successes about the club, reading to the youth was very rewarding and fun, discussions with the board on how to reach more youth in the community, mentoring new board members, assisting with the 2020 telethon, and of course the Chili Cookoff has been a hallmark event in the past and one where the company has been extremely supportive and generous.
As a work comp provider, how has your knowledge of safety carried over volunteer work?
It has helped the club ensure best practices as it relates to safety and risk management. There have been a number of opportunities to contribute. I offered my expertise as it relates to motor vehicle policies, provided insights on results from the safety assessments and helped advance their safety culture by suggesting a “Safety Moment” as a topic at each of the board meetings. I also helped assess their insurance needs from a property and casualty perspective (Jackman has more than 40 years of experience in the insurance industry).
As it relates to COVID-19 and the pandemic, I made myself personally accessible and available for discussion on safety concerns including bringing in other MEM safety experts to offer direction and guidance.
MEM also provides an in-kind donation of CPR and other safety training to Boys and Girls Clubs staff annually.
What do you think people may not realize about the organization?
First, that the Columbia area has a high percentage of school-age youth that qualify for free or reduced lunch. The club is not just a place where kids participate in sports-related activities, but many of the youth are provided meals/snacks, several programs are offered to help enrich academic and career success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. The youth also get the privilege of being exposed to fine arts. It’s not the one-dimensional experience that one might think.
Anything else you would like to add?
I appreciate the company giving me the opportunity to serve, and for their generosity to support an organization like the Boys and Girls Club of Columbia.
Would you like to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbia? Consider tuning in to their telethon on Saturday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Facebook. Check the Boys and Girls Clubs Facebook page for details.