Home / Recognition / Spotlights / Sustainability Spotlights

Claudia Hinz and Henri Aymonier Make Mother Earth Proud

Viridian Associates and their family members were among hundreds who gathered at Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area to clean the beaches and other areas of the park. Middletown Township, NJ 4/25/15  photo by Joe Epstein/JoeEpsteinPhotography.com
Claudia Hinz and Henri Aymonier may have won Viridian’s Earth Month “Many Hands Make Light Work” contest, which celebrates the Associate(s) who was able to coordinate a sustainability event that attracted the most GenV Affiliated volunteers, but if you were to ask the two New Jersey Associates about their win, they would tell you that for them, it was never about the competition.

Platinum Partner Henri said, “Neither of us gave that a thought. We just really wanted to do the best we could and get the most people out to the sustainability event.”

But on Saturday, April 25, Lead Director Claudia and Henri were able to attract more than 50 Viridian Associates—and dozens of family members and friends—to New Jersey’s Sandy Hook beach for a special beach cleanup. For the April sustainability event, the two teamed with Clean Ocean Action, an organization committed to improving the degraded water quality of the marine waters off the New Jersey and New York coast.

Armed with collection gear, dozens upon dozens of Viridian Associates cleaned the beach line, picking up everything from plastic bags to old tires to candy wrappers. The volunteers also marked the locations where the most trash had accumulated so that Clean Ocean Action can begin to identify the sources of garbage.

“An event like this is a great opportunity for volunteers to see what’s going on in our environment and connect with others,” Claudia said. “It is great fun to bring a group out and teach them that Viridian is not only about making money. Instead, it’s a company that walks the walk and is about education and caring for the planet as well. That’s why I am really passionate about these events. My greatest joy comes from everyone having a great experience.”

For Claudia and Henri, the decision to lead an Earth Month sustainability event was quite natural. After working together closely over the past few years—and connecting at two other local sustainability events recently—they started to explore relief efforts they could bring to their local community.

To attract a record-crowd to the event, the New Jersey Associates focused on the importance of promoting the event, rather than just announcing it.

“The difference between promoting and announcing it is what made this event as large as it was,” Henri said. “We got on the phone and personally invited people; we didn’t just shoot off a generic email. I am a “big picture” guy and Claudia is great with small details so it was a winning partnership.”

The Associates noted that by keeping the event fun they were able to attract a sizeable group. The Sandy Hook beach cleanup, for example, gave people a chance to give back to their local community while sharing a special day with their friends, families and fellow Associates.

“Events like these are a great way to get customers involved and create positive buzz around our company,” Henri added. “These events are actually great recruiting tools because if somebody is on the fence and is able to catch the heartbeat of Viridian, that’s a good thing.”

Claudia, someone who has now coordinated and hosted three local sustainability events, agrees, noting that Associates who participate in such activities are able to enjoy the great camaraderie that comes with the stewardship opportunities.

“It’s not only the business part that brings us together; it’s events that serve the good of the whole that bring us together,” she said. “It’s very important that we have connecting points that go beyond business.”

So how do Claudia and Henri feel about having created an Earth Month event that drove the highest attendance? Again … it’s not even something they’d consciously registered. All they are focused on is demonstrating the power of individual choice and collective impact through their actions.

“We are just ordinary folks who ended up creating an extraordinary event that attracted a lot of people,” Henri said. “But let’s not forget that there are so many people out there and so many events that are happening that are just as incredible. It’s not just about me and Claudia. It’s about everybody in Viridian doing awe-inspiring work at both a local and national level.”