Associate Remembers 9/11 Through Community Service
After losing a family member in the September 11 attacks in New York City, Anné Marie “Kipper” Vomero-Battis decided to honor the memory of those lost by looking for opportunities to serve her community each anniversary.
Vomero-Battis has been involved with multiple nonprofit organizations for most of her life, stemming from charitable lessons learned at a young age.
“I try to do something positive on that day,” Vomero-Battis said. “Somebody made it ugly, but it doesn’t mean we have to walk in the ugliness.”
This year Vomero-Battis and the members of “Kipper’s Green Dream Team” spent Sept. 11 at the Harford Family House, a homeless shelter for families, landscaping and beautifying the playground. After a local landscaping firm volunteered a professional assessment, a group of 10 Dream Team members arrived and worked from 9 to 5 clearing the playground area and making it safe for use.
“We didn’t even drive away yet and the kids were on the playground, they were so excited,” Vomero-Battis said.
Still recovering from back-to-back surgeries, Vomero-Battis said she performed mostly a cheerleader role on the day of the project.
“I’m pretty much useless,” she said. “I’ve got a pretty big mouth and I can organize people.”
Kipper’s Green Dream Team is made up of Viridian Energy customers and Associates. Their work at the shelter was conducted independently from the company, but supports Viridian’s initiative for community service.
Vomero-Battis lives in Harford County, Maryland, and works as an independent Associate with Viridian. Vomero-Battis joined the company in July while on medical leave from her job at the Department of Defense, following open-heart surgery.
“I had time on my hands,” Vomero-Battis said.
After seeing the opportunities for both saving money and helping the environment, Vomero-Battis said it was a “no-brainer” to become an Associate. She immediately began pitching the company’s services to the nonprofit organizations she worked with, and the first to join was Harford Family House.
Vomero-Battis said the Harford Family House is located in neither the worst nor the best of areas, but that often homeless shelters are overlooked due to the seemingly affluent demographic in the county. Harford Family House, she said, is made up of approximately 20 housing units and works with families and single parents in a one-year program.
While the project at Harford Family House may be on the smaller side, Vomero-Battis often works with local NPOs to organize fundraisers for area homeless shelters that draw crowds of anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people. Vomero-Battis has done a lot of work for homeless shelters, and in the past she and her husband have sponsored families in programs similar to the Harford Family House.
“Homelessness doesn’t mean what it used to; it’s families now,” she said.
She also sees her work at Viridian as a way to help families who are struggling financially. Often, she said, the money they save on their monthly energy bill through Viridian’s services is just enough to make the difference.
“For a lot of these families that’s the connecter that makes ends meet,” she said.
Associates on a Crusade for Kindness
On September 25th, the Taskforce for Humanity Coalition kicked off the New Jersey Serves Campaign, which challenges citizens to perform random acts of kindness and make humanitarian consciousness a way of life.
The Taskforce for Humanity Coalition was founded in 2007 by Barbara Velazquez of Maplewood, N.J., and is part of the Spiritual Unity Network (SUN). Velazquez said the taskforce is made up of individuals and groups who share a vision of a better world.
“We can’t have a change unless people desire to make a change,” Velazquez said.
That desire is what her group tries to spread with their campaigns for environmental and social awareness, including programs like the acts of kindness initiative. Participants in New Jersey Serves are challenged to perform three acts of kindness each week, which can be anything from a simple hello and a smile to offering service to those around you.
“Look around you and see what’s needed, and do that,” Velazquez said.
One woman, Velazquez said, has taken to volunteering her time to pick up and throw away litter while others have mowed a neighbor’s lawn, or simply greeted the people they pass during the day.
“Our main goal is to promote service,” Velazquez said. “Kindness is part of that.”
In addition to her involvement with the taskforce, Velazquez, a New York City native who moved to New Jersey 28 years ago, works full time as a clinical psychologist.
Velazquez said she learned about Viridian through a number of different acquaintances, but the fundraising program was the deciding factor. Since the taskforce signed up as a fundraising entity in mid-September, five of the group’s board members have joined as customers and Velazquez expects the rest of the board to follow.
“To be able to personally help other people to have a smaller footprint was very important,” Velazquez said.
Velazquez said the taskforce is involved in planning an upcoming environmental awareness event, Maplewood Green Day, and representatives also have plans to meet the mayor and vice-mayor of Maplewood to discuss the organization of a citywide kindness initiative.
“We’re hoping this is something the town can get behind,” Velazquez said.
She said that Maplewood is a very forward-thinking community and hopes to grow the city campaign to countywide and even statewide kindness initiatives. Velazquez sees no end to her efforts: kindness is quick, contagious and good for your health.
“It begins to spread, possibly exponentially,” she said. “There’s such a wide range of things you can do.”
Viridian Executives Inspired by Voyage to the Amazon
Viridian will be traveling to Brazil in March 2011 as the first stop in our 7 Continents in 7 Years Program. Brazil is a perfect country to kick off the global arm of our Sustainability Initiative. As we learned more about the ecosystem, trauma and needs that face this beautiful area of the world, we knew it was the perfect destination to begin our quest to leave the world better than we found it. Read more to learn some of what we have found that inspires us to visit this beautiful country and make a difference.
The Amazon rainforest is home to the most diverse ecosystem on earth, as well as millions of indigenous people. It is under grave threat of being cleared and burned, primarily for cattle pastures and increasing soy production. Deforestation not only destroys biodiversity and displaces forest peoples but is also responsible for 75% of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions. The four biggest emitters of CO2 in the world are the U.S., China, Indonesia and Brazil, so deforestation in Brazil is having a major impact on the rest of the planet.
The forest plays a fundamental role in maintaining the balance in the global climate. Destroying the Amazon could bring about prolonged drought in a number of regions of Brazil and reduce the country’s agricultural productivity, leading to profound economic and social impacts. The elimination of deforestation in the Amazon is crucial to reducing Brazil’s dangerous emission contributions.
Sadly, this rapid and pervasive forest destruction is driven by a desire to clear land for cattle pasture—a short-term use for land that has been growing forests for centuries. Today, it is worth more to a logging company or a farmer to clear a rainforest than to let it stand. There is currently no economic value in saving the forest. Yet when it comes to stopping climate change, the value of the Earth's rainforests is beyond measure.
Viridian CEO Michael Fallquist, along with SVP Robert McFadden, traveled to Brazil this fall to witness the devastation first hand. They were accompanied by a local guide, who took them through some of the most impacted areas of the Amazon region. They saw a local man spraying the forest with kerosene closely followed by his young son who was torching the trees. As they stood in the middle of a forest that was literally being burned around them, the gravity of the situation began to sink in: “There are very few experiences that are truly life-changing and eye-opening. My experience in Brazil counts as one for me personally,” Fallquist said.
This is where Viridian comes in. Deforestation in Brazil presents the perfect opportunity for the Viridian Sustainability Initiative to not only have an impact through physical action, but also to bring awareness to the issue. Brazil 2011 will mark the beginning of our 7 Continents in 7 Years pledge and officially launch the global arm of our Sustainability Initiative. The voyage will bring a group of Viridian Associates and employees to the Amazon with the goal to repair a small portion of the damage that has been done. The group will replant trees in the areas that are at highest risk of creating long-lasting and irreparable damage to the surrounding ecosystem. Viridian will work with local groups to facilitate the project and also to ensure that the results withstand. Our impact will grow (literally) as the trees grow, and will serve as a reminder of the first seeds of our 7-year pledge.
Viridian Attends the Renewable Energy Markets Conference
Emily Bjorklund, Viridian’s resident Green-e liaison, recently represented Viridian at the 2010 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in the green capital of the country: Portland, Oregon. The REM conference brings together the entire Renewable Energy community including policy makers, generators, marketers and utilities. Viridian was invited through Green-e, the renewable energy certification program which endorses our Pure Green product. The event spanned three days and the packed program featured sessions on green marketing, renewable energy policy development and community action plans. Highlights included fascinating presentations from sustainability directors at major international corporations, meeting environmentally progressive community leaders, collaboration with like-minded organizations, and outstanding local food and wine.
Congratulations: You're on your way to the Dominican Republic!
These Associates really did sprint to the beach! It’s time for you guys to relax on the beautiful sands in the sunshine of Punta Cana. Three of the first 15 winners have now enrolled at least 8 new Associates, which means Viridian is paying for their airfare too! Congrats to all of you!
- Mark Scuderi, New Jersey - Airfare Winner!
- Anthony Ramella, New Jersey - Airfare Winner!
- John Pyonteck, New Jersey - Airfare Winner!
- Michael & Janet Pagano, New Jersey
- Phil DeAngelo, New Jersey
- Jonathan & Malu Greenberg, New Jersey
- Alan Waghelstein, Maryland
- David Alwais, New Jersey
- Juan Cruz, Maryland
- Randy Poulson, New Jersey
- Yosef Sapezhansky, New Jersey
- Jeff Shelton, Maryland
- Xiao Xuan Liu, Pennsylvania
- Sadri Gjonbalaj, New Jersey
- Shulamis Jenkelowitz, New Jersey
Why Give 10 and Get 10? It’s not just holiday cheer that prompted us to run this promotion. It’s also not because 10 is a nice round number. The idea behind it was twofold. First, with the excitement of opening up two new utilities in Pennsylvania I thought there needed to be a major incentive to grow there specifically. Bold and timely market entrance is vital to expand Viridian’s presence and leadership in Pennsylvania. My intent was to motivate associates in this area to enroll customers by giving them a sales hook: Huge Savings. Just to make sure our associates take advantage of the 10% rate discounts, we added the unlimited $10 per customer incentive. Our leadership council suggested that with no minimums and no limits, customers and Associates would be motivated to take action. The idea had such positive feedback from our leaders that we decided to extend it to every market in the field.
Second, two huge events just happened: PowerUP! 2010 and the monumental 100,000 customer milestone. We knew this could be an unprecedented opportunity to rally the entire field and harness the energy that was already organically circuiting the Associate network. So the second reason could be summarized as not only a gift to customers, Associates, and their sponsors but as a call to action. There has been no better time to sign up customers and grow your business. What are you waiting for?
Michael Fallquist, Viridian CEO
November 20th (this Sat!)
Delicious luncheon and launch event for this amazing program to help introduce women to Viridian
Open to all Associates and guests
Hosted by "Chief Operating Dreamer" and WOVEN founder Pattie Sinclair
Purchase your ticket (Only $22!) now!
GROW YOUR ORGANIZATION:
The Direct Selling Association estimates that 80% of network marketers in the United States are women. Come to this engaging networking luncheon to hear about WOVEN -- Women of Viridian Energy Network and Women of Viridian Embracing Nature -- an innovative and inspirational program that will help you effectively introduce women to Viridian Energy.
You'll be able to participate in great break-out sessions, be the first to see a new "Green Light Presentation" targeted specifically to women, network with your peers, hear about the new "Board of Dreamers" and more. Plus, you'll be automatically entered into a drawing to win fabulous prizes. The more guests you bring and members of your team you bring, the more chances you have to win!
Purchase your tickets for just $22 at http://woven-premiere-luncheon.ettend.com
See you there!
Sincerely, Patti Sinclair, WOVEN founder and Viridian Associate