Getting Involved

By Steve Hudson | September 28, 2010

In today's business climate, community involvement benefits everyone concerned — and one company which has taken such involvement to the next level is Rogers Group's Mid-Central Division, which serves Sumner, Robertson and Davidson counties in northern middle Tennessee. The division includes the company's Gallatin, Cross Plains, REOSTONE and Whites Creek quarry operations and asphalt plants as well as the company's corporate office, and the company's efforts recently earned it a 2006 Community Involvement Award from the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

The awards program, sponsored by Associated Construction Publications and Reed Construction Data, recognizes outstanding examples of community involvement on the part of companies involved in the asphalt pavement industry.

Rogers Group is no stranger to community involvement. Last year, in fact, the Mid-Central Division also received a Community Involvement Award.

"Rogers Group makes it a priority to have working relationships with representatives at the local, state and national levels, both one-on-one and through group efforts such as industry-organized fly-ins," notes Judy Bowling, communications coordinator and administrative assistant for Rogers Group's Mid-Central Division. "Through these relationships, we are able to educate the officials on issues that are important to our industry."

"In addition," she says, "our volunteerism and financial support of Forward Sumner, an economic development organization for Sumner County, has enabled us to assist local and state representatives that work through this organization for the betterment of the citizens of the community."

The company's Mid-Central Division also maintains active memberships in a variety of industry and professional organizations, including the Tennessee Road Builders Association, Tennessee Ready Mix Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, and many local chambers of commerce.

"But our number one commitment in our communities is to education," she says. "Company-wide, we have dozens of adopted schools where employees are volunteers, and the company donates materials and services as needed."

Those benefiting from the company's commitment to education include community organizations such as the Martha O'Bryan Center in Nashville, a Christian family resource center that focuses on breaking cycles of intergenerational poverty and dependence on government assistance through employment and education.

The company also provides a high level of support to local schools. For example, the company adopted Millersville Elementary, located about 20 miles north of Nashville, and has helped provide not only computers for teachers and classrooms but also materials and services to upgrade the school's play area.

"I have been acquainted with Rogers Group for several years," notes Olivia L. Isenberg, principal at Millersville Elementary. "They have always been supportive and involved in our schools." She adds, "Rogers Group epitomizes school community involvement, and we are grateful to have them working with us."

With the growth in this part of Tennessee, it is not unusual for new schools to be constructed close to a Rogers Group facility — and when that happens, the company sees it as an opportunity to further enhance its relations with local schools.

"Our community relations coordinator and sales manager will visit with any new schools that may be built close to one of our quarries to help educate the staff and students about our business," Bowling says, "and information will be sent home with the students to further educate the parents about our quarries and blasting."

Rogers' employees are also active in a range of other community activities. These range from support for organizations such as Children Are People (C.A.P), which assists at-risk children and their families, to active involvement in the recent Hawkins Family Extreme Home Makeover, which replaced a family's home after a tornado left a family member injured and the home in ruins.

To help spread the word on what it's doing, Rogers Group opens its doors to the communities it serves through an annual fall customer/neighbor fish fry event to say thank you for your business and friendship. In addition, Rogers Group's Public Relations and Communications Department recently instituted a Positive Press Release Campaign, with the goal of issuing at least one positive press release per week at one or more of the company's 65 locations in five states.

"These releases may cover industry awards, early completion of projects, local donations or charity involvement, or new locations, among other things," Bowling says.

Indeed, a key part of the company's overall community involvement program involves putting its people and resources where they are needed.

"We are always visible with volunteers and loaned equipment such as our company tents and grills at festivals, parades, school events, and so on," Bowling says. "Our support through volunteers and donations touches schools, youth sports, hospitals, and fire and police departments."

The bottom line, she says, is that Roger Group and its employees are dedicated to being "leaders in making our communities a great place to live and raise our families."