Visiting the headquarters of ESIT Advanced Solutions Inc. at Vancouver Island Technology Park, it’s quickly apparent that the company values work-life balance.
“In today’s busy and fast-paced world, we spend a tremendous amount of our lifetime at work where we establish social networks through our peers, partners and clients,” says Serge Bourdage, Vice President & Account General Manager.
Recently honoured with a Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award, ESIT Advanced Solutions offers their employees opportunities to engage outside of their day-to-day responsibilities. One of the ways they focus on employee wellness is by annually participating in the United Way Greater Victoria Workplace Campaign.
“As a local company, employing approximately 500 diverse employees, we feel a social and moral responsibility to give back to the community,” says Bourdage. “Our campaign notoriety is one of the things that attract a lot of talented people to us.”
“When we run our campaign, we really focus on the ‘why’—the purpose. We want to impact lives and families,” says Bourdage. “There may come a day when you or someone you know is in crisis. By understanding how United Way can help, and sharing what services its network offers, you can really make a positive impact on someone’s life and well-being.”
As their Employee Campaign Chair, Charlynne Gustafson is driven to help the community and its most vulnerable people—much like she and her family have needed support in the past. “We want to contribute to long lasting solutions that will continue to support the people in our community when they need it most,” says Gustafson. As a BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU) Shop Steward and Member-at-Large for the Local 1201 Executive, she also sees the value in collaborating towards a common goal. “We see greater interaction between staff from different areas of the company, as well as increased positivity in our office culture during a time of year when workloads can be heavy.”
Known for their creativity, their campaign committee raises the bar every year with interactive activities—from dunk tanks and hamster ball races, to Mario Kart tournaments and “dress up your leader” competitions—to create playful opportunities for participation.
Equally important to their fundraising efforts, is their dedication to offering their time and helping hands to the community by volunteering through United Way’s Days of Caring.
Thanks to their hard work, ESIT Advanced Solutions with BCGEU 1201 previously won “Outstanding Campaign Committee” at the United Way Greater Victoria Spirit Awards. They were also inducted last year into the Million Dollar Club, which recognizes organizations that have raised $1 million for United Way’s local network of services.
“United Way Greater Victoria is grateful for long standing partners like ESIT Advanced Solutions who are committed to making a difference in the community,” says Patricia Jelinski, United Way Greater Victoria President & CEO. “Their dedication and energy is truly inspiring.”
For Bourdage, the reason to give back is simple—it feels good. “We spend a lot of time talking to our teams about where the contributions go locally. I think it reminds people that we are all part of something bigger, and that it’s not just about coming to work and completing your daily tasks. Imagine the impact we can make if every one of us were to get involved with United Way in some capacity—that is the ultimate success.”
You can change someone’s life by donating to United Way’s community campaign. Pledges and donations are accepted at workplaces, United Way’s office at 201 – 633 Courtney Street, via phone 250-385-6708 or online. For information on how to start a workplace campaign, please contact Hazel Braithwaite, Director of Community Campaign at 250-220-8947 or firstname.lastname@example.org.