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Chairman's Newsletter: May 2020

Following each board meeting, WWT Chairman Dave Steward shares his thoughts on the business and what is inspiring him.

May 5, 2020 6 minute read
Dave Steward
Dave Steward

Dear WWT Family and Friends,

I hope this newsletter finds you and your families doing well. 

Perhaps no other time in modern history has service to others been more needed. In thinking of serving others, I am reminded of this passage from scripture: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

I believe this passage exemplifies the hearts and actions of so many people around the globe caring for each other throughout this pandemic. Caring for others continues to strengthen and inspire me on a daily basis and sparked the theme of this newsletter — service.

I am witnessing tremendous acts of service being carried out by our WWT Family members!  

 

Healthcare workers thank WWT for coordinating meals.
Healthcare workers thank WWT for coordinating meals.
Steve and Julie Council
Steve & Julie Council

For example, Julie and Steve Council helped to provide groceries to thousands of people in need by volunteering at this past week’s food distribution coordinated by The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.  In another effort, WWT coordinated the provisioning of almost 1,300 meals to healthcare workers within the St. Louis region.

In partnership with one of our nation’s largest healthcare providers, our Professional Services team was instrumental in deploying thermal cameras to 40 hospitals nationwide in order to keep patients, clinicians and staff safe. In this extraordinary effort, 160 thermal cameras were installed across four regions nationwide in just 11 days! The provider’s senior vice president said, “There were 117 team members involved in this initiative and this needed to happen quickly with precision. Rarely am I at a loss for words, but what these teams accomplished takes my breath away, THANK YOU.”

These are just a few examples of service, but I am aware of many more. Thank you to everyone who is selflessly dedicating their time and effort to go above and beyond to serve our citizens in need!

As you heard from WWT VP of Global Human Resources Ann Marr, we recently launched the Global Community Impact program, in which WWT will match donations to an accredited not-for-profit organization providing COVID-19 relief. Please see this link for more details. And be on the lookout for stories about how your co-workers are giving back, or tell your own story about how you are caring for those in need to help inspire others.

Small businesses are in dire need of service to keep their businesses operating. I have personally participated in a few White House briefings to learn more about the CARES Act and COVID-19-related resources. But more importantly, these briefings were a good way to help ensure our most vulnerable communities receive these resources. 

I would like to highlight the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), a WWT partner and a proven platform to enable resources for the minority business community

NMSDC advances business opportunities for certified minority business enterprises and connects them to corporate members. WWT has been certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) through the NMSDC since 1995. 

Minority businesses are critical to maintaining and enhancing the nation's corporate and government supply chains as well as being vital for job creation and providing health benefits for their employees. It is therefore important that we enable platforms, such as the NMSDC, to help these firms survive during this crisis. This is critical to improve our economic and overall health for underserved minority groups. 

Despite the best efforts of the Small Business Association (SBA) and the U.S. Treasury Department, minority firms are still having difficulty getting access to the stimulus funds.

To that end, WWT has been assisting NMSDC to garner the support needed for their lending program to provide stimulus funds and other SBA loans to the minority businesses that need them the most. 

To learn more about how WWT serves our community and businesses, check out the Corporate Social Responsibility Annual Report and Community Outreach Summary.

One of the WWT BBT Bible study groups. Members are (clockwise): Sara Sutton, Kantrell Lee (former WWT employee), Ryan Wiedwilt, Tiona Harris, Lee Belt, Gabe Bontrager and Matt Olejarczyk (group leader).

Another effective way to serve is through prayer. As many as 1,000 of you have participated in the WWT Prayer Calls hosted every other Wednesday. 

During our last call, we were extremely honored to have Bishop T.D. Jakes as a guest speaker. Bishop Jakes shared how during this time of isolation, we may feel like Elijah did in 1 Kings 19:9, when he was alone in a cave. The message stressed how this time provides an opportunity for us to “strengthen our core" and be still to listen to “God’s whispers” guiding us to find and live out our purpose in life. I want to personally thank Bishop T.D. Jakes and the entire WWT team, especially Rick Pina, Craig Corbin and Michele Stallmann, who make these calls possible and a blessing for so many. If you missed it, please click here to hear last week’s prayer call

For those who have expressed need for prayer through prayer@wwt.com, please know our prayer team is vigilantly praying for all of your needs. God bless you and keep them coming!

As I typically do following each board meeting, I would like to share a special Q&A with WWT Board Advisor Brandon Mann. In this interview, Brandon discusses the role of values in business success, what has him excited about WWT and what the board is talking about regarding COVID-19. 

The Board expressed their appreciation for the solid and compassionate approach the WWT Executive Management team has taken to protect our employees and communicate our top priority for their health and safety. The WWT Board is very grateful for the long hours and thoughtful planning and execution by our management team — and their willingness to lead as servants through this crisis.

I’d like to leave you with the April board meeting devotion, which focuses on defeating our invisible enemy. To read the entire devotion and opening prayer, please click here. We hear a lot about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) these days. Let us not forget how important it is utilize spiritual PPE — also known as the full armor of God!

May God continue to abundantly bless and protect you and your precious families.

God bless, 

Dave

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