May 22nd, 2013
By Dr. Kevin Nietzer, DMD, West Hawaii Community Health Center
“A child’s smile is one of life’s greatest blessings.” – Unknown Author
As a dentist, I can’t agree more. One of my favorite things about my job is seeing a child smile up at me after a dental checkup. And what’s most rewarding is seeing the change from when a very young child is nervous coming to my office to when she’s a little older and comes back in, hops into the chair, and shares her joy with me with a big, toothy grin.
For the past two years, I have been fortunate enough to participate in Xerox’s Making Smiles Brighter Dental Outreach Initiative when it has come to Hawaii. The educational program, which launched in 2004 and travels around the country, has one main goal: promote fundamental improvements in the dental health status of at-risk and underserved children. Children from low-income families are less likely to see a dentist regularly and will suffer from twice as many cavities as their peers. Since its inception, the Making Smiles Brighter dental outreach initiative has screened more than 37,000 children in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
Dental problems are also one of the most frequently cited reasons for school absences. Making Smiles Brighter usually takes place at an elementary school, and it starts with a presentation using a video and a giant set of teeth and a toothbrush to demonstrate proper brushing techniques. We then give the children on-site dental screenings to determine their dental needs. For some, these screenings are their first check-up ever. I’ve found that some of them have been in pain for a long time and require immediate attention. Our goal is to provide the children and their caregivers with recommendations for improving the dental health of these kids.
This year, the Making Smiles Brighter program brought me, another dentist and two dental hygienists from West Hawaii Community Health Center to Kahakai and Kealakehe elementary schools in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. We volunteered our time to educate and perform dental check-ups on approximately 1,600 Kindergarten through 5th grade students in two days.
Programs like Xerox’s Making Smiles Brighter initiative helps kids realize that the dentist office is not a scary place to go. It’s a great feeling for dentists when children finally see that we are here to help them – and that makes us smile.
Making Smiles Brighter went to Montana in April and educated and screened approximately 300 kids, and it will be making stops in California, Connecticut, New Mexico and Wyoming later this year. Learn more at www.facebook.com/makingsmilesbrighter.
May 17th, 2013
By Connie Harvey, COO, Commercial Services, Xerox
“Hero” is a pretty big word to use lightly. When I hear it, I think of our military members freely sacrificing to keep us safe. Or Charles Lindbergh or Neil Armstrong. And you can’t forget about political heroes like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.
But those folks are few and far between. I believe it’s also the “everyday heroes” that help make a difference in our world today. People who go the extra mile to make a difference – Liberty Mutual showcases this idea nicely in their “Pay it Forward” series of commercials.
Recently I was the chair of the American Red Cross Heroes Fundraising Campaign for a local chapter in Kentucky and we met some amazing people along the way – everyday heroes right here at Xerox.
Dwan McKnight has been in recovery for nearly six years. He’s not proud of his past, but knows by sharing it with others he is helping prevent others from following in his footsteps. He rarely turns down an opportunity to speak about his struggles, speaking to 10-12 groups a year about his choices and problems they caused.
For the last five years, Janet Francis has volunteered at the food bank at her church; serving meals every Tuesday to about 50 people a week. They share a meal, join in prayer and discuss their faith. That’s about 12,000 people she’s helped over the last five years.
Stephanie Roberts is never one to run away from problems – she runs toward them, or at least runs for the cause. She’s run in about 25-30 road races over the last three years. She picks races that fund causes she supports. The old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes has never been truer than for Stephanie.
As part of the fundraiser, the Red Cross calls for nominees for a local “Hero of the Year” award. We nominated Dwan, Janet and Stephanie for their accomplishments.
With more than 140,000 Xerox people around the world, I know we have thousands more people and stories just like this. It’s the people that make the difference in our company. It’s our people that are allowing others to have a more normal life that we all take for granted. Dwan, Janet and Stephanie have been added to my list of heroes.
Connie Harvey is an engineer by training and loves to travel. She’s visited six of the seven continents, but has no plans to visit the seventh.
May 1st, 2013
By John Lanphere, manager, Business Transformation, Xerox
John Lanphere is one of five Xerox employees granted a fully-paid leave of absence this year through the Xerox Social Service Leave program. He is currently in his fifth month of the program, working with Save The Children in Westport, CT, and will continue through December 2013.
Pi is famously calculated to trillions of digits—but how many of them do we really, really need? Apparently, just 39 will do.
I was watching a recent video which suggested that taking Pi to 39 digits allows you to measure the circumference of the observable universe to within the width of a single hydrogen atom. Sure, you could use more digits, but it’s not really worth the effort. And that means that on a day-to-day basis, you can ignore most of those pesky digits.
And going one step further, using 3.1 digits gets you to a 95 percent confidence interval.
But what exactly does this have to do with my social service leave experience? Great question.
I was talking to a colleague at Xerox recently and sharing my reflection that even when we think we have a streamlined approach, it still needs to be trimmed way down when applied here at Save The Children. A smaller organization can’t tolerate waste when trying to remove waste. There’s no spare capacity. The phones still ring. Someone has to answer them. When coming to a (much) smaller organization, it is obvious there needs to be a lighter weight approach. I’ve learned that often 20 percent of the approach is capable of getting 80 percent of the results. More lean. Less precision. Same great taste. Less filling.
And once you realize that, the next obvious question is, “Why isn’t that approach good enough all of the time?” Well, sometimes ‘close’ is good enough. Sometimes, of course, it isn’t. The trick is to be aware of the opportunity to streamline and decide what you need.
I find myself wondering how often I’ve fallen into the trap of, “That’s just the way it’s done,” and not stopping to ask myself, “How much do I really need?” At least for now, I know I’ll be asking myself this question a lot more often.
Here at Save The Children I have the ability to take some of the things I’ve learned during my career at Xerox and really make a difference in the community. It’s an extremely rewarding experience and I look forward to seeing how else I can contribute.
Follow the rest of John’s Social Service Leave experience on his personal blog: http://steppingoutsocial.blogspot.com/
April 16th, 2013
By Alex Charles, Corporate Public Relations, Xerox
If money were no object, what would you do with your free time?
For five Xerox employees, the answer is easy—give back. Through Xerox’s Social Service Leave program, five employees have received a fully paid leave of absence to volunteer for local non-profit organizations in their communities.
This year’s class of Social Service Leave participants will help a varied group of organizations and causes which include: Warrior Weekend Program, Rotary Club University Area Foundation, Save the Children, the Venice Family Clinic and the St. Joseph Food Program.
Xerox’s Social Service Leave program benefits the organizations and causes served as well as the company itself.
As the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management, our collective expertise is a boon to many of the causes and nonprofit organizations our employees hold dear. And because our employees are given the opportunity to give back to their local communities, many employees return feeling refreshed and re-energized.
I’ve even heard many former Social Service Leave participants say that the experience changes your life. Irene Hickey, who will be working with the Rotary Club during her leave to provide low cost, fully furnished housing to firefighters (and their families); explained what her leave has meant to her:
“This social service leave gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue a dream of helping others. My life has changed as a result of it. The Xerox Foundation truly made my dream come true by affording me this opportunity. For that, I shall remain always grateful.”
The Social Service Leave program reinforces the promise that our employees work for a company that understands its responsibility to the community at large. And because Xerox recruits talented individuals who share its understanding of social responsibility, the Social Service Leave marries two of the company’s core values; being a good corporate citizen and valuing our employees.
Congratulations to this year’s class on your selection. As an employee of the company you represent, we’re grateful for your example of service and focus on public good.
December 13th, 2012
By Brian Lincoln, senior product line manager, DocuShare Business Unit, Xerox
…12 tips to achieve sustainability!
With the holiday season upon us, consider these 12 simple ways to save paper, energy, time and money, and start the New Year off with a reduced carbon footprint:
- Replace stand-alone printers with multifunction devices that do it all. MFPs boost productivity, free up precious office space and simplify everyday work tasks.
- Use double-sided printing. It reduces paper consumption and can cut costs by half.
- Recycle the paper you use – and use recycled paper. Install recycling bins throughout the office to make recycling easier for employees.
- Implement an electronic content management (ECM) system and say goodbye to filing cabinets and paper cuts! ECM systems allow you to manage all of your paper-based processes digitally and keep your records secure.
- To save on paper, consider scanning documents and sending them via email, instead of faxing.
- When working on-the-go, print only what you need by using a mobile print solution.
- Use Energy Star labeled devices and be sure the Energy Star features are enabled.
- Rethink your ink. Switch to a solid ink multifunction device. Solid ink generates up to 90% less waste than comparable laser printers. And it’s less messy too!
- Return print/copy cartridges and supplies for recycling. Many companies will provide you with a box and pre-paid postage label.
- Find opportunities to reduce your environmental impact by using Xerox’s online sustainability calculator.
- Consider holding a “green up your office contest” to encourage employees to recycle and keep sustainability top of mind. It’s amazing what a little competition can do to inspire people!
- Implement a managed print services strategy to assess and streamline your current office print infrastructure and remove devices that are using power, but are underutilized by staff.
Now tell us… how will you go green in 2013?
Brian has spent more than 14 years working in content management. When he’s not busy saving the environment, he’s cheering on his alma mater, California State University, Sacramento.
October 2nd, 2012
By Christa Carone, Chief Marketing Officer, Xerox
I remember my first mentor. Karen Rohr was my first boss at my first job out of college. We worked for the Visiting Nurse Service in Rochester, N.Y., and Karen was an amazing person who guided me more than I realized at the time. The word “mentor” was never uttered between us, but she truly was and she truly did.
I’ve had many mentors since, and I have mentors today. Time to pay it forward.
For several years, Xerox has participated in the Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and FORTUNE magazine. It gives professional women from developing countries a first-hand look at how U.S. businesses operate. After serving as a mentor in the program, CEO Ursula Burns asked me if I wanted to take an active role with these remarkable women, many of whom have an interest in marketing. It was an easy yes — but I thought our mentees would be better served with a two-for-the-price-of-one approach, so I recruited Shelley Diamond, a managing partner at Young and Rubicam, to help broaden the experience we’d give our mentees. (Y&R happens to be Xerox’s advertising agency of record. No coincidence there!)
Now it’s time to meet Precious Simba. A rising manager for a major grocery retailer in Zimbabwe, Precious was hand-selected by the U.S. Embassy to participate in the mentoring program, and she came to the United States (her first visit to America) to spend the month of May with us in 2011.
Shelley and I packed her schedule with meetings of just about every senior manager at Xerox and Y&R. We introduced her to contacts in her industry, gave her behind-the-scenes tours of amazing U.S. retailers (thank you, Wegmans) and exposed her to the nuances of running local, national and global businesses.
She also saw the strong influence women have in our country — in business, in government, in education and, of course, in raising families. She saw opportunity: equal opportunity. After a few weeks, Precious returned to her job in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and Shelley and I stayed in touch through regular conference calls. Like a proud sister, I was thrilled when Precious told us that a major global retailer offered her a fabulous management position to help expand their operations in Africa.
But I was surprised when she turned them down. And surprised yet again when she left her original job. Then she announced that she had founded The Girls Development Initiative, a non-government organization that helps young girls unlock their potential for the good of their communities and their country. The program is built around a curriculum that showcases how education, hard work and opportunity can lead to productive futures for young women throughout Zimbabwe.
And now Precious is back in the U.S. to pick up the Goldman Sachs-Fortune Global Women Leaders Award. It is bestowed upon women who participate in the Fortune/U.S. State Department Mentoring Partnership, and have applied what they learned from their experience to improve their society back at home. Precious is one of three winners (among dozens who applied) and she receives a financial contribution that will help advance her program even further. The award will be presented at the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women summit today, where our own Ursula Burns will be a featured speaker.
I believe Precious has paid it forward – and then some. As a mentor, I am proud. As a mentee, I am inspired.
Curious marketer & communicator on the hunt for cut through creative… Road warrior and marathon runner, follow me on Twitter @ChristaCarone
September 28th, 2012
By, Cecile Thirion, marketing director, Transportation Central and Local Government, Xerox Services
Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t been born in a developed country. Where would I be today? I asked myself this question at the beginning of the year when I decided to volunteer as a professional mentor for the TechWomen initiative.
The TechWomen mentorship program is an initiative of the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs led by Secretary Hilary Clinton. This fall for the second time in two years, the program matched 42 emerging women leaders in technology from the Middle East and North Africa with leading tech women in Silicon Valley.
TechWomen empowers women and girls through technology. It connects and supports the next generation of women in technology sectors by providing the access and opportunity needed to pursue careers in technology.
Xerox supports Science and Technology Education Programs. I am thrilled and honored to have been selected as a TechWomen professional mentor and to have been involved in this program for several weeks. With a 50-year heritage of developing and nurturing a diverse work environment, Xerox values unique and different views and ideas that come from diversity.
Investing in the leaders of tomorrow is a passionate and enriching journey. Through our community relations programs, our people and the Xerox Foundation, we’re helping to develop the next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors and leaders.
Although my workdays are packed with multiple projects and responsibilities, when I see the enthusiasm from these young women from the Middle East and North Africa, I am inspired to have contributed and given my time in September. These emerging leaders are so energized about technology and believe in the power of innovative technologies to transform our world.
Embrace emerging leaders in technology from unexpected places and get out of the office (excellent Harvard Business Review blog post on mentoring), you won’t regret it!
Cecile has lived in several continents and enjoys multicultural environments, she has been tweeting on theTechWomen mentorship program @CecileSF #TechWomen #tw2012.