April 8, 2016
At Mainspring Wealth Advisors, employees’ favorite days are the days when they volunteer. Mainspring is a financial services company whose team members focus on financial planning for their clients – helping them realize their financial goals, such as planning for retirement, saving for college, estate planning, or any other target. And while it is building financial equity for its clients, it is also helping to build emotional equity for its employees.
When Mainspring was set up three years ago, the leadership team made a conscious decision to give its people opportunities to get involved in the community. However, when they looked online to find organizations where they could volunteer, they realized it was not easy to know which were doing good work. That is when Kevin Skogen, the CEO of Mainspring, reached out to Stephanie Cherrington, executive director at Eastside Pathways, whom he knew personally.
"We realized that we had to get connected to the right people to tell us where the needs were. And Eastside Pathways helped us figure that out. Through conversations with the Eastside Pathways team, we became more aware of where the gaps are and what the kids in our community need."
Kevin is pleased and proud of how his people have stepped up to volunteer. Last year they did 475 hours of volunteering. “Our people now rally around and support children. They’ve grown closer because we celebrate each person’s passion and show interest in their charity. It is where we have seen a measurable impact.” Recently they supported March of Dimes at a colleague’s request and Eastside Pathways helped them connect with Youth Eastside Services (YES) and Kindering, where they did some activities during the Christmas season.
Mainspring became an Eastside Pathways partner as Kevin learned more about the organization and its work. What resonated with him was the collective impact model followed by the organization: “My understanding of collective impact is that it is a group of people or organizations that understand one goal, one vision and are working together to get there. And if we work together, the results of our efforts are going to be better than if we work independently." It was the framework that appealed to him.
"It seemed a better way of doing things and Eastside Pathways has shown that people are working together now on tasks better than they have done in the past.” He has, he acknowledged, been doing something similar at Mainspring by connecting his clients with resources that they needed such as CPAs and estate attorneys.
Mainspring, represented by Kevin, serves as a member of the Partner Leadership Committee, which functions as the decision-making and accountability body for the Eastside Pathways Partnership. Mainspring is also part of the business engagement work group, where they are currently assessing the community needs and trying to figure out how to engage with local businesses and get them involved. “We don’t necessarily have all the answers. We want to make sure that whatever we are doing is sustainable. Hopefully, we can gain some momentum and make some impact.” An area that he feels is worth exploring is developing and supporting internships, which he believes are an important learning experience for students as they graduate from school.
He would like to see more Mainspring staff become engaged with the Eastside Pathways; currently, Tyrel Lacey and Kristen Lomax serve with him in the business engagement work group. “I would love to help bridge awareness between the business community and the school community and how we can get the kids integrated and transitioned better.”
As a result of the meaningful partnership that has developed between Mainspring and Eastside Pathways, Kevin would like to talk to more people about the impact that Eastside Pathways is making within the community and hopefully motivate them to be more involved and support the community.
Article based on an interview with Kevin Skogen and written by Sujata Agrawal. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor March of Dimes, Youth Eastside Services, Kindering, or Eastside Pathways.