Mazda believes in giving back to the communities it’s a part of. That’s why, for the past four years, Mazda’s Drive for Good program has given employees the opportunity to lend their time and talents, and volunteer for a cause in their communities.
For every test drive of a new Mazda vehicle, Mazda employees have pledged to do one hour of charitable community service—and since the program began in 2013, Mazda has raised more than 260,000 hours.
Some of Mazda’s top volunteers from across the nation weighed in on why Mazda’s Drive for Good program and giving back to the community are important.
“I think the Mazda Drive for Good program is a great inspiration for people to give back to their community,” said Brad Bastien, district service manager, Southeast region. Brad began volunteering when his son started playing T-ball 12 years ago, and he is now active in his Homeowner’s Association. “I am sure it influenced me to do more than I might have. In all I think that volunteering in your community makes for a better community and makes you a better person.”
John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports, grew up with a family who instilled in him the importance of giving back to his community and being involved. “The Mazda Drive for Good reinforces, for me, what I have always felt about the Mazda brand,” he said. “Mazda is a family. Not only internally in this the case, but externally. I have felt this ‘family feel’ since I was introduced to the Mazda brand when I was 9 years old. And the Mazda Drive for Good has done terrific work for so many organizations and people since it was established.”
“Being supportive of those in need has been a passion of mind for well over 20 years,” said Charles Cappelli, district sales manager, Northeast region. “Everyone has potential to succeed in life but for some reason are blind to what it may be. Opening their eyes to see their potential has countless rewards and pay forward is one of them.”
“To me, the old sayings ring true,” said Michael Robinson, logistics strategy manager. “The more you give, the more you receive. You want a stronger team, a stronger community, a stronger life, then give. By giving your time, labor, skills, money, love, you are investing towards the ‘Drive for Good’ slogan Mazda proudly promotes.”
“The thing that drives me to volunteer is the fact that I have been blessed with good family, good health, good friends and a good job and company to work for and want to help others that may not have the same good fortune,” said Greg Smith, district sales manager, Southeast region. He volunteers at his church and with Big Brother, Big Sister. “Giving back just seems like the right thing to do and is so rewarding and fulfilling personally.”
“The Drive for Good program represents Mazda’s commitment to the communities that we are a part of,” said Tim Manning, vice president of parts operations, quality and safety & tech services. “The Drive for Good program effectively reminds us of our responsibilities to our community and is a rallying cry for all of us to seek out ways to give back.”
For the past 40 years, the OneOC Spirit of Volunteerism Awards has recognized and celebrated the community involvement of individual volunteers, groups and corporations in Orange County, California.
At this year’s event on April 24, several Mazda employees were honored for their contribution to the local community. Top corporate employee volunteers, including Barry Brittingham, Jon Dang, Mark Gabelsberg, Michael Garant and Flora Perera have each spent significant time and effort giving back to their community in the spirit of Mazda’s Drive for Good program.
“A corporate culture of giving will boost the morale of its employees and will benefit the company,” said Perera, product accounting manager. “When I see the company I work for making an enormous effort to promote volunteerism I automatically want to do more.”
“Mazda provides the time, resources, and support to get out and volunteer. I am able to volunteer on a regular cadence as well as react to urgent needs in the community,” said Brittingham, manager, business management and dealer development. “Knowing that Mazda encourages its employees to give back allows me to give additional time to volunteering without fear of hurting my career.”
“I feel that it’s very important for companies to have programs like Mazda Drive for Good because it shows how much a company cares, not only from the perspective of the consumers, but also from the employees are that are involved,” said Dang, process manager, PDC Compliance.