Shared commitment to community wellness ensures a win-win for both individuals and companies.
‘Tis the season for festivities and year-end reflection, where a spirit of generosity and a collective sense of compassion and kindness tend to take center stage, inspiring many of us to do better next year. Now, envision the impact if we could sustain that spirit of generosity and compassion year-round.
In this spirit, it is our honor to share Altix Partner and Senior Advisor Lucy Davila’s story of unwavering commitment to making her community a better place far beyond the holiday season.
Lucy, what initially motivated you to start volunteering with Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio (CCSWO), and how has your role evolved over the years?
When I moved to the Cincinnati area 20 years ago, I joined a group from my church to assist teachers with English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) adult classes. Since Spanish was my first language in Puerto Rico, I thought I could relate to the students. I was amazed by the number of languages represented in the class and more importantly, I was truly moved by everyone’s desire to contribute to the community despite the roadblocks they faced.
Years later, I volunteered with Su Casa Hispanic Center, one of the ten programs CCSWO offers. In learning about the agency, I discovered that their Refugee Resettlement Services program also included ESOL classes and that their community reach was much broader.
Three years ago, I joined their Board of Directors. Last year, CCSWO reached over 17,000 people. Their services also include Food for all, Mental Health, Family Development, Immigration Legal, Caregiver Assistance, Senior Companion, and Foster Grandparents.
Could you share a particularly impactful moment or experience during your time working with Catholic Charities that solidified your commitment to the cause?
I led a focus group for past clients of Su Casa Hispanic Center. Each of them walked me through the services they used and how they changed their lives, from job placement to mental health services, the stories were endless. For, one of them, a single Dad, it was Vacaciones Utiles, a summer program for low-income Hispanic children. Thanks to that program, the Dad was able to provide for his family, while his kids received summer education. His kids have grown, and they now volunteer in the camp. Think about the empowerment a program like this provides to the entire family and the long-lasting community impact it creates!
How do you believe the initiatives and programs offered align with the evolving needs of the community? Could you elaborate on the challenges you have observed, and the solutions implemented through these programs?
CCSWO, as a community-facing organization, feels the impact of economic, social, and political changes in our community first-hand. One example is the impact of inflation on food security! The agency is seeing a considerable increase in food pantry clients.
Another example is the changing demographics of our city resulting from the increased number of refugees. The agency has experienced an increased demand for language and settlement services and the staff works tirelessly to adapt to these changes. But in the end it’s through the generosity of donors and volunteers that these programs help address some of these community issues.
You have a remarkable professional background, having worked for companies like P&G and consulting for many others. How did your career in the corporate world influence your decision to dedicate your time to nonprofit work?
Thank you! I was lucky to work for P&G early in my career. P&G is a global company, but it also has a strong presence in our city, and it is a company that takes pride in being a good corporate citizen.
P&G partners with United Way, and as a P&G employee, I participated in their annual campaigns. The Su Casa Hispanic Center was one of the nonprofit partners for United Way, and this is how I connected initially to volunteer with their Adopt a Family program. Those early years in the corporate world allowed me to connect with nonprofits through volunteerism but also gave me a sense of responsibility for community work.
In your professional experience, have you observed tangible positive impacts for corporations that actively engage with nonprofit organizations?
Absolutely! Corporate engagement with nonprofits is a wonderful way to enable corporate growth. Corporations flourish when their communities are healthy, and nonprofits resolve problems that hold back growth. There are multiple benefits of engaging with nonprofits, like access to a dependable and engaged workforce, having a strong local network of suppliers, access to research, and increased purchasing power for services and products.
The evolving diversity in our cities is a crucial aspect. Embracing diversity is not only an ethical responsibility but also strategically advantageous for businesses. A diverse workforce enables the creation of products and services tailored to a varied population and facilitates effective communication with clients, suppliers, and consumers. This commitment to diversity not only aligns with corporate responsibility goals but also contributes directly to the city’s economic growth, making it imperative for the survival and success of businesses as they serve and reflect the increasingly diverse communities they operate in. The intersection of corporate social responsibility and community development holds the potential to create a sustainable and inclusive future by leveraging intelligence, resources, and collaboration to address issues affecting the most vulnerable and build healthier communities where businesses can thrive.”
Effective corporate support for communities involves leadership commitment to responsibility goals, strategic partnerships with the public sector or local nonprofits, collaborative sessions to identify synergies, and a dedicated budget. For instance, through collaborative efforts, manufacturing companies have provided job placements, language translation services, volunteer programs, and sponsored education initiatives.
The message for professionals is to volunteer, and for corporations, it’s about building partnerships with nonprofits to integrate community support into their operations.
Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio serves and empowers people through God’s love in their times of vulnerability. We do so through a full range of local services that engage the community in building solidarity. Their mission is enabled by the generosity of donors and volunteers. Together, they serve and bring hope to more than 15,000 people each year in Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Warren, Brown, Adams, Highland, Clinton, Champaign, Logan & Clark Counties.
ABOUT LUCY DAVILA
Lucy is a Senior Consultant with 25+ years of leadership experience leading supply chain redesign, expansion and productivity projects for Procter & Gamble, Coty, and multiple SMEs.
Lucy’s experience across sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, and business planning for multinational industry leaders allows her to quickly understand the interdependencies inside the firm and opportunities with external partners. Lucy works collaboratively to implement a mix of proven tools and innovative supply chain solutions tailored to serve the particularities of the business needs.
Lucy is a Black Belt, Six Sigma certified. She holds an MBA in Health Care Management from the University of Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, and numerous professional certifications and awards.