A Decade of Service
April 17, 2015 – Small Business Growth Alliance (SBGA) Team Member Suzanne Dowe Honored at Spirit of Volunteerism Awards as Longest Running SBGA Volunteer
This April, the Small Business Growth Alliance (SBGA) honored Suzanne Dowe as an Outstanding Community Volunteer at the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards. With 10 years of service, Suzanne was the original volunteer who began the team’s annual holiday giving program with a gift drive to troops in Afghanistan.
“As the daughter of a Naval Aviator, I wanted to ensure that every service person in Afghanistan knew that we appreciated their efforts and wanted to support them in whatever manner we could,” Suzanne said. “I wanted to make sure all servicemen and women were able to experience the great joy of receiving a small token of thanks, just like my dad did when he received the monthly boxes my family sent him as a child.”
The gift drive to troops in Afghanistan shipped over 40 boxes of items overseas to support 300 of the troops serving our country. Suzanne’s plans of corporate giving did not end there, however. Since her first event, Suzanne has led volunteer efforts on major projects including holiday gift drives for the Orangewood Children’s Center, Spark of Love Toy Drive, Camp Pendleton Marine Base, and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children, as well as backpack and school supply drives for local Boys and Girls Clubs. By the time she was recruited to the SBGA Volunteer Leadership Committee as a senior advisor, Suzanne had made a difference in the lives of over 1,200 Southern Californian children.
“From my earliest days in the company, Suzanne stuck out as one of the first to step forward and volunteer,” Nathan Jurczyk, Vice President of SBGA and Co-Chair of this year’s Spirit of Volunteerism Awards, shared. “She brought forth event ideas and never lost sight of the importance of ensuring they were fun for the entire family. The work she has done for the community is great, and we’re proud to honor her for it.”
Suzanne also led the SBGA Volunteer Leadership Committee’s first volunteer event, bringing SBGA volunteers to the beach where they removed 30 buckets of trash in conjunction with the SurfRider Foundation in 2014. In 2015, Suzanne led the SBGA volunteer team back to the Orange County Food Bank, where they packed a record 2,200 boxes of food items for low income seniors in need. Always looking to make sure everyone can attend a volunteer event, Suzanne has even taken residence as the team’s child care leader, supervising and entertaining children too young to participate in volunteer opportunities, a small detail that has increased participation from 10%-20%.
When asked why volunteering was important to her, Suzanne said, “no matter where we are in our life, there are always others who are less fortunate then ourselves. Volunteering is my small way of being there to help others and let them know they’re cared for – even if we don’t personally know them.”
Suzanne is SBGA’s volunteer with the longest running commitment to community service efforts with 100% participation in every event that’s been held since 2005. Suzanne was honored on April 14th at the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards as an Outstanding Community Volunteer.