A Q&A with HAWC Annual Corporate Partner Michael Newhall of Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
Michael Newhall, Vice President of Business and Community Development at Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group and a long-standing member of HAWC’s Development Committee talks about why his organization enrolled in HAWC’s Annual Corporate Partnership Program and why your company should too.
What inspired you to sign Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group up to become an inaugural member of HAWC’s Annual Corporate Partnership, or ACP, program?
Domestic violence is not something, at least in years past, that has received a lot of attention like other popular philanthropic missions such as education or healthcare. We felt it was important to support an organization that could use more visibility.
The ACP program fit so well with what we do at Sentinel Cares, specifically promoting civic engagement among our employees.
You mention Sentinel Cares. Can you tell us more about that?
Sentinel Cares is a corporate social responsibility initiative that we started almost 7 years ago; it aims to create a positive, enriching workplace culture that supports organizations in our community and helps people who are in need. The program is based on three pillars: philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy. HAWC’s ACP program touches on all three of these pillars.
What benefits have you enjoyed from being a member of HAWC’s ACP program?
The volunteer opportunities, in particular, have helped us build tremendous comradery as a company. For example, we sent a group to help put together bags of holiday gifts for HAWC clients, and many of the bags needed to make it from the Salem Office location to Lynn in time for clients to pick up their gifts before the holidays. Though it had started snowing, it was so fun to see our team get together and say, “Let’s do this.” Our employees loaded up their cars and transported the gifts. It was great to see that spirit of Sentinel folks pitching in that way. It was fantastic team building moment that also supported our community.
What do you wish other local businesses knew about HAWC’s ACP program?
Participating in the ACP program helps our employees feel proud of what we do and what we stand for at Sentinel. It is also a fantastic recruiting point as more and more employees are seeking employers that are committed to social justice.