Since Aguirre & Fields’ inception, community impact and involvement have defined our culture and approach, as we strive to do what’s right for people in communities throughout Oklahoma and Texas.
“We encourage all our people here at Aguirre & Fields to give back through volunteering,” says Chief Marketing Officer Mark Gribble, P.E. “It’s an important part of our purpose to provide leaders in the community, and we model that through the lens of serving others.”
“Volunteering is another way of showing that Aguirre & Fields shares the same goals as our communities: to protect quality of life and enable prosperity and growth,” adds TxDOT Design Community Lead Eugene Lee, P.E.
Throughout the years, Aguirre & Fields community efforts have included telethons, highway clean-ups, blood drives, food drives, charitable auctions, toy drives, and educational efforts for K-12 students. We have also supported communities by raising awareness for bonds and helping with community block parties.
“The Austin office has participated in activities over the years that have been made available through local governments, professional organizations, school systems, and engineering partners,” says Austin Structures Team Lead Steve Esche, P.E. “We find that when a cause is local and a good benefit to the community, it is easy to support.”
Another thing that makes a cause easy to support is when one is personally invested in it, according to Controller Noelle Ingram.
“More often than not, our efforts come from something our people are passionate about,” says Ingram. “One of the things that I love about our Sugar Land office is that everybody is happy to dive in when somebody’s personally invested in something because it truly matters to them.”
“In our OKC office, we encourage staff to bring opportunities to our group, so we can support causes that they believe in,” says Recruiter Shirley Faust, SHRM-CP.
“I am extremely grateful to have such a supportive team in our Sugar Land office when it comes to community outreach,” says Marketing Coordinator Mariel Caballero. “It is something I am very passionate about, but I would not be able to do it alone.”
This year, Caballero and Ingram have streamlined their process in communicating volunteering opportunities to the staff in Sugar Land.
“When we first started to prioritize volunteering efforts here, we’d send out an email, letting people know about an event, and they were happy to participate in it,” says Ingram. “But we felt we could do an even better job of promoting an event if we worked on establishing a more consistent approach to our communication.”
After establishing a de facto “Community Outreach Committee” with Houston Communities Lead Robert Doty, P.E., ENV SP, Caballero planned, organized, and hosted office events to promote community outreach in the Greater Houston area.
“This year our office implemented in-person ‘Spring Into Action’ events that allow us to communicate and engage our office with upcoming community engagement events and volunteering opportunities, looking three months ahead,” says Caballero. “This triannual in-person interaction has been a huge success so far. My favorite part of these events is the open communication with our office, keeping everyone informed, and creating an opportunity for everyone to participate in something they may be passionate about or have interest in.”
While such a strategic approach has increased overall employee engagement in community outreach efforts, for many at Aguirre & Fields, participation in such activities is simply a critical component of who they are.
“When one focuses on assisting others it tends to put their own life challenges into perspective, or at least helps us focus less on them,” says Esche. “Working towards a team goal also helps build camaraderie among participants, as we find out that we have much more in common than we might have initially thought.”
“Community outreach is about giving back, making a difference, seeing a need, and being part of the solution,” adds Faust. “It truly offers us a chance to be a part of something larger than ourselves.”