In March 2019, employees at Dudek, the Oakland branch of a nationwide environmental consulting firm, were walking down the sidewalk on the street outside their offices when their attention was caught, yet again, by the boundless energy of a young man who was speaking with people outside his office, which was right next door to theirs. On a daily basis, they had seen him talking one-on-one or to a small crowd, shaking hands, patting people on the back – or on the phone in animated conversations. Curiosity inevitably led to introductions, and they learned that that man, Ronald Broach, was the Coordinator of an amazing nonprofit employment program, the Career Training and Employment Center (CTEC), dedicated to helping citizens returning from incarceration to find jobs.
Inspired by their company’s internal community involvement initiative called Dudek ‘Doing Good’, where employees raised money for a charity of their choosing in a competition between branches, Dudek employees decided they wanted to help CTEC. Ronald helped set up a meeting between BOSS staff and a team of Dudek employees including Sean O’Brien – Principal, Angela Zhang – Environmental Analyst, David Wickens – Senior Regulatory Specialist, and others. At the meeting, BOSS Executive Director Donald Frazier and Director of Development & Marketing Sonja Fitz outlined BOSS’s history, mission, and current goals, including the ambitious desire to end poverty, violence, and inequity, with a focus on long-neglected segments of the East Bay such as East and West Oakland. The Dudek team decided they wanted to adopt BOSS for their ‘Doing Good’ efforts, and began formulating their campaign.
The team created an online Crowdrise campaign which launched in May, and promoted it internally among staff, customers, clients, colleagues, family and friends. BOSS also circulated the campaign to its own networks. Dudek set a $1500 goal, with an end-of-summer happy hour set for September 26, when they would hopefully reach their goal.
At the happy hour mixer last Friday, Dudek employees gathered with BOSS/CTEC staff and visitors from the neighborhood to enjoy food, drinks, a raffle, and the satisfaction of a successful campaign—which has currently raised over $1600 and remains live, as Dudek employees want to continue raising funds! Mixer guests donned name tags and perused the raffle prizes – including wine, company swag, and a grand prize of 2020 A’s-Giants (Bay Bridge series) A’s tickets! – then enjoyed snacks and wine while they chatted with colleagues, and admired the amazing city views through Dudek’s 4th floor glass walls. Sean O’Brien took the floor to thank everyone for coming, say how proud the team was to be involved with CTEC and with BOSS, and then introduce Kaki Marshall, BOSS Director of Strategy and Operations.
Kaki started her remarks with a trivia quiz – how old is BOSS? What is our nearest location to Dudek? What is our farthest-away location? – and thanked Dudek for their amazing support and wonderful mixer, and introduced the man who initially caught the attention of the Dudek team and got the ball rolling, Ronald Broach. Ronald expressed his gratitude for the efforts of everyone at Dudek and for his BOSS colleagues, and talked about the personal experiences that brought him to CTEC long ago, when he was part of the first graduating class of CTEC as Valedictorian! Right now the BOSS team is planning the 8th CTEC Graduation, which will celebrate over 90 new graduates – men and women who have completed education and training and are now gainfully employed! This is the kind of work that Dudek’s campaign donations will support.
Thank you to Sean, Angela, David, Laurie, Mellie, Michelle, William and everyone at Dudek who has poured their hearts into this campaign and into positive change in Oakland – we are proud to partner with you, and look forward to continuing these collaborative efforts to provide hope and opportunity to Oaklanders striving to TURN THEIR LIVES AROUND!
Donate to Dudek’s ‘Making A Difference in Oakland’ campaign here!
To attend or sponsor CTEC Graduation, go here.
To hire, train or mentor individuals looking for work, contact Ronald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donate HERE to support BOSS!