Volunteer Spotlight: Employers Leading the Charge
Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) sponsor, KPMG, works with global businesses and industries to develop solutions for asset management, health services, manufacturing and energy and natural resources, just to name a few. On event day, their employees are focused on providing solutions and support for nearly 30,000 runners.
KPMG’s extraordinary level of organization and motivation makes the company a logical partner for “The People’s Marathon.” Jennifer Towbin, KPMG’s Associate Director of Marketing, Federal Practice, shares how she manages KPMG’s motivated group of employee volunteers leading up to and on event day.
How do you keep such a large group of volunteers organized and motivated throughout MCM Weekend?
It’s all about making sure you have all key planning elements in place to support the volunteers in any situation or scenario (i.e. weather, emergency, etc.). For motivation, that’s not just about the weekend. At KPMG, one of our core values is supporting the community. This event is one of the most fun to lead as we are not only supporting the community and driving this core value, but we’re supporting our client and building stronger key relationships with our colleagues at a fun and impactful event. This is a time that our staff and our leaders get together to support the community and have fun, as clearly demonstrated in this video. As we get closer to the date of the event, we have a lot of internal calls for volunteers to make sure they are prepared and excited, while motivating them to make the event their own!
Why is volunteering important to you and the KPMG team?
Giving back is in the DNA of KPMG from reading to students in elementary schools, raising money for charities or volunteering time in the community. We look for opportunities to give back to the community. What’s even better is supporting the community while supporting our clients or an event that is important to our clients.
What is challenging about volunteering?
The biggest challenge is that you have to plan for every scenario, as you never know what the day will bring. Your best plans are still plans. You have to be flexible and rely on the backup plans and being ready for anything! But that’s also the fun part, right?
What is your most vivid memory from your time as a Marine Corps Marathon volunteer?
While at water point 12 at mile 25 toward the end of the day, we started seeing runners in distress and the medics were not close. One runner collapsed, gripping his legs, obviously in a lot of pain. Several of us moved him off the course into the grass and began giving him Gatorade while trying to help him. I didn’t know what to do, but one coworker who was a runner said he was cramping up and told us we needed to get him salt and banana which I happened to have in my backpack. Within 20 minutes, the runner was not only better, but he was able to get up and safely finish the race. I was proud of the runner and very proud that we were able to help him.
Why should more people consider volunteering at the MCM or through employer volunteer programs like KPMG's?
It’s a very humbling experience. Honestly, there is nothing like it. I have volunteered at many different events, fundraisers, etc., but something about this marathon just makes you stop and think how lucky you are to be part of something bigger; in my case, a great firm like KPMG, a great client in the USMC and great family and friends. It also makes you very thankful for all the men and women who have and are serving. While I don’t personally have military experience, all I can say is, get involved in the MCM through your employer, the community or another organization that is important to you. And THANK YOU to everyone at the MCM and all those serving.
Find out how you can volunteer through your employer or check out MCM volunteering opportunities.