Timberland’s Global Stewards recently convened in the Dominican Republic for annual training to inspire and equip the team to drive the brand’s service and sustainability agenda worldwide. The team of 28 dedicated and passionate employees from 19 different countries volunteer, above and beyond their regular job responsibilities, for a two-year term to serve as ambassadors of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to their location. The Stewards’ role is to drive service, forward Timberland’s environmental agenda, create business value, ensure accurate reporting, and to pay it forward by leaving detailed notes on best practices and lessons learned for future Stewards who follow in their footsteps.
“The Global Stewards have proven themselves to be a tremendous asset to Timberland, as they localize global strategies to bring our values to life and to maximize employee engagement around the world,” said Atlanta McIlwraith, senior manager of community engagement and communication, who helped design and launch the program in 2006. “A week in the presence of this team is a highlight of my year. Their energy, enthusiasm, creative ideas, dedication to collaboration, and increased impact year after year both inspire and challenge us to do more.”
The team convenes annually for a week of training to ensure the Stewards are equipped not only to succeed in their Steward roles but in their professional roles as well. During the recent week-long meeting, the Stewards shared best practices and lessons learned, aligned on global strategy, defined their personal purpose and learned how to leverage it for success, and built relationships with other Stewards in their own region and around the world.
“The meeting is a key part of the program,” said Heather Frost, ecommerce manager for Timberland North America and a second-year Steward. “As a Global Steward, you are introduced to people in other regions that you wouldn’t normally have a chance to meet, and we collaborate on programs to impact employees and communities. Hearing best practices and key learnings from other Stewards, helps me set my course for the year.”
The Global Stewards took advantage of meeting in the DR to visit Timberland’s factory in Santiago, where they watched the different steps it takes to produce Timberland’s iconic yellow boot. The Stewards also had an opportunity to test their hand-sewing skills on a pair of boat shoes. Later in the day, the team toured the Santiago Eco-Park to learn more about Timberland’s partnership and efforts to plant over 300,000 new trees, annually. The team also participated in a service event for Kites of Hope, an organization that provides schooling and programming for children living in the underserved Cien Fuegos community of Santiago. Together they landscaped several outdoor areas, painted different parts of the school, and shared an ice cream break with the students.
“In general I love the program, because through it, we can do incredible things that affect people, the environment, and communities,” said Lisandro Espinal, Human Resources Generalist and first year Steward for the Dominican Republic. “For me it is an honor to be part of such an excellent program and to be a Global Steward.”
KEYWORDS: Timberland, NYSE:VFC, sustainability, Employee Engagement