2011 was a milestone year for Lease Crutcher Lewis as it celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding by N.T. Lease in Montana. From humble beginnings building residential and small commercial projects the company is now one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest commercial construction firms with offices in Oregon and Washington. With good reason then Lewis commemorated its business achievements but the company did much more than merely celebrate. Lewis used the opportunity to expand on a 125-year-old tradition begun by N.T. Lease himself — giving back to the community.
The company’s tradition of giving back to the community began 125 years ago with founder N.T. Lease who believed so strongly in supporting his community that he became mayor of Great Falls Montana” said Lewis CEO Bill Lewis. “The Northwest region has been good for us and we are proud to continue the company culture of giving back to the communities where we do business.”
For its multi-faceted 125th anniversary philanthropy campaign Lease Crutcher Lewis was awarded the 2012 AGC/Moss Adams Service to the Community Award.
Lewis 125th anniversary philanthropy campaign had four major components: a community service project in Tacoma an innovative client donation program a 125% matching program for employee giving and significant corporate giving. The goal was to inspire support for local non-profits and give at least $125000 to the community — a target that was greatly exceeded.
125th Anniversary Philanthropy Campaign
Instead of throwing an expensive party for clients to celebrate the 125th an employee suggested that the company donate the money to local charities. Lewis sent a mailer to key business partners that promised to donate $125 (in some cases $1250) to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle Parks Foundation YMCA or another non-profit of their choice. The campaign received very positive feedback such as: “This is a spectacular way to celebrate a significant milestone.”
Employee Charitable Contributions
Lewis typically offers to match $500 per year for each employee. In 2011 the company offered 125% of that amount and a record 43% of employees participated. One employee commented “I just wanted to pass along a special thank you from a friend who received my donation for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day walk. It’s always very much appreciated to get donations especially during these tough times but 125% matching donation is unheard of! Thank you and THANK Lease Crutcher Lewis for being so generous – What a great company!”
Lewis project engineers volunteered their time to teach at an after school STEM (science technology engineering and math) Club at Lincoln High School. Over six weeks many engineering and construction concepts were taught. The students were also treated to a job tour at Via6 a twin tower 24-story apartment building currently under construction. One student said “I learned about new things that make me want to be an engineer when I grow up. I enjoy working and learning about things and HOW they work. Interesting!”
Gary Smith President of Lewis’ Seattle office spoke at a STEM fundraiser recently and inspired others. STEM Chief Development Officer Ruby Love said “We are so fortunate to have the generosity of companies like yours who share their resources and talented staff with the students and teachers in Washington to help them see the opportunities that exist in our great state. Your story has already caused two companies that were in the room to say that they want to do the same thing as your team. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.” Lewis donated $125000 to STEM.
Thanks to Lease Crutcher Lewis more than a quarter million dollars was donated in 2011 said Elaine Ervin Partner at Moss Adams LLC who presented the award. Just as importantly Lewis inspired community-wide philanthropy as employees clients and colleagues gave their time their voice and their dollars to many important causes. N. T. Lease would be proud.