Investing in Community Improves Quality of Life for Everyone

April 7, 2020

Community can mean many things. It can be defined by place, beliefs, interests or activities. It brings people together towards common goals, provides support and connection to others, and plays an important role in every aspect of our lives.

To R&M, community means Alaska. It means investing in this state to create a happy and healthy place to live, work and play for our clients, partners, neighbors, employees, friends and families.

While our work allows us to contribute to this goal through the development of critical infrastructure, we also believe in giving back to our Alaskan communities in other ways. To reflect this belief, we added a new core value to give voice to this concept we have always strongly believed in.

Community. We are committed to improving Alaskan communities through the projects we design, financial contributions to nonprofit organizations and volunteer hours.

“Our employees are community-minded, and although our projects make a significant impact on Alaskan communities, we all wanted to do more,” said R&M’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Andrea Story, CPSM. “From a management perspective, we feel we have a responsibility to give back in other ways, through direct financial contributions and volunteer hours, not only to benefit community organizations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, where our offices are located, but also to communities throughout Alaska where we have projects.”

We strive to find ways throughout the year to support local non-profit and charity organizations that work so hard to help our Alaskan communities. Our investment efforts take the form of volunteerism and giving programs in which we focus on the following causes that are dear to our hearts.

R&Mers packed meal boxes for The Children’s Lunchbox School Food Pantry Program.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – $11,745 donated in 2019
  • Other Education – $1,475 donated in 2019
  • Health and Wellness – $4,142 donated in 2019
  • Youth Sports Programs – $7,865 donated in 2019
  • Community Programs – $7,135 donated in 2019
  • Industry-Related Programs – $8,750 donated in 2019
  • Over the years, R&M has supported many local organizations and non-profits in a variety of ways. Our Community Giving Program includes four quarterly efforts each year. In 2019, these included CANstruction, 100 Miles in May, our annual charity golf tournament, and during the holidays, collecting food donations and packing meal boxes for The Children’s Lunchbox School Food Pantry Program. We also do smaller events throughout the year, such as spending a day painting a home for a local family in need through NeighborWorks’ Paint the Town program.

    R&M’s 2019 Charity Golf Tournament raised funds for Skiku.

    R&M Staff Engineer Tony Liang, EIT has participated in several of these activities over the past few years, including Paint the Town. “I participate in community involvement activities, regardless if it is with R&M or not,” says Tony. “I’ve had two Big Brother Big Sisters littles, each for one year. I think people seem to forget that when your own life is in order, how little effort you have to put in to significantly change someone else’s life.”

    R&M also holds a charity golf tournament annually, which raises funds for a different charity each year. Charities are chosen based on community need. In 2019, R&M chose to support Skiku (a name that combines the Inupiaq word for ice – siku – with ski), a local non-profit organization whose goal is to get Alaska Skiing. This organization provides annual cross-country skiing instruction to the children of more than 40 urban and rural Alaskan communities, fostering youth health and wellness. With the help of our employees, partners, clients, friends and families, we raised $4,520 for Skiku.

    Other volunteer efforts include Bike to Work Day, the Adopt-a-Highway Program and Citywide Cleanup, and 100 Miles in May.

    Marc Frutiger volunteering at R&M’s 2019 Bike to Work Day Treat Station.

    “For our community to prosper, we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 100 Miles in May sets the tone each spring and reminds us that we should be active year-around.” says Marc Frutiger, PE, PTOE, Senior Project Engineer. “I’m also a big proponent of non-motorized transportation and believe it can alleviate congestion while simultaneously keeping us healthier. Because of that, I enjoy participating in Bike to Work Day and volunteer to staff R&M’s Midtown Treat Station.”

    R&M also support and attend several other community events, including the multiple events during National Engineers Week, Special Olympics Alaska Breakfast of Champions, University of Alaska Anchorage Alumni Homecoming Breakfast and Bike Anchorage’s Golden Sprocket Awards.

    Many of these community involvement ideas come from our employees, ensuring that we support the organizations and activities they believe in.

    Nicole Knox cleaning up R&M’s stretch of the Seward Highway during Citywide Cleanup.

    “I enjoy volunteering to clean up R&M’s section of the Seward Highway during the annual Citywide Cleanup,” says Nicole Knox, PE, R&M’s Group Manager of Site Development. “It’s always a big, messy job but as they say, many hands make light work. It’s always great to see a big team of R&M volunteers out there. The change that happens after just an hour or two is amazing. I’m so proud to live in this beautiful city and love to see it clean and taken care of for the benefit of the community.”

    It’s important to invest in our communities and support each other, especially now. By investing in Alaska, we create a happier and healthier community, improving the lives of our families, friends, neighbors and local businesses.

    We are always looking for new ways to give back. If you know of an organization, event or volunteer opportunity that fits in one of our giving categories, please reach out!