"The past we inherit. The future we create." — Theo Moll
With a goal to raise more than $1 million each year, Lutherwood's Child and Family Foundation relies on the generous support of community partners like MTD Products.
Founded by Theo Moll in 1962 as Modern Tool and Die, MTD employs 110 people in its 19-acre complex in Kitchener. The Canadian subsidiary of Cleveland-based MTD Products Inc. - a worldwide leader in the engineering, manufacturing and distribution of lawn mowers, snow throwers, trimmers, chain saws and other tools - sees corporate values as more than words on a plaque. They form the foundation for its business. Integrity, Stewardship, Respect and Passion not only guide decisions in the family-controlled business, they have shaped its workplace culture and made a positive impact on the community.
"This is a very satisfying place to work and we have a lot of long-tenured employees," said MTD Canada President Bud Norman. "I have been here 22 years and it is not unusual to run into employees who have been here longer than me. Our depth and breadth enable employees to expand their careers within the organization, while our size and flat hierarchy allow us to have a true sense of community amongst our employees."
MTD's employees are at the heart of its philanthropy. "Our employees don't just work in our community, they live here," Bud responded when asked why the company invests in the community. "We all know someone who at one time or another has turned to local agencies for support. And when we review our charitable giving every few years, we ask our employees for their thoughts." This approach gives the company different perspectives and enables it to support a variety of causes. While many companies look to support exciting new projects and programs, MTD appreciates the financial pressures charities are under and allows a portion of their financial support to cover operating costs.
MTD also encourages employees to get involved in the community. For example, Bud joined Lutherwood's Board of Governors in June 2003, eventually becoming Treasurer and then Chair. While now retired from the Board, Bud continues to personally support Lutherwood and is part of a group of MTD employees who participate in its annual Steps for Kids fundraiser. He has also volunteered for other charities. But, he is quick to point out that he is just one of many employees who freely gives their time. "Giving back to the community goes beyond giving money," concluded Bud. "It is about a personal tie. It is about being involved in something that comes from your heart and creates a stronger community."