Five Qs: Brian Crawford on Philanthropy in the Workplace

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On Saturday, members of the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association will hit the ice to compete against the Grosse Pointe North High School women’s varsity hockey team and the Morning Hockey League at Arctic Edge of Canton to benefit the Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Club. Brian Crawford, a vice president at NAI Farbman/Farbman Group in Southfield, spoke with DBusiness Daily News about why his company is underwriting the game along with Hitachi Business Finance.

  1. DDN: Where will you be on Saturday?

BC: I’m actually participating in the game. I’ve been playing on the ice for about 40 years, so (the event organizers) usually figure out where I’m needed on the day of the event. Sometimes I play with the Wings alumni team, and other times, I play on the other team.

2. DDN: What’s it like to play alongside, or against, former NHL professionals?

BC: It’s definitely grounding. I know a lot of the alumni from playing recreationally, but this is a little more structured and organized.

3. DDN: How does the Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Club help others?

BC: It is just such a wonderful program. They provide homeless people with food and warm shelter. There are a lot of people in metro Detroit that depend on these services, so we decided several years ago that this was a great way to make an impact in the community.

4. DDN: What else does Farbman do to help support area nonprofits and charities?

BC: We have a division called Farbman Cares, which is specifically designed as a give-back program, where we align ourselves with local and regionally based organizations that are doing a lot of good in our community. They do anywhere between 10 and 15 charity events on an annual basis. Some are larger and some are smaller. We encourage employees to donate not only their time, but also their resources if possible. It’s really a team approach.

5. DDN: Why do you believe it’s important for a business to encourage philanthropy within the workplace?

BC: I think it creates a sense of belonging within the corporate culture, surely a lot more social interaction. It’s one thing to come in to work and interact with co-workers, but it’s another thing to be social outside of the workplace, while benefiting a deserving organization. (For this event), we expect about 700 people will attend, and a good percentage of Farbman employees will be there. Again, that’s part of the Farbman Cares initiative in that we try to extend the opportunity to our employees and make sure that they’re involved as well.

For more information about Saturday’s event, or to buy tickets, contact Anna Gatt at 248- 767-6151 or anna_gatt@usc.salvationarmy.org.

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