Annex’s community engagement strategy consists of the following principles:
“Giving back” is an Annex core value. It is a fundamental part of the company’s corporate philosophy.
We donate time, expertise and money. We do more than just write a cheque. Annex organizes and supports employee participation in community programs and fundraisers.
We give back to the high tech community. Our priority is to help the local tech community that has been so good to Annex.
We give back as a team and individually. Our team participates in corporate giving back activities. Each team member also gives back personally.
These principles are described below.
“Giving Back” is an Annex Core Value
Community engagement is a foundational component of Annex’s culture. “Giving back” is an Annex core value and has been since the company was established in 1998. Our passion for community engagement starts at the top of the organization:
Giving back is also one of my personal core values.
Every new employee at Annex attends training sessions with me as part of their orientation to learn about our company’s core values and the importance of giving back to the community, both individually and as a member of the Annex team.
I have a “life goals lunch” each year with every Annex employee. During the discussion, the employee identifies their goals for giving back to the community for the upcoming year.
We had a great year of giving back in 2013 resulting in a significant impact on our community.
Donating Time and Expertise to the High Tech Community
Annex allows its staff to use company time for employee volunteer activities that support the local high tech sector. The rationale is whether the activity supports the local high tech industry; if the answer is yes, then the employee’s request for volunteer work on company time is approved.
Annex staff donate expertise by participating in advisory boards, mentorship, and career counseling. Annex staff donated their time and expertise to support the following worthy causes in the local tech community in the last year:
PM-V matches volunteer project managers with local not-for-profit organizations. I am a member of the PM-V Program Advisory Group.
The Annex team assists PM-V by recruiting volunteer Project Managers for specific assignments. In the past, we have successfully placed volunteer PMs at the following local not-for-profits: Fair Trade Vancouver, Canadian Red Cross, The Vancouver Community Television Association, Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia, Gather and Give, Vantage Point, H.R. Macmillan Space Centre, Eastside Movement for Business & Economic Renewal Society (EMBERS), Vancouver Foundation, and United Way of the Lower Mainland.
Our Director of Consulting Services participated in a panel discussion at a formal event put on by this industry association.
I was a speaker at the inaugural six:forty event. To watch the video, please visit BCTIA Events Six:Forty.
The Managing Partner of CIKI (formerly the Annex Learning Centre, a sister organization to Annex) and I are both on the Advisory Board for UBC’s Certificate in Project Management program. I have been involved with the program since its inception in 2002 including participating in focus groups, advising on curriculum development, helping UBC to become a PMI Registered Education Provider, and presenting at information sessions about the program for five years. The program previously won the CAUCE award for best continuing education program in Canada.
The Managing Partner of CIKI and I are both on the Advisory Board for UBC’s Certificate in Business Analysis program. I was very involved in getting this program aligned with the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABoK) from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). This program also previously won the CAUCE award for best continuing education program in Canada.
The Managing Partner of CIKI, Annex’s affiliated training company, is an Advisor to UBC’s Certificate in Program Management.
One of Annex’s Client Managers has been involved with CaseIT for the past three years as Director of Sponsorship, Vice-Chair and Senior Advisor. CaseIT is North America’s largest and most prestigious Management Information Systems business competition. It started here in Vancouver as an SFU internal competition and has now become an international, independently incorporated foundation sponsored by SFU and CIOVAN.
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants participated in a Recruitment 101 event at the SFU Human Resources Student Association.
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants has been a Host with the Culture Connection program since 2011. She is currently paired up with a recent immigrant from China. She meets this individual weekly to assist with adapting to Canadian culture. Previous matches included people originating from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
An Annex employee is a Mentor with the Workplace Connection Mentoring program. She is working with a woman from Eastern Europe who wants to improve her interviewing skills. The Annex employee meets with her mentee as needed.
Immigrant Services Society of BC
Two of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants presented at an ISS event to communicate the state of the current IT market and how new immigrants to Canada can successfully find a job.
I am a Mentor helping new immigrants adapt to life in Canada.
ProjectWorld * BusinessAnalystWorld
The Managing Partner of CIKI, Annex’s sister company that provides classroom training, is a member of the Business Advisory Committee for ProjectWorld * BusinessAnalystWorld, an annual conference run in multiple Canadian cities. She and I have presented at this conference numerous times in Vancouver.
Aspiring Project Manager
Annex donated classroom training from CIKI (formerly the Annex Learning Centre, our sister organization) to a junior Project Manager ($2,000 value).
Junior IT Professionals
I mentor future leaders in the local IT industry.
Students and Junior IT Professionals
Members of the Annex team provide career counseling and job search advice to university students enrolled in technology and business programs as well as junior IT professionals.
Annex donates money to three charities per year. Every September, the entire Annex team votes to select which charities will be supported during the upcoming fiscal year. For fiscal 2014, Annex is supporting a) BC and Canadian cancer organizations, b) BC Children’s Hospital, and c) ShelterBox.
Instead of simply writing a cheque, when donating money we prefer to be more engaged with the community. For example:
We take pride in supporting our staff, Annex consultants and Annex clients who participate in various cancer prevention fundraisers. These include The Ride to Conquer Cancer, 24-Hour Relay, and Run for the Cure.
Every holiday season, Annex purchases greeting cards that support the Canadian Cancer Society.
Every Spring, Annex participates in Get Pink’d to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. All staff wear pink on Get Pink’d day and funds raised are donated to charity.
Every year, Annex supports Jeans Day for Children’s Hospital.
In November 2013, the entire Annex team traveled to Las Vegas as a company reward for a great year. While there, we participated in a teambuilding activity that raised money. We donated 100% of the funds to ShelterBox.
We are currently running a contest on the Annex Facebook page. For every Like on our corporate page, we are donating $1 to ShelterBox. In December 2013, Annex purchased shelter boxes at a cost of $50 each and they were distributed to families victimized by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Annex recently introduced a change to its Referral Program allowing people receiving referral fees to donate them to the charity of their choice.
We are in the process of introducing a new way of donating money. Annex contractors are normally paid based on an hourly rate. Contractors will have the ability to support one of our three selected charities per year via payroll deductions such as $0.10 to $0.25 per hour over the course of a project. Our projects average 16 months in duration.
Donating Personal Time and Expertise
Annex’s Giving Back core value has extended into the personal lives of our staff. Annex team members donate their time by volunteering for worthy causes, often outside of the high tech industry. Examples in the last year that demonstrate Annex’s culture of community engagement with our individual employees include the following:
Annex sponsored research at UBC in partnership with NSERC to determine how cognitive biases impact the software development process.
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants actively supports the UBC Faculty of Arts Co-op Program. She is a member of the program’s Advisory Board. In 2013 she facilitated a pre-employment training workshop teaching students how to write a strong resumes and cover letters. She also participated in an employer panel presentation to share her experience in what employers look for when hiring co-op students. She also works in the Arts Co-op Mentorship Program supporting mentees through the process of applying and interviewing for co-op roles.
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants volunteered her time in a UBC theatre production.
A member of Annex’s Finance team volunteers time with the SFU Accounting Student Association to prepare tax returns for low income families and international students.
Annex ‘s Marketing team assisted SFU with promotion of their new Big Data academic program.
BC Human Resources Management Association
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants is a Mentor in BC HRMA’s Professional Mentoring Program. She is working with a recent UBC graduate employment by the BC Government as a junior Recruiter. Mentor and mentee meet bi-monthly to exchange ideas and advice.
Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
One of Annex’s Client Managers is an excellent golfer; he went to university in the US and participated in an NCAA golf program. Annex donated his time at Pacific Blue Cross’s 16th Annual Charity Golf Classic by sponsoring the “longest drive” hole.
Annex’s Marketing and Communications Specialist has been a Big Sister for the last six years. She and her little sister were selected as the cover girls for Big Sisters for 2013.
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants volunteers at the Light the Night walk that is held annually in October.
Canucks for Kids
Annex’s Manager of Recruitment volunteers her time selling 50/50 tickets at Vancouver Canucks games.
Canadian Cancer Society
Annex’s Manager of Recruitment volunteers her time selling 50/50 tickets at Vancouver Whitecaps games.
Guildford Athletic Club
I coached a U17 Division 1 boys select soccer team. I spend nine hours per week on soccer over the duration of the seven month season. This was the 12th season in a row I have coached youth soccer. I end every practice with advice called “Coach’s Life Lesson” to help develop youth into responsible community citizens. Many topics are covered throughout the season including youth gangs, school and homework, health and fitness, discipline, respect, manners, work ethic, careers, goal setting, cultural diversity, happiness, etc.
Vancouver United Football Club
Annex’s Director of Business Development was on the Board of Directors of VUFC. He also coached a U18 girls team (and coached every previous year since U6).
Coquitlam Minor Hockey Association
One of Annex’s senior Client Managers coached two youth hockey teams last year in the PeeWee and Bantam divisions.
Annex’s Director of Consulting Services volunteers time to coach Special Olympics athletes in swimming.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Annex’s Marketing and Communications Specialist is an animal rights activist and volunteer with PETA.
Access Pro Bono
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants contributes a portion of the sales of her ebook to charitable causes, including Access Pro Bono to improve access to legal services in British Columbia.
Nourish Charitable Foundation Society
One of Annex’s Client Managers provides gifts of time and money to Nourish. This organization provides hampers of healthy, non-perishable food items to women who are leaving local transition houses, which are safe havens for women and children escaping abuse.
One of Annex’s Client Managers donated time in a fundraising effort to support Project Limelight, a free theatre program for children who want to perform.
One of Annex’s Client Managers volunteers time at Menno Home, a seniors’ residential care facility, by reading to elderly tenants.
Challenge Penticton Triathlon
Annex’s Director of Consulting Services volunteered at the Challenge Penticton Triathlon as a “finish line catcher”.
Young Women in Business
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants is a Mentor in the YWB program.
The Door is Open
One of Annex’s Client Managers supports this downtown east side charity by making lunches and participating in coat and clothing drives.
Ismaili Skills Employment Program
One of Annex’s Recruitment Consultants is a volunteer with the Skills Employment Program in the Ismaili Muslim community. She uses her recruitment expertise to coach people on how to search for a job in the current market conditions. She provides assistance related to defining short-term and long-term career goals, writing cover letters, preparing resumes, highlighting transferable skills, and preparing for interviews.
The Aga Khan Youth & Sports Board of BC
I served on the panel of judges for AKYSBBC’s annual athletics awards.
Sunshine Angel Mission
One of Annex’s Client Managers donated time to Sunshine Angel Mission, a small organization that builds houses in India for orphaned girls.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
One of Annex’s Client Managers is a Volunteer Librarian for the school and was Chair of a major fundraising initiative in 2013.
St. Thomas Aquinas School
One of Annex’s Client Managers participated in a fundraising committee for the school.
I mentor business leaders in the community.
I provide advisory services to small businesses in BC.
Longer term, my plan is to use Annex’s retained earnings to establish The Annex Foundation, a charitable organization that will help underprivileged people achieve their dreams. This will also include establishing Computer Science endowment scholarships at SFU and UBC to assist the next generation of BC high tech professionals.
Impact on the Community
Annex’s impressive track record of growth and success has afforded us the opportunity to participate in numerous community engagement activities. We are proud of the significant impact we have made on our key stakeholder groups (e.g., customers, consultants, employees) as well as the community and the local economy in general, as described below.
Customers – Annex had great success working with numerous clients in 2013 to help them achieve their business goals. Our customers are a mix of large and mid-size organizations, including many in the local high tech sector. We believe that our clients want to work with a service provider that cares about its local community and demonstrates its dedication and commitment to giving back.
Consultants – Annex worked with hundreds of consultants in 2013. We feel a deep responsibility to help as many professionals in the local IT sector as we can. We are excited to offer consultants opportunities to participate in Annex’s corporate social responsibility program by donating portions of their hourly rate or referral fees to charity.
Employees – Annex has grown its internal staff by 100% in the last 18 months. We have done so by offering an exceptional work environment and opportunities for growth. Giving Back is an Annex core value so our staff are highly engaged in community activities. Our culture of giving back has created a positive work environment, teambuilding opportunities, and an understanding of the importance of contribution.
Community – Annex has positively impacted our local community through our charitable activities and donations. For example, PM-Volunteers.org has helped local not-for-profit organizations improve services to those in need. Our advisory services have resulted in award-winning academic programs. Our mentorship activities have helped new immigrants adapt to life in Canada.
Economy – Annex worked on hundreds of projects in 2013 utilizing numerous consultants for a variety of different clients. We are on track to achieve our aggressive growth targets in 2014 which will help us positively impact even more customers, IT professionals, employees, and community engagement activities.
We believe Annex is a leader in community engagement because:
“Giving Back” is an Annex core value and a fundamental component of our company philosophy.
We donate time, expertise and money to many local organizations every year with full engagement across the entire Annex team.
Annex allows team members to volunteer for high tech community activities on company time.
Annex donated staff time and expertise to many organizations involved in the local high tech community in 2013.
Annex donated staff time and expertise to provide mentorship, advisory services and career planning for numerous businesses, entrepreneurs, junior IT industry professionals, and students.
Our volunteer activities have resulted in tangible improvements such as:
Improved academic programs that are aligned with industry best practices;
Growth of small high tech business through business advisory services;
Development of the next generation of IT industry professionals through mentorship, career planning, and speaking engagements;
Expediting the contribution made by new immigrants by helping them adapt to life in Canada and assisting with preparation of resumes, cover letters, interviews, etc.; and
Better services provided by local not-for-profit organizations based on the successful delivery of internal projects led by volunteer Project Managers.
Annex staff also personally volunteered their time and expertise to 25 charities and not-for-profit organizations outside of the high tech industry in 2013.
We have developed innovative ways for our contractors to donate to charity via Annex.
Annex has made a huge contribution to the local high tech community not only in 2013, but for the last 15 years.
Please visit our Community Work page at http://www.annexgroup.com/about/community-work/ for even more examples of how Annex gives back.
We appreciate your business. It enables Annex to continue to be a leader in community engagement activities.
Stacey Cerniuk is founder, President and CEO of Annex. He actively gives back to the community through his involvement with PM-Volunteers.org, UBC, SFU, BCTIA, PMI, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and Guildford Athletic Club, as well as ongoing mentorship and advisory services for entrepreneurs, small businesses, junior IT professionals and students. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous President’s Messages are available in past Annex newsletters.