Celebrating 75 Years by Giving Back to Our Communities
When planning Katz, Sapper & Miller’s (KSM) 75th anniversary, we did not want to just celebrate a milestone. We wanted to show our appreciation for the communities where we do business. Investing in the places in which we live and work is at the core of KSM’s values, and so much of who we have become as a firm has been shaped by our communities.
KSM’s commitment to giving back honors the legacy of our founder, the late Irv Katz, who was revered as much for his community support as for his legendary advice, counsel, and expertise. In 2009, we built on Katz’s example by establishing an annual firm-wide day of volunteer service. Each year since, the KSM team has rolled up its sleeves to build houses, plant trees, clean up neighborhoods, and more.
But our 75th anniversary warranted going beyond a single day of service. We wanted to do more, so we undertook two initiatives – honoring the history of our cities and paying it forward to meet the needs of our communities’ not-for-profit organizations.
Honoring Our History
As we have taken time to reflect on KSM’s history this year, we have a greater appreciation for the importance of remembering our past. Because of that, we wanted to help establish a tangible and lasting reminder of our cities’ rich histories.
In Indianapolis, KSM underwrote the refurbishment of the historic Indianapolis City Market Clock, a 19th century timepiece that was originally installed at the market in 1977. The 14-foot-tall clock had not ticked in two years and needed restoration. KSM’s contribution helped to not only refurbish the clock itself but provided funds for its continued maintenance in the years to come.
To honor the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis Central Library’s original downtown building, KSM worked with library officials on the creation of a centennial exhibit. The permanent 16-panel installation, which tell the story of the library’s history, will be a lasting reminder of the library’s importance to the community.
In Fort Wayne, KSM has plans to support the riverfront redevelopment plan. Seeking to revitalize and renew the public areas surrounding the convergence of the city’s three main rivers, the initiative will preserve the cultural history while restoring the waterfront as a community meeting place.
Paying It Forward
KSM’s Pay It Forward program was created this year as a way for our nearly 400 colleagues to support the needs of the numerous not-for-profit organizations in our communities that are continually helping others. The program offered two ways for KSM team members to get involved – giving every employee $75 to pay it forward to the not-for-profit organization of their choice and providing company time to spend volunteering in the community.
More than 70 not-for-profit organizations, including schools, food pantries, recovery centers, animal shelters, homeless centers, therapy facilities, and more, received the support they needed as KSM team members made donations and spent time giving back.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the need for disaster relief became another opportunity to give back. For one week in September, the firm matched all Pay It Forward program giving with a dollar-for-dollar donation to the American Red Cross. In addition to donating thousands of dollars for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, KSM continued to give back by purchasing winter clothing and personal care items for the Julian Center, the largest domestic and sexual violence support agency in Indiana.
Though our 75th anniversary year is drawing to a close, our commitment to our friends, neighbors, and colleagues will persist into the future – not only because it is the right thing to do but because it honors a vision that links us firmly to our communities and the people who work and live in them.
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