Timberland Hosts Young African Leaders Initiative Fellows at Headquarters

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Timberland Hosts Young African Leaders Initiative Fellows at Headquarters

YALI Fellows visit Timberland for the third year in a row as a part of their Mandela Washington Fellowship. Timberland’s global brand president, Jim Pisani, and Colleen Vien, sustainability director, greeted the group and led them through a walk-through of Timberland’s heritage wall, an area in the front lobby that details Timberland’s history.

As part of their Mandela Washington Fellowship, YALI Fellows attended presentations from various Timberland speakers. After a full afternoon of learning, YALI Fellows celebrated with a trip to the company’s on-site retail store.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 1:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Timberland’s Overall CSR Commitment

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary

Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland recently welcomed a group of 25 emerging leaders from countries across Sub-Saharan Africa to its Stratham, New Hampshire headquarters as part of the U.S. State Department’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The group of leaders, recipients of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, was given the opportunity to hone their skills at Dartmouth College during a six-week academic and leadership institute in business and entrepreneurship. Part of the experience includes workshops and presentations with private companies and governmental agencies that relate to their professional interests and goals.

Upon arrival at Timberland, the Fellows were greeted by Timberland’s global brand president, Jim Pisani and sustainability director Colleen Vien, who led the group on a walk-through of Timberland’s heritage wall, an area in the front lobby that details Timberland’s history. The Fellows then attended presentations from several Timberland leaders from the sustainability, product and marketing teams, surrounding CSR practices and how companies integrate CSR and values into their business models. From the presentations, Fellows saw examples of building partnerships based on shared values, standing for what you believe in as a company, and using storytelling to reach customers and stakeholders. 

Fellows were impressed to see that CSR and sustainability are embedded across Timberland’s entire business model, from responsible material sourcing to workplace benefits designed to engage employees in service. “As a CSR professional based in Mozambique, I was enthusiastic to learn about the deep-rooted commitment to social responsibility and community at Timberland. This is one of the strongest (if not the strongest) models of CSR I have seen thus far in the United States,” commented Helio Banze, a social investment coordinator at Anadarko Mozambique. 

“I am working to reinvigorate the textile design industry in Nigeria and the visit to Timberland aligned with my interests on many fronts,” said Aderonke Jaiyeola, creative director of Mimiremi Creations. “In particular, I was struck by the partnership the company has created with Thread and the bridges made between textile creation/use, poverty alleviation, and doing good as a company. I can see many ways to apply this sort of partnership to the needs of our communities in Nigeria and the textile industry there.”

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a highly selective program; the first year saw a 1% acceptance rate. With the expansion of the program from 500 to 1,000 Fellows, Dartmouth is now one of 37 universities throughout the United States to host cohorts who participate in institutes centered on one of three topics: business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management.

“Three years ago we were approached by Dartmouth to host the YALI Fellows based on our longstanding CSR commitments to make responsible products, restore the outdoors and serve communities around the world where we operate. We’re honored to share our best practices with these young entrepreneurs and look forward to hosting them in years to come,” says Colleen Vien, sustainability director for Timberland.

To learn more about the YALI Fellows program, click here.

To learn more about Timberland’s support of the communities around the globe where employees live, work and explore, visit: https://www.timberland.com/responsibility/community.html.

Keywords: Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Community Development | Corporate Contributions | Employee Engagement | Human Resources | Jobs | Partnerships | Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives | Skills Development | Timberland | Young African Leaders Initiative

CAMPAIGN: Timberland’s Overall CSR Commitment

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary