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StrategyJan 22, 2019

Making a Difference After Hurricane Harvey

Blakely Kemp

Earlier this year, I took advantage of an opportunity to participate in Credera’s annual Service Day. Following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, Credera decided to focus its 2018 service initiatives on relief efforts in Houston. Credera has an office in Houston and felt it was important to give back to the community where many of our staff live. As a native Houstonian, I felt personally motivated to participate. I helplessly watched the TV during August of 2017, barely recognizing the streets I’ve driven down a million times because they looked like rivers. I could do little to help my parents and friends.

Shortly after, Credera’s leadership team announced we were partnering with Rebuilding Houston Together and would be sending staff to Houston from our Denver and Dallas offices over several build days to restore homes. This announcement remains one of my favorite moments as a Credera team member. It showed the heart of the Credera leadership to commit to both a time and financial investment.

At Credera, we look forward to Service Day because we’re able to work alongside colleagues from different practices in a meaningful way. Teammates in Dallas rode a bus down to Houston together and people in the Denver office flew down to participate. It was a unique opportunity to come together to work and spend time together.

my contribution

For my build day, I was eight months pregnant, and I’m not particularly talented with power tools. I felt limited in what I could do to add value. I walked around, tried to encourage my teammates, and took pictures. I noticed the homeowner sitting in the shade watching the work being done on his house. I didn’t know if he wanted the company, but I decided to go over and take a seat.

We started with small talk, and then he began to talk about his life—which teams he rooted for, how he was a college athlete, worked in education, and then how Harvey upended his life. The more we talked, the more I recognized that Credera was restoring much more than a structure with new walls, fresh paint, and a new roof. We were rebuilding a home for a man to create new memories and a new life. A place for him to watch college football and gather family around a dinner table.

the human element

Prior to the trip, I felt concerned that I wouldn’t be as useful as everyone else given my physical limitations, but I was reminded of the human element of service. There’s something powerful about sitting and being with someone, making sure they feel heard and noticed. Throughout the day, I saw several other Credera teammates take breaks to sit in the shade and talk to the homeowner. I loved seeing people take the time to pause what they were doing and get to know him.

We see the significance in those moments with our clients, too. At Credera, we know the human side is just as critical as the business side. Sometimes the simple act of pausing what you’re doing to connect with someone on a personal level goes a long way. Sometimes those are the moments that can make a difference.

my credera

Culture is something that is experienced in a variety of different ways. We’re sharing the many ways Crederians experience our culture in a series called My Credera. The heart behind this series is for our company, employees, clients, and friends to have an inside look at the Credera culture by reading about our employees’ “My Credera” moments. In this series, we are talking about our core values, personal and professional growth, mentorship, community involvement, favorite Credera memories, life after college, and what it looks like to create a career at Credera.

At Credera, we love to celebrate every achievement, milestone, and moments of growth. We are excited to open up and invite you in to experience those celebrations with us. If you’d like to learn more about joining the Credera family, we invite you to visit our careers page.

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