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SSR’s Commitment to Making a Difference


In 2018, Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. is celebrating the firm’s 50th anniversary, focusing on making a difference to their clients, colleagues, and communities. As part of this commitment, SSR focused on improving the communities we serve throughout the year with two programs — Day of Making a Difference and Granting Change.

On August 17 and 18, SSR held the inaugural “Day of Making a Difference,” offering volunteer opportunities for colleagues and their families. On those days, 120 participants across SSR’s offices dedicated nearly 500 hours to help fight hunger, beautify communities, and brighten the day for children.

“In addition to having the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues doing something a little out of the ordinary, we had the chance to contribute to parts of our local communities,” stated Steve Lane, CEO. “We live and work in these communities and felt it was important to donate our time to give back to them.”

For the Day of Making a Difference, SSR partnered with organizations in Dallas, Denver, Houston, Memphis, Nashville, and Sarasota. Those organizations included The Nashville Food Project, Nashville Zoo, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Houston Citizenship Forum, Houston Food Bank, Sarasota All Faiths Food Bank, Denver Parks & Recreation, and Equest.

“It was rewarding to see the noticeable difference we made after one work session at Wedgewood Urban Gardens,” said Ben Davis, Mechanical EIT in Nashville. “It always feels great to work with your hands and see immediate results. Spending some time with colleagues whom I don’t usually work with was an added bonus.”

SSR also launched Granting Change, a program directed at contributing to organizations that support and encourage the field of engineering. The firm set aside $50,000 to be awarded to different organizations nominated by colleagues that furthered the profession.

One of the larger awards went to Living Water International, a non-profit organization that helps communities acquire safe drinking water. SSR funded a team of 12 colleagues to travel to Guatemala for a week to assist in the drilling of a well. In addition to site work associated with the well, our team also provided education to the community on the importance of clean water, nutrition, and hygiene. Ahead of the trip, colleagues across all offices participated in 50 Days of Giving, a drive to collect donations for the community in Guatemala to be handed out during the trip. Together, we were able to donate over 1,050 ounces of shampoo and conditioner, 375 toothbrushes, 580 bars of soap, 30 jump ropes, and 1,200 crayons, just to name a few items.

“What I like about Granting Change is that it really supports if it’s important to our colleagues, it’s important to the firm,” stated Susan Osterberg, Chief Administrative Officer. “It gives people a chance to raise their hands, apply for funds, and go out and make a difference for what they’re passionate about.”

Other organizations awarded funds from Granting Change included Stung Treng Women’s Development Center (SWDC), New Ballet Ensemble and School, Lipscomb University – College of Engineering (Landiss Lecture Series), Book’em, Amputee Blade Runners, and West Tennessee STEM Hub.