January 10, 2021
Growing Home and Accenture have had a fantastic partnership over the years that spans many different kinds of programming and has adapted creatively this year. We had the opportunity to sit down with Accenture’s Growing Home partnership program directors, Michael and Stephen, to learn more. Enjoy the interview!
Q. How did the partnership between Accenture and Growing Home first develop and evolve over the years? What are the different components of the partnership currently?
(Michael) The origin of the Accenture partnership with Growing home started with my wife, Cathi, and her passion for urban farming and giving back to the community. In the summer of 2014 Cathi started helping Growing Home as a volunteer on the farm to help pull / prep vegetables that were ripe. She came home one day after volunteering with the most beautiful vegetables and when she was providing an overview of Growing Home, I was intrigued on the workforce development component in their work.
With my role as the Director of Chicago Market Development, where I try to find ways that Accenture can make a positive impact in the community with our 6,000+ employees, I was intrigued by the opportunity to find a way to partner with Growing Home and support. After a few conversations with Harry Rhodes, we were off and running with a partnership that started with the leadership of Matt Foulger and is now led by Stephen Gates to provide Growing Home with access to our employees for volunteering / mentoring, cash granting to help improve and enhance the classroom experience, as well as the leadership of Stephen on the board.
It is an honor to partner with such an amazing organization and I look forward to all we can do to work together to create more opportunities for more people in every community and zip code in Chicago.
Q. In a wonderful way, this partnership involves many personal connections between Growing Home’s PA’s, our ET Staff and different Accenture employees. Why are these individual connections and relationships important across the two organizations? Do you have any favorite moments of these relationships over the years?
(Stephen) While the partnership between Accenture and Growing Home started off as a focused effort to connect PAs with Accenture volunteers to help with job-training skills, it has certainly blossomed over the years and has shifted to building longer-term bonds and connections between our organizations.