Employee Spotlight: Tom Baker
How long have you been a member of the Employee Volunteer Council and what do you find most rewarding about the work?
I joined the volunteer committee in 2017 when I became involved with helping coordinate the Bank’s team for Relay for Life of Rutland County. Not being a native of the area, involvement in the Volunteer Council provides me opportunities for learning about and becoming involved with organizations I may never have known about otherwise.
The VT region covers a large area of relatively small communities with varying needs, with many employees over an hour drive from the next closest branch. Having the opportunity to come together and discuss the needs of our respective areas while learning about the organizations and community programs we’re passionate about individually creates a unique experience for us as coworkers.
What has been your favorite company volunteer experience, and why?
For the last few years, the Rutland and Ludlow locations have committed our ‘Xtraordinary Day’ efforts to the Housing Trust of Rutland County. This organization provides affordable housing to VT residents by developing and managing many historical properties that would otherwise not be restored.
In addition to the much needed work done by this organization, the team leading their efforts makes working with the Housing Trust all the more rewarding for us as volunteers.
Each year, the employees are right there beside us, building raised garden beds for elderly residents, cleaning up a community garden, or assembling benches for the outdoor space on a property. It’s a perfect example of an organization committing all they have towards making our area a better place to live.
What’s a fun fact about you that your colleagues may or may not know?
One Fourth of July weekend, while visiting my college roommate interning in DC, we were given a special tour of the Capital. Assuming our special pass entitled us to free reign of the building, we rode the private underground tram reserved for members of Congress that runs back and forth between their offices and the Capitol building. As I sat down, I noticed we were sitting right behind John McCain. I was too nervous to say hello and always regretted not shaking his hand. The moral of the story is never let the fear of Capital Police keep you from being bold.
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