Post Superstorm Sandy, Interns Lead by Example

By: James Gowen
Verizon Interns During Volunteering in Belmar After Superstorm Sandy

As a father of five, I constantly find myself teaching my children examples of green and responsible living. And as CSO at Verizon, I know that a true green lifestyle is one that carries into the workplace.

So for students interning with us, we created an annual program to help teach the ethical values at Verizon. This year, we selected a special community project which our interns can help support. The goal is simple – teach good corporate citizenship values, and share our success with the communities in which we work.

After Superstorm Sandy hit, we knew this year’s program would concentrate on helping with the rebuilding efforts that so many dedicated people supported since the storm first hit land. As someone who lives within the Jersey shore community, I share my thanks to all that have helped. Now, I am proud to say, that help includes the hands of our interns. You can view a video of their efforts here.

For this year’s internship project, we partnered with Jersey Cares, which is a nonprofit organization that coordinates volunteer opportunities to address community-identified needs. With the help of more than 50 interns from across the country, Belmar Elementary school, received some special attention in its recovery from Superstorm Sandy. Throughout the day, interns helped paint, garden, assemble benches, create new play areas and contribute to building an outdoor learning environment.

And at the end of the day, the commitment of our interns reminds us all to make the world in which we work better than it was yesterday.

 Interns Painting in Classroom 640 x 480


 Interns Cleaning Parking Lot


About the author(s): 

James "Jim" Gowen is a change agent. Since taking on the complementary roles of vice president of Supply Chain Operations and chief sustainability officer for Verizon in 2009, he has enlisted more than 10,000 employees in 23 countries to help reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Gowen oversees “green” initiatives across Verizon including the introduction of a carbon intensity metric, fuel and energy reduction, employee and supplier engagement, paper suppression, waste reduction and recycling. In his supply chain role, Gowen leads centralized operations with responsibility for more than $2.5 billion in annual through-put.

Gowen earned his master's degree in business administration from Long Island University and his bachelor's degree from Manhattanville College. He is located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.