It’s not every day that an employer creates a program that benefits employees, community and those in need all at the same time, but Fann Contracting has hit it out of the ballpark with their employee payroll dedication and contribution program FEMAD: Fann Employees Making a Difference. In 2006, Mike and Jason Fann of Fann Contracting started this program encouraging their employees to join them in the movement to make a difference in the community. The dollar-for-dollar matching employee paycheck contribution program allows employees to make weekly donations to support area non-profits and local charities. One of the many who benefit through this program is the Central Highlands’ very own Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI!).
The FEMAD program, maintained and coordinated by Charitable Donations Administrator Kerri Vaughn, launched with great success out of the gate, and is still doing strong eleven years later. Says Vaughn, “I feel very tied to this program. I’m very proud of what I call a home-grown program. Mike has let me take it by the horns and together our employees are making the difference that we envisioned.” In 2016 alone, the FEMAD donations totaled $39,150.00; and since its inception total more than $420,000 in donations to local charities. Says Vaughn, “Although we have 7 main organizations that we call the FEMAD 7, we are always re-evaluating who will receive funds. As you can imagine, the requests for donations from our company is ongoing, so we do our best to accommodate as many as we can by providing year-round donations to other non-profits who may not be a part of the FEMAD 7, but who will still benefit.” The goals of the program continue to expand, and Vaughn adds, “We are trying hard to get other businesses on board for what we’ve found to be successful. Just imagine: if we take the amount we give and can get other companies to do the same, it’s mind-boggling to think of the results. That is my next step. Without question, this would never have happened without Mike Fann’s support and vision.”
Though there are many stories and inspirations that made Fann Contracting gravitate to supporting YEI! the main reason is right in their own warehouse. Employee, Erik Kohn (who was also highlighted in a press release in 2016) was the real inspiration. Erik has been with Fann Contracting since 1999, many years before the FEMAD program was the gleam in the eyes of Mike Fann. Erik’s affiliation with YEI! was right in line with what Fann hoped to accomplish in their selection of local charities. Says Vaughn, “We’re very appreciative for what YEI! does for our community, like having the insight to match us with a great guy like Erik. He works in the shop and does various tasks based on what is needed. He’s got a great attitude, and everyone loves him.”
Those who work at Fann Contracting love the way FEMAD helps others in the area. Employee Cathy Anderson says, “Participating in FEMAD is the simplest way imaginable to contribute to the betterment of those in need. To see my contributions added to those of my peers, and then matched by Mike and Jason Fann, is extremely rewarding, especially when the result is making such a big difference for the organizations assisting the less fortunate of our community. It is an honor and a privilege to participate in this program.” Office Manager, Stevie Vawter could not agree more. “For me, FEMAD is more than just donating money to a good cause. FEMAD is about developing, enhancing, and enriching our community. That’s what keeps me inspired and engaged in the program. That’s when I know I’m making a difference.”
Every year, Fann contracting hosts a reception for all employees who are a part of the FEMAD program. This year, they organized for the charities in the program to hand out checks to the other recipient charities within the program. It was just one more win-win for both charities. YEI! Executive Director, Brad Newman, thinks the program is the best around. “I like to call this the Big 3 as far as Fann is concerned: One, their employees donate through FEMAD, the payroll deduction program; two, Fann hires our guys and gals; and three, Fann buys our products like survey stakes, hubs and lathes. If we can add one more to the Big 3, it’s a bonus that Fann has done all the prep work for our family homes! Fann remains undaunted by our standards and can, literally, move mountains!”
Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI!) is a charitable organization founded in 1974 to support adults with disabilities. YEI! has been providing job training, employment, volunteer placements, and support services for these developmentally disabled adult residents of the cities and towns of the Central Highlands. Their program of “Developmental Employment” includes the award-winning “Community Contribution Corps” (community volunteer placements) and has been continually accredited at the highest level of service by the National Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) since 1978.