Community North America
October 14, 2021 | 7 min read

“As the team leader, I try to get everyone involved to make an impact” – The Volunteer Team Spirit of Kim Johnson

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The ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) week is one of a variety of ways in which ICL strives to create meaningful employment through community and team spirit. A sustainable future for our planet can be created by communities of individuals working together to generate impact, where innovation and quality go side by side with safety, teamwork, and community life. Our employees embody this vision in a variety of individual and moving ways, and we continue to proudly share their stories of personal and communal success. For us, the success of an individual is the success of a team – and the success of an ICL team is the success of the community in which an ICL site is embedded through sustainability and volunteer initiatives. We thrive when our communities do. 

“When I talk about what is being done at Tarrytown, I always say ‘we’. Together we are stronger!” says Kim Johnson, 54, of her volunteer work in Tarrytown. Kim has worked with ICL for 18 years, since the company purchased Supresta, Kim’s previous employer. Gradually making her way from Procurement to Administrative Assistant, Kim now works in Research and Development. 

Kim enjoys people and the challenge of learning and doing new things. “I love being part of a group and being able to support them all,” she says. Team spirit is the joy of interacting with others who are attuned to you and to a joint project. It’s the joy of coordination and productive cooperation. You get to execute things together, feel the support of others when you are doing your share, share the special joy of collaborative results. It’s a special feeling when you are looking at something which has been accomplished by you and by other people you know and love.

ICL does its utmost to provide employees with the opportunities to feel this very special team spirit and the wellbeing which accompanies it. The combination of new challenges and team support for consistent productivity is among the best ways to create meaningful employment – and a meaningful engagement with the surrounding community.

Our goal is to provide employees with opportunities to be meaningfully engaged and Kim’s story is a moving example of that. Kim has come to volunteering recently – during the last global ESG week. “I have always wanted to do volunteer work, but I have an autistic son and it is challenging to be able to get the free time to do so. When I am not at work I am with my son, and I do have a great support system that stays with him so I can get errands done… but it only allows me so much time to get things done. So ICL’s volunteer week has allowed me to pursue something I have always wanted to do.”  

People like Kim are highly motivated by interactions with people who need support and cooperation, whether team members or family members. It is precious for them to be able to do something for others and see how they react. That is why Kim’s most memorable recent volunteer opportunity was at the local A-Home: “We had cleaned up a yard at a house that served as a home for the disabled and the yard hadn’t been cleaned up in a while. It was very overgrown. As we started cutting away at shrubs and weeds, we discovered a patio underneath with nice stonework. It got us very motivated to uncover everything underneath. The woman who ran the program was so thankful to us and so appreciative. I think seeing the people you personally help and do something for is the most rewarding.”

We find it moving that Kim and her team were motivated to do more for the residents of the home. “I don’t know if it is so much my impact as a volunteer, but the impact of the team of volunteers here at Tarrytown when we are doing this,” says Kim. “As the team leader, I try to get everyone involved to make an impact.” 

Kim believes that “things always work out the way they were meant to” and we believe that this optimism – so congenial to ICL – is that of a person firmly rooted in a supportive community.

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