The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought on a tidal wave of uncertainty, change and challenges for countless communities around the world. But with resiliency, persistence and grit, Spartans are overcoming these challenges and working together to get through the COVID-19 crisis.
Many Broad alumni are leading their businesses to be a force for good: rapidly shifting operations to produce medical supplies, making significant donations for first responders and reaching out to offer support for those in need.
Making an impact, from Michigan to Mumbai
Within a matter of days, Detroit quickly became one of the nation’s hot spots for the spread of the coronavirus. Many alumni have risen to the occasion to aid health workers and first responders in the area.
- Mark Rieth (B.A. General Business ’89), owner of Atwater Brewery, has shifted operations to produce and donate hand sanitizer.
- Dan Gilbert (B.A. Telecommunication ’83) and Jay Farner (B.A. Finance ’95) are leading Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, Detroit’s largest employer, to take action through unique partnerships.
- Linda Hubbard (B.A. Accounting ’82), president and COO of Carhartt, is leading the company to produce 2.5 million medical masks and 50,000 gowns for critical workers.
- Ray Scott (MBA ’02), CEO of Lear Corporation, has donated thousands of protective masks and published the Lear Playbook, which offers guidelines for factories to maintain safe working environments.
Beyond Detroit, Broad Spartans are stepping up to serve those in need throughout Michigan, across the United States and even in other parts of the world.
- Blake Krueger (B.A. General Business Administration ’75), chair, president and CEO of Wolverine Worldwide, is donating thousands of shoes and boots to hospitals, police and fire departments in western Michigan.
- Greg Longstreet (B.A. General Business ’92), CEO of Del Monte Foods, has led the company to donate $2 million in food products to support food banks and nonprofit programs around the country.
- Milind Agarwal (MBA ’94), founder and CEO of Quickwork and founder of MSU’s Alumni Club of India, is giving free webinars to companies affected by COVID-19.
Demonstrating agility and resourcefulness
Numerous companies have rapidly shifted operations to source, produce and deliver essential supplies to meet urgent needs for health care workers around the world, with Broad Spartans leading the way.
- Christine Sitek (B.A. Material and Logistics Management ’89), executive director of global purchasing and supply chain at General Motors, is sourcing the parts necessary for ventilator production.
- Priya Balasubramaniam (MBA ’01), VP of operations at Apple, is helping the company’s efforts to produce and ship over 1 million face shields per week.
Fostering a support system
Broad Spartans are also finding ways to uplift each other, offering support and resources for their employees and customers in outstanding ways.
- Greg Matlock (B.A. Finance ’01), EY’s Americas Energy and Resources Tax Leader, has helped deploy a tracking tool for ongoing tax and stimulus policy changes happening around the world.
- Todd Penegor (B.A. Accounting ’87, MBA ’89), CEO of Wendy’s, is increasing hourly pay and offering free meals to employees.
- Craig Menear (B.A. Personnel Administration ’79), CEO of Home Depot, has taken a multipronged approach to put safety first for his employees and customers.
- Mark Bierley (B.A. Accounting ’88), CEO of Learning Care Group, is ensuring child care and education services for essential workers and their families.
- Carrie Dorr (B.A. General Business Administration ’96), entrepreneur and founder of Pure Barre, Soul Day Foundation and O44 Method, is sharing a series of at-home workout classes and self-healing exercises, free of charge.
Being a Spartan is an ideal that encompasses individual strength, collective power and extraordinary impact. These are just a small collection of the many alumni who are stepping up in inspiring ways to overcome the world’s challenges amid COVID-19 and proving that without a doubt, Spartans Will.
If you are a member of the Broad Spartan alumni network making a difference right now, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.