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Posted: April 01, 2014

CBCA: Philanthropy Award finalists

Winner: Arrow Electronics

Gigi Sukin

When corporate philanthropy comes in the form of support for the arts, businesses have the potential to impact economic development, education and quality-of-life here in Colorado. The Philanthropy Award honors exemplary corporate citizenship and generosity to arts, cultural projects and organizations. Watch a video about the winner and finalists.

Arrow Electronics

Though Arrow relocated its headquarters to Denver roughly two years ago, the electronic components provider had no intention of abandoning its 80-year tradition of supporting the arts.

“It starts with Arrow’s vision, values and brand message,” said Rich Kylberg, vice president of corporate communications for the $21.4 billion annual revenue business with a 53-country footprint. “A core principle of ours — guiding innovation forward — it’s not just a buzzword … As we were trying to express this [and other core values] to the marketplace, one of the questions that I had as a member of the board of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra was, could you express these values in music? And they said, ‘Yeah, sure, no problem.’”

Completed approximately a year ago through this partnership, Arrow now has a piece of music comparable to NBC’s ever-recognizable 3-note jingle.

“We want to support the health and vitality of this community,
 Kylberg said. “We see the Colorado Symphony Orchestra as innovators and want to help them within their goals initiatives.”  While Arrow contributes roughly “6 figures” to the arts locally, “we’re less interested in writing one of those big, cardboard checks. We want to participate with artist to do things that are really special in this world … that’s the innovation side of it.”

Bellco Credit Union

In an attempt to bolster the communities where Bellco Credit Union maintains posts, the 75-year-old organization strives to support local art and cultural programs. Within the past year alone, the customer-owned financial institution has actively supported the Denver metro area by naming and sponsoring the Bellco Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center and an art gallery in the Parker Arts Culture and Events Center. Additionally the organization sponsored children’s programs at the Lone Tree Arts Center, committing nearly half a million dollars.

“Our hope is that, through our support, the organizations we partner with are able to extend the reach of their projects and initiatives, thereby enriching the lives of more people in the communities that we serve … this is a direct reflection on our customers and employees and the contributions they make to the communities where they live and work.”

Odell Brewing Co.

“The arts make life more interesting and often inspire what we do,” said Amanda Johnson-King, marketing and branding manager for Odell Brewing Co. Holding the belief that craft brewing is an art form, Odell enjoys “reciprocating that support to [its] wonderful arts community … It’s an important piece of who we are as a business … And it’s important to our culture.”

In particular, Odell opts to express its commitment to the creative sector right in its intimate backyard of Fort Collins.

Musically, the craft brewers support the town’s two festivals: New West Fest’s Bohemian Nights and FoCoMX. The team also donates its beverages to OpenStage Theater’s “FAB Friday” events, the Center for Fine Art Photography’s First Friday gallery shows and First Friday Gallery Walk at the Carnegie Community Creative Center, Beet Street’s Streetmosphere program.

“Colorado certain has its own unique creative community and it’s important to continue to invest and foster that spirit that makes us who and what we are. Even today, over 66 percent of our business is in Colorado, so we are very dedicated to investing in our home state.”

Gigi Sukin is an Associate Editor at ColoradoBiz. She can be reached at gsukin@cobizmag.com.

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