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Last Update: Monday April 6, 2020

Key Idea: Engage Your Team

Owner Arnold Joseff encourages employees to volunteer on company time.

Key Question:


Do good things for your community. 

Q: How do small business owners find time to volunteer?

Leon Trammell, founder of Tramco, Incorporated told us that he has plenty of time to volunteer since golf hates him.  That's a fun way to say that he would rather do things for others than spend hours in recreation.  To make time, most owners do their volunteer work in the flow of their business. In the case of Leon, he is a senior citizen. His children are grown. His business is mature and stable. He has time to get on an airplane and go to meetings in Washington DC.

You will have time for different kinds of volunteering during different stages of your life. One of our friends who owns a business and who has a young son, volunteers to coach his son's baseball team.

Think about it

What is the ecosystem in which you operate? What impact do you have on it now? What action can you take to improve it?

Clip from: Volunteer! Get out of the Office!

Throughout the USA:  This special episode is a salute to the volunteer work done by the 25 million small business owners.

Over and over we learn why, "Business is not about greed." Although there are plenty of greedy people within business, the very first principle of business is to create something of value; and to do this, we must give more than we receive. 

Small business owners are volunteers, especially in Chambers of Commerce. Chambers are the local torchbearers of good business for every community. They are the foremost advocates for a better future for everyone.

The Chambers recognize and often reward those who do good things within a community. They reinforce the good and they discuss, analyze and attempt to change the bad. Since 1994 we have turned to the Chambers to validate, recommend and guide us with the selection of businesses for each episode of the show. The people within the Chambers know who are the givers and who are the takers.

In this program we learn from many owners why they volunteer.

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US Chamber of Commerce

Giovanni Coratolo, Director

1615 H Street, NWW
Washington, DC 20062

Visit our web site:

Office: 202-463-5682

Business Classification:
All Industries

Year Founded:

Engage Your Team

MIKE SKARR: And what makes a democracy great is kind of what you're talking about, is this volunteer spirit.

HATTIE: (VO) Mike Skarr is the President and CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

MIKE SKARR: About 75 percent of our population is involved in some sort of volunteer activity. It's part of the culture and the fabric of our community so you are expected to really be engaged in some volunteer capacity and we raise actually millions of dollars each year in our committee that gets recycled back in by people in volunteer capacity. So we're all involved in a variety of volunteer activities.

HATTIE: (VO) We found more dedicated volunteers at Detroit's Diversified Chemicals. The founders Arnold Joseff and George Hill run their $70 million business and still find time to work in the community.

ARNOLD JOSEFF: Even though you have to make profits, and you have to be businessmen it doesn't dismiss the fact that you can have moral values. You can have ethics, and you can have the desire to renovate and to be an uplifting spirit within an area. What we have done on a consistent basis is to take over literally abandoned properties and bring them back to life. We don't sell them. We continue to use them. They become an economical method of establishing a business that then it creates employment, technology and growth. And really it's who we are and what we want to become. It's what we want to share with others because if we can do it in our own small way, others can do it in a much bigger way.

GEORGE HILL: It's always right to talk about making the kind of profits to give you and your family a sense of security and a sense of well-being. Nothing wrong with that. That's American capitalism. But I think if you start focusing on that then you miss some of the real fun and the real joy of being a business. You miss part of the creative process. I'm not an artist or a musician, but creating wealth in the community, not wealth for Arnold and I, but wealth in the community. And creating jobs is something that we're capable of doing.

ARNOLD: (VO) The old homestead and our facilities and Glazer Elementary are all within a six block circumference from each other. And what we have here is an elementary school where according to the principal, Dr. McMurtry, 75 percent of the students either come from one-parent families or are below the poverty line. And what this school represents is an opportunity for our company to become involved in the community in yet another way because it's our employees that are involved in addition to the company. And we're going to really expand on this this coming fall because of this is the way you change America.

JIM: If all of your life is about you, and all of your life is about your possessions, and all of your life is about what other people think about you, you do not need to be here.

LEON: When I get up every morning I am sure that there's a dozen reasons that I should just rollover and cry and go back to sleep. But, I search for one, at least one reason to get up and be positive for that day. If you look you'll find it.

JOHN: What we have to do in the U.S. is continue to in effect refine or perfect what we're doing.

LEON: (VO) One small voice is small. But, when you have 3 million voices all on the same page it makes a big difference. That is what has made America great. That's what will make it great in the future.

HATTIE: (In the Studio) There is power in numbers and when every business on Main Street gets together our communities can be transformed. You've just met the movers, the shakers, the thinkers, the dreamers, the workers, the creators of wealth and work. And while they're doing all of that they volunteer. I'll see you next time.

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