There are a lot of ways that businesses and individuals can engage with their communities. Welcome to The Marketing Accelerator Podcast…featuring three insights in about three minutes. I'm Drew Dinkelacker. Today, I'm speaking with Michael Hostetler, the VP of Marketing at Crane Credit Union in Indiana. Michael, what have you found to be most effective for community engagement?
Michael Hostetler: Well, at Crane, we really just like to get our hands dirty and make sure that our employees are doing what they can to support their community with hands-on activities. So, we go to local grocery stores and buy folks groceries. We have sewn hats and scarves at wintertime. And, you know, we can always write the big corporate check, but we appreciate being on the street and helping people one to one and that's really grown, you know, the love and empathy between our company and the communities that they serve.
Drew: Speaking of empathy, there's a personal connection here with you and your community. Tell me the story about your twins.
Michael: So, my wife and I had twin boys, Owen and Sawyer. Owen just turned eight this year, but his brother Sawyer passed away at eight weeks old. He was rushed to the hospital very suddenly, and it was a very dire situation. My mother is an OB nurse and has been for over 40 years. And, when we realized how bad the situation was, she came and talked to my wife that one of the things the staff was going to talk to us about was organ donation and asking if Sawyer would be able to donate his organs to children in need. And he had the opportunity to do so and donated his heart to a child in Michigan. And that child is doing very well up until this day.
Drew: What a traumatic experience. This has had to impact you in just about every area of life, hasn't it?
Michael: It was certainly a traumatic experience. But in the moment, you know, we saw the opportunity to take a day that was, you know, the worst day you can imagine, the worst day any parent could imagine and really try and make it something positive for another family. And that's really all we could think about sitting in that hospital. So just trying to help that family need was key. And outside the credit union, it's given me the opportunity to become an advocate for the Indiana Donor Network, which promotes organ donation in Indiana. And overall, just, you know, changed my sense of care and empathy for others. And I have my son Sawyer to thank for that, and what a gift he gave us and our family.
Drew: Michael, that is an inspiring story. Getting your hands dirty on a personal and business level, making the worst day of your life into the best day of somebody else's. That's just simply awesome.
Drew: The Marketing Accelerator podcast is a production of MarketingAccelerator.com and just one of the resources we provide for marketing and business leaders. I'm Drew Dinkelacker.