ITEC met with Danielle Robinson, Lansing’s Jackson National Life Insurance Company Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist, to talk about community-building, technology, and movies.
Q: ITEC is proud to receive support from Jackson National Life Insurance Company. What about ITEC’s work helps fulfill Jackson National Life Foundation’s mission?
Danielle: The Jackson National Community Fund has a charitable focus on youth and the elderly. ITEC’s work with both of those demographics is a perfect fit for our mission.
Q: Together, Jackson National Life and ITEC…
Danielle: … help students become interested in computer science careers and giving older adults the tools to perform basic computer functions like reading email and using Google.
Q: Why is giving back to the community so important Jackson National Life Insurance Company?
Danielle: Jackson believes that we have a responsibility to invest in the communities that have supported our business over the last 52 year. We also think it makes good business sense to improve the cities where our employees work and live.
As the economy changes, companies look for many different measures for cost savings. For some, charitable giving might seem like the easiest (and first) expense to eliminate. But Jackson strongly believes that giving back, even when times are challenging, shows a company’s true colors.
People who are already struggling financially are impacted more than the rest of us by rising costs or the loss of income. You might feel like you are barely making ends meet, but chances are that if you are reading this, you are not sleeping in the back of your car or standing in line at the food bank every night for a free meal. The past few years have been trying times that called each of us to think about what we can do to help.
From my perspective, our corporate philanthropy is more important than ever. We see serious need in our communities, especially when it comes to meeting basic human needs. Jackson recognizes the important role of the private sector in contributing to solutions for societal problems, and that is why we contributed just over $4 million this year to nonprofit organizations across the country. Jackson’s donations taught kids how to read, helped families heal at Ele’s Place and allowed older adults to get critical services through programs like Meals on Wheels.
Most charities run on a shoestring budget, doing as much as they can each year to help people in need. Jackson’s donations are making a real difference in the communities where our employees work and live. We donate our dollars locally versus nationally so they make a bigger impact. Jackson’s charitable focus on children and the elderly is also reaching two very at-risk populations. We adopted this focus from our parent company in 2007 because we believe that serving children and the elderly aligns with our business and makes sense for our communities.
Q: How were you drawn to your current position? (We think it must be fun to help the community, and handing out big checks every so often looks pretty great.)
Danielle: You know the saying: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” that sums up my job. Jackson is a tremendous company that I’m very proud to call my employer. I have a communications degree from Michigan State and began my career at Jackson the week I graduated from college in May 2006. Since that time, I’ve helped build and grow a charitable program that has donated more than $11 million to local nonprofits and volunteered more than 26,000 hours. I’m amazed everyday by the generosity of our company, employees and the Lansing community.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to have a meeting in Lansing?
Danielle: At my friend Lorri Jandron’s office, Edge Partnerships. She serves the best refreshments!
Q: What is your all-time favorite movie?
Danielle: Gone with the Wind. The story is irresistible for a hopeless romantic like me.