At VertiSource HR®, the personal attention we give our client partners is paramount to our joint success. Combined with our Human Resource Information System (HRIS), which allows companies to manage all their employee critical data at the touch of a mouse, we are the #HumanTouch of HR Automation, a moniker we are proud of.
Over the next few weeks, we are featuring VertiSource HR® employees who volunteer for causes they are passionate about. What is truly exceptional about our employees is their commitment to lending a helping hand, not only to our client partners, but also in their local communities.
We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with VertiSource HR®’s CFO, Dan Geersten. He inspired us with his message of “an attitude of service despite the reward” and we think he will inspire you too!
VertiSource HR® Blogger (VB): Can you tell us a little about your professional background?
Dan Geersten (DG): I worked in the grocery business right out of high school. In the grocery business I was in management and ran just about every department. In my 30’s my wife and I bought a dental staffing agency and ran that for over a decade as well as sold insurance on the side. I went back and got my masters in accounting from 2005-08 and sold my business. After that I worked for a couple of CPA firms. Then, like many people in 2008, I was laid off! Luckily, by referral, I got a job at VertiSource HR and I’ve worked here ever since as the CFO.
(VB): What inspired you to get involved in philanthropic work?
(DG): In the LDS church we have callings including assignments in our neighborhoods or communities. Our church has a branch that includes the Salt Lake County Jail. They asked me to go down there to do church services, visit people and go cell-to-cell. When I go and visit it’s not just for the LDS inmates, it’s for everyone; I’m like a Chaplin in the military. I talk to anyone who wants to talk from any religion or background. I’ve been doing it for three years and I am almost finished with my calling.
(VB): Has volunteering in your community changed your perception of the community and its needs?
(DG): I think it’s good to get outside yourself and serve your fellow man. It gives you perspective about your problems. When you serve someone else it makes you feel like you have a more whole life. It’s helped me to have compassion for the men in jail. There are all types of people; there are college educated people and there are many homeless people who now have a roof over their head. There’s also a major problem with mental illness and drug abuse in jail. It makes me count my blessings.
(VB): Has your philanthropic work improved other aspects of your personal and professional life? i.e. better listener, more initiative, etc.
(DG): It has made me a better listener. It has taught me to have compassion for people. Everyone is human and has a story. To give people the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has something to give no matter what their background. I’ve walked out with tears in my eyes when men tell me their story about how they are lucky to be alive. It has opened up my heart. I believe in the concept of Justice and Mercy. In jail I’m the mercy part, the legal system is the justice part. People make mistakes. The highlight of their week is talking to us. I’ll have 15 guys in a class and sometimes I’m in maximum security and they see only me. It’s humbling experience.
(VB): What are some of the most memorable moments you’ve experienced volunteering?
(DG): People tell me I look like Bill Clinton! I think one guy said, “You’re a cross between Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. People say they are stuck in a lifestyle and it’s hard to break out of it, but some say, “I’m getting out and I’m going to stop doing drugs and change my life!” It’s the success stories of people making progress that is rewarding even if it is only one in a hundred.
(VB): What advice would you give to someone considering philanthropic work?
(DG): To definitely do it! It’s part of who we are as human beings. No matter what your religious background, it’s important. A verse from our scripture states; “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” I think this applies to everyone.
(VB): In what ways would you say group philanthropy elevates a company and its culture?
(DG): It’s good to feel like your company is contributing to society and it bonds the team when they help other people together. For me, it’s fulfilling to help our clients with something; you help them solve a problem. If you have an attitude of service despite the reward you’ll be rewarded.
We thank Dan for lending his time and we hope you will be inspired to serve! Please share this post with friends and spread the kindness!