Sonoma County-based Arrow Benefits Group receives a North Bay GIVES award

North Bay GIVES Awards

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Name of CEO or Leader of the charitable efforts or your group: Joe Genovese

Their title: CEO & Managing Principal

Company headquarters address: 1465 N McDowell, Suite 180, Petaluma CA 94954


As an organization, there’s clearly a determination to encourage employees and the company to support nonprofits and their causes. In what ways is this culture embedded in your organization.

We keep our eyes and ears open to all nonprofits because we believe that they are essential part of this community. We know we can't give to everyone, but our team members have become a resource to bring attention to organizations that need help. We communicate with our people to find out who they want to support and are inspired by their passions for these organizations to assist them.

Established in 2018, our “voluntary time off policy” matches employee financial contributions 1 to 1 and pays team members for their volunteer time off to do so. We started this program because we saw the need in the community for additional support and we wanted to find a way to increase and diversify our contributions.

This program has encouraged and had a profound positive effect on the team at Arrow - empowering employees with the understanding that we support them as well as those around us.

2. How have you and/or your employees seen the benefits of this investment in the company? These can be specific examples or in general from feedback you have received.

Arrow has a very strong philosophy about philanthropy: choosing a charity and sticking with it long term has deeper benefits as getting to know an organization develops a deeper relationship with them to establish how to best support and help them beyond monetarily.

Our support of SF/Marin Food Bank is a great example. The food bank is one that an Arrow team member was extremely passionate about and brought to our attention. We were so inspired by the organization, and we donated and supported in his name, and later when he retired from Arrow, we committed to staying with them and continued our involvement for the last 5 years and are looking forward to continuing. Arrow team members have witnessed the impact of our donations. A recipient of Sonoma 100 charity event that we support (Mariah is the Chairperson) – recently described this:

“Winning this [10 thousand dollar] grant was really amazing. Unlike many other awards or grants this money was unrestricted which is monumental. I love that they do that because it’s really what non-profits need to cover the vital day to day necessities. Additionally, just the exposure to the event itself proved highly valuable. To be able to present and share our cause with the community resulted in new relationships we would have not normally been able to create and now those have resulted in additional contributions and new long term doners allowing us to continue the work we do and more. Mariah is just incredible - she goes beyond the norm to help the community.”

Carol Rathmann

Exec. Director

Forget Me Not Children's Services

Among the many projects is known to support, one has a lifesaving aspect. In 2017 Arrow committed $100,000 over 5 years to place in AED (Automated External Defibrillator) machines to local businesses in the community. Please explain the reason the company is involved in this campaign.

We have been involved with the Petaluma Healthcare District since 2015 when Andrew McNeil, principal, coupled with them and established the Arrow Wellness Initiative.

This program started in 2017 included ongoing CPR/First Aid classes, wellness trainings, and financial assistance to acquire AED machines. Pre-covid the CPR classes sold out each month and we have certified 100’s in our community.

We established the initiative recognizing that access to AED machines significantly increases the chance of survival in the event of sudden cardiac arrest, which is the leading cause of death within the workplace, claiming 10,000 lives each year yet so many small businesses simply cannot afford them.

Immediate CPR and AED deployment within three-five minutes of collapse increases sudden cardiac arrest survival rates as much as 70%; without intervention, survival rates average 7%.

The dramatic difference in survival rates with the addition of an AED device is what motivated us to partner with North Bay employers to place these machines within workplaces throughout the region. This is part of Arrow’s ongoing mission to support client health and well-being needs.

Related, please tell us one or two interactions you or others in the company have had over the years which show how this program has specifically benefited an individual or a group of people.

Our industry is, of course, focused on health. So, we believe that this should be our role in supporting the community. We've had a lot of feedback of appreciation from those who have taken our CPR and wellness classes. We've also had feedback from the businesses that now have our AED machines.

Amy Pontius, manager at Riverfront Fitness said, “Having the AED gives both our clients and us the reassurance and comfort of knowing that if a heart attack occurs while using the facility, we have the proper equipment available to use until the fire department arrives. It brings us a sense of security and assurance that we are providing a lifesaving machine at our fitness facility.

It means the value of a life. Being a small business, finding the extra funding to purchase such an expensive piece of equipment is difficult. This piece of equipment saves lives.”

We’ve also had a very personal experience at Arrow when one of our own suffered a heart attack and we were reminded how important immediate action is needed.

Mariah Shields and her father, Jordan, have been involved for years in supporting the North Bay Children’s Center. We understand Mariah started working as a volunteer there as a teen. Why is the work done by this group so meaningful to Arrow Benefits Group.

Our goal is to maintain deep roots within the community supporting local organizations long term that can change the landscape of our community and uplift it. NBCC works to make sure that every child regardless of income can be successful - and we agree that children are our future.

Which is why we’re so involved with NBCC and we believe in the leadership, specifically Susan Gilmore, CEO and what she provides to the community supporting children. It's inspiring to see somebody that is so committed to a cause.

That's how we know our dollars are going to the right place.

As you mentioned, Mariah has worked with North Bay children’s center since she was 12 years old, her father started supporting them over 25 years ago bringing Mariah with him as a child.

Now she’s taking over the reigns as the new board chair. (Last year Jordan Shields Arrow co-founder won the NBCC Leadership Award. this was the first time this prestigious volunteer award was given). Mariah is indeed continuing the Arrow philanthropic legacy that Jordan started so many years ago and now as a new mother, she feels she is on the other side of it too - she says she feels like she’s just personally doubled down on their mission.

Mariah has been on the United Cerebral Palsy board run by Margaret Farman, CEO.

One of the things we love about nonprofits is that they have wonderful missions to serve a very large community across the North Bay.

In fact, NBCC and USP are both run by two like-minded dynamic women that Mariah personally considers mentors. We’ve watched these organizations mentor not only Mariah but within the community to build the next generation of leadership in nonprofits. This is vital to build the next generation of giving back so it's all cyclical and it's one of the reasons we believe in these organizations so fiercely.

North Bay GIVES Awards

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