ARS Sponsors cityCURRENT Breakfast & Reception with Veteran Jake Harriman
On April 7, 2017, American Residential Services (ARS) sponsored the cityCURRENT Signature Breakfast, featuring, Jake Harriman, a Marine Corps Veteran and national security visionary working to end extreme poverty worldwide.
Since 2011, ARS / Conway Services has been a charter partner of cityCURRENT, a privately-funded catalyst for the Mid-South, comprised of a team of partner businesses that are combining forces and funds to host an array of media and more than 150 events each year to enrich and impact the community. The mission of cityCURRENT is to be a force for good by “bringing together businesses to lift up the community and break down silos,” according to Jeremy Park, cityCurrent President.
During the breakfast, Luis Orbegoso, President and C.O.O. of ARS, spoke about our Veteran’s outreach efforts. “We’re delighted that Alpha Omega Veterans Services is the charity spotlight today. We were proud to sponsor their inaugural Military Masquerade earlier this year, which raised over $40,000 to help homeless and disabled veterans reintegrate into society.”
He continued, “We have also rolled out a national program called ARS Cares where we donate HVAC systems and water heaters to someone in need. We just wrapped up another “ARS Cares” installation in San Diego this past week where we donated both an HVAC system and water heater to a veteran in need who suffers from PTSD. We also had a few of our employees, who are veterans themselves, donate their time and service to get the systems involved. Not only are they generous but our employees who are veterans already know the value of teamwork, communication and organization which makes them a valuable part of our team.”
Jake Harriman, a former Marine Platoon Commander, is the founder and CEO of Nuru International, a U.S.-based social venture that empowers individuals living in remote and rural areas to combat extreme poverty. Jake was inspired to establish Nuru after being faced with the effects of extreme poverty in war-torn regions of the world during four tours of duty in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. There, Jake witnessed severe levels of poverty and developed a deeply-held belief that many 21st century ills including terrorism and occupation can only be eradicated by ending extreme poverty.
Luis introduced Jake to the stage. Jake shared a chilling and emotional story about an experience he had during one of his tours of duty where a man was trying to save his family, but ended up losing his wife and two daughters due to the violence of the war. He explained, “For the first time in the war, I put myself in this man’s shoes. I live in a world of choices: where I want my kids to grow up, what I want them to eat for breakfast, where I want them to go to school. What were this man’s choices when he woke up this morning? He had nothing. And I got really angry. It wasn’t fair that the GPS coordinates of a person’s birthplace dictate what choices they have in this world.” This experience was the beginning of a powerful awakening in Jake. It sparked an important conversation about how ending poverty in these extremely dangerous and diminished places could help end the violence and terrorism and give these civilians and victims choices.
Later that day, the ARS executives, Jake Harriman, and the cityCURRENT staff traveled to Memphis Catholic School. Jim McMahon, CFO and SVP at ARS, shared a little about our company to a large group of students. He then spoke about the support of Memphis Catholic School and their Education that Works program. “One of the ways we give back is by supporting Memphis Catholic School’s Education that Works. For the sixth year in a row, we hired four MCS students to give them real world job experience so they can grow into future business leaders.” Afterwards, Jim introduced Jake to the stage to talk about Nuru International and the importance of ending extreme poverty.