Following the announcement that Nestlé is set to receive a Regional Impact Award at the 2018 Corporate Growth Awards sponsored by the Association for Corporate Growth, we reached out to Lisa Gibby, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Nestlé U.S., who has been with the company for over four years working as a champion for their brand. During our conversation with Gibby, she shared insights into Nestlé’s growth and expansion throughout the National Capital Region as well as some of the initiatives Nestlé is taking part in to better the area.
Corporate Growth, Capital Style (CGCS): Nestlé is bringing more than 750 positions to the National Capital Region in 2017 and 2018. What about this region made the company choose it for those positions and jobs? What about the National Capital Region makes it a good place for Nestlé to do business?
Lisa Gibby: While we considered many other locations, Arlington just hit all of our marks. It’s an attractive location for current and future employees, with a highly rated public school system and diverse, high-quality real estate. It also taps a strong talent pipeline that has experience with innovation.
CGCS: Nestlé has often discussed its commitment to hiring veterans. Why is that a priority to the company, and why are veterans good employees for Nestlé?
Gibby: We know that hiring veterans is mutually beneficial—it provides employment to veterans and a skilled, disciplined workforce to Nestlé. We want to help build thriving, resilient communities and we know that cannot happen without career development for all Americans. We’ve worked with multiple veteran services organizations to establish a direct pipeline to our employment opportunities for veterans. Veterans and military reservists are excellent candidates for Nestlé employment because of their training and leadership abilities, something we capitalize on by matching them to jobs that utilize these skills. We are proud to employ 2,400 veterans across our operating companies who are not only welcomed, but rewarded at Nestlé.
CGCS: Nestlé has done an excellent job of partnering with local community organizations and philanthropies to give back to the region. Can you tell us about some of those partnerships and what they entail? How did those partnerships fit into Nestlé’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy? Why are these organizations and partnerships the right fit for the company?
Gibby: We look to cultivate relationships with organizations both nationally and locally that align with our values. Our most recent partnership with La Cocina VA, an Arlington based nonprofit that provides culinary arts training to people who are unemployed, is a perfect fit. Our support of this organization will help move them to a new location, nearly tripling their capacity and number of students. The meals La Cocina students make as part of the training are donated to families in need — more than 21,000 people already have benefited.
In December, we also launched partnership with Share Our Strength to support the organization’s school breakfast initiatives as part of its No Kid Hungry campaign. The donation of $250,000 deepens Nestlé’s commitment to help children live healthier lives. The partnership helped add an additional 10,000 children to the school breakfast program in Virginia. Nestlé’s CEO Steve Presley said, “Nestlé’s commitment to a healthier future starts with ensuring that kids in the communities where we live and work have access to nutritious foods and can build the healthy habits that will serve them throughout their lives. We are eager to become an active community member here in Arlington, which is why we’re so excited to begin supporting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign even before we’ve officially moved in.”
We have also begun work with the Capital Area Food Bank, Arlington Food Assistance Center, and Miriam’s Kitchen. Our year-round volunteering and community partnerships culminate in a national volunteering day, where Nestlé employees around the country work hand-in-hand with nonprofit organizations. Our Arlington office will join with each of these nonprofits on projects, both ongoing and for volunteer day.
CGCS: Nestlé is set to receive the Regional Impact Award at the 2018 Corporate Growth Award Ceremony. What economic impact has Nestlé had on the National Capital Region to date? What are the company’s plans for the region in the future?
Our move to Arlington brings 750 jobs to the National Capital Area, a number that will grow further when Gerber joins us at the Arlington campus this year. We believe this is an area where our employees can flourish, and we’re eager to see how we can hone and develop the talent and business community as our operations in Virginia continues to develop while also contributing to our local community and creating shared value.