Marketing Organization
Improving Corporate Social Responsibility

CMOs and Brands Changing the World with Their Inspiring Actions (Part 1)

February 01, 2016

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One thing I enjoy through our CMO Club Cares program – developed and led by CMOs in the Club – is learning about the inspiring things members are doing to make a positive impact on the world. I love seeing marketers that leverage their brand’s voice to promote social awareness and forge the way into a brighter future.

I recently put together a list of nine top CMO Club Members that are doing just that. Here are the first three CMOs that have taken huge strides toward making the world a better place to live – within their companies and beyond:

1. Richard Kylberg, VP of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Arrow Electronics (Denver Chapter)

Kylberg has been at the forefront of supporting projects that express Arrow’s soul as a socially responsible brand, developing the Five Years Out mantra, and helping to shape the future of innovation and technology.

Most recently, Kylberg and his team at Arrow have partnered with Close the Gap and Hoops with Hope to bridge the technological divide in Sub-Saharan Africa. They have turned recycled cargo containers into fully equipped mobile classrooms and health clinics that will serve remote areas of Tanzania. These “DigiTrucks” provide local communities with laptops, LED screens and IT equipment – all powered by solar panels – to help combat illiteracy and poor health conditions in rural villages.

  1. Dee McLaughlin, VP of Global Marketing at Forever 21 (LA Chapter)

McLaughlin has made it her mission to lead an authentic global conversation about giving back, saying that social responsibility has been engrained in her company since it’s beginnings. Forever 21’s Give to Love, Love to Give campaign – donating $1 of every sale item to breast cancer prevention and awareness – is just one visible indicator of their corporate values.

Another positive impact they are making is in the realm of renewable energy. Last year, Forever 21 constructed the largest rooftop solar panel system in Los Angeles (and the 3rd largest in the state). Their roof produces enough clean energy to power 1,450 local homes and is the equivalent of taking 1,200 emissions-producing cars off the road.

  1. Trish Mueller, CMO of The Home Depot (Atlanta Chapter)

On the list of Top 50 Women in Brand Marketing for two consecutive years, one of Ad Age’s Women to Watch in 2011, and a member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Femme in 2014, Mueller is making her impact on the marketing world.

As a board member of The Home Depot Foundation, she is set on making an impact in the lives of veterans, too. She has led initiatives to build and improve the homes of veterans around the nation. In just five years, her company has invested more than $105 million to helping these men and women rebuild their lives, supporting the front lines of disaster relief, and providing grants for local community organizations that are positive change agents.

Feeling inspired yet? Because I know I am.

These members are phenomenal examples of leaders using their position to make a positive impact. In next month’s blog post, I’m going to share the next three CMOs that have recently inspired me with their actions and dedication to social responsibility.

And be sure to comment below if you know someone (even yourself) who deserves recognition. I always enjoy elevating our members who are inspiring large-scale change.

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