Tom McAvoy and Rob Whitcombe, Dow Greyshirt volunteers at the Forward Operating Base during the Kentucky Flooding Operations in August 2022.
For more than five years, Team Rubicon and Dow have partnered to respond to disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Ida, both of which deeply impacted communities where Dow operates.
The impact goes much deeper than just dollars and impact for our communities – it’s about working together to fuel a culture that supports AND enables veterans. Led by the Dow Veterans Network (VetNet) and the Global Citizenship team, the Company created a Paid Time Off (PTO) policy to inspire its Dow Greyshirts to deploy with Team Rubicon to a disaster relief area for up to two weeks without using vacation.
Team Rubicon Greyshirt volunteers muck out a home during the Kentucky Flooding Operations in September 2022.
Team Rubicon Greyshirt volunteer mucks out a home during the Kentucky Flooding Operations in September 2022.
Team Rubicon Greyshirt volunteers removing a mattress during the Kentucky Flooding Operations in September 2022.
"When I left the military, it was one of the hardest periods of my life. I felt like I had lost a lot of my support networks – my mentors, colleagues, sports teams and the military healthcare system. I was also in the beginning stages of processing an assault that I experienced while in uniform, and it was a lot," explained Jess MacDonald, Dow Global Citizenship manager and Team Rubicon Greyshirt. “Luckily, I met several veterans at Dow and could connect with them. It made the transition easier, but I still strongly desired to find a way to serve."
Recently, the partnership expanded to include Team Rubicon Canada when two Dow Canada employees deployed to Kentucky to help with flood response by mucking out homes.
"I expected hard work on the Kentucky deployment, which I got! But what really surprised me was the community I felt among other Greyshirts – both veterans and civilians," said Tom Fisher, Dow Emergency Services and Security Prentiss site lead. "I spent my whole career as a first responder and everything that comes with a career like that. For me, it was a tremendously healing experience to give back to others and then sit around the campfire and connect."
The idea to expand to include Dow Canada employees was sparked by Chase Roberts, Dow Team Rubicon lead, when he deployed to the Bahamas in 2019 and was on a strike team of Canadians.
Tom Fisher and Jess MacDonald, Dow Greyshirt volunteers at the Forward Operating Base during the Kentucky Flooding Operations in August 2022.
Jess MacDonald, Dow Greyshirt volunteer, shows the high water line that flood waters reached in a community center in Eastern Kentucky.
Team Rubicon Greyshirt volunteers during a morning brief at the Kentucky Flooding Operations in September 2022.
Chase Roberts, Dow Team Rubicon lead, removes debris during Hurricane Laura Relief efforts in Orange, Texas, in October 2020.
Since starting the partnership, 40 Dow Greyshirts have devoted more than 5,000 hours to contributing volunteers on 10 deployments:
2017 Hurricane Harvey - Houston, TX
2017 Flooding in Midland, MI
2018 Hurricane Florence - Wilmington, NC
2019 Hurricane Dorian - Abaco Island, The Bahamas
2020 Covid food drives Operation Neighbors Helping Neighbors - Michigan and Louisiana
2020 Hurricane Laura - Orange, TX and Lake Charles, LA
2021 Flooding in Baton Rouge, LA
2021 Hurricane Ida - Houma, LA and La Place, LA
2022 Hurricane Ian - Port Charlotte, FL
2022 Flooding in West Virginia and Kentucky
“Dow’s collaboration with Team Rubicon across the U.S. and Canada is a win-win,” said Jane Palmieri, president of the Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure operating segment within Dow and VetNet executive sponsor. "It is a tangible example of how Dow's employee resource groups are driving an inclusive culture and supporting Dow communities. The PTO policy provides a path for our employees to share their experiences and leadership skills with their colleagues and with communities impacted by disaster. The return on investment for both is substantial.”
On this important day we want to thank all of you – our Veterans – and recognize you for your service – for being who you are, knowing the value you bring, and for what you continue to do for Dow and for all of us.
VetNet Steering Team and Team Rubicon