Guest Blog: The Role of Civic Engagement in Establishing Community Roots

Ira Shaw, Partner, Landmark Partners

Landmark Partners is a global investment firm with offices in Boston, New York, Dallas, London, and our headquarters in Simsbury, Connecticut. Landmark’s Boston office opened in 2002, and in addition to establishing local business relationships, it has been important to the firm to build meaningful connections with the entire community.

One way we accomplished this was by building an environment that promotes volunteerism and community engagement. Landmark’s employees are encouraged to offer their time and resources to local service organizations. Through this initiative, our employees became aware of Boston Partners in Education, a nonprofit that matches volunteer mentors with Boston Public Schools (BPS) students. Volunteers commit to one-hour in-class mentoring sessions, every week throughout the school year. While this requires an investment of staff time, the “return on investment” has been evident by a boost in our collaborative culture.

Ira Shaw, a partner at Landmark, has been volunteering with Boston Partners in Education since 2013 and notes that the firm “has observed that collaboration and volunteerism with organizations like Boston Partners in Education have provided a forum for employees to share common interests and passions. This, in turn, has allowed our teams to grow more cohesive and collaborative, while increasing cross-platform communication.”

The hour-long sessions with Boston Partners in Education give our employees unique insight into Boston’s youth. They gain the perspective of the next generation of leaders and witness the potential of BPS students, while helping them overcome their academic challenges. As a company that is driven to serve the community in which we work, this experience is invaluable.

In addition, our employees have demanding schedules and the pressures of the job can be stressful. The time they spend with BPS students each week is not only rewarding, but a welcome reprieve from the daily demands of private equity investing. When employees return from the weekly session with their mentees, they are often excited to share their experiences with their colleagues.

Elisa Miranda, who joined Landmark in 2017 and has been serving as a Boston Partners in Education mentor since that time describes her experience: “It’s exhilarating and satisfying to dedicate an hour a week and receive a lifelong reward. This exemplary experience not only boosts morale and builds character, but also helps me gain a youthful perspective. I am grateful to be a part of the Boston Partners community and strongly recommend others to join.”

Today, seven professionals of Landmark’s 20-member Boston-based team currently volunteer and serve as academic mentors. In 2018, Landmark supported its employees and Boston Partners in Education through its first corporate sponsorship of Boston Partner in Education’s annual Big Cheese Reads Gala.

Through our relationship with Boston Partners in Education, Landmark has found a unique opportunity to establish meaningful roots within the Boston community, invest in the academic achievement of BPS students and support the volunteer efforts of employees.

For leaders looking to develop meaningful roots in their communities, we encourage efforts to identify organizations like Boston Partners in Education that align employee interests with community development. By offering our human capital, we’re showing students that – as a company – we value their education, their academic achievement and more importantly their personal growth. By volunteering our employees’ time with Boston Partners, we’re helping to prepare the future leaders of our city.