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Building gets an executive facelift

February 2011

Often the difference between liking your job and loving your job depends on the relationship you have with your colleagues.

One way that employers improve staff bonds is by organizing teambuilding activities. If these activities involve social responsibility aspect, it’s a win-win situation.

Over the years, Sun Youth has been host to many companies who take part in our efforts to assist Montrealers in need.

In mid-January, Lyreco, a worldwide office-products company founded in 1926 by G. Gaspard, held its National Sales Convention in Montreal, bringing together about 150 sales representatives who had diversified agendas that included training, a trade show, a gala evening and more. The highlight of the week was the teambuilding activity, which took place at Sun Youth. The 150 sales reps worked hand in hand to improve the Sun Youth building.

Lyreco marketing director Marc Chochoy (from left), president and managing director Brent Milburn and president and CEO Philippe Martinez. Photo: Nicolas Carpentier

They cleaned, painted and reorgaized to offer a better environment for the charity that has offered support to underprivileged Montrealers since 1954. Sun Youth has been at its current location since 1981. Before, the building was Baron Byng High School, which opened in 1923. Being almost 90 years old, it is starting to show signs of aging and renovations are always welcome.

Thankfully, the good folks from Lyreco were there to lend a helping hand. They worked tirelessly all afternoon, doing everything from washing windows and floors to building and fixing furniture, but there was also a party atmosphere in the air. They combined fun and work with games and friendly competitions such as hula-hoop challenges.

Lyreco employees came from across Canada. They got to know each other better and very much enjoyed their afternoon of volunteer work because of the fun they had but also because they had a chance to give back to the community. In total, more than 10 rooms and areas were renovated.

According to Philippe Martinez, Lyreco’s president and CEO, it’s more and more important for employees, especially the younger generation, that the company they work for shows social responsibility and works toward sustainable development. “When you were going to work for a company 25 years ago, in my days, people were more interested in the salary and in getting promotions. Today, I think that to feel good within your company and to share the same values is very important,” he concludes.

This activity was part of Lyreco for Education, which helps various nonprofit organizations in different countries. Lyreco is present in 28 countries and employs 10,000 people. Its mission is to develop projects that will improve children’s education in emerging countries.


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