Every business owner has a secret to their success, and for Tracie Karasik, winner of the NAWBO-Ventura County chapter’s 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, being a standout corporate citizen in her Southern California community of Thousand Oaks is one of them.
“When people see the president of a company giving back to the community, they see what our company values are and the type of morals and character we have,” says Tracie, who started TLKmultimedia, a company specializing in photography, video production and Apple product training just five years ago.
When Tracie is not rolling up her sleeves and producing high-quality content at her creative multimedia company, she is dedicating much of her time and energy to helping others. She actively serves on Westlake High School’s Information Technology board, helping to advise faculty and teachers on industry trends in the technology field. She also frequently shares her expertise with the next generation—students looking to break into business.
In fact, on November 15th, Tracie took part in Entree for Employment, a free event at California Lutheran University that brings together business leaders like herself with high school and college students looking to get a jumpstart on their careers. Tracie used her expertise to answer questions from students on how to apply for jobs and give insights on ways to grow a business from the ground up.
“It’s so rewarding to see the impact I can have on young people who are looking to start their careers,” she says. “A student who was no more than 16 was telling me that he liked music but was also interested in psychology and helping people. I told him about sound therapy and he had never even heard of it, so being able to possibly shape someone’s future is very rewarding.”
Not only does corporate citizenship make you feel and look good as a business owner, it’s also an excellent way to make valuable connections with others who can help take your company to the next level, and Tracie can attest to that. “Developing relationships with people and organizations you give your time to is great because it’s like a boomerang effect—you give and you’ll usually get back in return,” she explains. “I never dedicate my time just so I can get something in return, but a lot of the time, business comes from just volunteering your time.”
3 Tips For Building Your Own Corporate Citizenship Program
- Find out your company’s interests: Do your employees love sports? Sign up your team to volunteer at a local marathon.
- Make it FUN!: Giving back your time shouldn’t be a drag. Going out into the community on a Thursday can be a great way to get everyone out of the office for the day for some teambuilding for a good cause.
- Find opportunities that will help your business grow: Volunteering at a job fair doesn’t just benefit the community. It’s also a great way to network with other professionals.