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Building From The Heart

Mark Cullen

Typically, I don’t write blogs as I am a little bit behind the times when it comes to social media. What I am learning though it is a wonderful way to communicate, when used in a positive way, externally and internally. So, here we go.

JP Cullen’s very talented Marketing Assistant, Alex Sleaver, created a video that featured Richard, David, and my Dad’s spirit of “Giving Back and Building from the Heart”. You can find it here. It is not gratuitous, but how he lived his life, and a spirit he has not only passed onto his children, and we, to ours, but most importantly, to those we work with in the company.

Last week, a very nice internal announcement came through our email with the leadership of Jeremy Shecterle, our Vice President of the Wisconsin and Northern Illinois market, stating the company and employees smashed our records of employee and employer contribution to the Blackhawk Region, Dane County and Greater Milwaukee United Way charities. That’s a heart warmer!

Within 48 hours of that we all received internally, an invitation from Matt Steplyk, one of our Young Leaders, inviting participation and contribution to the Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics of Wisconsin.  Similar to United Way, David, Rich and I, help out with an owner match, which has been blown out of the water (no pun intended).

My brothers and I have always been proud of a Foundation we established in 1992 celebrating the company’s 100th Anniversary. The Foundation was in honor of our Dad and the objective was to provide full tuition to juniors and seniors studying engineering at UW-Platteville based on need and academic achievement. In the 25 years since, it has been in place and has provided scholarships in excess to 100 deserving students.  What initially was a modest seed of money to accomplish the mission has grown to a Foundation of decent critical mass that has spread our philanthropy in many special areas of the communities we serve.

What has become most meaningful to the Cullen’s, as of late, is to reflect and appreciate how giving back has kindled so brightly with those we work beside, our colleagues. What follows is just a partial list where dedicated JP Cullen folks provide uncompensated volunteer time, as well as their own financial resources to make a difference:

  • Second Harvest Food Bank
  • Gilda’s Club
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Junior Achievement
  • Catch – Children’s Hospital
  • Henry Vilas Zoo
  • Rock County YMCA
  • Lydia Lehman Academy, Rockford, IL
  • Rock County Historical Society
  • Vera Court Community Center
  • Badger Air Community Council
  • WI Chamber Orchestra
  • Agrace
  • Crazylegs Run
  • Heart Walks in Janesville, Madison and Milwaukee

For more about our corporate giving, community involvement and organizations we serve visit our Part of the Community Page here.

Many of you may remember back in 2001 when we commissioned The Cullen Way to capture J.P.’s recollections and stories about the family and company. At that time only J.P. could reconstruct the 100 years of JP Cullen history beginning with his great-grandfather and continuing on to the next generations, including his great-grandchildren. J.P. left us on February 12, 2017, in our 125th year in business so we only felt it was right to commission a second book, the Cullen Way II and dedicate it to him.

We would like to extend an opportunity to you to get a copy of the Cullen Way II book! We have set aside 200 copies and will distribute on a first come, first serve basis. Please email to request a copy, include your name and address so we can drop it in the mail!

As we begin 2018, the company’s 126th year of business, on behalf of myself and my brothers we wish you a wonderful New Year and say thank you to the JP Cullen Team today, before and tomorrow, and most particularly, the guy who inspired us, J.P., from the heart.

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