CEO Blog

Category Archives: Charitable Giving

All blog posts by Kevin Dee, Chairman at Eagle — Canada’s premier staffing agency, related to charitable giving.

Season’s Greetings

2016 Eagle Holiday CardAs we wrap up another year and celebrate the beginning of a new one, the Eagle Team would like to extend our warmest wishes to you and your family.

In the spirit of giving, Eagle has made our traditional $15 000 holiday donation to charities across Canada. This simple gesture in lieu of cards and gifts will help make the holidays that much better for more families in our communities.

We want to take this opportunity to wish you a safe holiday season and happy New Year.

Happy Holidays,
The Eagle Team


MLK quote What are you doing for othersYou have a good job … you can afford to give something.

There are SO MANY deserving causes.

Families caught in a tough situation who will not get a good holiday meal.

Kids who will go hungry, or cold or both.

People struggling in third world countries for basics like water and food … never mind shelter.

Even in our “rich” society there are plenty of people that really need a hand.

So … go without that extra holiday gift and give some cash to make difference!

Have a couple of less  Starbucks coffees and give some cash to a good cause.

Give some of your old clothes to help those in need.

Drop some food off at the food banks.

Do SOMETHING that is selfless and to help others.

You WILL feel good about it.

You will be rewarded in ways you don’t even know yet!

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Ghandi

Kevin Dee is the founder and Chairman of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?

Seasons Greetings

Enjoy your holidays … and make 2016 your best year ever!

PS. Take a little time to make it a good holiday season for others less fortunate than you too! Eagle made its annual donation again this year.


Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?

Scaling Peaks for Charity!

Congratulations to my business partner (one of  Eagle’s Vice Presidents), Frances McCart who together with a team from CIBC climbed Kilimanjaro to support the fight against breast cancer.

Big shout out for the whole team, who raised more than $110,000!

How cool is that!

Frances on Kilimanjaro

This is Frances getting a little help to fly the Eagle flag on the peak!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?

Is It Really ALL About You?

Mohammed Ali quote about service to othersMost of us go through life very focused on our goals, our desires, our “things”, our experiences, our careers and our personal life.

That’s OK.

We make plans and try to better ourselves.

We make lists and try to check off items from those lists.

We set interim tasks to reach our bigger goals.

ALL of that is good. There is nothing wrong with ambition.

So … what is the problem?

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”  Nelson Mandela

If our life is so consumed with those things then we run the chance of missing something very important.

I believe that to be truly happy we need friends, we need family and we need to find ways to give to others who are in need of a hand up.

If we don’t have friends and family then who will we share those “things” with?

If are not willing to help others then we have lost our humanity.  I truly believe that people who give get just as much from their giving, as the recipients.

The danger in the journey to financial success and career success is that we lose some or all of those other important aspects of our lives.

“Money often costs too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

If we are self-absorbed then people will not want to be our friend.

If our selfishness alienates friends then it will most likely also alienate family.

If our selfishness means we don’t give to others, then we miss out on that significant reward we feel through the act of helping out.

I often suggest that if people are feel unhappy or down that they should find ways to give back to others.  The gift of time or money or better yet both!

We can learn a lot about happiness through the simple act of finding ways to give back.

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back.” Maya Angelou

So … as you pursue your career and add to your toys remember that ending up rich and lonely is not going to feel good.  Yes, it is probably better than ending up poor and lonely BUT I would suggest it is far worse than ending up less rich and happy!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Board!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) Virtual Recruiter service?

People are Awesome

give until it hurts by mother teresa jpegOur world today moves at an incredible pace … and it is all too easy to be swept along in our own importance.

We run from task to task, from appointment to appointment and forget to appreciate the people around us.

“We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

It doesn’t take much, and if you look for the good you will find it.

Here are some recent examples of awesome people that I have seen.  Any of these could be your colleague or your next door neighbor … or you!

  • This Saturday ten (10) awesome people will participate in a white collar boxing event called the Fight to End Cancer. People who have never boxed before, who endured months of grueling training and will box in front of 500 people.  Totally awesome! (PS that is them in the picture above!)
  • The young lady who bought a meal for a homeless person.
  • The business lady who was rushing to an appointment but took time to help an elderly man across a busy street.
  • The many polite people who take time to hold a door open for those coming behind them.
  • The people serving in cafes and restaurants who have a big, infectious smile!
  • The receptionists who actually make you feel welcome when you walk into the dentist, an office, the bank etc.
  • The person in the elevator with a smile and a cheery word first thing in the morning.

If we take a few minutes we can see them every day, ordinary people who make us smile or feel good.

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us.  What we have done for others and the world, remains and is immortal.”  Albert Pike

If everyone could do some small (or big) thing every day to make people smile then we could make this world just a little better than the “awesome” that it already is!

Are you up for the challenge?

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?

Do You Really Need Another Holiday Card or Company Swag?

Quote about generositySeveral years ago my company made the decision to take the budget we had been spending on holiday cards, postage and small client gifts and instead donating that to charity. We felt that this was one more way that we could demonstrate our commitment to the community, with the help of our clients.

The overwhelming response from almost everyone that we talked with has been extremely positive.

“Who needs another card anyway, it’s nice to know others are benefiting.”

“What a great idea. I wish our company did that!”

“It just makes a ton of sense.”

These were the kind of responses that I and my team received from our clients at the time, and every year since, when we announce how much we are donating to charity. I think that most people recognise this as a great way to support those in need.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

There are plenty of people who need a little help, particularly at this time of year. People fall on hard times through no fault of their own, whether it is unemployment, illness or just some bad luck they find themselves without resources and inevitably it is the children who suffer most.

Donations and volunteer efforts make a big difference to these people. Whether it is gifts for the children, a hot meal or some clothes to help them through a Canadian Winter it all adds up to helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali

I’m certainly not trying to put the card companies out of business. We have cards that we send all year round to thank people for their business, to congratulate people on their achievements or just to keep in touch. I just don’t believe businesses need to drown their clients in cards once a year.

I’m not advocating that company swag should not exist either, over the years we have given more than our fair share of mugs and pens etc. to the market. Swag all year round = cool, extra swag this time of year = non needed!

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” Martin Luther King Jr.

What I am advocating is that at this time of year, when the frenzy of buying is all around us, take a few minutes to think of those who don’t have the means or ability to indulge themselves and their loved ones. Find a way to divert some money to make life a little better for those who need a hand. If you can couple that with some time donated to help out then you can make a HUGE difference.

Give rather than take. It will make you a better person, and your community a better place to live!

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pike

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?

So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur?

Quote about entreprneurship from founder of githubThere are many rewards for being a business owner. You have the ability to define your own destiny and your fate is largely in your own hands. If you make the right choices, develop good plans and execute well on your plans then you can reasonably expect to do well financially.

There are many people who talk about running their own business and there a subset of those who go on to actually take the risk … because that is exactly what it is. There are a ton of statistics around the number of companies that go bankrupt in their early years in business … around 80% of new companies go bankrupt… and, depending on who you believe , this happens in either the first year, the first three years or the first five years. Best case you have a 20% of surviving as a new business.

 “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”  Vince Lombardi

Assuming that your business is one of those that survives, it is a fair bet your survival is the result of hard work, good strategy, good people, good execution and some luck!

So now you have a “going concern”, a business that generates profits that can be used to fuel growth and compete with the best. Of course we live in an ever changing world and you have to hope that:

  1.  your company is not operating in the equivalent of the “buggy whip” sector;
  2.  your competition is not reinventing your market space before you can;
  3.  you can attract and retain talented people;
  4.  you can attract and retain good clients;
  5.  you can remain relevant;
  6.  the economy will not tank to the point where you can’t hang on;
  7.  a cheap offshore solution doesn’t become available (look at SW Ontario’s manufacturing base); and
  8.  that governments do not introduce legislation that will make your business model unaffordable (I’m looking at you Kathleen Wynne and YOU Justin Trudeau).

“Where do you put the fear when you choose to innovate? The fear is there, but you have to find a place to put it.” —Seth Godin

I thought I would revisit a blog entry that I wrote a number of years ago, and which I find to be still relevant after more than twenty years in business.

Here are a few insights into what it might take for you to join the ranks of business owners.

On a day to day basis you are responsible for the operation of your company, its conformance to the many laws of the land, (a) Federal, (b) provincial and even (c) municipal; you are responsible for the actions of your people; you run the risk of legal action for any number of events that could happen among your staff, your offices or your clients.

When your company becomes stable you may be considered a ”pillar of the community”, so you volunteer (happily) to help with charities, donate funds and time help those less fortunate than you. Of course in doing so you self-identify as the person to approach for every charity “out there”, and feel about 3 inches tall every time you have to say no. The time commitment grows and you soon find yourself with another full time job, in addition to the one running your company.

Because you own the company you are expected to “do whatever it takes” for the company. You represent the company on the industry association, you attend breakfast functions, luncheon meetings and dinners. You give speeches (which require preparation), lobby politicians (which requires time and preparation), jump on airplanes at the drop of a hat and learn just how little sleep you can survive on. One entrepreneur I knew talked about the “raccoon look” that he related to entrepreneurs who tend to operate on little sleep … that dark eyed, haunted look of the Type A personality working every hour possible to build their dream!

You spend the years trying to set aside some money for that time when you choose to retire and if a market meltdown doesn’t totally destroy it, or a company crisis cause you to reinvest it, then likely you will end up with your own self funded retirement fund. If when that time comes you still have a “going concern” then you may get the opportunity to actually sell your company. At which point you get to commit to company performance for two or three years following the sale (an “earn out”), while you work for someone else and hope they don’t make stupid decisions that kills your nestegg!

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”  Peter Drucker

Welcome to the life of a business owner.  Don’t think I am looking for sympathy because I love it!  It does however mean that most people do not want this life … does that make me a masochist?  However, if nobody did it then where would the jobs come from?

poster with attributes of an entrepreneur

Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?

10 Reasons Why I Support Causes

Tomorrow is November 1st and the annual Movember movement begins its one month campaign to raise funds for men’s health. Movember focuses on the fight against prostate and testicular cancer, plus mental health issues affecting men and boys. Certainly all good causes and near and dear to all of us, because 50% of us are male and the other 50% will likely have a male or two in their lives!

I am taking part in Movember this year, growing a moustache, encouraging friends to also participate and raising money for the Movember charities. I last participated in 2011 (picture attached) and am really not a big fan of a moustache … but my discomfort is a small sacrifice to support a good cause. Certainly I have had worse discomfort, such as the bloody noses and black eyes I received during my “boxing career” in the “Fight For the Cure” event, also in 2011.

“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” Ben Carson

I give for a variety of reasons:

  1. I am lucky to have the life I have … others are not so lucky.
  2. I support causes that are meaningful to me … everyone is affected in some way by cancer, heart disease etc.
  3. I support causes I like. I support the Young Authors and Illustrators Conference in Ottawa each year because 600 kids get to spend a day pursuing their passion!
  4. The causes need our help, both financially and as volunteers.
  5. The government cannot solve all (many? any?) of our problems.
  6. I like our Canadian society and only want it to be better, so I work at that.
  7. I get satisfaction from giving, it makes me feel good about myself.
  8. I meet new, different and interesting people through my involvement with not for profit organisations.
  9. As a leader I want to set a good example. I do not talk about my giving to make people think well of me, I talk about it so that others might follow my example.
  10. I subscribe to the theory that giving will come back in other ways. Certainly I have been very lucky in my life, and I have always tried to give back … so I have no reason to disbelieve.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

I think everyone in our society should give back, whether it be time or money. We are privileged to live in a free and relatively affluent society. More people helping will only make it that much better.

PS. If you want to contribute to my Movember campaign here is a link to my donation page. Thanks!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?

The Joy of Giving

Teambuilding event that built bikes for deserving kidsCorporate Social Responsibility has been a priority for our company since we started in 1996.  We didn’t know it was called CSR, we just knew that we had a responsibility to give back to the communities in which we operated.  As a company we also encourage all of our staff to get involved … we have a very high participation rate in a payroll deduction program that supports the United Way and this year we added a “school build” which has been a popular choice for some of our staff. We also encourage our people to take a charity day each year to devote to a cause.

Giving money is an important part of supporting those in need, but getting involved and giving your time can be incredibly rewarding.  You get to actually meet the people who are benefiting from your help, and see what a difference you are making for them.

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Albert Pike

This week we had our annual company training/networking event in Toronto.  We fly our people in from across the country and spend a couple of days focused on training, on having some fun and on building relationships across the country.  It is also an important way for us to ensure we communicate our company culture consistently.  This year’s team building event was unique in that not only did it promote team building, but the outcome was that the teams each built a child’s bike which was to be donated through the YMCA/YWCA to a deserving child.  The added twist was when a dozen 8, 9 and 10 year olds showed up with their parents to claim their bikes!  I lost count of the tears I saw among the Eagle team, and I had a little tear going myself, when the kid’s faces lit up on seeing those bikes.

I have had that same experience when talking to people who have been through the addiction program that my wife and I support.  I have seen the 600 kids each year that attend the Young Authors and Illustrators Conference that our company sponsors. I have been fortunate to have been involved with many such situations.

If you can find a cause that touches your soul it will make you a better person, it will show you the power of helping others and ultimately the biggest winner is us.  Giving to others helps us to grow, to have a different outlook in life, to appreciate what we have and to be more positive.

“It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is real joy in giving!

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiterservice?