At Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, we believe that hiring employees with different backgrounds is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. As an equal opportunity employer, we strive to maintain a work environment that is welcoming to all. A diverse team widens the company’s point of view, improves creativity, and ultimately leads to improved service to our customers. Our company values and the below principles form the backbone of our culture:
- We maintain an “open-door” policy. We also welcome and solicit ideas through our company intranet to foster collaboration. Different, “outside-the-box” concepts should never be ignored. All ideas are considered and deserve a response.
- We value technology, working to stay on the forefront of innovation. Planning ahead to position ourselves for the future helps us remain competitive and nimble.
- We expect to grow and be successful and take pride in our ability to overcome obstacles and execute on our strategies.
- We believe that as we grow, our employees should grow with us, so we focus on promoting from within.
We also recognize that our responsibility as a company goes beyond just our employees, agents, and insureds. For four decades, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD has been an active and leading member in our community, supporting local businesses, charities, and causes. (For example, GUARD was one of the first businesses in Pennsylvania to recognize Domestic Partner status, providing support and benefits.) In addition to our corporate initiatives, we encourage employees to engage in their communities in a variety of volunteer opportunities, including active involvement on non-profit boards. This unique culture and work environment have been critical to our success.
Support for Local Business
As a cornerstone of the community of Wilkes-Barre, located in the Wyoming Valley of the Northeast region of Pennsylvania, we are active in supporting our fellow local businesses. Some notable highlights include:
- Members of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Diversity Educational Consortium
- Work with the Wyoming Valley Art League to provide artwork for our office spaces, investing in our local artist community and promoting their efforts
- A decades-long partnership with Leadership Wilkes-Barre, an organization that provides intensive programs with a focus on community awareness
- We were a featured sponsor of the first annual Rockin’ the River concert series, a new annual festival in downtown Wilkes-Barre
- Our Leadership group are active participants on local boards and conference panels, lending their expertise where it’s most needed
United Way of Wyoming Valley
Through our efforts with the United Way (perhaps our longest-running charitable partnership), we can do our part to support the under-privileged while also building a strong foundation for tomorrow through our efforts to help the education and development of local children. Some of the ways we accomplish these important goals include:
- Each year, we hold an annual drive to support the United Way of Wyoming Valley (employees in field offices can choose to give to their local chapter).
- We participate in the annual local Christmas in July event to help those in need. Through this two-week event, we collect funds and much-needed food supplies for the Commission on Economic Opportunity, as well as the Dolly Parton Imagination Library – two affiliates of the United Way.
- The John B. McGlynn Learning Center “Giving Tree” – Each December for almost three decades, our employees have purchased gifts for hundreds of underprivileged children and seniors.
- We also participate in the United Way book drive, as well as volunteering for community Reading Days to read fun and educational stories to school children.
Special Projects Committee (SPC)
Featuring a rotating group of employee volunteers, our Special Projects Committee meets regularly to discuss, plan, and coordinate events for our employees with the intent of raising money for a variety of worthy causes. Our volunteers serve as the voice for their coworkers by providing suggestions for causes our employees are most passionate about. Through the Special Projects Committee, we have donated money to a diverse selection of charities, including the American Cancer Society, Ruth’s Place Women’s Shelter, Blue Chip Animal Shelter, and many others. In addition, the SPC coordinated outings to volunteer at local soup kitchens, rebuild homes destroyed by floods, etc.
When an area of the country is hit by a disaster and needs help the most, our employees step in to raise money and donate where it’s most needed. Past natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes in Haiti, or (more recently) the COVID-19 epidemic have all prompted our employees to set up funds. We then provide a corporate match to further provide help.