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Commentary: November-December 2011

Paying it Forward

December 13, 2011  By  Bill Tice

Many companies and organizations use the buzz phrase “corporate social
responsibility” or “CSR” ­– but do they all really live it?

Many companies and organizations use the buzz phrase “corporate social responsibility” or “CSR” ­– but do they all really live it? Some do and some don’t, and some only have a CSR program because it is good for their image. But when working on this issue of Aggregates & Roadbuilding, I came across a construction company in Saskatchewan that truly does give back to the community for all the right reasons. They don’t want any glory. They don’t want the publicity. And in the words of their management team, they are “just doing what a number of other companies do.”

The company is Morsky Construction Ltd., which is based in Regina. They were a good fit for our Editor’s Choice “Roadbuilder of the Year” title due to the recognition they have received recently for social and environmental accomplishments. But in true Prairie style, the modest, humble and very private company owner, Brian Morsky, didn’t see what all of the fuss was about.

They did agree to a “short” article on the company and their contributions, which you will find on page 26, but at Brian’s request, we didn’t use the “Roadbuilder of the Year” tag. Have a read through the story. It’s a refreshing take on doing things for all the right reasons.


Speaking of giving back, I recently had the opportunity to spend half a day installing siding on a Habitat for Humanity home in San Antonio, Texas. I was in town for the Construction Writers Association annual conference, and the job site outing, which was made possible by a donation from CASE Construction (see story on page 37), was a voluntary activity that was part of the event.

I have never worked on a Habitat for Humanity project before, or for that matter, done anything like this, but I have to say it was a great experience. Sometimes, with looming deadlines, long to-do lists, extensive travel schedules and the other day-to-day pressures we face in our jobs and busy lives, we forget that there are many people in this world who are less fortunate than we are. It was 94 degrees Fahrenheit on the job site and the 20 or so of us that went on the project baked under the hot southern Texas sun, but we came away with a sense of accomplishment that many of us don’t achieve on a regular basis. On the 30-minute bus ride to the worksite, we were all talking about our upcoming deadlines and work challenges as BlackBerrys buzzed and cellphones rang. On the way back, the main topic of conversation centred on what we had accomplished in one afternoon and how rewarding it was to give back. And for the most part, BlackBerrys were ignored. If you haven’t given back recently or paid it forward, try it. It’s well worthwhile.

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