by Kari Klatt
As the Executive Director of Stowell Associates, I have been thrilled to be part of a business culture that is based on learning, serving and supporting our community.
In 2013, Stowell Associates celebrated its 30th anniversary by establishing the Stowell Associates Care Management Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Foundation. This scholarship rotates every two years to provide two years of support to a student at either the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare or the College of Nursing. As Phyllis Mensh Brostoff, Stowell’s CEO explained, “My hope is that we will be encouraging the next generation of social workers and nurses to join us in this specialized practice” said Phyllis Mensh Brostoff.
“It gives me deep personal satisfaction to establish a legacy in the form of a scholarship fund. This scholarship will assist a student in pursuing a career that can be personally enriching and provide valuable assistance to members of our community” said Valerie Stefanich, co-founder of Stowell Associates.
Although the scholarship is fully funded, the company continues to make contributions to it in memory of clients when they die. These memorial gifts have proved to be particularly meaningful to surviving family members who have responded with notes, including one that read: “thank you for honoring my mother with this donation. She was always supportive of educational institutions and your donation would please her.”
This scholarship has also helped to create other opportunities to engage with the university and community leaders. As an alumni of both the UWM School of Social Welfare and the College of Nursing, I have been invited to participate in round table discussions with community leaders, meet candidates for university appointments, serve on alumni committees, fund raising and community service projects and deliver presentations to student organizations.
Giving back has always been part of the culture at Stowell Associates, providing both monetary support to various aging service organizations and volunteer time on committees, task forces and event planning. All of these efforts have raised the visibility of Stowell Associates throughout the community, including introducing us to students who are seeking part-time employment or looking for their first job following graduation. Qualified client referrals also follow when you build a culture of learning, serving and supporting others. It’s a win-win for the university, the community and the company and yields a return that spending money on advertising can’t buy. Paying it forward is good business!