March is National Women’s History Month and on top of that the second week of the month is National Women in Construction Week! We wanted to celebrate some of the amazing women we know by featuring them on our social media, in our newsletter, website, blog posts, etc. Our first feature is a board member of ours, Darlene Oleksik! We asked Darlene a few questions so everyone could get to know her a little. Here is what she said:
1. Tell us a bit more about your relationship with RTSEMI and Eaton working together, how you first heard about RTSEMI, etc.
“I have been involved with RTSEMI since 2008 and led the annual “Days of Caring” with the Eaton employees of the Southfield campus as community volunteer activities. It is part of Eaton’s mission to give back to the communities in which we live and work. RTSEMI had reached out to our HR lead and she asked me for assistance as the marketing communications lead on site. We all met and thought it would be a great fit for us both! Over the years, we have grown our events from individual homeowners to large community activities like community center and public park rehabilitation.”
2. What is most meaningful to you personally about the work you do and have done with RTSEMI? If you have any personal anecdotes about any projects you have done, please feel free to share them with us!
“I am never more proud of working for Eaton than when it comes to our annual Days of Caring. We moved our work days from a weekend activity to the work week. The employees of the Southfield campus show up in force for these work days and our leaders actively encourage this. It is a true volunteer activity, Eaton giving time for our employees to give back. Prior to my time at Eaton, I worked in the non-profit sector, so I know how important volunteer support is to making a difference. I am so proud to lead this activity year after year and have such significant employee commitment as well.
As far as anecdotes go, where to start? Each event has something special… The first year, the homeowners were an elderly couple. The lady made us brownies and cried with joy while the gentleman, a retired navy man, “supervised” our crew the entire day. What a stitch! The second year, it happened to be the homeowner’s 82nd birthday on our workday. We went got her a cake and had the whole volunteer crew sing “Happy Birthday. ”We were all touched… not a dry eye in the place! We have a large number of engineers at our campus. Over the years these folks have used lasers to precisely align the trees planted in parks; taken wood planks for plant beds or park benches/steps back to our facility so they could use power tools to rebuild these features properly. Dedication from their profession and to the cause! We also helped rehabilitate a community center one year. Not only did we work on the facility with paint and repairs, we provided office chairs and desks for their computer lab, collected funds for new lockers and sports equipment for their summer camps. Tons of work done at city parks around Southfield and when I have been out and about wearing Eaton gear, people have commented “You are the company that fixed the parks.” So many wonderful memories come to mind from each and every event throughout the years.”
3. What made you want to come on as a board member for RTSEMI?
“RTSEMI has done great work over the years and they are expanding the area and people they serve. The passion and commitment among the board, staff and volunteers is inspiring! I want to make a more significant contribution to RTSEMI and their efforts to improving the community, more than the annual Days of Caring activity.”
We are so thankful for the work Darlene does for us and the partnership we have with Eaton.