TDS aims to celebrate all associates who give back to their communities.
Here are our most recent featured volunteers.
From an early age, Associate Manager of Communications Cheryl McCollum witnessed the importance of giving back.
“My mom was a girl scout leader, and my dad sang in our church choir and served as our church treasurer,” Cheryl said. “My siblings and I grew up seeing how much joy and fulfillment philanthropy brought them, and I think that really resonated with me.”
Cheryl discovered her love for volunteering as a young adult, volunteering at her kids’ swim meets and sporting events, serving as YMCA MEYO Swim Team president, coaching youth softball with her husband, Steve, and later serving as the Madison East High School Booster Club secretary.
Today, Dane Country residents are likely to find her and Steve volunteering in the concessions at one of the many large events in the area—University of Wisconsin sporting events, Brat Fest, concerts at Breese Stevens Field, etc.—on behalf of St. Dennis Lighthouse Ministries.
With Lighthouse Ministries, Cheryl and Steve have been on three mission trips to Belize, with plans for a fourth next year. They have done various activities to help aid two impoverished communities in the country—helping raise funds to build a new school, providing scholarship opportunities to young students, helping lead a vacation Bible program, and forging lasting bonds with community members.
Whether it’s at Meals on Wheels, the Freemasonry, his children’s’ activities, or just seeing a person in need, Senior Sales Engineer Matthew Ivens is always quick to lend a helping hand.
A resident of Middleton, Wisconsin, Matt began his volunteerism delivering meals through the Meals on Wheels program. He’s also been active and held several leadership roles with Wisconsin Freemasonry—helping men over the age of 18 become better individuals, community members, fathers, and partners.
Matt’s kids are now at the center of many of his activities, as he continues to stay busy coaching youth soccer, chaperoning trips, and volunteering at school.
For Matt, volunteering has multiple purposes. Not only is it about helping others, but he also gets a sense of fulfillment, builds new friendships, and grows as a person.
“Growing up, my parents always set a strong example to get involved and help out where you can,” Matt said. “Because of that, it can be hard for me to stand on the sidelines when something needs to be done, or when someone needs help and I have the resources available (like time, money, or knowledge) to help. We only have a short time on this planet, and for me, I feel I need to do as much good as I can while I’m here.”
Volunteering is in Lead Data Analyst Tammy Brown’s DNA.
“I love volunteering because I can see the results of my efforts in the world around me, and I know that I am making a difference,” Tammy said.
For the past 15 years, Tammy and her husband, Tim, have been active volunteers at many Relay for Life events on behalf of the American Cancer Society (ACS)—supporting patient programs and cancer research. For eight years, the couple led Relay for Life in their community, helping raise more than $500,000.
Tammy is also involved in the nonpartisan lobbying affiliate of ACS, the ACS-Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN). In fact, Tammy was directly involved in the advocacy efforts for then-Vice President Joe Biden’s Moonshot Initiative, which led to the passage of the STAR-ACT (Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research).
Tammy also teaches children financial literacy through her involvement with Junior Achievement, serves as a chief elections inspector at Janesville elections, and volunteers with her local church.
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Volunteering has held a special place in Senior Project Consultant Ashley Heil’s heart for as long as she can remember.
It all started when she began volunteering with her hometown church group as a child. From there, she carried this passion into middle school and high school, serving on boards for youth organizations like 4-H, FFA (Future Farmers of America), and FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America). In these roles, she helped organized community events and helped younger students get involved in them.
More recently, Ashley has used her background in agriculture and marketing communications to benefit people in impoverished countries. Since her initial service trip to Fiji in college, she’s spent over three years in 13 countries across the globe on mission trips.
Last year, Ashley applied her agricultural knowledge to benefit impoverished people during two mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Panama. One of her groups’ projects was helping build a 6,000-square-foot wall, which will contain a skills lab where members of the community will learn to repair essential items. The skills lab will create local jobs and prevent waste.
“The reason I’m here at TDS is because the company emphasizes giving back to the community and giving associates the paid time off to make a difference,” Ashley said. “I feel so empowered working for a company that shares many of my values.”