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AFPAware: Finance Pros Volunteer to Make a Difference

  • By Andrew Deichler
  • Published: 10/18/2015
DenverAFP Annual Conference attendees gave back to Denver Sunday with AFPAware Community Service Day. For the sixth straight year, BBVA Compass sponsored the event. This year, AFP members assisted two dynamic organizations: Colorado Feeding Kids and Operation Gratitude.

Colorado Feeding Kids

Colorado Feeding Kids, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, provides nutritious food to impoverished children in Colorado and around the world. The organization has packed over 3.5 million meals since its inception eight years ago.

On Sunday, AFPAware volunteers joined about a dozen Colorado Feeding Kids’ core volunteers to pack meals for children in Colorado. While the goal was to pack 20,000 meals—in about two hours—the group actually managed to exceed that. “We packed 23,000 meals,” said Nanette Crocker, executive director of corporate treasury management for BBVA Compass. “Some of those meals will go into the local community and some of them will supplement another shipment they have planned to go to Africa.”

It was clear from speaking with attendees at the event that it was a rewarding experience for everyone involved. “This is one of the nicest events of the AFP Conference because we are giving back to the community,” said Patricia Hui, CTP, senior corporate treasury manager at Mentor Graphics Corp. and an AFP Board member, who attends AFPAware every year. “It’s nice that BBVA sponsors this event for us every year. I have been doing it for the last five or six years, and it’s really rewarding to start the conference with such a nice event.

Attendees were split into teams, each of which acted as an assembly line that packed the contents of bags of food, sealed them, and packed them into boxes. Everyone clearly enjoyed the team aspect of the event, and engaged in some friendly competition. “It was a lot of fun. We had several different groups; we got fairly analytical and competitive,” said Jake Bailey, FP&A, controller and director of finance for Tana Exploration.

Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude sends care packages to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas; to their children left behind; and to veterans, new recruits, first responders, wounded warriors and their caregivers. The group has sent more than 1.25 million packages to troops overseas.

AFPAware Volunteers assembled packages for active duty military and veterans. They also wrote letters to currently deployed service members, new recruits and wounded warriors that are included in the care kits.

“BBVA always puts on a great event every year,” said June Johnson, CTP, CPA, CGMA, director of finance and treasurer and head of investor accounting at Z Capital Group LLC and also an AFP Board member. “This year was fantastic with the team-building. That was really cool. Every year, it’s just really nice to give back to the community that we come to.”

Crocker added that BBVA has seen attendance for AFPAware increase year-over-year. “We have people who attend every year, but we also had a good number of first-timers joining us,” she said. “It sets the stage for the whole week and it just makes you feel good, giving back to the community.”

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