A chat with Alfonso Fernandez and the rewards of FinancialForce4Good
Part of what drew me personally to FinancialForce.com was the company’s focus on corporate social responsibility and the FinancialForce4Good program. In continuing my mission to bring those behind the scenes to the spotlight, I am pleased to introduce Alfonso Fernandez, an employee who has played a pivotal role in expanding the FinancialForce4Good program globally. Q: Hi Alfonso! Thanks for chatting with me. First, tell us your role at FinancialForce.com? A: I work as Development Support Manager. We work as both Incident Management system and as Problem Management system, so we try to restore normal service operation as quickly as possible, as well as identify the root cause of the problems that our customers have. Q: For those who don’t know, what is FinancialForce4Good? And how are employees involved? A: Well, in summary, it is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility project. All the employees have the chance to invest 1% of their working time in any kind of project they consider useful for the community, that is, social, environmental, etc. For instance, in Spain we usually all meet together, propose and evaluate the options we have, and decide which of them are the ones we like the most. In addition to volunteer time, the company also provides solutions at a discount to non-profit organizations. Q: How did you pick up the responsibilities of taking charge of FinancialForce4Good initiatives in Spain? How do you personally feel about getting involved in the community? A: More than one year ago, when this project started and was thriving in the United States, I wanted to make sure that it is just as well participated in the UK and Spain. So, I picked up the opportunity, and, personally, I am very happy to have made that decision, and that they accept me. For me, FinancialForce4Good is really rewarding. I consider it as any other ‘working’ project, the only difference is that it has different objectives. The feeling we get from doing something helpful, that we can change a bit some things that need to be changed, is really amazing. I know that we only are 22 people in FinancialForce.com Spain, but we work hard, and we are making a difference in people’s lives. Q: Tell us about some of your favorite initiatives? A: I have two favorite initiatives. Last year, we cleaned a water canal to help provide a safer place for different types of animals and insects to live, including a dragonfly that is protected by the Spanish legislation. It is very rewarding to know that you are helping a bit to maintain the biodiversity in the place you live. The second one is the food collection we did for the Food Bank in Granada. We collected 4.5 tons of food in two days, much more that we all expected. It was an eye-opening experience. You do not really realize just how many people don’t have enough food to eat daily. To try to help them is truly the least we can do. Q: What are your goals for FFDC4Good in Granada and globally? A: The first thing is to maintain the project ‘alive and well’ with the same level of commitment, but I’m very lucky of being working inside this team, so I think it will be easy to achieve and that I can count on their support and participation. I also have to contact more people, NGOs, regional/national authorities so we can extend the possibilities of doing even better activities in the future. From a global perspective, I’d like us to do some projects involving people from all countries. The impact of this program has just begun. We plan to do so much more as a company!