This piece ran in the Iowa City Press-Citizen Saturday, March 19, 2016.
It seems that everyone has a formula for giving, especially during the holidays. Not everyone is as creative as Innovative Software Engineering. Instead of just making a donation, ISE invited their employees to select nonprofit organizations they wanted to support. In turn, ISE would invest charitable dollars on their behalf.
We applaud entrepreneur and owner Hass Machlab, who spearheaded an ISE gift of more than $6,000 to local nonprofits via the Community Foundation of Johnson County. Their efforts will impact local organizations and their clients.
Machlab asked us for suggestions and we helped select 10 nonprofit organizations with endowed funds. During the process, he noted, "Giving local is important to ISE. It's equally important to reflect our employees' wishes."
Each ISE employee was given $125 to invest in local charities. The following organizations benefited from Innovative Software Engineering staff's generosity: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County, Crisis Center Emergency Assistance, Elder Services of Johnson County, Greater Iowa City Area Student Scholarships, Healthy Kids Initiative, Hillcrest Mental Health Facility, Iowa City Community School District Foundation, Iowa City Hospice, Local Food Connection and United Way Entrepreneurial.
Working with Machlab and Deb Droll, controller for the company, was inspirational. Droll said an announcement was made at a company party. "It was very exciting and so much fun. It was a wonderful team-building activity determining where to allocate our financial support."
Machlab explained his desire to give back to the community and involve his team of employees. "Through the years, ISE has received great support from the community. This was an opportunity for our company to keep helping the community we love. The big difference this time is that we found a way to allow each ISE employee to choose the organizations to receive the financial support.
"Giving to the community where we live, work, create, learn and play was a win-win and especially meaningful during the holiday season."
ISE's innovative gift was a resourceful way to support employees and give to local organizations. Giving through the Community Foundation benefits our nonprofit organization partners and our donors.
We celebrate Innovative Software Engineering's successes. The company launched in December 2002 in Machlab's basement with eight employees and has now grown to 60 employees. In May 2011, ISE moved to its present location on Coral Court. The company specializes in delivering tailored innovative software solutions to help companies simplify and solve even their most complex business challenges. ISE Fleet Services' products help transportation fleets manage their compliance with state and federal DOT regulations.
You or your company can give a gift, too. And you don't have to wait for a holiday to contribute. Visit www.communityfoundationofjohnsoncounty.org to learn more or give us a call at 319-337-0483. We will help you achieve your charitable giving goals.
Mike Stoffregen is executive director of the Community Foundation of Johnson County, and Sheila Boyd is director of development for the foundation.