By Megan Hartmus and Mary Minogue
The DoubleTree by Hilton in Port Huron was recognized for its commitment to the community and passion for involvement as winner of the 2019 Governor’s Service Award for the high level of service the business and its employees provide year after year. General Manager Amber Burch and her team routinely go above and beyond in their support for local groups and projects in their efforts to be a positive force in their neighborhood and beyond.
Beginning when the hotel opened in 2013, community outreach has always been a priority for DoubleTree Port Huron, with support projects playing a critical role in its mission. The team at DoubleTree formed “Care Committees” to focus on community and guest relations. These programs gave associates the opportunity to actively engage in their neighborhood and find new and exciting causes and events where the DoubleTree team could volunteer.
In 2019, DoubleTree Port Huron volunteered with more than 12 organizations, getting involved in countless projects. Some of these organizations include Habitat for Humanity, The Blue Water Area Humane Society, Adopt-A-Highway, Lighthouse Park Cleanup, and Adopt a Family. In order to make these projects a success, employees have the opportunity to sign up for projects that interest them the most. DoubleTree Port Huron encourages employee involvement by compensating for their volunteer time. Burch explained that “the majority of [employees] volunteer at least once or twice a year.”
Looking forward, DoubleTree Port Huron plans to remain ambitious in its community outreach. They would like to expand their horizons in order to incorporate a bigger project across the state of Michigan. Burch hopes to become involved with Michigan Cares for Tourism as well as larger initiatives within Habitat for Humanity, per the request of employees. DoubleTree Port Huron is excited about the growth of the program and the future of the community outreach impacts.
Burch stressed the importance of having the associates of DoubleTree Port Huron involved in choosing the organizations and projects they participate in. The involvement in decision making drives passion and creates motivation for the employees to give back. This involvement, paired with excitement to give back, facilitates a strong community outreach program, which is why the DoubleTree Port Huron was the perfect recipient of the Governor’s Service Award.
The associates have enjoyed their community outreach efforts and have become passionate about creating their own volunteering experiences. Burch stated, “some [employees] have begun to volunteer at local animal shelters, nursing homes, and soup kitchens” on their own time. This personal initiative by employees has created a ripple effect of positive community outreach in Port Huron and around the state of Michigan. The DoubleTree Port Huron is an outstanding example of businesses getting involved and giving back to the community.
- DoubleTree Port Huron participates in community outreach and volunteer opportunities at least once a month.
- They find employee’s interest integral in volunteer project selection.