This month, Helios interviewed our partner Alan Meltzer, CEO of The Meltzer Group, a leading benefits broker based in Bethesda. While The Meltzer Group is known for their integrity and hard work, they are equally recognized for their philanthropy. Learn how they have instituted an Employee Giving Fund and how they have made Corporate Social Responsibility a part of their culture in the interview below!
Helios HR: What’s your top challenge today and how do you address it?
Alan Meltzer: The biggest problem for The Meltzer Group is succession planning and bringing in young, caring people who will take our company to the next level. We need people who can continue to put customers and employees first, fit into the culture that we have and help grow the company. Also as you can imagine, the Affordable Care Act is a never ending nightmare for us as I’m sure it is with your company.
Helios HR: How did you institute the Employee Giving Fund and how that has made an impact on the community and your culture?
Alan Meltzer: Culturally, The Meltzer Group and my wife and I have always believed in giving back into the community. It’s not about how much money you make; it’s how much you give away. We give away about $500,000 per year.
The Employee Giving Fund, led by Scott Kirsch, is an employee committee that organizes and decides on what nonprofit will be the recipient, and the employees donate to the fund. Then Jack Abel, Greg Carroll and I match whatever the employees contribute. We have donated to over 200 organizations since we started.
We also encourage all of our associates to volunteer in the community by giving them a day off per quarter specifically to volunteer.
Helios HR: Tell us about the Alan Meltzer CEO Leadership Speaker Series at American University’s Kogod School of Business. Why is professional development important to you?
I had no money when I went to American University on a wrestling scholarship. I have always wanted to give back to the University that gave so nicely to me.
With the Leadership Speaker Series, the nation’s top CEOs to come out to the University, have lunch with the students and speak on how they built their companies. Previous speakers have included the President of the World Bank and Citibank. The purpose of the program is to inspire the students to see what they can do with their futures.
Helios HR: How do you keep your employees engaged with your vision?
Alan Meltzer: We are constantly trying to be better here. That’s my message to everyone every day.
Anything one individual does reflects our entire organization. The vision of The Meltzer Group is to provide what I call “raving fan” service and give back to our community. Without that, we won’t be here.
Helios HR: What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever told you?
Alan Meltzer: There’s no substitution for working hard with honesty and integrity.