2015 Johnson Controls

Community Volunteer Awards
2015 Honoree
Johnson Controls (Albert Ayulo)
Johnson Controls (Albert Ayulo)

Distinguished Business Partner

Johnson Controls (Albert Ayulo)

Do you remember these words? 

The voice was so faint; He could just barely hear it; Speak up, please, said Horton; He put his ear near it. 

The story of "Horton Hears a Who" is a little like the Cordova Community Council's air conditioning dilemma at last year's Heartstoppers Haunted House. Let me explain.
Heartstoppers is a mighty undertaking by a couple of non-profits. One of them is the Cordova Community Council. For 14 nights, a bunch of teenage zombies team up with some incredibly creative adults to produce a scary experience, in donated space at the old Mineshaft Amusement Center, just in time for Halloween.

What was really scary this year was that vandals had made off with the air conditioning units. And while October weather is not July weather, it still gets pretty hot when hundreds of bodies are crammed into a building, screaming bloody murder.

What to do? 

Luckily for us, there was an elephant of a company near by ready to come to the rescue. 

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. They have 170,000 employees who create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. 

They are most famous for an invention we all use every day, though it can be the cause of great marital strife from time to time. Way back in 1885, Johnson Controls invented the first electric room thermostat.

More than a century later this company had installed heating and air conditioning units at the Rancho Cordova Police Department. They let it be known that they wanted to be a force in the community, and were available to help.

How lucky it was that the Who's Down in Whoville at the Cordova Community Council caught wind of this offer. "We are here, we are here!" they shouted.

Actually, that is not exactly how it happened. But the call was made: we need to chill a giant haunted house and need some air conditioning units to do it. Can you help?

Before we knew it, it was Johnson Controls to the rescue. They sent out a team of experts to take a look at what was left behind by the vandals. The scoured their resources and found serviceable used units. And lo, and behold, the problem was solved.

Our experience with Alberto Ayulo and the folks at Johnson Controls got us wondering more about this giant company. What we learned is that helping out in the communities in which they have a presence is a company value and that employees like Al are lending a helping hand all over the world.

Last year, while they were helping us, Corporate Responsibility Magazine was recognizing Johnson Controls as the #12 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. We are not surprised.

Here's how they explain it on their company website:
"Many companies encourage their leaders to volunteer and serve communities where they have a presence. What sets Johnson Controls apart from other companies are the robust tools and resources that are available to enable, facilitate and document that volunteer service."


Johnson Controls, in Rancho Cordova we like to think that one good thing always leads to another. Because we had air conditioning at our Heartstoppers Haunted House, we were able to raise money to benefit our community. With the extra dollars, we are planning a series of summer outdoor movies that will be shown at a favorite community park. It will be free of charge to families in our community and their friends, because you answered the call for help.

We like to think we are more than a group of people living on a tiny dust speck. But the lessons of Horton Hears a Who resonate when we think of our small non-profit's relationship with your giant company. 

In other words,
My friend, came the voice
You're a very fine friend
You've help all us folk
On this dust speck no end

After all, a person's a person, no matter how small.

Thank you Johnson Controls, for the helping hand when we needed it. Your are our Distinguished Business Partner.

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