Hello and welcome back to Patterson Profiles, a series where we sit down with a Patterson Dental VIP for an in-depth chat about their personal involvement with a philanthropic organization. These individuals pursue their passions with purpose, and personify Patterson’s commitment to community!
To date, we have spoken with a regional president about his work supporting the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, and two marketing moguls about their leadership roles within the Organization for Safety, Aesepsis and Prevention, and the American Association of Dental Office Management. In this latest installment we chat with Dave Misiak, 21-year Patterson patriarch, and Patterson Dental President. For the last 5 years, Dave has been heavily involved with The Patterson Foundation, most recently moving into the role of Foundation President. Let’s find out what gives this mission its moxie!
Giving back is the right thing to do for our communities and our employees. It’s also a critical piece of sustainability for any company.
2. There are many worthy charitable organizations to work with. What drew you to the Patterson Foundation?
Working with the Patterson Foundation gives me the opportunity to support volunteer organizations that align with Patterson’s two businesses, dentistry and animal health. It also allows me to play a part in giving back to the families of Patterson employees through the scholarship program.
3. What does your role within the Patterson Foundation look like?
As the current President I see my role as a connection for our great company and its employees to be more involved in the mission: Both in giving back in our communities as well as ongoing education in the form scholarships for Patterson employees.
4. What’s a favorite memory you made during your time working with The Patterson Foundation?
Being on the Foundation board and spending time learning from the founders has left me with so many incredible memories. It has been amazing to help see that their vision is carried out through grants and scholarships. The endowment currently sits at nearly 22 Million dollars, and the endless possibilities that affords get me excited.
One of my particular passions is the foundation’s scholarship program, where we offer scholarships to dependents of Patterson employees. To see and hear folks talk about the impact that money had on them, their families, and their education, is absolutely incredible. I think continuing that legacy of gratitude that was so pervasive with the founders has been particularly memorable and impactful for me.
5. What is one thing about The Patterson Foundation that people may not know?
Even though its title has the word “Patterson” in it, the foundation is actually private and not part of the Patterson corporation, which can be easily misunderstood. Our grant making guidelines, specifically in dental, stay focused on that and we work with 501(c)3’s who provide free dental services and education to individuals and communities that wouldn’t otherwise have access to this critical care.
Another thing people may not know, is that they can get involved with volunteering with the 501(c)3 organizations we work with throughout the country. We encourage Patterson employees in particular to participate – especially those folks who think, “maybe I can’t give financially right now, but I could give some of my time or in-kind services.” If you’re a service technician, or have dental assisting in your background, or just want to go and hand out supplies and be a part of the process that way, you can actually go and volunteer your time in many locations. You can do that by contacting the foundation to find out where the grants have been made and where you can volunteer your personal time. It’s a really wonderful thing to be a part of giving back, and that environment of gratitude. At the end of the day, that’s just the best feeling – I think gratitude is the most powerful word in the English language.
6. What does success look like with The Patterson Foundation?
The success factor that I think is the most important around the foundation and its connection to the success of our company, is sustainability. As we think about what’s important to millennials and the coming generations, it continues to become more and more critical that a company has a genuine connection to philanthropy, and gives back to the community. As a matter of fact, we had a group of young interns this past summer, and I asked them, “how important is giving back to the community and philanthropy in your decision-making around where you would work?” They all said it was at the top of the list.
So as we think about the future, and continuing the great work of the foundation and it’s connection to Patterson’s company values, we’re going to have to have a crystal clear message around philanthropy, gratitude, and giving back to our communities. I think it’s imperative for our employees to be on-board with that, to keep our great company moving and growing.
7. What is the biggest challenge facing The Patterson Foundation?
Sustainability through a deeper connection with the company and fundraising. These are common challenges for many foundations.
8. How can interested groups and individuals get involved with The Patterson Foundation?
You can read more about the Patterson Foundations mission on our website, PattersonFoundation.net. Volunteer at a grant recipients program, volunteer for a foundation committee, or of course, make a donation. Every dollar helps support a great cause!