Recovery is good business



I just learned of this upcoming talk in Ann Arbor:

Belief, Hope and Generosity in the Workplace: Hiring Individuals in Recovery
Wednesday October 1, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm — Ann Arbor Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

Ari Weinzweig believes that a key aspect of managing ourselves is acknowledging the power of belief – and how much, whether we realize it or not, our beliefs impact our lives and our futures.

In this talk, the CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses will take a look at how our beliefs play out in our day to day workplace experiences and how we and our workplaces are impacted by our beliefs. Ari will discuss how what we believe about ourselves, our organization, our coworkers, our boss, the work that we do and our ability to do it will significantly alter the outcomes we get in what we do, and how, wittingly or unwittingly, we go to great lengths to reinforce our beliefs.

zingermans_wisdom_4Zingerman’s has been very good to the recovering community and Dawn Farm. They’ve made Ann Arbor and the recovering community stronger by giving lots of recovering people (often with spotty employment histories) a chance, paying them fairly and providing a growth-fostering workplace. Not surprisingly, small groups of recovering people have developed within their businesses. These groups end up recruiting new employees from withing the recovering community, they support each other, push each other and work together to fulfill Zingerman’s mission:

We share the Zingerman’s Experience
Selling food that makes you happy
Giving service that makes you smile
In passionate pursuit of our mission
Showing love and care in all our actions
To enrich as many lives as we possibly can.

So, recovery is good for business. We’re grateful for Zingerman’s, and I’m pretty sure Zingerman’s is grateful for the recovering community.

Here’s a story we included in a mailing several years back.


Recovery is good business

Or good deli, to be more specific.

The photo above is a collection of men and women who share two great things. They all work for the nationally-known Zingerman’s Delicatessan (that’s co-owner Paul Saginaw on the far left). And all of their lives changed as a result of the programs of Dawn Farm.

Nancy had an addiction that eventually incapacited her. Vince smoked cocaine and injected heroin-and was released from jail to enter Dawn Farm. Betty was a chronic alcoholic, as was Mark, who washed out of school due to his drinking. Jeff and Frank were longtime crack addicts. Pat used a variety of narcotic drugs-that devastated his life. Terry had lost her two children due to her alcoholism.

The stories go from bad to worse. But all of these addicts and alcoholics found a way off the streets through Dawn Farm. These stories all resulted in a miracle-because these men and women are sober and drug-free today. And working at a really great place!

Each of them works full-time. They pay taxes. They rent videos and go grocery shopping. In addition, they all work for a wonderful local employer.

Paul Saginaw and his partners have been hiring Farm graduates for many years. “They really are terrific employees, and I’ve had great success with them over the years.”

Zingerman’s knows that “farmers” know how to work- and they have had a history of good experiences hiring young men and women who’ve been associated with Dawn Farm. “Zingerman’s is great,” offers Betty, “they really make you feel like you’re a part of a family.”

Zingerman’s and Dawn Farm have a unique collaborative relationship in helping these men and women find a way into normal life. The positive culture at Zingerman’s is one that works well with the community of recovery.

The group assembled above have these words for the struggling alcoholic or addict: “You can get better-like we did. You don’t have to live that way anymore. Get some help! Call the Farm, and stay there.”

Paul Saginaw offers his own advice: “When you get out of treatment, come and see me. We’re hiring.”