Every other year, Mars celebrates Associates who put our principles into action and bring innovative thinking, fresh perspectives and personal commitment to improve our communities, our environment, our workplace and our business. We recognize their contributions through the Mars Make the Difference program.
Associates are nominated either individually or in teams for the following categories:
- People Awards— for Associates who have made positive impacts through outstanding line management or team leadership, demonstration of the Five Principles and delivery of great results through people
- Planet Awards— for outstanding contribution to Mars' activities that positively impact the environment
- Innovation Awards— for outstanding contribution to the business by generating and acting on ideas
- Lifetime Achievement Awards- for Associates who have made an enormous difference throughout their careers at Mars
With more than 15,000 Make the Difference nominations submitted by Associates and teams around the world, participation in the 2011 program more than doubled compared to the 7,000 nominations submitted in 2009. That means nearly 50% of our Associate population was recognized as part of one or more Make the Difference nominations.
“The response to the 2011 Make the Difference program has been truly amazing,” said Cheryl DeSantis, Global Champion for the 2011 Make the Difference program. “Our Associates really took to heart this one of a kind opportunity to recognize…and celebrate…each other’s achievements and helped drive engagement across the business.”
In November, MTD finalists arrived in Washington DC for the awards event where leaders from across the business honored Make the Difference Global Finalists and Winners at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum.
Finalists spent a day volunteering in the greater Washington, D.C. area as part of the global event. A number of local programs benefitted from their help, including
- The Washington Animal Rescue League which is known not only for its long history of compassionate care for animals, but for its innovative shelter, which is designed to promote the physical, emotional, and social healing of animals recovering from past traumas
- Gleaning Food Banking, an organization that collects fruits and vegetables from local farmers and distributes them to local food banks.
- Garrett Park Elementary School in Bethesda, MD: where Associates visited to pack backpacks with food for school age children in an underserved community.
- Greater D.C. Cares, which mobilizes volunteers and strengthens non-profits to better impact communities and the key issues of the Greater D.C. region.