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Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Mills Basics

Brad Mills Brad Mills – CEO Mills Basics Productivity

How is Mills Office Productivity Involved with Dress for Success?

Mills has been a supporter of Dress for Success for over 9 years through various channels – clothing drives, sponsorships, and services. Over the years we have supplied Dress for Success with their office supplies and printing materials for their fundraising and marketing campaigns. This has allowed them to keep their operating costs low thus putting more women through their programs. We also commit to an annual sponsorship supporting their premier event Impact 360 and more recently the Success Luncheon.

We actively promote Dress for Success to our customer and supplier base to raise awareness and to have them support & collaborate with Dress for Success to foster new ideas and initiatives. Mills also encourages its staff to volunteer their time for various events and committees, while I show my personal support by sitting on the Board of Directors. The work Dress for Success does is so important and I want to ensure its continued success by lending my expertise and providing new avenues of revenue.

What makes Mills Office Productivity so passionate about the organization?

I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Deborah Twocock many years ago. Little did I realize that the simple question I asked “What is it that you guys do around here?” would help change the way our company viewed its contribution to our community. It was her passion and determination to impact women’s lives that inspired me. There is no dignity in giving someone a hand out, it may sustain them for awhile, but it does not create true change. Dress for Success gives women the opportunity to change their lives and the lives of their children not only through clothes, but more importantly through all the additional career services they provide. It is so rewarding to see the transformation of the women who come to Dress for Success and knowing that our company has a role in this. Everyone deserves an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and we are thankful to be involved with an organization that creates this impact.

What are some other initiatives that Mills Office Productivity has supported?

Michelle Reid - Sustainability Czar at Mills Office Productivity Michelle Reid – Sustainability Czar at Mills Office Productivity

Mills strongly believes in giving people opportunities that may have not been otherwise extended to them. In a joint effort with other business associates,, Mills led an effort in 2007 to create H.A.V.E. Café, a social enterprise operating as a culinary training society and a restaurant in the Downtown Eastside.

H.A.V.E. provides occupational and life skills training to residents of the community that have been excluded from work due to poverty, homelessness, addiction, or mental and physical disabilities. In addition to occupational training, students in the eight week program receive meals, Food Safe Certification and employment counselling as support to successfully transition into the local workforce. H.A.V.E. restores hope by giving respect, nurturing self-confidence, granting trust, and creating opportunity. To date over 800 students have graduated from the program, with nearly 80% successfully finding employment.

Are there any events that you look forward to the most?

One of the events we enjoy the most is Impact 360. It brings such joy to see the women walk down the runway with such confidence in front of their family and supporters. Everyone should have the opportunity to shine and sometimes all it takes is having someone in your corner believing that you can achieve your goals and dreams.

Is there anything else the community would be interested to hear about Mills Office Productivity?

When people think of Mills, they may just see us as a business that sells office supplies – this is what we do, but it is not who we are. We have been able to for the past 16 years, to use our traditional business as a force for good. In 2012, we joined other local business leaders in the B Corp movement. As a B Corp, we have to take into account our employees, the community and environment in all business decisions we make. This accountability has allowed us to keep moving forward with our company initiatives even in the face of adversity. Businesses have a responsibility to take care of their community and employees to ensure that everyone can prosper, not just a chosen few.

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