Irish delegation visits OAT to learn more about giving back to the world we travel
OAT has a long history of giving back: to the places where we travel, to the people who live there, and to the city of Boston and communities around the world where we live and work.
And our efforts to give back to the places we travel, as well as closer to home, have not gone unnoticed.
In April, OAT hosted a delegation from Ireland consisting of twelve chief executive officers, human resource managers, and marketing directors in Harriet’s Corner at our headquarters in Boston. These delegates were visiting the United States as part of the Irish Institute of the Center for Irish Programs at Boston College. During their stay, they met with experts and university faculty and with industry and sector leaders to learn about political identity, environment policymaking, executive leadership, and corporate social responsibility. Their visit to Harriet’s Corner helped them learn more about OAT’s social entrepreneurship model.
Alan Lewis speaks to a delegation of twelve chief executive officers, human resource managers, and marketing directors from companies in Ireland in Harriet’s Corner.
Led by Alan Lewis and OAT’s Director of Public Relations, Priscilla O’Reilly, the delegates were introduced to a brief history of our company and our goal of giving back to the world we travel. Alan spoke about our company values—specifically two of the values he strives to focus on with our Pinnacle Leadership program—and how they have a direct connection to OAT’s social responsibility. “Two of the values we hold most dearly are open and courageous communication and risk-taking,” Alan told the delegates. “It’s not easy to give difficult feedback, but I truly believe in the words, ‘Withholding is an act of violence.’ I love it when people stand up and ask the difficult questions. It shows guts.”
And Alan reinforced one of things most important to him when he took over OAT—giving back. He explained that due to our many community service events scheduled each month, our associates are given ample opportunities to help others. “Associates care more when they’re given the opportunity to do something creative,” Alan said. “When you walk into our building, you’re joining your extended family, and you care about each other.”
Alan spoke about OAT’s core values and how they help to encourage our goals of social responsibility.
Once delegates learned more about why giving back is a large part of our business, how we accomplish this goal globally, and some of our local community service events, Alan opened up the room for questions. The delegates were eager to hear more about Grand Circle Foundation’s visits to schools, villages, and communities around the world, as well as how Alan overcame some of his early challenges after first purchasing the company.
One of the delegates asked Alan who some of his major influences were, and many were surprised by his answer. “I didn’t have business heroes.” Alan shared. “In my family, we’ve had many unorthodox coaches and teachers. And I married a very unorthodox teacher. It’s allowed me to be more open to take unorthodox approaches to challenges.”
To learn more about Grand Circle Foundation’s work at giving back to the world we travel, or our Pinnacle Leadership program, visit their websites.