Every so often, SKETCH highlights a long-time partner or supporter to illustrate how vital our partnerships can be to ignite and sustain SKETCH programs. Today we feature ASSOCIUM, one of our long-standing collaborators.
How did the ASSOCIUM-SKETCH relationship begin, and what were the first impressions of SKETCH?
SKETCH joined our procurement services division, ASSOCIUM GAIN, in February 2001. The first products services you signed up for were Office Supplies (recognizing how much our program could save you on all of your office supply needs) and with our Employee Assistance Plan program (EAP). We’re almost at our 16th anniversary mark! We met with Rudy in a small office in the Queen West Community Health Centre. Rudy’s enthusiasm and belief in SKETCH’s mandate were strong then and haven’t diminished after all these years later
A year later, through our quotation and consultation process, SKETCH began a long relationship with our employee group-benefits division, and partner on the ASSOCIUM GAIN roster, ASSOCIUM Benefits, on February 1, 2002. SKETCH’s membership with ASSOCIUM GAIN has also saved the organization hard and soft costs in the areas of janitorial services, commercial insurance, and HR services with ASSOCIUM Consultants–the founding division of ASSOCIUM which started in 1984. We strive to create shared services and cross-sector partnership solutions that benefit employees, employer and community.
How do ASSOCIUM’s values mirror SKETCH’s?
All divisions of ASSOCIUM strive to connect like-minded individuals and companies for the betterment of the greater community. We provide ongoing support, consultations, hard- and soft-cost savings, and by creating an external team to help augment internal teams of our clients so that they can get back to the work they do best (while we do what we do best) like creating our future leaders, economic self-sufficiency and barrier-free cultures.
What is it about SKETCH’s day-to-day work that strikes a chord with your team?
In fact all of it. Presently, we are in the final stages of launching a micro-funding program called the ASSOCIUM Community Chest, which represents our commitment to helping build sustainable communities. We believe that true equality for people comes through economic independence and the opportunity to pursue their interests with dignity and respect. The ACC seeks to help support and guide promising entrepreneurs in our communities who otherwise may never be given a chance.
How has the relationship developed over the years?
Just as SKETCH’s programming and reach have grown over the past 20 years, so have ours. ASSOCIUM GAIN is also celebrating 20 years assisting the sector! We started out as a group-buying program with six organizations that asked for help with their operational and administrative costs. Since then, we’ve grown into a full-fledged procurement services division offering products and services, nationally, from 19 partners that make an impact on the bottom line of our members!
SKETCH has watched us grow and has entrusted us with many facets of the organization including supporting the leadership team through our Human Resources advisory services. We truly love our relationship with SKETCH–and with Rudy Ruttimann!
Any wishes for SKETCH’s next twenty years?
That your good works inspire more young people to do what they love and to reach their potential. They have so much to offer–everyone should know what you do; and what they do! Congratulations on a well done 20 years. Here’s to 20 more!