Tuesday, February 27, 2001

GE volunteer corps boosts food bank

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        A bevy of General Electric volunteers brought good things to life Monday in a stint at Cincinnati's FreeStore/FoodBank.

        About 110 GE Aircraft Engines field service representatives spent the first day of their annual Americas Regional Meeting helping the nonprofit organization freshen up its Bond Hill warehouse and streamline its operations.

        “This is a new tradition, and we're going to do this forever more,” said Dick Frishkorn, director of GE's Global Commercial Field Service organization. “Since our job is to support and service aircraft engines all over the world, we like to offer similar support to the community when we can.”

        Last year the regional meeting was held in Jacksonville, Fla. The attendees spent their first day framing and painting houses for Habijax, the Jacksonville division of Habitat for Humanity, said Chris Swan, a representative from Tulsa, Okla.

        “We're doing a little process improvement in some spots, then we have guys that are working purely on the facility, cleaning and painting,” Mr. Swan said. “Some guys are actually working out on the food line.”

        George Gomez, a representative from Atlanta, inspected canned goods coming down a conveyor belt. He found the FreeStore/FoodBank operation impressive.

        “They do a lot with limited resources,” he said.

        Having so many willing hands from GE's volunteer cadre, called the Elfun Society, was wonderful, said Debbie Tobler, the organization's volunteer program manager.

        “We have so many projects that need to be accomplished. We actually might get a lot of them done today,” she said.

        FreeStore/FoodBank director Gary Goosman said volunteers from the Evendale plant frequently help out at the store.

        “When the words "Elfun' and "GE' come up, we know we're going to get quality people and quality work,” he said.


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