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Work hard, play hard, give hard: Clark & Lavey promote giving back

Telegraph photo by GRACE PECCI Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Clark and Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions Chief Financial Officer Laura Bennett encourage their employees to give back to their clients and their community.

NASHUA – Work hard, play hard, give hard. That’s the way they do it at Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions, a local agency that acts as an advocate and negotiates employee benefits for its clients.

Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Clark said while they are in a very tough and competitive business, there are times where it is necessary to take a step back.

Within the company, they have implemented a Day of Caring, where employees receive a paid day off that is to be spent volunteering for an organization that is meaningful to them.

Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions Chief Financial Officer Laura Bennett said, “We promote for our employees to provide a day to help any of our nonprofit clients that have some event that we can participate in.”

She noted that she and other employees participated in one where they painted walls for a client in a group home.

“It was quite fun,” Bennett said.

Clark added, “It really creates a fun team environment where we aren’t just doing business. I think all too often people get caught up in that. We all have time constraints, we’re all busy.”

Clark himself has been heavily involved in community service for decades, with involvement in the Marine Corps Reserves, Toys for Tots, and he has been apart of the Nashua Rotary Club for 20 years.

Clark said after joining the Rotary Club and seeing the need in the community, he gained a higher level of appreciation for how well his company was doing and that they needed to give back. Clark said he wasn’t sure how his employees would take it, but after a number of years, he had more people coming to him asking how they could help. Soon after, the company’s human resources department met to come up with a policy allowing employees to give time to the community.

“It went over fantastic,” Clark said. “I know there are a lot of businesses that don’t have the same kind of culture and or philosophy about giving back.”

He said it’s something he wishes he could see more companies do.

“I can’t tell you how many friends or associates over the year say, ‘Oh, you’re in Rotary. No, I don’t have time for that.’ You’ve got to make time for it, it’s like anything else in life,” Clark said.

Volunteering, Clark said, “really ties us in to a sense of community.”

This month, Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions and The Telegraph have partnered to search for individuals who go above and beyond in their community, while being anchors in an organization, as part of a 40 under 40 program.

In terms of recognizing younger workers from a business standpoint, Clark said, “It’s a matter of trying to assess, how are we doing today and what do we need to do tomorrow to fuel the younger generation to want to participate? How do we make them like this company, this philosophy? What do we do to retain them and challenge them, too?”

“It’s about the balance, how to strike it so you make that blend work well,” Clark added.

Clark told The Telegraph recently that the most important asset a business is its employees.

40 under 40 nominations are open until May 31, and can be submitted on The Telegraph’s website. Nominees must be 39 years of age or younger as of May 1, 2019, and must be aware of their nomination. They also must live or work in The Telegraph’s coverage area of Greater Nashua.

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and will be recognized in July. A banquet is scheduled for July 18 at Rivier University.