JSJ celebrates 100 years by giving back

Matt DeYoung • Feb 20, 2019 at 12:00 PM

JSJ Corp. continued its 100-year celebration Tuesday with a luncheon at which they recognized and financially supported several local organizations. 

“I simply want to say thank you for everything you do in the community,” JSJ Chairman/President/CEO Nelson Jacobson said to those in attendance Tuesday at the Grand Haven Community Center. “One of our founding principals is stewarding our legacy, celebrating who we are and celebrating the communities we’re a part of, and making sure that all of the JSJ employees and their families have the ability to actively give their time, talents and treasures back to the communities.

“If the founders were here now,” he added, “they’d be so proud and encourage us to do even more.”

Erick Johnson, JSJ’s executive vice president and corporate secretary, said the various nonprofits supported Tuesday were chosen by employees. 

“We let the businesses decide how they wanted to do it,” he said. “GHSP has a stewardship committee that does this kind of thing for their own giving. They met and came up with the entities that they decided on. At JSJ, we asked employees to submit in a testimonial type of way … stand up and in two minutes explain why it’s important to them. With such an emotional event, for people who were so connected to these organizations, we were overcome with emotion among the whole staff.”

Johnson said they had planned to support 1-2 organizations, but based on the testimonials given, they instead voted to support five groups. 

“It’s neat to find out, unbeknownst to Nelson and me, that the employees that nominated were active in these organizations on their own time, doing that volunteer work without us even knowing,” Johnson said. “That makes it special for us, that people are doing it on their own. They don’t need to be incentived to do that. It’s really special.”

The organizations supported were:

• All-Shores Wesleyan Church and Love in Action, nominated by Bethany Grossman (JSJ)

• Camp Blodgett, nominated by Rick Osmun (GHSP)

• Children’s Advocacy Center, nominated by Kim Andres (JSJ)

• Grand Haven Department of Public Safety, nominated by Rhonda Thompson (JSJ)

• Hand2Hand, nominated by Cathy Collins (GHSP)

• Love in Action, nominated by Michelle Hanks (GHSP)

• Muskegon Oceana Community Action Partnership and Love INC of Oceana County, nominated by Michelle Terpenning (GHSP)

• The Salvation Army, nominated by Jason Benway (JSJ)

• TCM Counseling, nominated by Roxanne Yager (JSJ)

• The Little Red House, nominated by Ellyse Lazrock (Dake)

JSJ was founded by Alvin E. Jacobson Sr., Paul A. Johnson and B.P. Sherwood, who partnered together to rebuild the Grand Haven Brass Foundry in Grand Haven after a fire in 1919. The partners officially formed JSJ Corp. in 1970.

Throughout 2019, JSJ will be sharing stories online at www.JSJcorp.com.

“We plan on posting another 50 stories over the next 5-6 months,” Johnson said. “That’s a good way to see the impact JSJ has had on people’s lives, through those stories.”

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