In six years of monthly meetings about Share the Magic, SYNNEX’s president of North American technology solutions hasn’t missed a single one. Amid serving at top echelon of a Fortune
250 company, Peter Larocque is always there to lead the charge on the largest one-day fundraiser in South Carolina, which has raised more than $5.1 million for charities helping kids face life’s toughest challenges.
It’s a rare display, says Velda Hughes, owner and CEO of the Hughes Agency. Her company does public relations work for SYNNEX, but Hughes says Larocque’s smiling face at each meeting, and readiness to hit the phones alongside staff in the interim, encourages her to go the extra mile for Share the Magic. “I’ve probably done 250 major events, but I’ve never been involved with a company that the event starts at the top. And Larocque is 100 percent involved with all aspects.”
The commitment goes deep. Larocque’s of ce walls display letters from parents and children who have benefitted from Share the Magic. “What I don’t have up is corporate propaganda,” says Larocque, who doesn’t mince words. The notes are uplifting, but also can be sobering. “Some of these kids don’t make it, and it’s gut wrenching.”
“PETER AND HIS TEAM CARE DEEPLY ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY AND HAVE TRULY MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF COUNTLESS CHILDREN IN NEED ACROSS THE UPSTATE. OUR COMMUNITY SIMPLY WOULD NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT PETER’S CONTINUED EFFORTS TO HELP MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE.”
Velda Hughes, Hughes Agency owner and CEO
Share the Magic, a SYNNEX-sponsored program and component fund of the Community Foundation, benefits four organizations. Clement’s Kindness supports children affected by cancer and serious blood disorders. A Child’s Haven and Pendleton Place both help repair young lives marred by abuse and neglect. Make-A-Wish creates joyful experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses, and also was the starting point for Share the Magic.
Larocque had served on the board of Make-A-Wish’s South Carolina chapter, but he thought he could do more by recusing himself to leverage SYNNEX resources instead. President and CEO Kevin Murai approved and came to an agreement.
“If I and others committed time, effort, and our own personal assets to it, then SYNNEX would do the same,” Larocque says. Murai also allowed exibility to bring other organizations into the group, adding even more community assets to the effort.
A DAY’S WORK // Peter Larocque, SYNNEX president of North American distribution, led the effort to create the Share the Magic initiative, which benefits four local organizations working to serve children in difficult situations.
During the six years Share the Magic has been in action, SYNNEX has been recognized as a top employer in South Carolina. Larocque says employees are an important part of giving. A 65-member community-involvement committee drives the engagement, letting management know where help and funds should go. It’s not uncommon to see SYNNEX t-shirts at fundraising events throughout Greenville. SYNNEX also responded to floods in the Philippines and New Jersey, where the company sent a 40-foot trailer loaded with supplies that SYNNEX associates and their network had collected.
The money can be counted, but the impact it has on recipients and volunteers is immeasurable. Hughes believes that, as a father of three, Larocque’s drive to see Share the Magic succeed comes from a deeply personal place. But he puts it a little differently.
“We care about the community and take our involvement as seriously as we take our business,” Larocque says. “We’re not just trying to get color commentary about the company, quite frankly.
We’re trying to change the lives of these children.” And they do: month after month, year after year.
THE PHILANTHROPIC SPIRIT AWARD HONORS A BUSINESS THAT FOSTERS CHARITABLE GIVING THROUGH EMPLOYEE INCENTIVE PROGRAMS AND IS DEDICATED TO GIVING BACK TO THE UPSTATE IN A SIGNIFICANT MANNER.