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Legal counsel makes lasting impact in underserved communities through board service

Sites across Roche Diagnostics Solutions (RDS) are able to build an engaged internal community by reaching outward into our local nonprofits to inspire employees to give back to their community through volunteerism, philanthropy as well as an aligned employer matching program. 
 

An employee who understands the importance of employee involvement in their community is just as important as financial assistance is Kevin Marks, a head legal counsel for RDS.
 

Kevin has long been an advocate for corporate social responsibility and has been involved in finding a variety of opportunities RDS can do to support its local community not only monetarily, but with actual group participation. In 2004, he was able to tie all of this together by supporting Rebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP), where he now serves on the board of directors.
 

Since 1989, Rebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP) has provided renovation and repair services for the Peninsula’s most vulnerable homeowners—seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities, and families with children and community facilities. As the only local organization addressing this particular need, we have built the expertise and infrastructure to tackle critical home repairs, securing safe and healthy housing for those most in need. Today, Rebuilding Together Peninsula serves approximately 250 homeowners each year with the help of over 3,000 volunteers.
 

Kevin has been an active board member with RTP since 2004, where he served continuously for 8 years, taking a 1 ½ year hiatus and then rejoining where he has served continuously since. “It is a passion, when you can see the impact that you can have in society with just getting people together.” Kevin said when asked about what motivated him to join the board. 

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Since joining the board in 2004, Kevin has served in a variety of hands-on roles within the organization. Beginning as a volunteer captain where he organized volunteers, to a construction captain with no previous experience but gained experience working with skilled professionals. He has used his previous experience as an employment lawyer to modify the organization’s performance management system and HR policies. He is currently serving in the social impact committee along with board governance, which deals with the legal aspects of the organizations. 
 

“Every year I get emotional as I go through this because you realize the needs of the organizations and the service we can provide. Everyone is trying to do good work. There’s not one experience I can point to that I can say was more impactful than the other, every year has that equal amount of impact.” when asked what his most memorable experience was. He did share some noteworthy causes RTP has supported. From installing handicap ramps, portable showers and more for an immigrant family in Sunnyvale who depleted their life savings to help their son who had a mountain bike accident. Several projects for a women’s recovery association that provides in house residency, therapy and care for women going through drug and alcohol addiction. 
 

Every year RDS takes part in National Rebuilding Day, where the largest nationwide group of volunteers from all walks of life to rehabilitate homes and community facilities and revitalize their communities. This year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the event was cancelled and like many other organizations, RTP has had to adapt their practices. Using their partnerships with several Bay Area cities, the organization along with the local municipality can identify projects where a smaller team can go in and make needed repairs following construction protocols put in place by local health authorities along with forwarding those projects to real construction companies who can do the work under their own protocols as well. 
 

Rebuilding Together Peninsula is not the only community based work Kevin is involved with Carlmont High School’s Biotech Institute (BTI) in Belmont, CA. Where he served as the chair of their development committee where he has been able to raise funds for this public school based program. RDS is involved in BTI as well, where they provide 1:1 mentoring to students as well as sponsoring the program and events. 
 

Throughout its more than 120-year history, Roche has always felt it important to play a role in the communities where we work and live. RDS is continuing that tradition by offering volunteer projects that allow employees to take a hands-on approach to serving our communities. Follow the #RocheGivesBack hashtag to learn more about community organizations Roche partners with.

Learn more about how Roche strengthens communities