Published: May 09, 2007
Washington, D.C. – Business Roundtable has named Richard L. Keyser, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of W.W. Grainger, Inc., as Chairman of its Partnership for Disaster Response Task Force. Keyser will lead this consortium of CEOs from prominent U.S. companies who are focusing on how the business community can most effectively contribute to national disaster preparedness and response efforts. .
The private sector owns and operates more than 85 percent of the nation’s critical infrastructure and has a major stake in the quick and efficient response to disasters. In addition, large companies have substantial resources – financial as well as donated goods and expertise – essential to helping communities during a crisis.
The Task Force will identify opportunities for the private sector to strengthen preparedness for disasters, expand partnerships with nonprofit relief organizations and foster communication among businesses and the federal government.
“The business community offers a strong network and diverse resources to help our country prepare for and respond to large scale disasters,” said Richard L. Keyser, CEO of Grainger. “Our involvement in disaster response is more than philanthropy. We have a responsibility to our employees, our customers, and our communities to build the most effective disaster response.”
“Grainger has been a long-time leader in supporting local communities’ efforts to prepare for disasters,” said Terry McGraw, Chairman of Business Roundtable and CEO of McGraw-Hill. “Dick has seen first-hand how valuable it is to educate employees and to work closely with the American Red Cross and other first responders. His leadership commitment will push the agenda of this Task Force forward, helping U.S. business become a key partner in the nation’s response to disasters.”
Richard Keyser was recognized by the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago in 2006 for his leadership of corporate volunteerism and was recently selected by the American Red Cross to receive its Heritage of Service Award for Community Excellence in bringing the Ready When the Time Comes volunteer program to national prominence.
Partnership for Disaster Response was first activated immediately following Hurricane Katrina. As soon as Katrina struck, the Partnership began facilitating communications about critical on-the-ground needs and urged member companies to contribute to the relief effort. The partnership recognizes the important role of the private sector and has developed a protocol for response to large scale disasters, and created a clearinghouse of information and resources, www.respondtodisaster.org, for companies planning and communication during disasters.
Grainger’s product mix, distribution capabilities and commitment to corporate citizenship make the company a natural leader in disaster preparedness and response. The company has partnered with the American Red Cross since 1991, providing more than $4 million in financial support, essential products and employee volunteers. Grainger is also the National Founding Sponsor of the Red Cross’s Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC), a national corporate volunteer program which engages corporations in providing trained volunteers who are ready to respond quickly in the time of a disaster.
W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), with 2006 sales of $5.9 billion, is a leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in Canada, China, Mexico and the United States. Through a highly integrated network including nearly 600 branches, 18 distribution centers and multiple Web sites, Grainger's employees help customers get the job done, saving them time and money by having the right products to keep their facilities running.
Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with nearly $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 12 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and pay more than 60 percent of all corporate income taxes paid to the federal government. Annually, they pay more than $167 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy.
Business Roundtable companies give more than $7 billion a year in combined charitable contributions, representing nearly 60 percent of total corporate giving. They are technology innovation leaders, with more than $111 billion in annual research and development spending – nearly half of all total private R&D spending in the U.S.