Arthrex Team Members and Driftwood Garden Center Benefit The Immokalee Foundation

What began as a simple team building activity for a group of Arthrex employees transformed into a community success story when the Arthrex Territory Operations Management team volunteered to landscape together at The Immokalee Foundation.

TIFLandscapeThe Immokalee Foundation (TIF) provides educational and vocational training opportunities to the families of Immokalee, one of the nation’s largest migrant communities, located just 35 miles from our global headquarters in Naples, Florida.

“The Immokalee Foundation helps change lives by giving students and family members educational opportunities that help them get well-paying positions,” said Career Advancement Manager Barbara Hawkes, MS.

As a team building activity, Kip Kimmel (Arthrex Territory Operations Manager, Mountain West Region) suggested that his team use their volunteer paid time off (PTO) hours to support a nonprofit organization together. Arthrex Meetings & Events Specialist Natalie Morales, who reaches out to local organizations often for new volunteer opportunities, helped connect them with a landscaping project at TIF and they scheduled the event for September 10.

TIFPlanting“Just a few days after we scheduled the outing, we heard that the foundation didn’t have the funds right now to purchase everything we would need to landscape,” said Kip. “But that sounded more like a challenge than a cancelation to us.”

Kip reached out to the Naples-owned Driftwood Garden Center to see if the company may be able to donate some materials for the foundation’s landscaping project. To his surprise and delight, the Driftwood team offered not only to help pay for the materials, but to cover all of the costs and deliver everything directly to The Immokalee Foundation.

“We were so excited to hear that,” said Director of Community Philanthropy Julian Morgan, MBA. “Without that sponsorship, and all of the volunteer support, we couldn’t have done this.”

When the Arthrex team arrived with their own shovels and landscaping tools in hand, they had 250 plants, 175 bags of mulch and plenty of soil to refresh the foundation’s backdrop.

“Everyone was so enthusiastic about being there,” said Barbara. “We could tell the Arthrex team was truly happy to be participating.”

Julian and Barbara explained that this project was about far more than aesthetics for the foundation.

“First impressions are very important,” said Julian. “When people drive up to The Immokalee Foundation, we want it to look welcoming and beautiful for the kids and the potential donors who visit. We wanted it to be inspiring, and now, it really gives you a good feeling as you drive in.”


Thanks to Arthrex employees Joe Mazzola, Craig Leist, Chris Pomponi, Tony Krembs, Maria Ramirez, Laura Brooke, Mike Ross and Kip for volunteering their time and representing Arthrex positively in our community, and to Driftwood Garden Center for making this project possible.

If your nonprofit organization could benefit from group volunteer work, please contact Arthrex Meetings & Events Specialist Natalie Morales at

Category: In the Community