Leslie Murphy, CEO at W. Bradley Electric, Inc.’s commitment to philanthropy starts with part of WBE’s mission to “…make an impact on our local and regional societies. We strive to mentor, give back, donate, coach and serve others so that this world is a better place because of our existence.” Leslie and her executive team including COO Mike Murphy, uphold a tradition of giving back first implemented by Leslie’s father William T. Bradley, Sr. who began WBE in 1977. Today, WBE is still a family run business and has 3 Bay Area locations. Leslie has been CEO since 1999 and now the company stands with 220 employees and an annual sales volume of over $75 million. With an impeccable reputation WBE continues to position itself as an industry leader and is proud to be a 100% Woman Owned Business.
WBE instills a culture of philanthropic giving systemically throughout the company by participating in corporate giving to nonprofits, encouraging senior staff to serve on nonprofit boards, initiatives such as CEO-led Giving Committee, Random Acts of Kindness Committee and promoting employee-led volunteerism within the community.
WBE’s senior management team has been involved in giving back to nonprofits by way of their time on boards and with contributions to nonprofits and community programs. Leading by example, CEO Leslie Murphy and COO Mike Murphy are shining examples of the making the most impact in their community encouraging everyone within the company to participate in a way that they are able. This philosophy filters down to the executive team and on to managers and employees. WBE’s vision is to give back to the community in which we are a part of as employees and as residents.
With WBE’s senior staff serving on various nonprofit boards and advisory councils, WBE’s employees are able to advocate for positive change in communities lending guidance and support to community-driven programs for those in need.
Thanks to a major collaboration with Leslie Murphy and WBE, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma was able to open a much needed clubhouse in Novato to provide vital after-school programs at San Jose Middle School in 2014. Thanks to the generous contributions of Leslie & Mike Murphy and WBE, the clubhouse opened with more than 100 students enrolled, 2/3 of whom are on free or reduced lunch and all of whom would have nowhere else to go during the hours of 3-6pm waiting for their parents to get home. Thanks to contributions such as these, BGCMP is also able to keep program costs low and accessible for all charging just $10 per year per student.
Through collaboration with North Bay Leadership Council, WBE participates in the Algebra Academy, an annual program partnering high school students with North Bay companies to explain the link between math and everyday careers, stressing the importance of math, science and college and work-place readiness.
WBE also has an internal philanthropic culture promoting many programs internally. Annually, WBE’s CEO Leslie Murphy funds the Giving Committee, which meets on a regular basis to select worthy programs and charities to donate to. Each nominated charity or program is given the opportunity to make a lunch time presentation to the entire office in an effort to help better educate employees about these community programs, the good work they do and the needs of the nonprofits providing them. In 2015, the Giving Committee was funded at $170,000.
The Random Acts of Kindness Group at WBE selects individuals and organizations to surprise with unexpected surprise gifts of kindness. In the past, they acts have included school supplies for students, contributions to an animal shelter for adoptions and their non-euthanasia policy, snacks for firefighters and police officers, children’s Halloween costumes at a shelter and others.
WBE’s CEO & COO also encourage volunteerism and community service by presenting a Humanitarian Award to an employee who excels in giving their own time to the community, not necessarily pre-sanctioned as a part of the company’s giving plans. The award is presented in front of the entire company and award-winning actions have included assisting a person with a handicapped family member to building housing in Mexico and helping to build water delivery infrastructure in the Philippines.
Each year WBE holds a food drive and also donates money to Marin Food Bank’s “End Summer Hunger” program. This is a program to assist in feeding children who will be missing the breakfast & lunch programs that are offered during the school year. Both WBE’s Giving Committee (8 members) and the Random Acts of Kindness group (11 members) collaborated on this effort. WBE was able to collect four barrels of food and in addition to collecting $5,500 to the Marin Food Bank. Every $1 donated turned into $5 worth of food; therefore WBE was responsible for donating $27,500 worth of food for food bank.
WBE has also administers a program in which each executive team member (9 members) leads teams of employees (67 employees) to donate four hours of time each to local causes such as work with the Marin Food Bank, North Bay Conservation Corps, St. Vincent DePaul, COTS, Homeward Bound, Novato Human Needs Center, and North Bay Children’s Center.
Over the course of the past year, WBE implemented the Random Acts of Kindness Committee to help employees address the ever-growing needs of the community. The most recent Random Act of Kindness group “act” included donating $200 so that families could get pumpkins at the pumpkin patch for Halloween and $300 to Goodwill to pay for upcoming customer purchases. WBE hopes to encourage others to “pay it forward” with these unexpected acts of kindness to better the community one act at a time.
In addition, thanks to generous gifts and future pledges totaling more than $125,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin, the club house at San Jose Middle School will remain open and available to the kids who need it most. With government funding getting more and more challenging to achieve, the gap in services provided for our most vulnerable youth in Marin County remains at an all-time high. With more than 5,000 youth living below the poverty line in Marin County, Leslie Murphy and WBE have committed to leading by example as they contribute to the worthiest of causes, the next generation. As an alumnus himself, Mike Murphy, COO, understands the importance of quality after-school programs and someone opening the door to a better future.
In 2016, Leslie Murphy and W. Bradley Electric were honored for their leadership in philanthropy at Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership’s annual Heart of Marin Awards.