Affinion celebrates 40 years, community service
As one of Westerville's largest companies celebrates its 40th anniversary, it's also celebrating its accomplishments and contributions to the community.
Affinion Group, whose Westerville call center houses 430 employees, works with financial institutions to offer rewards programs, financial insurance, credit monitoring and credit-recovery services.
The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., and has locations around the world. The call center, 300 W. Schrock Road, has been housed in Westerville for 29 years.
The company hosted a festival for employees and their families Saturday, Aug. 10 at its Schrock Road office in celebration of the anniversary.
"As we've been leading up to the 40th anniversary, we decided we do a lot of things well, and we wanted to see how well we do it compared to organizations that are similar to us," said Mark Jackson, Affinion director of quality and training.
They entered national and international competitions, gauging both their industry successes and community contributions.
In the last two years, Affinion's Westerville call center has finished in the top 10 of 300 similar companies in a ranking by BenchmarkPortal, a subsidiary of Purdue University that measures call-center quality.
Last year, in an international competition, the call center also won a gold medal award for its community service, Jackson said.
Affinion works locally with the Red Cross, Westerville Caring & Sharing, Habitat for Humanity, Westerville's Relay for Life and other local charities.
Employees hold regular events to raise money for the groups and work the events as volunteers.
At Christmas, employees adopt families to purchase presents for, and during the back-to-school season, they team up with a Columbus school to provide supplies to students in need, Jackson said.
"We let our employees help us choose who to partner and we raise money through different activities we do in our office," Jackson said.
This year, the company raised $7,540 for Westerville's Relay for Life, topping the $6,000 raised last year, said Financial Services Manager Missy Maxwell.
The company also earned platinum donor status from the American Red Cross last year, and is on pace to do so again this year, by hosting six bloods drives on site during the year, Maxwell said. It serves as an emergency site the Red Cross can contact to host a blood drive when local supplies are low.
Last year, the company collected 2,088 pounds of canned goods for the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, which would feed more than 700 families, Maxwell said.
Employees have helped to build four Habitat for Humanity homes in the past two years and volunteer regularly in the organization's ReStore retail outlet, she said.
As with its fundraising and community service, it is the people who work at Affinion that keep the company in Westerville and successful, Jackson said.
"The people that really make us and the people that really make the face of our organization are our agents," Jackson said. "It's really all about the people."