How Employee Champions Drive and Scale
Social Impact Success

Webinar Held March 23, 2023

Equipping employees to lead volunteer projects and advance your CSR goals can scale impact, generate company-wide buy-in, and unlock insights about the communities where your company operates. Employee champion programs present tremendous opportunities for any corporate citizenship team, but designing and managing a successful model can be tricky.  

Watch an engaging discussion on these people-centered models and learn how to implement, support and strengthen your company’s social impact activities featuring CSR leaders at companies who have implemented these employee champion networks.


Why people-centric models matter – especially in today’s hybrid and remote working environments.


How to keep participating employees engaged and empowered.

Take Away

Pitfalls to avoid and lessons learned.

Watch the Recording

Meet the Speakers

Melissa Abbett

Senior Program Manager
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Melissa Abbett is a Senior Program Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise where she oversees the work of the HPE Foundation and HPE’s community investment strategy. Since joining the team in 2017, Melissa has managed nonprofit partnerships, the Foundations grants portfolios, employee engagement program, and works closely with other teams on strategic priorities including DEI and human rights.

Melissa earned a master’s degree in international development from American University, and before that she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from University of Georgia.

Outside of work, you can find Melissa cheering on her Dawgs, walking her dog Winston, enjoying outdoor activities, traveling with her husband, or chasing her nieces and nephews.

Diane Hauser

Senior Program Manager

Diane Hauser serves as a Senior Program Manager focusing on Skills-based Volunteerism within the Citi Volunteers team – working to provide a full spectrum of employee engagement opportunities to colleagues around the world.  She is committed to connecting colleagues to their philanthropic passions through cutting edge technology supporting volunteerism and providing technical assistance and capacity building to our community partners. Diane has more than 18 years of experience in the CSR space and was instrumental in the creation and growth of the firm’s annual flagship Global Community Day campaign.

Prior to facilitating the onboarding of a third-party vendor to support employee volunteerism, Diane was focused on global volunteer engagement, developing tools and resources to support the network of global volunteer champions, and maintaining the in-house volunteer management platform.

Diane is a 27-year veteran of Citi, having supported several departments within Smith Barney prior to joining Citi Volunteers.  Diane holds a Bachelor’s degree in biological science from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is an active volunteer in her community.

Rachel Kimball

Community Outreach Program Manager
Southwest Airlines

Rachel Kimball is known for her purpose-driven work, particularly in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). She is currently Community Outreach Program Manager for Southwest Airlines, where she facilitates the organization’s goals in advancing corporate citizenship.

Rachel is responsible for enterprise team volunteerism and external board service for Southwest Airlines executives. She also manages strategy for the Southwest Airlines Employees Catastrophic Assistance Charity, which provides financial assistance to employees in times of crisis.

As a trusted advisor on the CSR technology team, she flexes her analytical skills working on tools and solutions for managing Southwest Airlines’ work in grantmaking and volunteerism.

Rachel brings to the role 14+ years of experience in fundraising. Most recently, she was the Director of Donor Relations at Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas before that. In fact, she has volunteered and worked with many of the same organizations and causes that she currently supports through her position at Southwest Airlines. This 360 experience with nonprofits reveals that helping others remains her personal core mission, regardless of her official role. Her deep understanding of fundraising and activism sets her apart as a notable leader in the industry.

Internally, Rachel inspires the team at Southwest Airlines to put their hearts in action to positively contribute to the communities in which they work and live. She exemplifies this culture of caring by serving in a leadership capacity for many nonprofits in her community. The causes most dear to Rachel – foster care, financial education, and community health – fuel her unwavering commitment to this vocation. Externally, Rachel presents strategies for building, scaling, and managing employee impact and volunteerism, specifically for large companies with both virtual and in-person teams.

Rachel holds an M.Ed. in Higher Education with a focus on university advancement and fundraising strategies. She is a recognized leader in community outreach and corporate volunteerism. She has dedicated her career to helping organizations do business responsibly. Besides enabling corporations to achieve their philanthropic potential, Rachel’s bucket list also includes planning spontaneous weekend adventures around the country with her family, as well as being an audience member on her favorite TV shows.

Download our free
learning brief.

Get eight best practices you can implement today with strategies including:

✓ How to establish expectations and role clarity.

✓ Effective ways to support employee champions.

✓ How to foster a sense of community.

Are employee volunteer champions and councils still effective models in this new hybrid world of work?

As a corporate social responsibility leader, you’ve undoubtedly dealt with rapid change since 2020, especially if you’ve tackled the issue of how to engage your remote workforce. One thing has remained constant: the need to drive and scale employee engagement programs throughout your company’s footprint. You may have turned to technology or found models that empower employees to be leaders of social impact work while juggling daily responsibilities. But there are many things to consider when encouraging and scaling engagement.

Download Our Learning Brief