Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) initiated a charitable program to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. At the start of RISE’s 2019 Annual Meeting reception, attendees filled 576 food bags that were given to school children in the Tucson, Ariz., area.
Stephanie Schwenke, marketing manager at Syngenta Crop Protection, helped develop the program through the RISE Programs and Membership (P&M) Committee. She joined the committee in 2018 to find ways to engage next-generation professionals.
“The give-back event was something new and different and allowed for networking and the formation of new friendships,” Schwenke says. “Moreover, it was a purposeful activity that enabled us to get food to children who don’t have enough to eat over the weekend.”
At Syngenta, Schwenke focused on agricultural markets for seven years before moving to the turf market in 2011. Her portfolio includes herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators. Among her responsibilities is introducing new solutions to the market.
In addition to her work with RISE, Schwenke also engages with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Association of Landscape Professionals, and other groups supporting sports turf managers.
Participating in RISE’s P&M Committee allows Schwenke to enhance relationships with industry partners.
“We all really need to take the responsibility to ensure we have a future and that it looks vibrant,” says Schwenke. “Collaborating with industry partners through the RISE committees is one way of doing that.”
Schwenke says she plans to continue to enhance RISE programming for 2020 and engage members at all professional levels.
“We are looking to grow and diversify what the RISE membership looks like and who makes up the committees,” she says. “We’re already seeing results in things like attendance and participation in the give-back and the RISEing Professionals Latte Hour. The new programming and professional development opportunities are beneficial to everyone; no matter where you are in your career, professional development and staying engaged in industry concerns and issues is important.”
“There really is an open invitation for any members to join RISE committees,” she continues. “With seven different committees, there’s a place for everybody. It’s essential that we keep bringing in new energy, ideas and ways to engage within the industry. And it’s important for people to be in the room where it happens.”