The house that Merriman is building (UPDATE)

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you may remember that a group of Merriman employees have been using our volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity at the Rainer Vista location. The house was scheduled for completion in December, but we finished greatly ahead of schedule and the ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Sunday, October 2nd!

Having now completed our first Habitat house as a team, there is much to reflect on.  Was the work strenuous and tiring?  Yes.  Did the notoriously fickle Washington weather make things uncomfortable?  Frequently.  Were we always sore at the end of the day?  Definitely.  But did our team leave the worksite every single day with smiles on our faces?  Absolutely.  Would we ever choose to use our volunteer hours with Habitat in the future?  In a heartbeat.  This relationship that we have built with Habitat as well as the new inhabitants of the four-plex we  and other volunteers worked side by side with for the whole year has been unfathomably rewarding as well as productive. (more…)

Public transportation for Merriman and you!

The honor of being recognized as one of the 50 greenest companies in Washington by Seattle Business Magazine means a lot to us.  We are always looking for ways to encourage green living and commuting.

In 2010, Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation.   From 1995 through 2010, public transportation ridership increased by 31%.  The American Public Transit Association claims that public transit saves an estimated 1.4 billion gallons of gas annually, which translates into about 14 million tons of carbon dioxide.

In an effort to offset our carbon emissions, reduce the cost of parking in downtown Seattle and shorten the length of commute times, we know that providing our employees passes for public transportation is the most cost effective and efficient way for them to get to work.  We are pleased that 90 percent of our employees use public transportation to commute to our office.

We want our clients to have options when they come to our office as well.  The next time you travel to our Seattle office for your review we would be happy to give you a bus ticket for your ride home.

The house that Merriman is building

Our company tagline “Invest Wisely. Live Fully.” is centered on a healthy balance between work and life. This includes working passionately to better our clients’ investments as well as our community as a whole. For 2011, our company gave each employee 100 paid hours to do volunteer work during company time. When I heard that, I immediately realized the seriousness of this commitment. This was no token gesture; this was a real pledge to improve the community outside the walls of Merriman.HabitatTeam

Spearheaded by our Client Experience Director, Elaine Scoggins, an ever growing group of Merriman employees has been volunteering one Friday of every month with Habitat for Humanity at the Rainier Vista location in South Seattle, a generally lower income area. Habitat works in partnership with people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses using volunteer labor, donated land, and donated materials. After making a down payment and contributing 500 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home, families are given the keys to their new house with a no-interest mortgage, funded by Habitat. Families are selected based on level of need, willingness to become partners with Habitat, and ability to repay their loan. (more…)

Casually raising money for a good cause

We are always looking for ways to make a difference in the community. Last October, Donna Conley shared a program her son’s employer, Safeway, put on to raise money for charity—allowing employees to “buy” casual days and donating the funds to a good cause.

It was an easy decision to adopt a similar program at Merriman. 2009 was a difficult year for many of us, and we wanted to do something for those less fortunate. We chose Northwest Harvest (NW Harvest), a Washington state hunger relief agency, to be the recipient of our fundraising efforts. (more…)