Business

Marsh honours its global volunteering star

  • Giving back: Karen Roberts-Ray, who works for Marsh and Guy Carpenter, did more than 1,000 volunteer hours for Cats Bermuda last year. She has been recognised for contributing the most volunteer hours outside the office from the 30,000 employees who work for Marsh & McLennan Companies around the world (Photograph supplied)

Beyond her day job at Marsh and Guy Carpenter, Karen Roberts-Ray has clocked up more than 1,000 hours of volunteering last year.

That averages out at 25 hours per week. Around the world no other employee of Marsh & McLennan Companies topped that level of volunteering dedication.

Ms Roberts-Ray, who volunteers for Cats Bermuda, has been recognised for her efforts by the group, which has 30,000 employees worldwide.

In addition, she and her colleagues at the local office of Marsh and Guy Carpenter, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan, chalked up a combined 2,158 hours of volunteering last year, placing Bermuda alongside Portugal and Taiwan in the top three countries for colleague volunteering within the larger Marsh & McLennan group.

Ms Roberts-Ray has worked at Marsh for 13 years. She is a finance manager in the insurance management services operation at Marsh, where she provides accounting and financial statement services and ensures regulatory compliance for clients, who are mostly captive insurance companies.

Cats have always been part of her life, and eight years ago she began volunteering with Cats Bermuda, a charity that works to control the feral cat population in Bermuda. Explaining what motivates her to give so much of her time to the charity, she said: “I feel it is my duty to give back and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I love creating connections with people who have a similar love for cats.

“As cats have no voice I feel that they are very vulnerable to any changes that may occur in their life, for example losing their home due to an owner moving and not being able to take a pet with them. There used to be so many stray cats in Bermuda and now 90 per cent of them have been spayed/neutered and are fed. The colony I feed looks like a completely different colony than when I first started working with it.”

Ms Roberts-Ray usually does her volunteering outside of office hours, adding: “Marsh has a great volunteer programme and is very supportive of my work.”

On being recognised for her efforts by Marsh & McLennan, she said: “I feel very honoured and humbled. I just get on with it and feel it is just a very small part I can offer when compared to the world’s serious issues but it is a small step in the right direction.

“Hopefully someone will read this article and perhaps do something that inspires them to help out in whatever volunteer capacity that they feel they would like to help out in.”

She also appreciates working for a company that acknowledges the volunteer work of its employees. She said: “It is wonderful to be part of a company that acknowledges the volunteer work of its employees as it recognises that volunteering is a very important aspect in each of our lives, to give back, no matter what focus you choose.”

Last year, more than half of the Bermudian-based employees of Marsh and Guy Carpenter contributed as volunteers to about 30 local charities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Eliza DoLittle Society, St Baldrick’s, the Salvation Army and Relay for Life.

Lawrence Bird, head of office and managing director of Marsh Management, Bermuda, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised for our volunteer efforts. We are proud of the dedication of our Bermuda colleagues to giving back to the community and setting Bermuda apart from the rest of the Marsh & McLennan offices. In particular, we want to congratulate Karen Roberts-Ray for her astounding contribution and for setting an impressive example to us all.”