Steve Daly’s family roots are deep in Valparaiso, going as far back as the 1880s. But over the last 30 years of providing lawn care services in nearly every town in Northwest Indiana, Daly’s passion for helping people goes far beyond his hometown. His roots are in towns all over the region, including Lake County. So when he heard about the efforts of Dave Kusiak, a local business owner in Hammond, to bring local businesses together in a drive to fight hunger in Northwest Indiana, Daly was ready to help!
But much like Kusiak, Daly wanted to leverage his business relationships and resources to help the cause. After all, these are businessmen and it’s how they roll.
Today, you’ll see 2 videos that capture how Kusiak made it happen and how the businesses in Valpo were inspired to help Kusiak’s drive.
Daly had the perfect partners to fight hunger in NWI… and they had restaurants in his own backyard!
Helping people requires an insatiable drive and Daly has it. The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana was the perfect venue for his family business to support, after all, the pantry helps feed people in virtually every community that Daly has relationships. It didn’t hurt that his drive to Hammond would come with his fellow Valpo business owners and friends, Chris Pavlou of Radius-Valpo, Carlos Rivero of Don Quijote, and Jano-Digital.
These guys aren’t just passionate about helping fight hunger, they are passionate about everything….including having fun.
But for Daly, he wanted to do more than expected. Bringing canned goods to Kusiak’s fundraiser in a year with so many people struggling, he asked me what else he could do. So what did Daly do? Just watch….
VIDEO #2 | Kusiak’s drive to fight hunger will make you proud!
It’s always better when Northwest Indiana businesses are part of the solution.
Steve Daly and Perma-Green’s efforts to pay it forward is what happens when local businesses come together. To businesses like Perma-Green, Kusiak, Don Quijote, and Radius, good business comes with efficiency, seriousness, and getting it done. It’s how they run their businesses and it’s how they fight hunger.
Daly was attracted to Kusiak’s initiative because it’s similar to how he runs Perma-Green. It’s a family-run business built on the values that make Northwest Indiana special. It’s also about getting things done. Create a plan, make sure you stay focused, make efficient use of resources, follow-through, and deliver what you promise.
While Perma-Green and Kusiak Construction might seem very different, they share the same strong work ethic and have a strong connection with people all over Northwest Indiana. While Northwest Indiana might have rivalries, these guys both feel connected to their customers throughout the region.
The Backstory | It started when Kusiak was given a second chance…
The food drive was the idea that began years ago when Hammond’s Dave Kusiak of Kusiak Construction felt blessed to have so much. Kusiak’s ride to success wasn’t always easy. He started his business from the back of his garage with a cell phone and a commitment to work hard building strong relationships.
Dave Kusiak was taught that it should be a goal of any business to work hard, over-deliver, make a profit, and pay forward when you can. As Dave’s consultant, I’ve been privileged to see his business model and customer testimonials. Dave is as real as it gets and embodies the region.
When Dave first told me about his initiative, his only reservation was taking credit for the drive. But the cornerstone to fighting hunger and raising money was his charisma, his network, and his popular radio show. In short, Dave’s success relied on using his name and his popularity. As they say in philosophical circles, the means justify the ends.
With the right people, anything is possible!
Dave’s popular radio station on WJOB was the first step. Partnering with Kusiak’s Loyal listeners was efficient and smart! His listeners are Region Rats… people that fight the good fight.
Dave also wanted to use his popular radio show on WJOB as a means to help the Food Bank collect much needed non-perishable goods.
With the tradition of measuring twice and cutting once, Dave set a goal of announcing his drive in early December and is ending his drive at the end of his Radio Program this Wednesday, December 16th at 9 AM. Business owners like clearly defined objectives. He invited his listeners to bring a bag of non-perishable canned goods to the radio station during his broadcast. While his family collected the canned goods out front, Dave promoted the drive!
Kusiak’s Drive to fight hunger would rely on businesses & people from Valpo to Hammond
Dave’s business-like approach in raising funds and canned goods leveraged contacts, relationships, and other resources. Dave called partners, vendors, and suppliers for cash donations. I was on that list. Kusiak called me to see if I had businesses in Valparaiso that wanted to join the initiative.
I knew the perfect candidates… Businesses like Perma-Green, Radius, and Don Quijote. These guys were not just guys with big hearts, they could use their powerful marketing and mediums to promote it. If you want to know how great their marketing is….just ask me!
While I supplied the Valpo network, Kusiak used this approach all over Northwest Indiana. Even Kusiak’s direct competition joined the drive. So how did Kusiak’s drive turn out? Just watch the magic…
Kusiak’s Drive to fight hunger | it’s not over until you deliver on your promise.
Dave Kusiak’s drive to fight hunger was a success. He filled the back of a truck with food, raised $15,000 for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, and made some new friends while doing it. His new friend, Steve Daly brought his food and wrote Dave a check for $500….which was doubled by matching funds.
But any successful business owner will tell you, it’s not over until you deliver your promise. Dave drove the food and the check to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.
By the end of the week, Steve Daly, Chris Pavlou, and Carlos Rivero were sharing stories of their Drive to fight hunger with Dave. I can’t wait to see what these owners have planned for next year’s drive to fight hunger!
Jim Jano Janesheski