Dow -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
Bo Miller, Washington, D.C.
Global Director of Corporate Citizenship, The Dow Chemical Company and President, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation
Rain and cold temperatures didn’t slow construction in the Washington D.C. community of Ivy City, as Bo Miller of Dow helps frame a house during Habitat for Humanity’s 2010 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.
Fresh off a Carter Work Project construction site, Bo Miller proudly points out a noteworthy factoid: 28 years ago, The Dow Chemical Company became Habitat for Humanity’s first corporate sponsor. The very next year would see the start of Habitat’s annual build with the Carters.
For this year’s 27th Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, Miller worked on new construction in Washington, D.C.
As Dow’s Global Director of Corporate Citizenship and President of the Dow Foundation for the past six years, Miller has built with Habitat near Dow’s headquarters in Midland, Michigan, and joined the Carter Work Project in the United States and abroad.
“Every homeowner I’ve ever met, at home and internationally, is totally focused on their family. They want a home environment for the betterment of their children,” Miller said, adding that the homeowner who worked side by side with him in Washington, D.C. was no exception.
“She was very representative of people looking for a hand up not a hand out.”
The mother of three children impressed Miller with her “total engagement and commitment not only to the construction of her home, but to the neighborhood and the neighbors, as well. She and I had a couple of assignments together, cutting to size some two-by-fours that needed to be adjusted. We spent a good hour or more together in real teamwork―measuring twice, cutting once.”
While Miller’s Carter Work Project tasks centered on framing for new construction, other Dow employees pitched in with rehab and renovation projects in D.C. and in the Twin Cities. Miller said he applauds Habitat’s focus on rehab and “adapting Habitat’s strategy to changing times and changing needs.”
Miller joined Dow 32 years ago but began working with Habitat in his current job.
“What I’ve seen over the last several years is the emphasis on moving from houses built to families being served. This is key and appropriate for today’s environment – refurbishing, remodeling, energy-efficiency, and neighborhood revitalization – and consistent with the state of the economy.”
In addition to building in the nation’s capital and in Minnesota, and providing the insulation for houses across the Carter Work Project sites, Dow served as one of the co-chairs for the special gala tribute to the Carters on Oct. 4, World Habitat Day, in Washington, D.C. Miller had a chance to speak personally with the Carters at the gala and to witness the conclusion of what he termed “a funny story.”
This is how he tells it: “One of my colleagues from Dow in Philadelphia brought her son (a junior in high school) to the build, and we were laughing earlier about her interest in having President Carter sign an excuse slip for her son. That didn’t happen during the day but when President Carter approached us that evening, she asked him, and he actually signed the young man’s school absence slip.”
Even though Miller thought the gala was excellent, the best experience for him was putting his hands to the work.
“Having a desk job, I like physically getting outside constructing something and seeing the results. That―and meeting the homeowners -- is the highlight for me,” said Miller, affirming his and Dow’s ongoing commitment to Habitat for Humanity and its core mission.