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Making a mark in the community

Features | October 1, 2019 | By:

At Presco, charitable giving, community support and energy conservation are a passion.

By Paul Johnson

In 1942, Robert “Earl” McMackin founded Precision Specialties Company, which made specific tools for geological and oil exploration. When working in the oil fields, Earl and his son, Edwin, recognized an opportunity to design and develop better materials for roll flagging. As a result, the company expanded its product line and became vertically integrated into the polymer and vinyl industries. Today, the Sherman, Texas-based company—now known as Presco (PREcision Specialist COmpany)—manufactures industrial and commercial marking products and customized PVC films.

Presco employees raise money for numerous charities including the Children’s Advocacy Center of Grayson County and Master Key Ministries. Photos: Presco.

At Presco, charitable giving, community support and energy conservation practices have always been a part of the company’s culture. 

Joe Hardt, CEO of Presco, encourages and promotes the benefits and values of charitable giving. Hardt is an advocate of Whole Foods’ founder John Mackey’s Conscious Capitalism. According to the Conscious Capitalism system, a company needs to serve all of its stakeholders to be successful, and this includes customers, employees, investors, the community, suppliers and the environment. Under Mackey’s philosophy, companies should practice four guiding principles—higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious culture and conscious leadership.

“We’ve always had within the company an environment in which we wanted to help others,” says David Chisum, Presco’s chief financial officer. “[When] one of our employees had his house burn down, the employees came together, raised funds and helped rebuild the house.

Our charitable giving became more formalized this last year to celebrate our 75th anniversary,” says Chisum. “We decided to give each month. Within our culture, we care about others, so we want to give to others.” 

Presco’s employees have raised money to support a variety of charities. “We have given to an animal shelter, homeless shelter, two food pantries, Habitat for Humanity and an organization that supports breast cancer patients. We also support Meals on Wheels by participating each quarter in delivering meals on one of their routes once a week. As a company, we also support a number of local high schools, and have for a number of years, on an ad hoc basis.” 

Donations make a profound difference to people working at the charities. “When we give money to charities, we are investing in people’s lives,” Chisum says. “Through six months, we’ve already given away $16,000, and that’s all employee money. It really does make you feel good about the company and the people working here,” says Chisum.

Beyond charitable giving, Presco is instituting measures for greater energy conservation and sustainability. We’ve improved our lighting and shading,” says Chisum, “and we look for opportunities to reduce energy costs and impact on the environment.”

Paul Johnson is a writer based in Minnesota.

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