Infoshred LLC President and Founder Stacey Lombardo is a go-getter – and a do-gooder. Her entrepreneurial spirit was sparked by her father, Sam Lombardo, who started his waste management company in 1971. As his business grew, so did his customers’ needs. So, Sam began offering document shredding as an additional service and, when he sold his waste management business in 1997, he sold the document shredding portion to Stacey.
A true entrepreneur, Stacey launched Infoshred with two people and one industrial shredder. Since then, she’s grown the company to 35 employees working from a 70,000 square foot facility and serving more than 3,000 customers. The business provides secure document destruction, records storage and electronics recycling.
Stacey is well aware of Infoshred’s environmental impact – and the ways the business can make a difference. She’s also consistently given back through fundraising and donations. She remembers her first philanthropic act back in her early 20s. “As a new, very small business, Infoshred started giving back the way I think many companies start,” she recalls. “I wrote a small check to an organization. Then I began to realize that I wanted to learn more about the nonprofit community in Hartford and what they needed.”
Stacey joined a fund committee at a local nonprofit and immersed herself in it to learn more about how foundations work.
“I like to be involved and collaborate with people,” she says. “You don’t always do things to get something out of it. And sometimes you’re not conscious of it, you just want to be part of something. That’s innate to me and part of everything I do.”
Acts of Kindness
Innate giving for Infoshred involves forming partnerships with clients to support causes they’re both passionate about, and using the business to drive awareness for local nonprofits they care about. Infoshred’s acts of kindness all share a connection; some are tied to Stacey’s three daughters and some are deeply rooted in her entrepreneurial heritage.
Infoshred donates to a local 4-H Camp and the Channel 3 Kids Camp, selling sealable shredding bags to support a cause. The business is involved with local nonprofits including Hands On Hartford and the Community Renewal Team, Women’s Empowerment Center. “Those things just come naturally. Growing the business and giving back go together for us,” says Stacey. “I’ve made it top of mind here at Infoshred.”
Why Community Matters
For Stacey and Infoshred, giving back is about being involved in, engaging with, and making an impact in their community. Her giving efforts come authentically. “I philosophically feel that when you have a business and you’re supporting your employees, it’s just natural to extend out into the community and figure out what you can do to help others,” she underscores. “I’m here to do business and I am here for a reason, and, just as I care for my employees, I also care for the community outside these walls.”
If You Have It, Give It
Infoshred has given back throughout all of its 23 years in business. The events of 2020 combined with the introduction to seedership helped encourage Stacey to start making her business’ giving story more visible.
“Giving will always be important to Infoshred,” emphasizes Stacey. “I think it’s important to share our story especially now, because this past year we’ve all been stripped down. COVID-19 has been awful. It’s really made us take stock and accept that it’s okay to have a simple life. We don’t need a lot to be happy.”
She continues, “There are a lot of people suffering. So, I recognize I have a good thing going, and feel an obligation to give outwardly to others who are struggling. If you can be home at night in a warm bed with food in your belly, you have a good life. So, if you have extra, or you have the time, or you have the energy, give it out into the world and help somebody.”
seedership Ties It All Together into One View
Prior to Infoshred becoming a seedership client, Stacey didn’t realize how much she could benefit from tracking her business’ giving efforts and seeing the impact.
“I was struggling because I would give willy-nilly. It wasn’t a big plan I thought about every year. I just did it. It happened organically here,” she acknowledges.
“I have always been involved, but I felt like seedership was a great product because it helps to tie everything together. It provides a visual of what my business is doing throughout the course of the year. And I like that because it makes me more aware; I can see trends and manage my giving more cohesively,” Stacey adds. “Infoshred is new to the seedership platform, but as time goes on, I believe I will be able to be more intentional about how I’m giving and be able to manage my business’ impact in my community.”
The desire to tell Infoshred’s story was another key reason Stacey became a seedership client. “I’m trying to support folks in my community’s businesses – and I want to make sure I’m telling that story,” notes Stacey, who admits that before seedership, “I never really told the story outwardly to my clients or on social media. I just did it quietly.”
She adds, “I love being able to share business’ story and the causes I support. I am also aware of the fact that consumers want to do business with businesses that support the community. The seedership platform really brings it to a different level. I am really trying to use the product to its full potential to tell my business’ story – because I have a good story to tell.”
Extending the Ripple Effect
Stacey’s giving efforts have evolved over the years – from writing an occasional check to creating a donor-advised fund.
“seedership is going to transform my business because, I have been very haphazard about my giving,” Stacey admits. “Going forward I’ll be able to bring it all together into a cohesive story. I’m hoping, once I get a year under my belt, I can use this tool and keep it top of mind – and continue to develop and grow my giving capacity.”
In terms of Infoshred’s giving strategy, Stacey notes that one of her business’ focuses for 2021 will be continuing to branch out and engage employees in her giving efforts.
“In 2021, I’d like giving to be more encompassing throughout the whole organization and inspire greater and deeper participation among our team. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but that for me would be an evolution to the next level,” she asserts.
“I don’t want it to just be me throwing pebbles into the pond to create ripples,” Stacey says. “If I can get 35 people in my organization also doing good, then we have 35 pebbles together creating a much stronger momentum, I mean, that’s fabulous.”
Find out how seedership can help your business showcase its giving efforts with a unique digital platform that helps you track, aggregate and grow your community story.