Do you believe your company’s mission helps make the world a better place?
Tuthill Corporation certainly does.
The company’s purpose is to “Wake the World,” and one project that has helped them reach more people in their quest to ask people to examine how they live their lives is their recent docu-series “The Search for Aliveness.” Here, Tuthill’s Sherpa of Purpose Chad Gabriel tells us more about the series and Tuthill’s vision.
P&S: Tell me more about your role with “The Search for Aliveness” and how this role expanded from your position as director of seismic branding?
Gabriel: I’ve been at Tuthill since 2001 and have been very close to our leadership development and culture creation program since about 2004. When I was the director of seismic branding, my role involved telling Tuthill’s story beyond the typical specifications and capabilities of our products and services that most industrial manufacturing companies choose to focus their marketing on. Our people are our brand. This is a key differentiator for us. Another responsibility I had in that role was to develop partnerships with nonprofit organizations that align with Tuthill values, behaviors and purpose to “Wake the World.” At the time I was only able to spend about 5 to 10 percent of my time working on projects like this—projects that help us to bring aliveness beyond our four walls and into the world. It was in July of 2018 that I was asked to lead our “Wake the World” efforts officially as the sherpa of purpose. Now, with 100 percent of my time focused on our purpose work, my team asked me to host “The Search for Aliveness” documentary series we were about to embark on.
P&S: What’s the mission behind Tuthill embarking on this project—in other words, why is it important for the company to spend the time and money on this project?
Gabriel: Tuthill’s mission is to make real things that really make a difference. One way we do this is through our manufacturing of pumps, meters, vacuum systems and blowers that serve foundational markets that grow with the human population. We sell into markets including power and energy, construction, agriculture, water and wastewater treatment, food and beverage, medical, and chemical, to name a few. All of these are crucial to sustaining human life and well-being. We utilize proceeds from these sales to fuel our social impact efforts. Our purpose is to “Wake the World.” We want to unlock the aliveness that already exists within each of us so that we can create the lives we want to live. Some may argue that businesses exist solely for profit. We know we can’t do this kind of thing if we’re not profitable, but we’re not “Waking the World” to sell products. We’re selling products to “Wake the World.” The Tuthill family is a tremendous stand for authenticity and human dignity. Our efforts help to spread these things around the world.
P&S: What does the company hope to accomplish through “The Search for Aliveness”?
Gabriel: First and foremost, we want to better understand aliveness. We love the word. We love what it means. We’re not experts. We’re curious practitioners who believe it serves an extremely important role in our lives. We want to invite people to slow down to take some time to think about what it is that they want in life—what it is that makes them feel alive. By sharing things others do to feel alive, as well as perspectives from thought leaders, we hope to inspire people to try new things and, if they feel more alive, to do more of this in their lives at home, at work, and in their communities.
P&S: Why is manufacturing the right place to launch this project?
Gabriel: Any organization that has the means to do good things in the world ought to do just that. Big money and the big power in the world exist in corporations. If we truly want to make a real difference and have an astounding impact on people and our planet, we must consistently invest in this type of work. Manufacturing happens to be a great starting point for a project like this because it’s the industry that our country, our world, was built on. Why not build a better future, too?
P&S: How did this project begin—how did you get buy-in from the right people at Tuthill to make this adventure come to life?
Gabriel: Every year we conduct company-wide strategic meetings to create focus and alignment amongst all levels and functional areas within our organization. With a lofty goal to reach 7.6 billion people as we “Wake the World,” we had to take a very creative look at how to reach as many people as possible, impactfully. Beyond the partnerships we form with nonprofit organizations, my team regularly brainstorms ideas for activating our purpose. One of my teammates, Vito Pellicano, had done a documentary for his brother’s nonprofit and suggested this project. With clear goals to reach at least 10,000 people per episode, a manageable travel budget, and the abilities to pull this off in-house, we ran it by owner Jay Tuthill and then-CEO Tom Carmazzi (now retired), and headed off to Mexico to film our first episode. Since that time, each of the five released episodes has exceeded 10,000 views. We’ve traveled 36,000 miles through seven countries and have interviewed people from many walks of life. This project has opened the door for us to talk about Tuthill in ways that have never been done before through the work we’ve done with our products. We’ve been on TV, radio, podcasts, magazines and newspapers and have reached approximately 150 million people through these channels. We’ve always been encouraged to “go for the no,” so we don’t get caught sleeping in the comfort zone at Tuthill. This docu-series has been a very rewarding stretch for us and the people who watch it. Check it out at thesearchforaliveness.com.