In honor of National Philanthropy Day, Nov. 15, 2020, and this season of Thanksgiving, Jacksonville University would like to thank our donors and partners by shining a light on their generous support. We kick off the series of donor spotlights with Mike Oliver, Miller Electric’s vice president of human resources and risk management.
Q: What is your company’s philanthropic philosophy?
A: Miller Electric has a core value of community, and giving back is also part of our value of stewardship. Our involvement with Jacksonville University and our philanthropic gifts represent our desire to always be helping the next generation. We focus on many ways of giving, and giving back to JU and other organizations that align with our goals helps us as a company, as a community and as an industry.
Q: How does your contribution to Jacksonville University support that philosophy?
A: Our contribution to Jacksonville University feeds into our focus on stewardship, always trying to bring in and support the next generation. Jacksonville University is supporting and educating our next generation — the students who will be future, great community members, and future team members and leaders at Miller Electric. This is also part of our choosing to invest in various areas across campus. We do this because we recognize that JU students enrich our whole community — the arts, places we go, organizations we engage with and that go beyond our industry. That’s why we invest in several career management programs that impact students in all four colleges at Jacksonville University and that support areas well beyond our key areas of engineering and business management.
Q: In addition to donations, what are some other ways that Miller Electric supports Jacksonville University and its students?
A: Hiring: Currently, more than 10 JU alums are employed at Miller Electric, and many of them started with us as interns. Our VP of Shared Services, Dr. Rochelle Price, is a recent DBA graduate. Also, our former CEO and current board chairman, Ron Autrey, is a JU alum and former chair of the JU Board of Trustees.
Career Development: Miller Electric attended the 2020 Virtual Career Expo. We have also attended previous in-person career expos and the university’s Perfect Match spring recruiting events.
Internships: Our internship program is comprised predominantly of summer opportunities and consists of approximately 10-12 positions. JU is a key institution for us in terms of recruiting interns because we know that JU students are a reliable source of talent for these opportunities and for future full-time positions.
Volunteer Leadership: Miller Electric is also proud to have three of our leaders serving on advisory boards across campus.
Q: Tell us a little more about some of the JU graduates who are working at your company?
A: One example is Brandon Hilbert, (class of 2020) an engineering student who we met at the career fair in the gym. We reviewed his resume and talked to him about what he liked to do. We were so inspired we offered him an internship spot for that summer. He joined the company full-time after that experience and is now working on a project with Facebook.