Liberty Diversified International traveled 6, 426 miles in 20 days, crossing 26 state lines, making 17 stops to donate to charities in towns that it has operations.
The company, which is comprised of seven companies, specializing in corrugated fiberboard and office furnishings, decided the best way to celebrate its 100 year anniversary was to show gratitude to its customers and employees.
So this summer its fourth generation CEO Mike Fiterman led a cross-country bus tour, giving away more than $1 million to various charitable organizations across North America. The company, which employs 1,800 is one of the largest privately held companies in the Midwest.
The plan is called the “Great Gratitude Tour,” and was inspired by Mike’s grandfather and LDI founder, Jack Fiterman, a Russian immigrant who started selling refurbished wooden boxes on the cobblestone streets of Minneapolis in 1918. The story goes that Fiterman was so grateful for the unbounded opportunity upon his arrival in America that he named his company “Liberty” in honor of the Statue of Liberty.
Mike’s daughter Ann, who serves on the company's executive board and is involved in key leadership roles, explained the event this way.
Liberty Diversified International is turning 100, and we think that’s a pretty big deal. The dedication of our employees, customers and communities has kept us around for a century. We are hitting the road to show our gratitude. We think our world could use a little more gratitude, and we’ll spend three weeks doing our part to thank the unsung heroes of our company and our country.
From veterans to garbage haulers, educators to cancer researchers, first responders to volunteers – we have a lot of thanking to do, and hope you’ll join our gratitude movement.