Celebrating 25 years in the pool and spa industry, King Technology, a chemical manufacturer in Wayzata, Minnesota, has always prioritized giving back to its community.
Fifteen years ago, owner Joe King and his wife, Mary, started investing in the lives of disadvantaged children and families in Flores de Villa, Peru, through the organization Peruvian Partners, which is headquartered in Delano, Minnesota. Specifically, the Kings partner to help the organization educate young men in a trade so they can contribute to their community and provide for their families. They’ve been part of 30 men going through the program so far.
“We’ve seen how education allows them to rise up,” Joe King says. “In many cases, they’ve either not had the opportunity, or they come from abusive families or just are falling through the cracks. And now they have full-time jobs. They have homes [and families].”
King and Mary have visited Peru a few times (not since COVID, but King says he hopes to soon), and they sit down and visit one-on-one with the young men to help them find their passions and set them on a path to pursue them. The last time they visited, all past and current members of the program got together to share the impact the Kings have had on their lives.
“We had almost 30 of them together in a community center for a meal,” King recounts. “And those kids shared amongst each other. So you have the oldest telling the youngest how this program has impacted their lives: ‘You really need to understand how important and what a gift this is.’ And it just brings tears to our eyes.”
Along that same trajectory, about three years ago, King Technology started donating to The Banyan Community, a nonprofit supporting the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. Banyan works to develop youth, strengthen families and create community in this underserved area of the city.
When King Technology launched its anniversary celebration this year, it challenged company supporters to get involved by submitting a photo and positive statement about FROG. For each submission, King Technology is donating $25 to Banyan Community, with a goal of $25,000. While the contribution to Banyan has been financial to this point, King says a meeting has been scheduled to see how he and the company can be more directly involved.
King says it’s one thing for a company to grow and prosper, but it’s another to give back to the community that helped it get there. “That mindset has allowed us to give back more than we ever thought possible,” he says. “My wife and I are 65, and it’s a reflective time in life: Why are we here? What’s our purpose and what are we supposed to be doing? We are all stewards. We’re not taking any of this with us. We need to continue to be strong in our development of the business so, in turn, we can do more [for the community] in the future.”