The GlueTalk Blog

Jeff Smith, Director of Americas Research and Development serves on the Industrial Advisory Board of the Center for Sustainable Polymers at the university of Minnesota.

Skills-Based Volunteering: Connecting Education and Industry

Posted 09/28/2018 by Anna Bosak, Community Affairs Specialist

H.B. Fuller is dedicated to leveraging our resources to support our communities around the world. Our employees play a critical role in our corporate social responsibility efforts, and are willing to give of their own time and talent to make a difference for others. Skills-based volunteering – which leverages the specialized skills of volunteers to build infrastructure and capacity for nonprofits – is an increasingly popular way for employees to engage with their communities. One way that H.B. Fuller employees participate in skills-based volunteering is through serving on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization. Employees are able to contribute to a cause and organization they are passionate about, and nonprofits are able to leverage the experience and skills of dedicated volunteers.

H.B. Fuller and the Center for Sustainable Polymers

Jeff Smith, Director, Americas Research and Development, serves on the Industrial Advisory Board of the Center for Sustainable Polymers at the University of Minnesota. CSP works to transform how plastics are made and unmade through research, education, and partnerships – ultimately aiming to develop new chemistries, polymers, processes, and technologies that embrace sustainability. Jeff’s career experience and professional interests made him a natural fit for the CSP board. He brings a background in sustainable polymers, as well as a wealth of knowledge about the chemical industry. Jeff is also passionate about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, and enjoys seeing the practical applications of science research.

Jeff was excited to join the CSP board because he saw clear connections between CSP’s mission and issues he addresses in his work every day. In particular, Jeff is hoping to support efforts to introduce and leverage CSP’s research into industry. For example, CSP is working to convert readily available traditional polymers into more sustainable polymers – an initiative that results in benefits for both the environment as well as business.

Corporate Social Responsibility Enabling Connections

H.B. Fuller encourages employees to explore volunteer opportunities, is proud to support employees like Jeff who commit to serving on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization. Jeff shared that H.B. Fuller’s support for employee volunteerism has helped him increase his involvement in the community, and makes it easier for him to give back. Skills-based volunteering doesn’t just provide employees with a rewarding way to use their talents to create positive impact, it can also create important connections between companies and nonprofits. 

From H.B. Fuller’s perspective, connecting with the University of Minnesota is an important way to participate in cutting-edge research, as well as to build relationships with the next generation of scientists and engineers. Professor Marc Hillmyer, the director of the CSP commented “We are very happy to have Jeff participate on the CSP Industrial Advisory Board representing H.B. Fuller. His insights, perspectives, and advice to us are very beneficial as we strive to make important inroads on the sustainable polymer research front.”

For more stories of how our employees give back, follow #HBFullerCares on social media and visit


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