IBM’s On Demand Community and Other Quality of Life Initiatives Enhance the Workplace Environment

With a new generation of business professionals comes a new list of priorities, chief among them quality of life in and out of the office.



Sheila Appel, IBM

Photo by Cathy Pinsky, 2011

The best communities – like the best workplaces – offer the elements necessary to successfully blend a personal and professional life.

Headquartered in Westchester, IBM ensures that its employees find meaning in not just their work but also in their lives outside the office.

“We have created an On Demand Community to help employees identify and find volunteer opportunities,” says Sheila Appel, Manager, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs for IBM. “By integrating community service into an employee’s work, you can encourage them to do something meaningful, to help communities and to improve the skills of the workforce at the same time.”

IBM was recognized with the Hall of Fame award for Corporate Citizenship by The Business Council of Westchester in the Spring of 2010.

At Berkeley College’s Westchester campus, Cynthia Rubino knows a little bit about the importance of getting involved; her father, Joseph Delfino, was the mayor of White Plains for 12 years. “If you want to get entrenched in the community and help create a better quality of life, you can,” Rubino says. “In other places, it can be difficult to acclimate. What you’re afforded by being a part of this community is a sense of being part of the community.”

Westchester offers outstanding schools – some of its high schools rate among the nation’s top performers – and neighborhoods with a variety of housing options and plenty of recreational activities, perfect for growing families. Those who prefer a more urban vibe find everything from artists’ lofts in White Plains to riverside apartments in Yonkers. Small-town charm abounds in villages and hamlets.

“People can find housing of all sorts within a reasonable travel distance from work, and that’s a huge advantage,” says Dr. Philip J. Wilner, M.D., Vice President and Medical Director of Behavioral Health for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division.

The quality of life available in Westchester is quickly becoming apparent to the next generation of business professionals.

Tim Jones, Chairman of the Westchester Coalition for Business Development, has been listening to what younger workers want. “They have different values; some things are a higher priority to them, and we need to understand and accept that. We’ve been hearing that open space is important and economic and ethnic diversity is important to this generation, and those are things we offer.”