2023 Mike Trump Chili Cookoff Nourishes Hearts & Communities

December 19, 2023

Honoring the legacy of our late colleague, Mike Trump, the employee-led Corporate Responsibility Committee (CRC) at EnviroScience recently held its 2023 Mike Trump Chili Cookoff. This event not only celebrated his memory but also made a significant impact on our local charities, embodying the essence of community and care.

Staff members from EnviroScience and ACRT Services submitted chili entries this year. For a charitable donation of $10 each, employees were able to enjoy a lunch that included 18 different chili tastings, salads, side dishes, bread, and desserts and afforded them the opportunity to vote for this year’s winner. Aligning with our environmental commitment, participants were encouraged to bring their own utensils, a small yet significant step towards sustainability.

2023 Mike Trump Chili Cookoff | EnviroScience

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank: A Cornerstone of Compassion

Proceeds from our annual chili cookoff benefit the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank (ACRF), a pivotal force in addressing hunger across eight counties in Northeast Ohio since 1982. In 2022 alone, they distributed 30 million pounds of food and other essential items, provided 23.3 million meals, and welcomed the support of 7,400 volunteers who donated over 55,000 hours of service​​.

The ACRF operates under a mission to lead a collaborative network that empowers people to experience healthy and hunger-free lives, focusing on values such as compassion, collaboration, service, integrity, inclusion, and innovation. As a member of Feeding America, they work tirelessly to serve communities where hunger is most prevalent, especially among children and seniors​​.

2023 Chili Cookoff Yields Record-Breaking Donation to the ACRF

We are thrilled to report that $750 was raised from employee participation in this year’s event, and the CRC agreed to contribute another $700, which means our total donation was $1,450. Even more exciting is that this donation was delivered to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank on “Double Dollar Day,” which means the ACRF matched our donation—bringing it to $2,900, the most we have ever donated.

Collectively, staff member donations will help to provide thousands of meals to underserved Northeast Ohioans this winter when they need it most. The ACRF has since reported that due to the incredible support of the community and efforts like ours, enough funds were raised to help provide enough food for more than 900,000 meals to neighbors in need this holiday season!

Bulldog Bags: Supporting Children’s Nutrition Needs

Another important initiative supported by the annual chili cookoff is Bulldog Bags, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing students on the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program, or otherwise qualified, in the Stow-Munroe Falls area by providing take-home breakfasts and lunches on the weekends while not in school.

Under the awesome leadership of Wetlands Operations Manager Emmalisa Kennedy, the CRC concurrently ran a Food Drive during the event to aid in this effort. We are thrilled to report that two large boxes of food items, such as oatmeal packets, hot chocolate, microwave popcorn, juice boxes, boxed dry goods, ramen noodles, granola bars, and canned goods, were collected for this cause. The organization also collects personal items such as dental floss, toothpaste, and toothbrushes to support the personal care needs of children in addition to their nutritional needs.

Coat Drive: Wrapping the Community in Warmth

In addition to these food-centric charities, the cookoff also played host to our annual Kids and Adults Coat Drive to benefit the efforts of Portage County Catholic Charities. The CRC’s purchase of $250 worth of coats is a testament to our employees’ commitment to providing warmth and comfort to those facing the harsh winter months. This drive is crucial for helping individuals, especially in Portage County and surrounding areas, where the need for warm clothing is a pressing concern during winter.

Chili Cookoff Winners and Event Highlights

This year’s chili cookoff was a stellar success, with an array of chili varieties prepared by enthusiastic participants. EnviroScience Health & Safety Officer Tim Willaman walked away with the coveted, first-place wooden spoon for his “Who Dat Thursday Night Chili.” Our runner-up was HR Business Partner Shannon Cecconi from ACRT Services, and tying for third place was EnviroScience Senior Ecologist Michael Liptak and Director of Marine Services Phil Mathias.

Mike Trump's wife, Kristen, Dubs EnviroScience Health & Safety Officer Tim Willlaman the Winner of the 2023 Mike Trump Chili Cookoff

Mike Trump’s wife, Kristen, Dubs EnviroScience Health & Safety Officer Tim Willlaman the Winner of the 2023 Mike Trump Chili Cookoff for his “Who Dat Thursday Night Chili.”

The event also paid homage to Mike Trump with a dedicated memorial sign, a gesture that deeply moved his wife, Kristen, and all attendees. Mike was a talented project designer, a dear friend, and a chili aficionado—winning the first-ever chili cookoff.

Event Takeaways

The 2023 Mike Trump Chili Cookoff was a vibrant example of how a group of individuals, a company, and a community can come together to make a significant difference. The event’s success not only honors Mike Trump’s memory but also strengthens our resolve to support those in need. As we look forward to future events, we remain dedicated to upholding these values of compassion, community service, and environmental stewardship.

Few environmental firms in the country retain EnviroScience’s degree of scientific know-how, talent, and capability under one roof. The diverse backgrounds of our biologists, environmental engineers, scientists, and divers enable us to provide comprehensive in-house services and an integrated approach to solving environmental challenges—saving clients time, reducing costs, and ensuring high-quality results.

Our client guarantee is to provide “Excellence in Any Environment,” meaning no matter what we do, we will deliver on our Core Values of respect, client advocacy, quality work, accountability, teamwork, and safety. EnviroScience was created with the concept that we could solve complex problems by empowering great people. This concept still holds true today as our scientists explore the latest environmental legislation and regulations and incorporate the most up-to-date technology to gather and report data.

EnviroScience expertise includes but is not limited to aquatic surveys (including macroinvertebrate surveys and biological assessments); ecological restoration; ecological services (including impact assessments, invasive species control, and water quality monitoring);  emergency response; engineering and compliance services; endangered mussel surveys; laboratory and analysis; stormwater management; threatened and endangered species; and wetlands and streams (including delineation and mitigation). Further, EnviroScience is one of the few biological firms in the country that is a general member of the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) and offers full-service commercial diving services.