Men of Style
For Susquehanna Style’s 2017 Men of Style, business is good—meaning that the businesses and nonprofits they create and sustain are powerful forces for good. Neighborhoods are revitalized. Children learn and grow. Stories are told. When these Men of Style share their gifts, communities blossom.
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Blessing the Community
Rodgers & Associates, Lancaster
Co-Founder and President
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is within your power to do so,” reads Proverbs 3:27. For Rick Rodgers, “that puts the burden on me to look for the needs that God brings to my attention and how to best fulfill those.”
“The Bible teaches us we are here to take care of each other,” says Rodgers, a committed Christian. “We have a responsibility when we are blessed, like God has blessed my business, to take care of others...the blessings are not to be spent on my own selfishness.”
The Hanover native is now an all-in Lancastrian, living in the city since the early 1980s. As philanthropists, he and his wife Jessica, known as Jessy, “uniquely complement each other.” He’s the analytical brains, asking how their support will make a difference. She’s the creative envisioner, the one who piloted conversion of excess space in Rodgers & Associates historic and elegant headquarters into a gathering area for free use by community nonprofits (rodgers-associates.com).
“It’s a great use that I would not have thought of,” he says.
While charity “treats the symptom but doesn’t solve the problem,” Rodgers’ philanthropy addresses root causes. In just one example, his support for the Lancaster County Council of Churches’ food pantry means that people get not just food but additional guidance toward self-sufficiency.
The first year of Lancaster County Community Foundation’s Extraordinary Give, Rodgers helped secure participating nonprofits, skeptical of collective fundraising just as many were involved in year-end appeals. When the effort raised an astounding $1.6 million, participants realized they had “all worked together to accomplish something pretty spectacular.”
In Extra Give’s second year, Rodgers & Associates stepped up as presenting sponsor. Now, on Extra Give day, Rodgers rises early for a day of TV and radio appearances and “cheering on the troops,” who raised over $7 million in 2016.
“When the community succeeds, we all succeed,” he says. “You give because you’ve been blessed and you feel the responsibility of sharing those blessings with others to help others do well.”
Philanthropy has taught Rodgers that “it’s not about me. It’s about us. It’s about people.”
“The tendency is to think that if we have more things we’ll be happy, and it never satisfies,” he says. “That’s what Ecclesiastes tries to teach us. When we care about other people, we find that even though we’re not doing it for ourselves, the benefits far outweigh the effort.”