Nitel CEO: Rick Stern

Nitel CEO: Rick Stern

When you walk through the door at Mercy Home, it doesn’t take long to feel the love. There’s a welcoming spirit and enthusiastic energy. It’s contagious. And it’s generated by caring people who want to see our children succeed.

Among those who make Mercy Home so special are our supporters and volunteers. Their time, effort, resources, and passion make the mission possible. Without them, our Home would not be complete.

Over the years, our friends at Nitel have contributed to this family feel in a variety of ways. From organizing their own fundraisers, to supporting ours – their kindness and commitment have been a blessing in the lives of our children.

The friendship between Nitel and Mercy Home began more than ten years ago. Rick Stern, Nitel’s founder and CEO, had moved offices several times after starting the business. When they moved to Chicago’s West Loop, not far from Mercy Home, Stern felt the company had reached the size and scope where he wanted to give back to the community

One such way is helping to make the holidays a special time for our children. Each year, they donate turkeys and other food for our Thanksgiving dinner.

At Christmastime, Nitel staff members visit the Home and help hang decorations for our children. Though Stern gives back to the community year-round, he understands how important the holidays are.

“Getting out in the community is important to me, and this creates those opportunities for my staff.”

Stern has always felt strongly about helping children, and with Mercy Home right around the corner, it was the perfect fit. The proximity of Mercy Home was appealing to Stern.

“The key for me was that my staff could get involved and we could make it convenient to interact with the charity,” Stern said. “Getting out in the community is important to me, and this creates those opportunities for my staff.”

Though they are no longer headquartered in the West Loop, the team at Nitel remains among our closest friends. Since offering their friendship, they have seized a variety of opportunities to get involved and support the Home.

One such way is helping to make the holidays a special time for our children. Each year, they donate turkeys and other food for our Thanksgiving dinner.

At Christmastime, Nitel staff members visit the Home and help hang decorations for our children. Though Stern gives back to the community year-round, he understands how important the holidays are.

“I have a soft spot for kids, especially around the holidays,” he said. “It’s just something I want to do – help people out who truly need it. And if you can do it during the holidays and lift their spirits – all the better.”

One of the most unique ways Nitel supports our kids, however, is through their annual 5k race. Leading up to the race, employees raise money for Mercy Home, and Stern creates incentives to make it interesting, like offering days off of work for raising certain amounts. But Stern isn’t afraid to get involved himself. He typically does something to go above and beyond, like matching his employees’ donations.

There are other ways Stern motivates his employees to give back to the community as well. At our major events, like Ringside – our black-tie gala event – or Graduate’s Luncheon – which honors the accomplishments of our student graduates – Stern typically buys a table. He offers seats at his table to Nitel’s top volunteers.

Since he was such an active supporter and took on roles that many of Mercy Home’s board members do, it only seemed natural that Stern join our board. Today, he serves on our Ambassador Board, a select board of prominent men dedicated to advancing the mission of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.

“It’s been nice to get more engaged with the people at Mercy Home,” Stern said. “Being around Fr. Scott and listening to everything he has to say – that man, he is a saint. He works tirelessly for the kids.”

We are honored to have the support of Rick and the entire staff at Nitel. Their commitment to our children and our mission is such a blessing, and they are part of the fabric that makes Mercy Home such a loving place.

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