Maureen & Alan BirdLudeman Center Jul 1, 2018
At first glance, Arrow Electronics, a Fortune 500 company based in Colorado, might appear to be an unlikely partner of the Ludeman Family Center for Women’s Health Research at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Founded in 1935 as a retail store located in lower Manhattan’s “Radio Row”, Arrow Electronics has developed into the world’s largest distributor of electronic components and computer products. Over the past 83 years of Arrow’s exponential growth, the quest for innovation has remained the largest driver of the company. Innovation is also at the core of Arrow’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). As Arrow’s Director of CSR Joe Verrengia stressed, “Arrow wants a partnership that is more than giving money away. We want to tell a joint story.” For example, Arrow engineers have been integral in creating a solar suitcase to provide power to rural health clinics in underdeveloped countries and have also worked on developing a 3-D printer that is able to design habitable shelters for refugee camps and third world countries.
Arrow’s partnership with the Ludeman Center began in 2015 soon after Maureen and Alan Bird moved to Colorado so that Alan could start a new position at Arrow. Ludeman Center director Dr. Judy Regensteiner knew Maureen from her years as a successful executive at Bristol, Myers, Squibb (BMS). Maureen’s career at BMS fueled her deep interest in and knowledge about cardiovascular and metabolic health, and Judy and the Ludeman Center advisory board quickly realized that Maureen would be an ideal advisor, community connector, and contributor to the Ludeman Center.
Arrow’s headquarters in Centennial boasts a strong percentage of female employees in a male dominated industry. When Maureen shared the incredible work of some of the Ludeman Center researchers, Alan jumped at the chance to create a “lunch and learn” lecture series for employees at Arrow. Since 2016, Ludeman Center researchers give quarterly lunchtime talks at Arrow, which have proven to be in great demand. Topics ranging from sleep disruption and metabolism to diabetes prevention to menopause and cardiovascular health have informed and motivated attendees to make critical lifestyle changes. Additionally, Arrow and the Birds have been longtime sponsors of the Ludeman Center's Annual Community Luncheon. Arrow employees look forward to hearing top experts in women’s health and to receiving important health takeaways. As Alan pointed out, “We feel very fortunate to have this partnership with the Ludeman Center. Arrow team members always stress that they walk away with important health information that they did not have before. The educational value for the employees is what it’s all about.” The Ludeman Center is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to partner with Arrow and to benefit from the invaluable insights and support of Ludeman Center Advisory Board member Maureen Bird.