As Seen in FOCUS Newsletter: Danos Gives Back to the Community and Employees Post Hurricane Ida
Danos was profiled in the December issue of FOCUS, the publication for the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce. You can view the entire publication here.
On August 29 Hurricane Ida made landfall as a category 4 in Southeast Louisiana, forever changing the community by bringing devastation and loss. However, after the storm many local companies such as Danos immediately started giving back to the community by checking on employees and families in the local parishes. It made sense to a business executive whose roots began in the very area affected by the storm.
Mark Danos grew up in Cut Off, Louisiana, and obtained a degree in mechanical engineering at Louisiana State University in 2002. After graduation, he decided to live out his dream of traveling while doing missionary work in Kenya for a year. To further his travels, he began working for Exxon in a position that allowed him to see the world for ten years until he eventually made his way back to south Louisiana. He began working in the family business at Danos in 2013.
“Home, the community, and the people were strong, and that’s largely what brought me back here,” Mark explained. “The opportunity to be a part of the family business and work with my dad and brothers was something that I realized was incredibly special.”
Danos was founded by Allen Danos, Sr. and his brother-in-law Syriaque Curole in 1947. During that time, Allen and Syriaque weren’t formally educated, but Allen had an entrepreneurial spirit, and Syriaque had skills working in the fishing industry. Combining their skill sets, they began working on ideas of starting a business. Allen’s sister, Aline Danos, helped fund the start of the business by providing them a generous loan of $2,000. At the time, this amount of money could go a long way. With the $2,000, they bought a vessel called the YOYO, and that was the beginning of a legacy. Today, the third generation is at the helm of the family-owned organization.
From the beginning, Danos lived out their core beliefs through the company’s Purpose, Values, Vision and Culture, although they were not always formally written,. Their values include Safety, Service, Improvement, Respect, and Integrity. Throughout the years, Danos has steadily grown in its number of employees, customer base, use of technology solutions, and the way they service the industry.
“We are still a south Louisiana based company largely employing Cajuns from the area, but we’ve also grown and now have added a large number of employees from across the country to our team,” Mark explained. “At our core we're still the same as we were almost 75 years ago.”
Culture is the most important aspect of the Danos community.
“The way our employees responded to Hurricane Ida and engaged our community is really encouraging for me,” Mark explained. “It’s not something we had to tell someone to do. It’s the culture here. We step up.”
Immediately after hurricane Ida, Danos employees helped their coworkers in many ways, such as picking up broken trees, removing debris, offering supplies, and providing other assistance as needed. With over ten percent of employees having significant damage, Danos was able to provide affected employees immediate-use funds from Danos CARES, a branch of the Danos Foundation. Furthermore, Danos employees served around 3,350 meals to affected communities in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.
“We are very intentional about how we build culture,” Mark said. “It’s the way we talk, treat people, engage and it’s the strategy we employ.”
As the industry evolves with time, Danos too has adapted and is joining in the clean energy movement in the renewables market.
“It’s important. We want to be good stewards of this world, community and environment we live in,” Mark said. “We have the opportunity to bring our established service offerings into other industries.”
Each year Danos continues to give back through their Foundation’s GIVES, WORKS, and CARES programs. In the last year, Danos was able to distribute grants through Danos GIVES to 24 nonprofits to help solve community challenges. Danos WORKS contributes funds to non-profit organizations where employees volunteer their time. Danos CARES provides funds to employees who have needs arising from unexpected events.
“The Danos Foundation is an employee-driven initiative that developed from our purpose to solve challenges for our communities,” Mark explained.
“We will continue to be a family owned and operated business that’s rooted in culture and stays true to our purpose,” Mark explained. “Which is to, honor God, and develop great people to solve big challenges for customers and communities.”