After a thousand-year storm caused massive flooding in Ellicott City, Maryland, Whitney Marbuary volunteered dozens of hours to help clean up. As part of Xylem Watermark’s volunteer program, she shoveled mud, raised money, and even babysat shop owners’ kids so they could work.
“I like knowing that I’m a small part of the puzzle working toward the greater good of our planet,” Whitney says. She keeps busy working as a project accountant for Xylem’s Pure Technologies brand, in Columbia, Maryland. She has also been a big supporter of Watermark, Xylem's corporate citizenship and social investment program. Find out how she is making her community a better place and how she works in “Whitney Mode”.
As a project accountant I assist the project managers with managing the financial health of their projects. I create the projects in our ERP system, monitor the costs, process invoices and accruals, and anything else a project manager needs from me to make their job easier.
A typical day at work for me starts with my awesome 12-minute commute. I spend about 30 minutes going through emails and then proceed with whatever is on my checklist for the day. This rarely goes as planned as throughout the day I receive a lot of requests from project managers and corporate that take priority. For the most part, this agenda gets pushed for weeks until I go into what my co-workers call “Whitney Mode”. I turn up my music, put my Skype on do not disturb, close my email, and clear off everything on my checklist. I love the special brand of crazy this job provides and for the most part look forward to whatever each day brings.
I have been on board with Watermark almost from day one since Xylem acquired Pure Technologies. As soon as I heard about the program, I was excited about the opportunities this presented and eager to be involved. My first Watermark event was volunteering for the Ellicott City Partnership to help with flood recovery efforts. After that some co-workers and I did local park cleanups, tree planting, partnerships with MdBio and local schools in the area. I also work with closely with a program manager of Howard County and the chair of the ASCE Young Members Maryland Sector to partner with them on their volunteer events that they sponsor. I also oversee the Social Committee in my office and have made sure we contribute to Watermark efforts as often as possible.
Helping others has always been near and dear to my heart. No matter how big or small the effort, I want to be involved. I like knowing that I’m a small part of the puzzle working toward the greater good of our planet. One cleanup may seem insignificant but in the grand scheme of things every effort makes an impact. I’ve never been the type of person to complain without action. I wholeheartedly believe in the core values of Watermark and am proud to be a part of its journey to solve water. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the new experiences I’ve had and the new relationships that have formed as a result of the volunteer events I’ve attended.
The Ellicott City flood cleanup had the most impact on me. I spend 90% of my free time on this half mile strip of wonder and to see the stores and restaurants I frequent destroyed really lit a fire inside of me. I spent about 25-30 hours a week down there last summer helping everyone that needed it. Shoveling mud, fundraising, cleaning, babysitting shop owners’ kids so they could work, anything that was needed. Every shop and restaurant is a small business and doesn’t have a “Watermark committee” to use as a backup plan. I was honored to help them, and I also received a ton of free beer and food for my efforts which was awesome.
I am a huge Disney fan and my favorite movie is Mulan. “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and most beautiful of all.”
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