By Connie Harvey, COO, Commercial Services, Xerox

“Hero” is a pretty big word to use lightly. When I hear it, I think of our military members freely sacrificing to keep us safe. Or Charles Lindbergh or Neil Armstrong. And you can’t forget about political heroes like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

But those folks are few and far between. I believe it’s also the “everyday heroes” that help make a difference in our world today. People who go the extra mile to make a difference – Liberty Mutual showcases this idea nicely in their “Pay it Forward” series of commercials.

Recently I was the chair of the American Red Cross Heroes Fundraising Campaign for a local chapter in Kentucky and we met some amazing people along the way – everyday heroes right here at Xerox.

Stephanie Roberts, Janet Francis, Dwan McKnight and Connie Harvey

Dwan McKnight has been in recovery for nearly six years. He’s not proud of his past, but knows by sharing it with others he is helping prevent others from following in his footsteps. He rarely turns down an opportunity to speak about his struggles, speaking to 10-12 groups a year about his choices and problems they caused.

For the last five years, Janet Francis has volunteered at the food bank at her church; serving meals every Tuesday to about 50 people a week. They share a meal, join in prayer and discuss their faith. That’s about 12,000 people she’s helped over the last five years.

Stephanie Roberts is never one to run away from problems – she runs toward them, or at least runs for the cause. She’s run in about 25-30 road races over the last three years. She picks races that fund causes she supports. The old saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes has never been truer than for Stephanie.

As part of the fundraiser, the Red Cross calls for nominees for a local “Hero of the Year” award. We nominated Dwan, Janet and Stephanie for their accomplishments.

With more than 140,000 Xerox people around the world, I know we have thousands more people and stories just like this. It’s the people that make the difference in our company. It’s our people that are allowing others to have a more normal life that we all take for granted. Dwan, Janet and Stephanie have been added to my list of heroes.


Connie Harvey is an engineer by training and loves to travel. She’s visited six of the seven continents, but has no plans to visit the seventh.