Helping No Barriers provides ‘cultural change’ for Trane


While the No Barriers mindset is focused on changing individuals’ lives for the better, officials at Trane found our mission both infectious and beneficial at a corporate level.

During a recent fundraising push, Trane was able to rally and inspire employees, foster a sense of inclusion across its various offices and strengthen corporate values. In those ways, the relationship has been mutually beneficial, said Johnny Brown, Rocky Mountain Trane’s general manager.

“It became something that got a lot more attention and it was something bigger than just the one day,” Brown said. “It has been a cultural change.”

It all started when Brown heard blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer and speak at a conference. Weihenmayer is also Vice President of No Barriers Board of Directors.

“It was the best speech I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said. “You looked around the room and there were people blotting their eyes. … Right away, I was like, ‘I got to do something more.’

Brown shared No Barriers’ values with the rest of the company and reached out to us to figure out a fundraising strategy. Initially, Brown said they wanted to get 10 climbers on board for our late August “What’s Your Everest?” event in Colorado.

Brown thought 10 hikers might be a stretch, however, because similar fundraising efforts hadn’t gone over so well. But within a few days they had about 15 interested and enthused hikers. Brown credits No Barriers broad reach for the interest – “It had a little something for everybody.”

No Barriers also lined up with Trane’s values of being green and outdoor-focused. Hikers signed up from five of their six offices spread around Colorado, Utah and Idaho.

“It’s the first thing we’ve ever done as a district that brought our offices together,” Brown said.

About 20 climbers raised $11,830 for No Barriers, which will be used across all of our programming – Youth, Soldiers and Summit.

But before their climb, Trane got to hear an evening of inspirational speakers, including Weihenmayer and mountaineering cancer survivor Sean Swarner.

Trane Account Manager Ryan Sayre said the speeches were “phenomenal” and “we felt like we were the ones who came out on top.”

While Chris Hantke missed the speeches, he felt inspired by the hike the next day.

“When I saw that the first participant who left was blind and he was running, it was just like, ‘That is incredible,’” he said.

Sayre said participating in the event side by side with those who have overcome a variety of barriers made the mindset stick. It was “moving in a way that’s hard to describe.”

“When you look at what those guys have gone through, it makes my quote unquote day-to-day problems look inconsequential and completely doable,” he said. “If I thought I felt overwhelmed before, now it seems like nothing and it makes me want to go out and do more with my life.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABrown said the Trane team immediately wanted to find a way to contribute next year, expanding their fundraising effort to more offices and employees.

Trane’s parent company, Ingersoll Rand, was moved to sponsor No Barriers’ first ever Base Camp. The one-day event takes inspiration from the No Barriers Summit and will focused on youth, innovation and sustainability in the Denver area this coming spring.

No Barriers Chief Development Officer Cindy Bean said she is grateful for, and struck by Trane employees’ efforts. Bean said the partnership also highlights one of the things No Barriers is best at – building community. 

“We can come to your community and we can build community,” she said. “We believe that with the right innovation, opportunity and support, you can find inner strength and achieve great things. That support is the community we help create and that’s why we’re so great for companies interested in that.”

To learn more about how No Barriers can unify a community of barrier-breakers in your company, or how your company can help us change lives, call us at 970-484-3633.

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