Jeff '78 and Debi Garrity Aarthun '77 Serve Others in Business and Community
For Jeff ’78 and Debi Garrity Aarthun ’77, helping others is a way of life.
Founders and co-owners of the successful Houston, Texas-based Aarthun Performance Group Ltd., the couple has spent years helping employees understand how their company makes money.
Former employees of Xerox Learning Systems, the Aarthuns now work with such clients as IBM, GE, ExxonMobile, Coca-Cola and Bank of America, and manage 35 full-time employees with satellite offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta/Charlotte, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
Active in their community, the Aarthuns also have given back whenever possible. In 2000, the couple funded a Habitat for Humanity home for a deserving mother and her children in Tomball, Texas.
Jeff and Debi then followed that up by funding another home in 2002.
Although the nonprofit organization has become a world leader in addressing the issue of poverty housing, building more than 150,000 affordable homes worldwide, finding the funds to construct these homes has proven difficult at times.
Once aware of Habitat’s predicament, the Aarthuns quickly contributed funds.“Giving back is an easy thing to do in the scheme of things,” the couple said. “You don’t have to give money; you can also give time.
What is most important is that you make an effort, take some initiative, and figure out how you can give back to your community.”
That commitment to service recently caught Wittenberg’s attention, which awarded the couple its Alumni Citation Award at the university’s Homecoming/Reunion Weekend, Oct. 22-24.
The award is given to those who have brought honor to Wittenberg through exceptional accomplishments in which service to humanity is placed ahead of personal gain or recognition.
“It’s so easy to get involved in your own world,” Debi said. “Jeff and I decided to take a different direction.”