Changing the world starts at home
Peter Freissle embodies the American dream.
Originally from South Africa, he moved to the United States to run the American arm of his family-owned business, Polydeck Screen Corporation.
Peter was wildly successful. But he still felt like something was missing.
“I remember telling a colleague that I had achieved the American dream, but I still felt empty. He urged me to go on a retreat and to find out what God wanted in my life.”
That retreat would change his whole life.
“God put on my heart that He wanted me to love Him and to love my employees.”
This has been his guiding light ever since. He came home and changed everything about how Polydeck was run.
Today, Polydeck offers its employees extensive leadership training, where they learn leadership skills as well as the ability to set goals and develop a career path so they can continue to pursue personal and professional goals and passions. Over the last several years, employees have logged more than 10,000 hours in leadership training and personal development. Thanks to Peter’s commitment to loving his employees as God does, Polydeck also provides the following benefits on a regular basis:
- Tuition reimbursement based on successful application and approval of Senior Leadership Team, totaling over $35,600 over the last 3 years.
- Five $1,500 scholarships are given to the children of our employees every year. Winners are based on essays written by each student.
- Polydeck has an extensive Wellness program that includes employee benefits such as a yearly health fair, quarterly rebates for employees and spouses for non-smoker status and 60 minutes of exercise per week, and having a nurse on-site once a week to help employees address any health concerns.
By taking exceptional care of his employees and empowering them to invest in themselves and adopt a “pay it forward” attitude, Peter has proven that changing the world really does start at home. Polydeck does business well in order to show God’s love to others. 1.5% of the previous year’s sales (not profits, but sales) are set aside to care for Polydeck employees, their families, and the community, both nationally and internationally. The fruits of this commitment are tangible:
- Every month $3,000 is given to an area charity chosen by the employees
- Polydeck employees have volunteered over 7,740 hours over the last 10 years and given almost half a million dollars of their own money for charitable causes
- Employee Emergency Loan fund – providing zero-interest loans to employees
- Employee Home Repair fund – provides money and resources for employees’ home repairs
- Employee Car Repair fund – provides free towing and up to $750 for all employees’ car repairs
Peter lives a “pay it forward” lifestyle through charitable works as well. In partnership with Catholic World Mission, his generosity has made many projects in the developing world possible:
- Construction of a new hospital in Chile for the homeless, elderly, and poor
- Disaster Relief in the Philippines after earthquake and typhoon disasters
- Support for Ndekesha orphans in DR Congo
- Major support of missionary centers in Costa Rica
- Aid for the homeless and poor of Poland
On behalf of the poor around the world, whose lives Peter has impacted directly and indirectly, we give thanks to God for the light he shared with Peter in 2006: Love God and love employees. This has created a culture of caring not only in Peter’s company but in the entire world.
In 2007, Peter created the nonprofit His Way at Work, which offers training and coaching to business leaders and executives who want to make similar changes in their respective companies. Peter’s commitment to doing business God’s way continues to blaze trails and improve the lives of countless people all over the world.
In 2011, Peter was instrumental in helping the House for the Sick of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in Malinalco, Mexico, open its doors. The House for the Sick serves those who are most in need. The Sisters of the Good Samaritan have been caring for low-income people for 8-9 years who are unable to receive medical attention in public health institutions or at home.
Take a look at photos of the various Catholic World Mission projects Peter has supported over the years. Be sure to click on each photo to learn more!