Ignite Territory Manager Russell Shupe Perfects the Ignite Giveback Challenge

August 23, 2023

At Ignite, the spirit of giving back is always encouraged. At last year’s holiday party, the company stepped it up when President & CEO Carl Kisner introduced the Ignite Giveback Challenge. This challenge gives every Ignite employee $500 to make a difference for an organization or cause of their choice.

Russell Shupe, Territory Manager for New Mexico and El Paso, is a retired law enforcement officer from Indiana and knows firsthand the importance of providing comfort and support to children during law enforcement interactions. “During my time in the field, officers would carry a couple of stuffed teddy bears with them,” explained Russell. “They were used to help comfort children in times of distress like a house fire or car accident.”

He had a great idea of creating customized soft teddy bears that could be given to children during these interactions to alleviate some anxiety and create a more positive encounter with law enforcement officers. Russell worked with the Public Information Officer of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and collaborated with Barran’s Bears Inc. to create 144 Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy Bears. These bears were specifically designed for kids in their community and have made an enormous difference.

The Ignite Giveback Challenge enabled Russell, a 10-year employee of Ignite, to make a difference in his community by leveraging his love for law enforcement to bring comfort into the lives of children when they may need it most. This spirit of giving back comes from the top, with Carl Kisner encouraging each employee to pick an organization whose mission is important to them and find ways to give back. “I love what Russell chose to do for the Giveback Challenge. Ideally, I would like to see each employee create something tangible like this that helps the communities where we work,” said Carl Kisner. “Russell knocked it out of the park!”
Barran’s Bears Inc.
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