Changing the Story: John Lewandowski

by Kellie Cochrane

Approved Protection Systems

There are thousands of small businesses across our region, all boasting different services and unique experiences.  As a small business owner, John Lewandowski, stands out in a big way with his passion for our community.  John is the owner of Approved Protection Systems and a volunteer, advocate and donor to United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region.

John always knew that giving back was going to be an integral part of business for him, so when he first took over Approved Protection Systems he chose a charity each year to donate 10% of the company earnings to.  A friend of his suggested he become involved with United Way, and once he learned about the workplace campaign and the powerful impact United Way was having on the community, he signed up.  That was 10 years ago, and John says it’s a decision he would make all over again.

“I like knowing that the funds are leveraged and that the money I raise is spread throughout the community in a variety of ways,” John explains.  He knew he wanted to give back, but he wanted his gift to impact more than just one charity or group, he wanted to see the impact for his neighbors.

Of course, no workplace campaign can be successful without enthusiasm from employees, and that’s something Approved Protection Systems has plenty of according to John: “We have almost 100% participation with our 30 employees.”  They’ve continued to build each year, three years ago they raised a little over $8,000 and last year they raised close to $30,000.  John wants other small businesses to understand how easy it is to get involved, and how important it is.  He sits on the United Way committee that helped develop and continues to promote LIVE UNITED 365.

Imagine the impact thousands of small businesses could have across our region if they all came together around a common cause and shared a common mission.  John Lewandowski saw the potential and stepped up to make a difference.  Find out how you can be part of the change by visiting  If you’re a small business owner and you want to find out more about running a campaign contact David Lee either by email at or by calling @69) 343-2524.