About 5,000 people gathered around the Cummins Inc. downtown global headquarters to celebrate the company’s past and future, as well as its deep ties to Columbus.

Cummins’ second annual block party, stretching from Fifth to Sixth streets along Jackson Street, served as a launching point for its updated mission, vision and values statements. They were changed to match the evolution of a Fortune 200 company that will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2019, said Tony Satterthwaite, president of Cummins’ Distribution Business.

The event offered families of Cummins employees and members of the public a glimpse of what the diesel engine maker and power company does — as passenger trucks, farm implements, heavy machinery and Cummins engines were on display. The party atmosphere included free food, kids activities and robot races.

“We’re very conscious of our Columbus community, and that we are a big part of it. But also it’s a big part of us,” Satterthwaite said. “So we wanted to make sure we included the community in our celebration because this community has been good for Cummins, and I know Cummins has been good for this community.”

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Last year’s block party was geared to employees and their families. The company planned to have enough food to feed 1,000 people, but ran out because about 1,500 attended.

This year, cookout-style food — fried chicken, corn dogs, baked beans and cole slaw — was planned for 4,000, with just a little left over, Cummins spokeswoman Katie Zarich said.

Jillian Collins, whose husband Steven works at Cummins, called Wednesday’s block party another example of what the company does for the community.

Collins said she brought their three sons — ages 7, 4 and 1 — to experience the event and support her husband’s employer.

“Cummins is a huge part of Columbus,” Collins said. “And this (event) is free. It’s amazing.”

Mayor Jim Lienhoop, who lost his robot race to Cummins Vice President and Chief Technical Officer Jennifer Rumsey, said he was pleased with the block party.

“Everybody wants to enjoy where they work and their employer to have a sense of humor and share the products of your labor with the community. So, it’s really neat that Cummins opens this up, invites the public and displays what it is that happens behind those walls day-in and day-out,” Lienhoop said.

Nick Mudd, a nine-year Cummins employee who works in the Distribution Business, watched the robot races with his wife, Melinda, and their children, ages 12, 9 and 6, in the afternoon.

He said the event was a way for his children to learn a bit about the company and what their father does.

Mudd and the rest of the company’s workforce received an email from Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger on Wednesday morning that explained about the updated mission, vision and values. He and his family also listened to several company executives publicly discuss the updates and why they are important at the start of the block party.

The company’s updated mission, vision and values are:

  • Mission: Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.
  • Vision: Innovating for our customers to power their success.
  • Values: Integrity, diversity and inclusion, caring, excellence, teamwork

“It feels the mission and vision are even more reflective of today,” Mudd said.

Cummins’ senior leadership teams began work on updating them in July 2016, Satterthwaite said. The purpose is to provide clear direction to employees and leaders on what matters most to the company, guiding their decisions and actions.

“We felt the company was on the verge of changing. We’ve been talking about a lot of new things we’re doing, and we thought it was just the right time to update and refresh our story of who we are,” he said.

Cummins last updated its mission, vision and values in 2002. But over the past 15 years, Cummins has expanded geographically and in its products, no longer a one-market, one-product company. For example, Cummins has expanded electrification and digital efforts, Satterthwaite said.

Also, 95 percent of today’s employees were not with the company in 2002, and no Cummins Leadership Team members from 2002 are current leadership members.

Since then, Cummins’ revenue has tripled and the number of employees has doubled to 55,000 worldwide. In the shadow of its headquarters, Cummins has about 7,500 employees in southern Indiana and is the largest employer in Bartholomew County.

Its stock price has also grown, reaching a company-record close of $167.70 on Tuesday.

Tracy Embree, president of the Components Business, told the crowd at the start of the event that she was glad that caring was added as one of the company’s core values.

“By genuinely caring for one another, we’ll be better teammates, better leaders and better members of the community,” she said.

Embree related a personal incident of caring to illustrate its importance, mentioning a medical emergency that arose with her husband just as she was about to start an important meeting two years ago. As she gathered her belongings to rush to her husband’s aid, Rumsey pulled her aside, calmed her for a minute and asked what she could do to help.

Embree said she asked Rumsey to be at her house when her son arrived home from school so he wouldn’t be left wondering what was happening.

“I’ll never forget how she helped me that day. Her actions brought us closer than any meeting or project or team-building event ever would,” Embree said.

Cummins' vision, mission, values

Here’s a look at Cummins Inc.’s previous and updated mission, mission and values:

MISSION

Then: We unleash the Power of Cummins by:

  • Motivating people to act like owners working together
  • Exceeding customer expectations by always being first to market with the best products
  • Partnering with our customers to make sure that they succeed
  • Demanding that everything we do leads to a cleaner, healthier, safer environment
  • Creating wealth for all stakeholders

Now: Making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.

VISION

Then: Making people’s lives better by unleashing the Power of Cummins.

Now: Innovating for our customers to power their success.

VALUES

Then: 

  • Integrity: Strive to do what is right and do what we say we will do
  • Innovation: Apply the creative ingenuity necessary to make us better, faster, first
  • Delivering superior results: Exceed expectations, consistently
  • Corporate responsibility: Serve and improve the communities in which we live.
  • Diversity: Embrace the diverse perspectives of all people and honor with both dignity and respect
  • Global involvement: Seek a world view and act without boundaries.

Now: 

  • Integrity: Doing what you say you will do and doing what is right
  • Diversity and inclusion: Valuing and including our differences in decision making is our competitive advantage
  • Caring: Demonstrating awareness and consideration for the wellbeing of others
  • Excellence: Always delivering superior results
  • Teamwork: Collaborating across teams, functions, businesses and borders to deliver the best work
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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.