“Big corporations get treated like partners in his family business, and individuals from humble backgrounds get a place in the company fold”, according to the Telegram & Gazette. “The chairman and chief executive of Imperial Distributors Inc. also uses something personal, community service, to shape the culture of his business.” “He gets his team so excited. He’s a multiplier of a thousand,” said Christopher J. Crowley, executive vice president of Polar Beverages of Worcester, a friend who has traveled on business trips with Mr. Sleeper. “He gets everybody committed to community service.”
Michael Sleeper reflects, “I think some of it has to do with my love for Worcester. I talk about it being beautiful Worcester. I never say Worcester. I say beautiful Worcester. It’s kind of a bit of a joke, but in a way, it’s not a joke, because that’s kind of the way I think about it.”
Under Michael Sleeper, Imperial has become an engine for charitable giving. The company and its team members have donated more than $1 million in the past 10 years to the United Way, a nonprofit organization that focuses on local communities. Imperial also has hired 25 people over 25 years through the Worcester Community Action Council, an organization focused on addressing poverty.