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Publisher's letter.

Dear Reader:

It's a perfect match! We were delighted when presented with the opportunity to partner with the Governor's Office and the Department of Human Services on the Arkansas Governors Family Friendly Employer Awards.

The one drawback was that I could not nominate Arkansas Business Publishing Group for the award since we are one of the award partners. As a parent, I rave about our "fun room" here at the office just for our children and the kitchen with the basketball goal (great for the grown kids working off stress). And I appreciate being able to work from home on snow days because of our intranet technology.

Probably most precious to me is the two hours of paid time each month I have to spend as I desire to better my community. I use this time on everything from board meetings to volunteering at my kids' school to participating in civic activities. I am most fortunate to say it's rare that I miss a school party (and they have a bunch) or an honor assembly. And then there are the other perks of working at ABPG: the annual bowling tournament, surprise Valentines in our mailboxes, Christmas ornament contests, themed potlucks and birthday parties each month.

I recently read an article in an issue of Fortune magazine where a CEO told of attending his son's honor program. He recalled the pain he saw in the faces of kids whose parents didn't attend the event and vowed never to miss another of his sons' functions. I've seen that same look and have heard adults lament about their parents' inability to attend a sporting event or daytime program because of work schedules. Unfortunately, having the flexibility to attend these events is not the norm. It is critical that companies be attentive to the needs of their employees' families--those with and without children--not to mention it's just smart business.

All of our winning companies have found ways to meet a variety of needs for their employees. These policies vary by work force and industry. Some of the larger companies are able to offer big-ticket benefits such as on-site daycares and tuition reimbursement, but that doesn't mean the "mom and pops" of the state aren't offering their own version of family-friendly benefits. No matter your company size, there are plenty of ways to care for your employees and their families. And by doing that, your employees will be more productive, happier and loyal--all integral characteristics of a successful business.

Hats off to the incredible judges that took on the task of sorting through the many great companies that were nominated by proud employees. They include Dr. Steve Dennis, Cooperative Extension Service, Little Rock; Dee Fowler, DHS/ Administrative Services, Fort Smith; Betty Lebrescu, Murphy Oil Corp., El Dorado; Marilyn Newsom, Weyerhaeuser Co., Hot Springs; Steve Nipper, BancorpSouth Inc., Magnolia; and Dr. Glen Jones, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro.

Brigette Williams


Arkansas Business Publishing Group
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Publication:Arkansas Business
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Mar 24, 2003
Previous Article:State of Arkansas office of the Governor.
Next Article:Putting families first can be easy: regardless of how big or small your company is, becoming a family-friendly employer doesn't have to break the...

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