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2007 Minnesota Work-Life Champions™ Announced


Minnesota companies honored for championing healthy work-life balance

MINNEAPOLIS—Jan. 25, 2007—Leaders from Health Service Innovations, Healthia Consulting, Gray Plant Mooty, Weber Shandwick and Ceridian received top honors today at a ceremony recognizing work-life balance initiatives.

The luncheon awards ceremony, held at the Doubletree Park Place Hotel in St. Louis Park, Minn., honored winners of the 2007 Minnesota Work-Life Champions™ Awards, Minnesota’s state-wide awards program spotlighting the efforts of Minnesota businesses to implement programs and practices that create flexible and supportive workplaces.

The event was attended by over 175 Minnesota business leaders and professionals and included a keynote address by Chuck Feltz, President and COO of Lifetouch National School Studios, who spoke about leadership and culture within organizations.

Twenty-two Minnesota employers were recognized with Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards, with one in each of the five size categories designated as the Outstanding Employer for 2007. Three employers were presented with Innovative Initiative Awards, calling attention to distinctive practices within each organization. Other organizations received Work-Life Advocate certificates, acknowledging their efforts to commence the work of creating supportive work-life cultures.

“We were excited to see so many of this year’s applicants focusing on flexibility,” said Susan Seitel, president of WFC Resources, a partner organization in the Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards project. “Studies keep proving that giving employees more control over their schedules and the flexibility to handle personal responsibilities raises productivity and increases engagement. Minnesota companies are obviously getting the message. All of our winners this year have shown that they respect employees as whole people, and employees told us on their surveys how important that is to them and
how grateful they are.”

Recipients of the 2007 Minnesota Work-Life Champions Awards include:
Very Small category (5 – 49 employees):

  • Outstanding Employer: Health Service Innovations—Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Minnesota Work-Life Champions: Karlsson Consulting Group, Inc.—Bloomington, Minn.;
  • Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota—Saint Paul, Minn.; Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency—Rochester, Minn.
  • Work-Life Advocates: Admission Possible—Saint Paul, Minn.; Citizen’s Advocate—Henning, Minn.; Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council—Montevideo, Marshall and Worthington, Minn.

Small category (50 – 249 employees):

  • Outstanding Employer: Healthia Consulting—Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Minnesota Work-Life Champions: Cannon Technologies—Minneapolis, Minn.; Certes Financial Pros—St. Louis Park, Minn.; Industrial Fabrics Association International—Saint Paul, Minn.; Lifetrack Resources—Saint Paul, Minn.
  • Work-Life Advocates: Behavioral Dimensions, Inc.—Hopkins, Minn.; Education Minnesota—Saint Paul, Minn.; United Farmers Cooperative—Lafayette, Minn.; Westwood Professional Services—Eden Prairie, Minn.

Medium category (250 – 999 employees):

  • Outstanding Employer: Gray Plant Mooty—Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minn.
  • Minnesota Work-Life Champions: Landscape Structures, Inc.—Delano, Minn.; Restaurant Technologies, Inc.—Eagan, Minn.

Large category (1,000 – 2,999 employees):

  • Outstanding Employer: Weber Shandwick—Bloomington, Minn.
  • Minnesota Work-Life Champions: Dorsey & Whitney—Minneapolis, Minn.; MRM Worldwide—Minneapolis, Minn.

Very Large category (3,000 + employees):

  • Outstanding Employer: Ceridian—Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Minnesota Work-Life Champions: Carlson Companies—Minneapolis, Minn.; Deloitte & Touche—Minneapolis, Minn.; General Mills—Minneapolis, Minn.; Mayo Clinic—Rochester, Minn.; Residential Capital, LLC—Minneapolis, Minn.;

New to the awards program in 2007, the Innovative Initiative Awards honored employers
incorporating programs that recognize the diverse needs of employees. Deloitte & Touche was honored for its “Personal Pursuits” program, where employees are permitted to leave the workplace for up to five years to spend time with young children, go back to school or pursue other personal goals. United Farmers Cooperative was recognized for its “Crunch Pay” program, which allows employees to sign up for alternative work hours to earn extra money. Karlsson Consulting Group, Inc. won for its “Individual Development Plan,” where employees create personal plans for their professional future and the company
pays 100% of approved costs for training.

Noteworthy efforts made by Outstanding Employers and Work-Life Champions include: offering flexibility and control over work schedules; generous holiday and illness leave; dependent care assistance; informational programs to help employees meet personal and family challenges; and formal systems of communication for employees to express their opinions on issues relating to both organizational operations and how they are treated as employees. For complete summaries of work-life practices and efforts made by the 2007 winners, visit www.worklifechampions.org.

Minnesota employers had the opportunity to apply for the 2007 Minnesota Work-Life
Champions™ Awards from Aug. 7 – Oct. 20, 2006. Small and large, for-profit, non-profit and public sector employers were eligible. Evaluations focused on organizational culture and leadership; work practice and flexibility; health, wellness and benefits; leave options; help with personal and family issues; and community involvement. Applicants were also evaluated based on a survey that was administered to a random sampling of employees from each company. The judging panel for the 2007 awards was comprised of delegates from Minnesota businesses of varying sizes and industries.

The Awards were sponsored by The Minnesota Work-Life Champions Partnership, a group of local chambers of commerce, business and professional associations, foundations, and non-profit worklife advocacy organizations committed to making Minnesota’s employers the strongest in the nation.

The awards program, initiated by a grant from The McKnight Foundation, was managed by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures with assistance from WFC Resources, a nationally recognized publisher and consultant on work-life practices.

For more information about the 2007 Minnesota Work-Life Champions™ Awards, contact David Rodbourne, vice president at the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at 651-962-4120 or visit www.worklifechampions.org.

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