Understanding Healthy Work/Life Balance is Key
November 24, 2003, Trevose, PA — The Delaware Valley Council for Early Care and Learning has named Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) of Bucks County “Best Employer for Working Parents 2003” in the medium-sized employer category.
Each year, this award is presented by the Council to three Delaware Valley businesses that are committed to family-friendly policies, programs and benefits. This year the award for large employer (2,000+ employees) went to The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Philadelphia; ASI won for mid-sized company (250-2000 employees); and Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, won in the small business (less than 250 employees) category. These companies have been recognized for creating environments supportive of employees — especially those who are working parents.
The winners will be honored at the Council’s signature event, “A Celebration of Champions for Early Care and Learning” on December 4 at the Hyatt Regency Penn’s Landing. President Timothy M. Andrews will accept the award on behalf of ASI. “It’s very exciting to have ASI recognized for our dedication to the well-being of our employees,” says Andrews. “Onsite day care is just one of the ways we contribute. Having kids around adds a leveling dimension to the workday. They have a way of skewing your perspective for the better.”
When evaluating applications, the Council looks for such practices as:
Flexible work hours; companies allowing employees to arrive later or leave earlier as long as lost time is made up throughout the week
Onsite early care and learning, or off site partnerships
Summer or school holiday programs
More options for paid and unpaid maternity leave
Emergency child care backup
Family days, picnics, field trips or summer camps
Family sick time
Dependent care time
Telecommuting and part-time work options
Release time for parent-teacher conferences
A family-owned company, ASI is a strong contender in all of these categories, but it’s the onsite Lots of Love Day Care Learning Center that stands out as an example of the company’s commitment to the families of its employees. For those who use the daycare center, it provides far more than a babysitting service.
“Onsite daycare makes it easier for me to get to work on time and having my daughter Molly close-by eliminates the feeling that I’ve abandoned her for the day. That kind of relief is invaluable,” says Marketing Account Manager Donna Gruberg.
Gruberg was a database marketing manager for a major Atlantic City casino. The work environment was glitzy, but the stress on her family was becoming evident. “The hours were very long, there was little flexibility, and family obligations suffered,” Gruberg recalls. “Here at ASI I have more options.”
Lots of Love Delivers
Elissa Mann is six years old and attends the Albert Schweitzer Elementary School in Neshaminy. Her mom, Cindi Mann, is a supplier sales account manager at ASI. “I bring Elissa to work with me at 7:30 in the morning and Lots of Love daycare takes her to school for me,” Mann reports.
Elissa also attends the daycare’s summer camp program. There she gets to go on swimming, bowling and roller-skating outings, as well as trips to places like the Franklin Institute and the Camden Aquarium.
Lots of Love daycare also offers a kindergarten program. ASI network assistant, Tina Jarrell, chose that option for her son Christopher Brooks. “There are eight children in the class, which allows for more one-on-one,” says Jarrell. “His teacher, Mrs. Marilyn, is wonderful. The first week he learned how to spell his ‘whole big long first name’. They also offer dance and music classes.”
Playpen Patrol on Duty
Renee Gilroy has a seven-month-old son, Jackson, and a husband in the Air Force. She wanted to return to work after the baby’s birth, but with the situation in the Middle East and husband Ryan’s tenuous status, she didn’t want to leave Jackson. ASI offered the perfect solution.
“It wouldn’t have been feasible for me to return to work if onsite daycare had not been available,” Gilroy says. “It’s not only better for my peace of mind, it also makes sound economic sense.”
Patti Boldizar is an electronic image technician and also the mother of a young son. “I love having Alexander here,” says Boldizar. “At lunch time, I go feed him and then I pat him to sleep for his nap. It’s very comforting and convenient for both of us.”
Something for Everyone
ASI offers flextime, summer hours and an employee assistance program. More non-traditional benefits include a full-service cafeteria, on-premises dry cleaner, photo developing, mobile car wash and an auto inspection and repair service that picks up and delivers.
It’s quite a morale boost on a stressful day to be able to have lunch with your kids while you’re having your suit cleaned and the oil filter in your car changed, without ever leaving the building.
Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the single-largest trade information center for the promotional products industry, with a membership of 20,000 Distributors (sellers) and Suppliers (manufacturers) of promotional products. Suppliers use ASI print and electronic resources to promote their products to more than 17,000 ASI Distributors. Distributors use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain more than 650,000 promotional products, to locate Supplier products and to promote their services to buyers of promotional products. ASI was founded in 1950 and employs a staff of 500. The company offers catalogs, informational directories, newsletters, magazines, Web sites and databases, and provides a variety of interactive business, marketing and selling tools.