On Friday, we hosted our First Annual Business Appreciation Award Luncheon in cooperation with our regional ED organization, which covers nine counties in East Central Illinois. We modeled the program after a similar one that I saw in ID last year. Of all of the different ways that our company has tried to reach and honor companies, this one was the best. By far!
We asked each countywide ED organization to nominate one local company for the award. We held a simple lunch at the local community college, asked each ED group to briefly tell us of the importance of this company, and then had a representative for the company talk about their business. It was very moving experience for many in the room. The companies loved being honored, something that we do not do enough of, in my opinion.
The firms ranged from very small companies to plants of large multi-national ones. Overall, we had about 4,000 jobs represented in the room.
Mat Michaels of TRW talked about his company’s focus on “offering the lowest cost, best quality, newest technology and with a global reach.” The manager of Lyondell Chemical Company talked of safety as a value, not a priority. They have gone 800 straight days without a workplace injury. They also have a program to get local children more involved in science and math, key subjects that they are concerned we are falling behind in. Simonton Windows gives 2% of their operating income back to non-profits in the Paris, IL. Art Hightshoe, Plant Manager said, “It comes back to us in better employees, infrastructure and other good things.”
If you would like to do something similar give Coleen Phillips, our VP of Marketing and Research, who organized the entire event, a call at 217-342-4443 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She put it all together and did a great job.