Archive for October 2009

Kennedy Management Resources, Minority Business of the Year

Alice Kennedy accepting the Minority Business of the Year Award

Alice Kennedy accepting the Minority Business of the Year Award

Congratulations to Alice Kennedy and Kennedy Management Resources, Inc., on being named the 2009 Minority Business of the Year by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.  Alice founded Kennedy Management Resources in 1997 to provide human resource services to small and medium businesses that do no have an HR department.  As an outgrowth of that work, Alice established Diversity Theater, which now has twelve actors who provide engaging and entertaining diversity training to companies throughout West Michigan, Detroit and Chicago. 

Alice is one of the founders and original leaders of the Multiracial Association of Professionals and still is a member of the MAP Council.  We at Warner have benefitted from her insights and her thought-provoking performances.

 Also recognized by the Chamber this year is Floriza Genautis, of Management Business Solutions as Minority Entrepreneur of the Year and Erhardt Construction, Inc., as Minority Business Advocate of the Year.  Congratulations to all three companies for their extraordinary accomplishments.

Warner Wins Alfred P. Sloane Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility

Adding to its growing list of workplace awards, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has been recognized for exemplary work practices with an Alfred P. Sloan award.

The law firm’s four largest offices–Grand Rapids, Southfield, Holland and Muskegon–received the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. The award is named for the former CEO of General Motors Corp., whose foundation focuses on promoting research and science education, workplace issues, economics and related areas.

The Sloan Awards honor organizations of all sizes and types that are “using workplace flexibility as a strategy to increase workplace effectiveness and yield positive business results.” The awards, now in their sixth year, reviewed workplace policies, practices, programs and benefits to assess workplace flexibility on a national basis.

“We are very pleased to be recognized for our exemplary workplace practices with a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan award,” said Douglas E. Wagner, managing partner of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. “We recognize the importance of work-life balance and strive to create an environment for our staff and attorneys that promotes professionalism and teamwork while providing flexibility in scheduling and work requirements.”

“As a law firm, Warner Norcross has always been innovative in the development of policies to promote work-life balance. We strive to be an excellent place to practice law and to work, and we remain committed to fostering flexibility in the workplace.”

The award program is part of the When Work Works project, an ongoing initiative of Families and Work Institute, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce and the Twiga Foundation. The Families and Work Institute conducts the National Study of Employers, an annual study funded in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that takes a comprehensive look at the policies and benefits provided by U.S. employers to address the changing needs of today’s workers and their workplaces.

The organizations have found that employees in effective and flexible workplaces are more likely to have:

  • Greater engagement in their jobs
  • Higher levels of job satisfaction
  • Stronger intentions to remain with their employers
  • Less negative spillover between home and work
  • Better mental health

The Alfred P. Sloan award is the latest in a series of workplace awards that Warner Norcross has earned. Most recently, the firm was named for the third consecutive year as One of Metro’s Detroit 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For. Additionally, the firm has been regularly recognized in the 101 Best & Brightest awards in West Michigan and as one of the Best Michigan Businesses by Corp! Magazine. Earlier this year, Warner’s diversity initiatives were recognized in both West and Southeast Michigan as the firm received the 2009 Diversity Visionary Award from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and an honorable mention from Crain’s Detroit Business in its annual Diversity Awards competition.

Warner Norcross offers numerous programs and benefits designed to promote workplace flexibility and assist attorneys and staff achieve work-life balance. These include:

  • Total contribution standard that credits attorneys for the non-billable work, such as client development and community outreach, they do on behalf of the firm
  • Flexible career paths and reduced hour tracks that provide greater practice flexibility when life circumstances change
  • Enhanced career development program that provides classes and seminars for attorneys from the time they join the firm through – and beyond – promotion to partner
  • Mentoring programs designed to ensure that all attorneys and staff have an experienced person within the firm that they can turn to for professional development and guidance
  • Job sharing and telecommuting, including providing lap tops and remote access to all attorneys and paralegals
  • Paid time off, which allows employees to use their time off as they wish, rather than designating it vacation, illness, etc.

Eric Alva to Speak at 15th Annual Diversity Lecture Series

eric_alvaThe 2009-2010 Diversity Lecture Series at Grand Rapids Community College begins this week, with a lecture on Wednesday night by Eric Alva. Alva is a former Marine who was injured at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was the first American to be wounded in the war and the first to receive the Purple Heart.

Today, Alva works with the Human Rights Campaign to challenge the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. He will be speaking on that topic, this Wednesday, October 14, at 7:00 p.m. at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain NE, in Grand Rapids. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Warner Norcross & Judd is a continuing sponsor of the Diversity Lectures Series, which is hosted by the Bob and Aleicia Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College. As a sponsor, we have several tickets to attend a reception for Mr. Alva at 6:00 p.m., immediately prior to the lecture. If you would like to attend the reception, contact Rodney Martin.