Archive for November 2010

Warner Norcross Receives Alfred P. Sloan Award for Workplace Excellence, Flexibility

For the second year in a row, the law firm of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has been honored for its exemplary work practices with an Alfred P. Sloan award.

The law firm was recognized with an Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility, which places Warner Norcross in the top 20 percent of employers nationally in terms of programs, policies and culture. 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 seventh year, reviewed workplace policies, practices and benefits to assess workplace flexibility on a national basis.

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

  • Total contribution focus that credits attorneys for the non-billable work they do on behalf of the firm, such as client development and community outreach
  • Flexible career paths and reduced hour tracks that provide greater practice flexibility when life circumstances change
  • An 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 for vacation, illness, etc.

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

Two Warner Norcross Attorneys Recognized in Grand Rapids Business Journal “40 Under 40” Award

Two attorneys with the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP have been recognized in the 2010 class of “40 Under 40” by The Grand Rapids Business Journal.

Kurt D. Dykstra and Albert Vincent Y. Yu Chang, along with 38 other business leaders in West Michigan under the age of 40, were honored at a Nov. 4 reception and featured in a special Business Journal supplement. The awards acknowledge up-and-coming leaders who are providing “business and community leadership and making a difference.”

The Business Journal received more nominations for this year’s class than any in the 15-year history of the awards.

Dykstra, a partner in the firm’s Holland office, is serving his first term as mayor of Holland. He concentrates his practice in litigation at the trial and appellate levels, advising clients in commercial, trade secret and real property disputes.

Dykstra served on the Holland City Council for five years prior to being elected mayor in November 2009. He is a former chairperson of the West Michigan Airport Authority and serves on the boards of the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council and the West Michigan Strategic Alliance. He also serves on the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Council, the Holland Chamber’s Public Policy Committee and is a lecturer at Hope College

Dykstra is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, State Bar of Wisconsin, American Bar Association and Federal Bar Association. He serves on the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern College in Iowa magna cum laude and a doctor of jurisprudence from Marquette University summa cum laude, where he was first in his class and editor-in-chief of the Marquette Law Review.

Yu Chang concentrates his practice in international business and business law, serving domestic, minority-owned and foreign-owned businesses. Born in Manila, he is licensed to practice both in the Philippines and in Michigan. Chinese by ethnicity, he speaks Mandarin Chinese and Minnan Chinese, in addition to Filipino, his native language.

This is his second time to be included in the “40 Under 40” list by the Business Journal. He was also listed among 20 “Young Leaders” by Grand Rapids Magazine in 2008.

Yu Chang holds several leadership positions, including co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. He is also on the boards of the Asian Health Outreach Foundation, and the Asian Professionals Organization, both in West Michigan. He also serves as manager of business development in West Michigan for the Detroit Chinese Business Association.

Yu Chang holds a doctor of jurisprudence degree and a master of laws degree with honors from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Ill. He also holds a juris doctor degree with honors from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in the Philippines. He earned a bachelor of arts degree and a bachelor of science degree in commerce from De La Salle University-Manila in the Philippines.