Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Great place to work

The best place to work is always a good read to help determine what constitutes great work environment. The first consideration usually is pay and benefits. All things being equal work environment is key factor as well.

The current study I am reviewing was written by Julia King for Computerworld. The top 100 companies have great benefits, challenging projects, training, which keeps employees engaged and happy. One of the keys for each company is they value and support their workers.  These are companies we should support with our buying power.

100 best companies to work for:

1.       U.S.A.A is a growing company to the tune of 8% annually. U.S.S.A insurance invest heavily in training by providing $10,000 per year tuition / training reimbursement.  U.S.S.A   has great pay and benefits, annual bonus of 18% of annual salary.  http://www.ussa.com provides financial services to the USA military and their families.  

2.       CareerBuilder success is based on providing opportunities for staff to continue education initiatives and rewards for strong performance.  CareerBuilder offers $10,000 a year in tuition reimbursement and an employee innovation competition where employee can earn additional $10,000.  Total bonuses for IT staff can reach 20% of annual salary. http://www.careerbuilder.com/  offers career placement and career planning advice.

6.  Verizon Wireless invests in employees by providing online training, instructor lead course and $8000 a year tuition reimbursement.  Verizon Wireless was able to release a new sales portal capable of handling increased usage due to employee’s efforts and training. http://www.verizonwireless.com/ provide mobile services to corporate and individual users.

8. Salesforce.com has high employee involvement in developing hosted CRM applications.  IT uses Force.com to create apps for team projects.  The company has a renowned internal social network called chatter. The portal allows users to share ideas, collaborate, and discuss technologies. http://www.salesforce.com

11. University of Pennsylvania one of the premiere Ivy League University offers great benefits, tuition reimbursement, 403B retirement plan, and a flexible work environment. Some of the additional perks include discount on cars, computers, and cultural events. ISC Exploration allows staff a day to explore new ideas, technologies, and processes.

13 Cedars-Sinai Health System views I.T. as a strategic partner in filling organizations goals.  I.T. staff are trained on latest medical technologies such as electric health records and implement systems to automate tasks.  The overall goals is to improve patient care.

16. Principal Financial Group Collaboration is emphasized with all departments on technology driven projects. Employees customize their careers paths and are able to work flexible hours which is great value to employees.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brookline High 30 YEAR REUNION "Class of 1982"

The Brookline High School class of 1982 recently had our 30-year reunion. The union was held on June 30 2012 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Cambridge. We had a fantastic venue with an outdoor patio overlooking the Charles River. The dance floor was sunken and overlooked the Boston sky line, what a great venue.  A big shout out and thank you to the Hyatt staff that did a great job!

Leading up to the reunion, the reunion committee worked very hard planning and organizing the event and festivities.  We had a fantastic reunion committee:Jonathan Brock, Deb Thomas, Laura Finkel,  Daniel Mirel, Tania Hood, Matthew and Sonja Dahlberg. Many other classmates provided additional assistance and much needed support!

When planning an event, the most difficult part is getting the ball rolling. After surveying the class we decided to have a summer reunion. The summer worked for most people,  but classmate were not able to make it. The cost of the reunion was kind of high as weak economy was noted. Some classmates told us the ticket prices where to high, which hurt the over all turn out. Besides the challenges we faced, we made the event a huge success.

One of the major decisions we had to make was concerning a reunion social mixer.We decide to have a meet and greet at Golden Temple.  We had a private function room and enjoyed drinks while meeting classmate. It was great getting reacquainted  with every one, some who we hadn't seen in years.

During the planning phase and while working with the reunion committee team, I researched and developed skills in event planning and project management. Both of these skills have high value in the business market. If we pulled off a successful reunion we could consider our selves project and event planning experts. Based on the feed back we got from our classmates, the reunion was a great success.

The organization of the reunion was made easier using Facebook.  Annika Picker Frisk got the ball rolling by creating BHS Class of 82 page. We did a lot of organizing and communication via Facebook and email.
The reunion week end festivities started with meet and greet at the Golden Temple in Brookline as previously notes.  The event was well attended (some classmates came who were not able to attend reunion). The night of the reunion we had such a great time: drinks, dinner, and dancing. Hustle Simmons (Cory Hill) a graduate of BHS did the DJ and spun our favorite songs from the 80's.   It was great getting together with friends and every looked fantastic! 

In honor of the event and classmates who could not make, we took elementary school group shot photos.

We had an on going photo contest to determine who could capture the best shot and moment. After analyzing all the shots, we could not come up with clear cut winner. All the shots were great and every one looked pretty sexy. 

We also would like to thank everyone who made our reunion such a memorable event! The BHS Alumni Association was great especially Stan Goldberg ‘60 and Lynda Ritter Kirby ’79 for providing assistance and support. Lastly, we would like to give a shout out to class of 81 as well! 

Looking forward to seeing every one at our next event.

The 30 year reunion was special as we reached many mile stones: hopefully successful career, raising families, and seeing our kids off to college. What a year!

Best wishes and hope to see every one soon!