"Con-way people are the foundation of our enterprise and the principal source of value we deliver to our customers," said Douglas W. Stotlar, the company's president and CEO. "Recognizing and rewarding those employees who exemplify our values and commitment to our vision and mission - for their fellow employees as well as our customers - is a fundamental part of our culture. The CEO Constellation Awards bring out the best in our company and let us recognize the achievements of some very special people who consistently demonstrate the power of our values."
The program is founded on the company's three common values of integrity, commitment and excellence, and is open to employees from all walks of the enterprise. Under the program, employees first must be nominated and selected as a Quarterly Leader Award (QLA) recipient within their business units. The president of the business unit then selects from the pool of QLA recipients the next level of recognition: individual President's Award winners. President's Award recipients are then evaluated as candidates for CEO Constellation Award consideration.
In the 2006-2007 cycle, more than 1,000 QLA winners were evaluated, leading to 52 President's Award winners, from which 11 finalists were judged for CEO Constellation Award honors.
Capping the program was a three-day retreat for the six 2007 winners and their guests, hosted by Stotlar and Pat Jannausch, the company's vice president of culture and training. The purpose of the retreat was to foster one-on-one interaction between award winners and the CEO to exchange views on the enterprise, the industry, the company's future and the impact that individual employees can have on overall performance, teamwork and success.
"It was a very invigorating experience for me," remarked Stotlar. "I was energized by the dedication of these truly remarkable people and the passion they have for what they do, our values and our mission."
"It was motivating to be with such positive people who see so many possibilities for us as an organization, and for how individuals can truly live our values and make a difference every day," Stotlar continued. "I could not be more proud to lead such an outstanding group; they represent the best of the best in our company."
At the CEO retreat, winners each received a check for $5,000, a sculptured crystal vase inscribed with their names and lifetime recognition within the company as a CEO Constellation Award recipient. This year's award winners are:
• Mary Britt, human resources coordinator, Menlo Worldwide, Memphis, Tenn.: Commonly known as the "heart of Menlo," Britt was nominated by her peers for her compassion and dedication to employees in her role as a human resources manager. Her skills at training and mentoring have helped advance the careers of many grateful employees. Specific projects she has excelled at include the transitioning of new employees and the rollout of new programs in Memphis. Britt has been a Menlo employee since 1996.
• Karl Cushey, service center manager, Con-way Freight-Central, South Bend, Ind.: Recently named one of 10 employees chosen for Con-way's Advanced Leadership Preparation for Highest Achievement (ALPHA) program, Cushey faced many challenges when he took over as service center manager at the South Bend facility. Since then, under his leadership, there has been significant improvement in employee engagement, productivity and performance. His management style includes an emphasis on teamwork, fairness and recognition and he has won the respect of his employees. Cushey has been at Con-way since 1998.
• Al D'Angelo, service center manager, Con-way Freight-Central, Providence, R.I.: D'Angelo joined Con-way from another company in 2002 and quickly became a member of management. Following a popular service center manager as leader of the Providence service center, D'Angelo maintained the positive atmosphere and performance there and is now among Con-way's most popular managers. His management style focuses on recognition and development of employees, who regularly note appreciation for the "family" atmosphere at the facility.
• Kurt Pedersen, driver sales representative, Con-way Freight-Western, Phoenix: Called the "goodwill ambassador of the Phoenix Service Center" by fellow employees, Pedersen regularly welcomes, trains and mentors new drivers at the facility. His commitment to safety practices and procedures has earned him an exemplary safety record with no preventable accidents and he shares his expertise with colleagues and in speaking engagements for students at local schools. Pedersen is well known for his excellent rapport with both employees and customers. He has driven for Con-way since 1992.
• Billy and Nancy Pritchett, driver team, Con-way Truckload, Midlothian, Texas: The Pritchetts are consistently praised for their high standards of professionalism and enthusiasm over the road. They have proven through their actions that they are consummate team players, always supporting new company initiatives and remaining flexible in order to provide quality, reliable service. That reliability resonates outside of work as well - Billy administered CPR for a fellow truck driver during a truckstop visit, and Nancy maintained her work schedule while serving six days on a grand jury. Together, the Pritchetts have driven more than 500,000 accident-free miles since they began their career with Con-way in 2005.
Award winners represented all of Con-way's principal operating companies: less-than-truckload carrier Con-way Freight, full-load company Con-way Truckload Services and global logistics provider Menlo Worldwide. The company flew the 11 finalists to the company's San Mateo, Calif., headquarters for interviews and final evaluations before selecting the winners.