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Springfield, MO

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Tracy Kimberlin, President/CEO
Tracy Kimberlin, President/CEO

2011 Choice Employers, 5 to 24 Employees No. 3: Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

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The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes local tourism with a staff of 17 full-time and three part-time employees. The company has a 401(k) plan with company contributions and pays 100 percent of health insurance premiums for full-time staff. Flexible scheduling enables most employees to handle family or personal concerns as needed. The CVB also works to streamline efforts for efficiency in order to keep overtime to a minimum. The bureau also provides employee satisfaction surveys. The CVB conducts internal fundraisers for community groups and provides free meeting space for nonprofit organizations.
 
How does your company foster employee loyalty?
“We strive to let employees know that they are valuable by recognizing and celebrating successes and wins in front of and with the whole staff. ... We believe each employee deserves the right to make a difference in the bureau and continually work to cultivate an atmosphere that allows them to contribute ideas, innovations or changes.”

Tell us about your firm’s team-building activities or events.
“Although most team-building activity is impromptu and initiated by individual employees, such as going to lunch as a group, or a spontaneous idea to order in breakfast, we also have regularly scheduled lunches brought in for the entire staff, an employee and volunteer night at Hammons Field during baseball season (and) an annual staff retreat.”

Has the economy made it difficult to award raises? How have employee efforts been rewarded?
“The economy has definitely had an impact on our ability to award raises in the past few years, especially since we are partially funded by tax dollars. We have made salaries a priority in budgeting so that it impacts the employees as little as possible, but we have also given extra time off to help compensate. The bureau has had incentive pay and bonuses in place for recognizing and rewarding employees for their efforts, and this has been maintained even through the difficult economy.”

What makes your company’s benefits offering stand out in the market?
“We have an excellent health and dental care policy and short and long-term disability insurance, which are paid entirely by the bureau for all employees. We also have a 401(k) program that does not require the employee to make any voluntary contributions in order to receive the contribution the bureau makes for each individual, but also have an additional matching policy for voluntary contributions. We have generous sick-time and vacation-time policies.”

How does your company support employees’ desires to give back to the community?
“By doing our jobs, we feel we are helping the community, because our purpose is to bring visitors and conventions to Springfield, which brings revenue and job growth to the city as a whole. We also support our employees in various endeavors such as sponsoring a “jeans day Friday” to raise money for Relay For Life, and other community-wide efforts … by encouraging them to be involved and, when possible, donating time or money to assist in their efforts. We also …  help in fundraising efforts in cases of disasters such as tornadoes or ice storms.

What is the most celebrated benefit/perk among your staff?
“The flexibility to determine when their workday will begin and when it will end. (This) allows employees to have control over how and when they can work at their peak, and when they need to rearrange their work schedule to accommodate things outside of the work environment.”

Click here for the full 2011 Choice Employers.
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