In the midst of unprecedented disruption and chaos during the COVID-19 crisis, our Best Place for Working Parents® business leaders share how they are staying positive and taking action — reinforcing our belief in Fort Worth’s resiliency, innovation, and determination to persevere during these daunting times.
Read below for a snapshot of candid insights, heartfelt problem-solving, and compassionate workplace solutions from our local CEOs.
ROYER COMMERCIAL INTERIORS
“Royer Commercial Interiors is OPEN FOR BUSINESS and we are ALL WORKING FROM HOME. Those with children have the flexibility to let us know when they are working with their children on school work and WE ENCOURAGE MENTAL BREAKS so families can take time to just be together and even go outdoors. Our employees and their family’s PERSONAL HEALTH AND FINANCIAL WELL-BEING IS AT THE FOREFRONT of everything we do right now.”
– Honor Rowe, Vice President of Services | ROYER Commercial Interiors
TARRANT AREA FOOD BANK
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are CATERING LUNCH FROM LOCAL RESTAURANTS FOR OUR STAFF twice a week, and hosting LOCAL FOOD TRUCKS ONSITE three days a week to boost the local economy. We also HIRED 15 CONTRACT WORKERS DISPLACED FROM THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY to prepare emergency food boxes for our neighbors in need.”
– Amie Hebdige, Executive VP – Culture, People and Programs | Tarrant Area Food Bank
READ FORT WORTH
“Data, research, and community input during the COVID-19 crisis highlighted access to technology devices and Internet as a critical need facing students in this new virtual learning environment. PARTNERING WITH FORT WORTH ISD, FORT WORTH CORPORATE, AND PHILANTHROPIC LEADERS, we are PROCURING INTERNET & DEVICES for a target population of ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS who do not have Internet and devices in their home. We hope to ensure all students have the learning resources necessary for maintaining academic achievement while schools remains closed for the year.”
– Elizabeth R. Brands, Ed.D., Executive Director | Read Fort Worth
PATTERSON LAW GROUP
“Here at Patterson Law Group we’ve adapted our day-to-day operations so that EVERY EMPLOYEE IS ABLE TO WORK FROM HOME to be with their families during this time and to reduce risking anyone to COVID-19. We have also implemented a HOME CHILD CARE SUBSIDY to help our employees pay for in-home childcare services so that everyone can continue to function as normally as possible and to REDUCE STRESS IN THE WORK-FROM-HOME ENVIRONMENT.”
– Travis Patterson, Managing Partner | Patterson Law Group
“At PMG, we have always done our best to support working parents and enable them to balance a rewarding career with their vital commitments at home. During this difficult time, we view that commitment as more important than ever. To support PMG’s working parents, we provided a $500 STIPEND TO HELP THEM SET UP A SUITABLE HOME WORKSPACE, SCHEDULE FLEXIBILITY so they can plan work around their childcare commitments, PAID TIME OFF when they need it (above and beyond any government minimums), and an INTERNAL HUB OF RESOURCES for employees that cover a broad range of helpful topics — from industry trends and insights and remote working guidance to tips for working parents and resources for maintaining physical and mental health during this difficult time. To help keep our NEW LITTLE COWORKERS ENTERTAINED we also rolled out a “PMG KIDS’ TALENT SHOW” COMPETITION as well as PMG COLORING BOOK DESIGNED BY OUR CREATIVE TEAM!”
– David Gong, Head of Marketing | PMG
WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS FOR TARRANT COUNTY
“Our organization is CLASSIFIED AS AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS as we provide basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations. The SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF OUR STAFF, CUSTOMERS, PARTNERS, and THE COMMUNITY continue to be of the utmost importance to us. Our organization has taken the necessary action to ensure we can still provide services to those most in need in Tarrant County during this pandemic. While many staff are continuing to come into the office to work, we have EQUIPPED STAFF TO TELECOMMUTE DURING THIS TIME and allow them to be home to care for their families. Weekly “check in” calls with key staff help keep us all on the same page and updated on pertinent information while giving our executive staff the opportunity to GAUGE HOW STAFF ARE DOING and see if adjustments need to be made or other kind of assistance offered. During this time, we are adhering to the order from our elected officials to Stay Home and Work Safe. We are all going to get through this together.”
– Judy McDonald, Executive Director | Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County
“During the disruption from COVID-19, Whitley Penn is creatively working to support and maintain a CONNECTION WITH OUR MOST VALUABLE ASSETS, OUR EMPLOYEES, specifically our working parents. To this end, while all our employees already had ACCESS TO LAPTOPS (making it easier for them to be prepared to work remotely when we needed to move that direction as a team), we’ve encouraged our employees to SET THEIR SCHEDULES TO THE TIME OF DAY THAT WORKS BEST FOR THEIR FAMILIES set their schedules to the time of day that works best for their families. For example, if an employee needs to get their kids settled and work later in the day, they are able to start their work day later in the day. Additionally, we are working to ensure that our employees are CONNECTED WITH INTERNAL RESOURCES FOR HOW TO STAY HEALTHY – MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY (ex. goal setting, hydration, communicating with loved ones and team members, working out and nutrition) while working from home during this time. At Whitley Penn we’ve always been committed to supporting working parents and realize it’s even more critical during this time to make sure our team is supported so they can support their families.”
– Larry Autrey, Managing Partner | Whitley Penn
“First3Years has worked with staff to make our existing remote workplace policy EVEN MORE FLEXIBLE. Staff are ENCOURAGED TO SPEND TIME WITH THEIR FAMILIES, and enjoy the opportunity to SLOW DOWN AND GET EXTRA TIME WITH THEIR KIDS. This includes allowing employees to set aside set hours during normal working hours to be with their children and FLEX HOURS into the early morning/late night to be more present. We’ve also encouraged STAFF TO CHECK IN WITH EACH OTHER and share what’s working (and not) when it comes to balancing work and children, especially now that many are playing the role of teacher. Additionally, to keep morale high, we’ve set aside a VIRTUAL “QUARANTINI” HOUR during normal working hours on Friday afternoon for staff to VISIT SOCIALLY AND UNWIND a little together from the week’s work. Quarintini hour is optional and has one rule – no ‘talking shop (work)’. In addition, as of April 1st, First3Years is issuing 30 HOURS OF PANDEMIC PTO to all staff. The purpose of Pandemic PTO is to support staff in dealing with their personal experiences related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Examples of how it may be used include: 1) Taking time to spend with children who are in the home, 2) Shopping for elderly parents, or 3) Personal Mental Health Day.”
– Sadie Funk, CEO | First3Years
CANCER CARE SERVICES
“Because Cancer Care Services works with cancer patients and survivors who have suppressed immune systems, we SHIFTED TO A REMOTE WORKFORCE on March 17th. In addition to protecting our clients and their families, this transition has also benefited our staff – especially our working parents. By allowing staff to work from home, they have been able to adapt to their children being sent home from school and daycare. One of our employees shared this, ‘Cancer Care Services has given me the opportunity to be able to work remotely ON MY OWN TIME SCHEDULE as I am currently watching my daughter. I greatly appreciate the trust this organization has in me to complete my WORK OUTSIDE OF ‘NORMAL’ BUSINESS HOURS. We all know “normal” is a relative word right now, but my organization is embracing a new way of working!”
– Melanie Wilson, CEO | Cancer Care Services
“Elevate is supporting employees and their families during COVID-19 by providing 10 DAYS OF RELIEF PTO PAID AT 100%. Working parents can use Relief PTO to care for an affected family member or use the time to care for children who have not returned to school or day care as a result of the situation. Elevate also recently transitioned employees to WORK FROM HOME during COVID-19 and is helping parents balance work with child care responsibilities by providing TIPS, LEARNING RESOURCES, AND A VIRTUAL FORUM where parents can share best practices with each other.”
– Sharon Clarey, Chief HR Officer | ELEVATE
ELBIT SYSTEMS OF AMERICA
“Elbit Systems of America’s first priority is to do everything we can to keep employees safe. Those able to work remote are doing so to minimize interactions with employees working on-site. We also increased the SPACE BETWEEN WORK STATIONS and MODIFIED SHIFT SCHEDULES to facilitate social distancing. Elbit America has undertaken several initiatives to help working parents and all employees. We increased PAID TIME-OFF HOURS for impacted employees. To enable access to health care without having to leave one’s home, Elbit America ELIMINATED EMPLOYEES’ COST FOR VIRTUAL TELEMEDICINE. This covers all visits, not just visits related to COVID-19. We are also offering employees a FREE ONLINE HOME WORKOUT AND NUTRITION SOLUTION, and additional online emotional and stress management resources.”
– Brett Cohen, VP, Human Resources and Employee Development | Elbit Systems of America
UNT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER
“HSC prides itself on our values-based culture and that includes supporting working parents, especially in this time of turmoil. As of today, there are several ways you will find the HSC team supporting the needs of Fort Worth: a COVID-19 TESTING SITE dedicated to first responders, TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS through our clinical practice, and CHARITABLE SUPPORT through our foundation. Our goal is to get our students, staff and faculty, as well as the Fort Worth community, through this day by day and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and meaningful life.”
– Dr. Michael R. Williams, President | UNT Health Science Center
THE LADDER ALLIANCE
“At The Ladder Alliance we are working hard to take care of our students and our staff. During this time of uncertainty, we are practicing SOCIAL DISTANCING and everyone is WORKING FROM HOME. We have provided both staff and students with LAPTOPS so that they can continue teaching and learning uninterrupted. We also realize that people’s own personal/families lives are being affected and because of that, we are working with everyone’s schedule to ADAPT TO THEIR CURRENT SITUATIONS and be flexible in when they are able to work.”
– Bliss Coulter, CEO | The Ladder Alliance
BURNETT’S STAFFING, INC.
“As a family owned and operated company, Burnett’s Staffing has always encouraged flexible work solutions to ACCOMMODATE FAMILY NEEDS. We understand that every employee has duties and obligations outside of work, and this applies directly to health crisis we are currently facing today. Our organization strongly believes in putting families first and allowing our employees to meet the unique needs of their families by providing an ADAPTABLE APPROACH TO THEIR WORKPLACE REQUIREMENTS.”
– Paul Burnett, CEO | Burnett’s Staffing, Inc.
“The MineralWare team has utilized flexible work hours and technology to continue business during this period of uncertainty. One of the items that we are most proud of at MineralWare is OUR CULTURE and in a pursuit of maintaining this during the period of quarantine we held a CONTEST where everyone submitted PHOTOS OF THEIR WORK SETUP and the team voted on a winner for a gift card. What amazed me is the pride the company had in each other and of the company. Most if not ALL WERE WEARING SOME MINERALWARE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING. We also asked them one item that they were grateful for and the resounding answer was the ability to be with family and spend time with loved ones during this time. Being a company that PRIDES ITSELF ON CULTURE and being supportive to working parents we are proud that we can OFFER FLEXIBLE HOURS AND THE ABILITY FOR FAMILIES TO SPEND TIME WITH THEIR CHILDREN AND EACH OTHER during this period of uncertainty.”
– Spencer Albright V, MBA, President | MineralWare
“At Fidelity Investments, we are in constant pursuit of listening and reacting to whatever is top of mind for our employees. That remains particularly true in times of uncertainty, including the COVID-19 pandemic. We responded quickly by asking employees who were able to work remotely and OFFERED A BUNDLE OF ENHANCED BENEFITS to meet the new and changing needs of our employees. The benefits include MORE TIME AND FLEXIBILITY to deal with unexpected personal events, ACCESS TO SCREENING SERVICES and testing referrals, and ENHANCED ACCESS TO EXPERT CARE COORDINATORS and healthcare providers to help employees and their families navigate and coordinate care.”
– Kirsten Kuykendoll, Head of Associate Experience and Texas Regional Leader | Fidelity Investments
“Pointwise, Inc. hasn’t had to make any changes to how we accommodate working parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. FLEXIBILITY and TRUST are key in employer-employee relationships; our culture and benefits reflect that. Employees have always been able to take care of familial issues by using the GENEROUS FLEX-TIME and PTO policies and WORKING FROM HOME when needed. There have been times when employees have brought their children to the office when the situation dictated. We always try to ACCOMMODATE PARENTING, realizing it’s a balancing act for working parents. In the end, we find that taking care of the families means our work family gets taken care of too.”
– Carrie Jefferies, Manager of Business Operations | Pointwise, Inc.
“So many organizations are doing amazing things throughout our community during this pandemic to support others, and we’d like to share some of the things we’re doing at Satori Capital. First, we’ve created what we call Values During Crisis, and one of those values is SELF-CARE for our team members. We’re supporting this for our team members in a few ways, one being the SATORI STEPS CHALLENGE, in which we encourage team members to get up from their computers and get out walking. (The Dogs of Satori are also really benefiting from this!) We are also PROVIDING AT-HOME, NO-CONTACT HEALTHY MEAL DELIVERIES to our team members from our chef, who usually delivers meals to our offices. Another value is “social distancing and emotional closeness,” and we’re holding REGULAR VIDEO CHCEK-INS with our team — including a few virtual happy hours. We’re also finding ways to take care of the COMMUNITY through DONATIONS to organizations that are providing support through this pandemic, including the UNT HSC COVID RELIEF FUND. (Visit unthsc.edu/covidrelief to donate!) We wish everyone the best in staying healthy and safe.”
– Cami Miller, Director of Stakeholder Experience | Satori Capital
For more information on our 2020 Best Place for Working Parents® businesses, visit www.BestPlace4WorkingParents.com.