Culminating a six-month process which started with literally a thousand top-performing employees, Con-way Inc. recently announced the winners of its first CEO Constellation Awards – the company’s highest recognition of achievement for leading by example and demonstrating the company’s shared values of integrity, commitment and excellence.
“Con-way people are the foundation of our enterprise and the principal source of value we deliver to our customers,” says Douglas W. Stotlar, president and chief executive officer of San Mateo, Calif.-based Con-way. “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 then are 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,” Stotlar says. “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 says. “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 and the unique performances that gained them the company’s highest recognition are: