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2014 NHBR Business Excellence Awards
October 28, 2014 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Our fearless leader, Mirjam IJtsma has been nominated for the 2014 New Hampshire Business Review Business Excellence Awards. Just the nomination is an honor in itself. The winner will be announced on Tuesday October 28th at the Radisson Hotel!
Below is an excerpt from a nomination submitted on behalf of Mirjam:
“Since the moment I applied for a position at Cultural Chemistry, I knew the company and Mirjam IJtsma are different than any other company I had encountered. It took for me a while to understand what was different, but I understood that this is because of the mission Mirjam truly believes in.
Mirjam believes in changing the way people are managed here in New Hampshire –no matter how hard it is. It shows from these examples and the programs she developed.
- Scholarship Program
Are you a for profit organization with a mission, but without cash? Cultural Chemistry will help you for free to get to the point where you can make money and are stable enough to grow your business. This can be a project to get a grant to hire employees, to our full service HR Consulting services as you as a business owner need our help. Few strings you have to have less than 15 employees and you are willing to learn and 100% located in New Hampshire. That is it!
Ten percent of our services delivered, are under the Scholarship Program. We do not disclose the names of the organizations involved, as this might compromise their branding in the communities they work in.
- Non-Profit get service for free
Each Consultant can choose one non-profit that they support. The non-profit needs to be located in New Hampshire. The hours worked on this non-profit do count towards the billable hours each consultant needs to make each week. So no additional overtime work for the consultant.
- The Professional Women of Excellence Program
Mirjam realized that professional women, who are managing employees, have a hard time connecting with peers in other organization. They are also often times lacking entrepreneurial skills that will hurt them in their professional aspirations. Under the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, she started this program. She enlisted professional trainers (all for free), and other business women to provide training to this group. The first group graduated in June and the next session is scheduled to be kicked-off in January.
- The Construction Career Fair
A fair that was showcasing open construction jobs in NH. When she learned that the state agencies couldn’t help promote the fair, the employers paid $35.00 for a booth. She didn’t hesitate to make the fair for free, and paid for all the cost involved, because she believed that somebody needed to do something for this industry.
- Employee benefits.
Consulting firms are known for the overtime and the no family time. Consultants do not get more than 32 hours billable hours per week. Allowing them 8 hours for development, non-client related desk work and connecting with their colleagues. Other benefits include;
- Being Active Reimbursement (money to stay active, like lift tickets, money for running shoes, or gym memberships)
- Vacation bonus (paid vacation is great. But what about a bonus of $500.00 when you decide to turn off your cellphone and email for a week.)
- Stay-Work-Play Challenge Grant – Student loans? if you stay with the organization for at least a year as a recent grad, CC will help you pay off your student loan.
- Vacation time. Are we not mature enough to know when we can take time off and when not. That is it, employees decide. Even hourly will get paid time off in the same way salaried employees do.
- Friday afternoon off. Hourly employees work 40 hours per week, but can choose to work the first four days more so they can take each Friday afternoon off.
- Health insurance – of course.
- Community involvement
Mirjam is on the boards of the following organizations:
- Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce
- Southern New Hampshire Home Builders and Remodelers Association (chair education committee)
- Chair Education committee Homebuilders Association of New Hampshire
- Government Affairs Committee Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
- Educational Development committee NHBSR
- Impact for her clients and other small businesses.
We all know that working with state agencies can be cumbersome. When any of her clients would like to apply for a grant, Mirjam will support them and work with government agencies to make it easier for small businesses to gain access to grants and funds. Did you know that a company could not work with an outside agency to submit a grant to the NH Job Training Fund? Can you imagine how an 8 person company can find the time and expertise to file a 20 page document of a $5K grant? Mirjam fought hard and now they can enlist the help of professionals. Given them for the first time, a better chance of grant money.
Good luck Mirjam.