April 17--Reynolds Insurance, a Santa Fe insurance company with roots going back 130 years, came in first in a recent competition among small Santa Fe businesses that promote the implementation of family-friendly policies and programs.
Reynolds Insurance is owned by Santa Fe businessman Jake Rodar.
The local businesses that took part in the competition were honored recently at a dinner and program at Quail Run.
The large-company winner -- more than 50 employees -- was
El Castillo Retirement Residences. Al Jahner is the facility's chief executive officer.
The competition is an annual event sponsored by Santa Fe Business and Professional Women.
"SFBPW annually pays tribute to employees who meet such criteria as family-friendly policies, financial assistance for training or education courses, flexible work arrangements, health care and female employees in mid- to upper management-level management positions," a statement said.
Reynolds Insurance has 16 employees -- 87 percent of them women.
In comments made several days after the SFBPW program, Simon Brackley, president of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce and a judge in the competition, said, "It was tough. We had some great applications ... in many different categories."
Brackley added: "Many of these companies provide a variety of jobs in Santa Fe."
Among the employee-friendly policies offered by Reynolds Insurance are what a statement called generous time off with pay, medical leave and a package that includes health, life, dental, vision and long-term disability insurance.
Also, "we have a generous company-match 401 [retirement] package," Rodar said. "The company matches a good share, more than many companies."
Reynolds' policy also includes the opportunity to work at home if necessary and encouragement to bring children to work when required, Rodar said.
Reynolds, currently on West De Vargas Street, recently broke ground for a new office center on Kiva Court, just off Botulph Road, not far from St. Michael's Drive.
The new business center will also include a fitness center with classes and massage treatment for employees. Best of all, Rodar said, employees "won't have to pay for it -- it's all free."
When asked about the necessity of a move, Rodar said, "We're outgrowing the space we're in, and in this new space, we won't be a tenant anymore."
In addition, the new facility "has solar features and a much more efficient working space. It's a pretty nice jump from where we are right now," Rodar said.
Rodar bought Reynolds Insurance five years ago, following the death of company owner Ransom Reynolds.
El Castillo Retirement Residences, on East Alameda Street in downtown Santa Fe, decided to enter the competition because "we have a lot of good, family-friendly employees who have been employed by us for some years," Jahner said. "We update them and keep them involved through our policies."
Among the policies promoted by El Castillo are employees ' birthdays off with pay, one floating holiday with pay and cash awards for employees who use less than
32 hours of sick leave in one year.
El Castillo, a nonprofit corporation, has 101 employees, 77 percent of them women.
Jahner said he has been El Castillo CEO for 20 years and recently signed a contract to remain at the company for "a few more years."
Currently, "I would like to take a month off and go somewhere," he said with a laugh. "Maybe to New York on the train."
Other companies that took part in the competition included Del Norte Credit Union, General Mailing and Shipping Systems, Inn at Santa Fe and Packard's on the Plaza.
SFPBW is affiliated with Professional Business Women/NM. For information about future programs, contact Kathy Jahner at 474-4990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Kathy Jahner, wife of El Castillo CEO Al Jahner, was not involved in the selection of the competition winners.
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