Proud to be a UW Most Generous Workplace

Last week, we welcomed Suzanne McCormick from United Way Suncoast to our office. She came to award PAR as #22 on the list of Most Generous Workplaces. We are so thrilled to be in the company of the other organizations represented on this list, all of which foster a culture of caring and philanthropy among their employees. Further, we are so proud of our employees for their generous support of United Way.

Learn more about how you can get involved with United Way where you live.

PAR Staff Give Back

This month has been filled with so many events that help PAR live up to our tagline, “Creating Connections. Changing Lives.”

We have been involved in several Community PARtners events. Read on to learn about some of the ways PAR staff have been involved in helping others lately!

United Way Day of Caring

Earlier this month, several employees spent the day at Hillsborough Aging Services playing games, calling bingo, and serving lunch to a special group of local senior citizens in our community. Through United Way Suncoast, more than 1,900 volunteers took part in 101 projects in the local area on one day. To learn more about how you can get involved in your community, visit United Way.

No-Pucker Challenge

A group of PAR staffers participated in the No-Pucker Challenge to raise awareness for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC). NPC is a rare, fatal childhood disease known as “Childhood Alzheimer’s.” PAR staff member Katie Meyer-Griffith’s husband Sean will be riding across Florida to raise awareness for Hope for Marian, the organization behind the No-Pucker Challenge. Learn more about Marian, a two-year-old girl fighting for her life against NPC and about Sean’s ride. Visit our Facebook page to watch us as we take on the No-Pucker Challenge!

Relief for Puerto Rico

PAR employees gathered boxes of much-needed supplies to send through the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration to help those devastated by Hurricane Maria. Whether it was batteries, garbage bags, diapers, or first aid supplies, staff stepped up and donated what we could to help the effort in Puerto Rico.

Additionally, we collected socks for children in need during our annual Socktoberfest drive, participated in our regular Meals on Wheels route, and so much more! 

PAR is happy to announce the recipient of our second-annual “Pay It Forward” program to benefit worthy charities.

“PAR has been incredibly fortunate as a company,” stated R. Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO. “Rather than sending our Customers an end-of-year gift, last year, we decided to do something new—we made a charitable contribution on behalf of our Customers to organizations chosen by those we serve. We decided to make it an annual tradition, and continued the program this fall, selecting new charities.”

In November, PAR mailed an end-of-year communication to select Customers, thanking them for their business and asking them to choose their favorite organization from a list as a way to acknowledge the important work they do throughout the year. Now that results have been tallied, PAR is proud to announce that on behalf of our Customers, a $5,000 donation will be made to Feeding America.

“We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and Feeding America inspires them,” said Smith. “It is an honor to be able to pay it forward.”
PAR is proud of our ongoing relationship with United Way. Last week, we took part in our annual fundraising campaign. For more than 20 years, 100% of staff members have contributed during our annual United Way drive. This year was no different. We exceeded our fundraising goal, resulting in employee contributions of $81,661.72 being donated to United Way to help continue its mission of helping others in our community.

Meet Opie, the newest recruit to the PAR family.

This year, our United Way week theme was PAR Boot Camp. Staffers were broken into five teams, each representing a different branch of the military, and took part in a host of activities, ranging from puzzle building to a mental tug-of-war. Ten staff members even went head-to-head in a push up contest! Our friends from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay stopped by… and one lucky pup found his forever home.

Want to learn more about how you can help United Way in your community? Visit www.unitedway.org.

 

PAR is proud of our ongoing support of United Way. Last week, employees took part in our annual fundraising campaign. For more than 20 years, 100% of staff members have participated in our annual United Way drive, and this year was no different. We exceeded our fundraising goal, resulting in $123,392.95 being donated to United Way to help continue its mission of helping others in our community.

This year, our United Way week theme was Camp PAR. We took part in a host of activities, from a s'mores building contest to a tent pitching competition. Want to learn more about how you can help United Way in your community? Visit www.unitedway.org.

Last week, PAR staff delivered gifts to a deserving local veteran's family.

All of us here at PAR want to send you our warmest wishes for a very happy holiday season. We look forward to helping you and those you serve in 2014. May your New Year be filled with peace, love, and joy!

This year, PAR staff worked with two organizations to spread holiday joy to those in need, by fulfilling the wishes from an Angel Tree for the children and teens served by the Joshua House and by adopting a veteran's family through Service Source, part of Abilities Foundation. Click on the attached links to learn more about these incredible organizations and learn how you can get involved.
By: James Swain (www.jimswain.com)

Question: There are signs all throughout the PAR buildings that say, “Customer Service Is Our Most Important Product.” That’s not just a slogan, is it?
Cathy Smith: No, it’s a way of life here at PAR. The difference between PAR and other companies is our service. PAR employees live and breathe Customer Service.

Bob Smith: I was determined that regular communication with our Customers and outstanding Customer Service would be two qualities that would distinguish PAR from competitors. Excellent Customer Service has long been a core value of the company, from answering the phones with a live person to fulfilling orders on the day of receipt, responding to Customer e-mail inquiries within 24 hours, and providing error-free shipments.

Years ago, a Customer named David Nichols wrote me a letter when a product he’d purchased was delayed in shipping. He said that “... it was not right to promote your products, take Customers’ money, and then not deliver the product... delaying product delivery is not right.” I’ve never forgotten that. And, since David wrote that letter, he and I became good friends and we remain so today.

Question: What does that mean for your Customers?
Cathy Smith: Every year we ship tens of thousands of packages with an amazingly small number of shipping errors. Our distribution staff prides itself on making sure that our Customers receive exactly what they ordered as quickly as possible. We get thank you notes from our Customers all the time, telling us how much they appreciate our Customer Service and outstanding delivery and shipping.

Question: Having once run a business myself, I learned that happy employees lead to a high degree of Customer satisfaction. Do you find the same to be true?
Bob Smith: Yes! We measure Customer satisfaction in many ways. We send comment cards in every order, which all management staff read when they are filled out and returned by the Customer. We also do Customer surveys and talk to our Customers. We also offer an excellent return policy. If a Customer is not satisfied with a purchase, we will accept the return of any item—no questions asked.

Question: Three of your competitors recently merged. How do you see that affecting your business?
Bob Smith: The merger has helped us differentiate ourselves from our competition, and enabled us to be responsive to Customer needs by continuing to deliver outstanding Customer Service and innovative new products to our Customers.

Question: PAR has come a long way since 1978. What do you see the future holding?
Bob Smith: We will continue to innovate, grow, and evolve, and we will continue to take care of our Customers. Our company is not for sale, and PAR will remain family owned.

Question: I first became aware of you and Cathy through your philanthropic work in the Tampa area. Can you tell me more about the causes you’re involved in, and why you feel it’s important to give back to the community?
Cathy Smith: Twenty years ago, Bob and I decided that it was our corporate responsibility to give back to the community in which we lived. Over the years, that commitment has grown, and last year we donated to more than 80 organizations in the Tampa Bay area, including the Humane Society, Meals on Wheels, United Way, and a scholarship program at the University of South Florida, to name just a few. We also encourage our staff to participate in community activities and to support local charities.

Question: One final question. You recently adopted a new slogan. Why?
Bob Smith: We shortened our name from Psychological Assessment Resources to PAR, because that’s what our Customers called us. We changed our slogan to “Creating Connections. Changing Lives.” It sums up not only what we do every day, but it captures what we aspire to do as well.