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4th Annual Leadership
Character Awards - 2006
Integrity Celebrated at Annual
Leadership Character Awards
Turknett Leadership Group recognizes
individuals from Crawford & Co., AT&T (BellSouth), IBM Software
Group, AeA, and Dream House plus top organizations HomeBanc and Pull-A-Part
ATLANTA, GA (February 2007)—Turknett Leadership Group, whose work with
leaders and organizations is centered on developing leadership character
at all levels, announced the winners of the Fourth Annual Leadership Character
Awards at a luncheon event held February 5, 2007 at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead.
Kennesaw State’s Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Character partnered
with Turknett on the awards event for the third year and KPMG served as
first time Presenting Sponsor for the event.
"Our people are committed to upholding qualities such as integrity,
respect and responsibility," said Tim Bentsen, KPMG's Atlanta managing
partner. "By sponsoring this award, we hope to continue the tradition
of honoring those that exemplify all of these fine characteristics."
Nearly 400 gathered to recognize over fifty individual and organization
nominees and to applaud the winners, each chosen for best exemplifying the
standards set forth in the Turknett’s Leadership Character
Model™. Announced as this year’s winners were:
Thomas "Tom" Crawford
Crawford and Co.
Hal G. Henderson
Buddy McElhannon, Joyce Cauley, Annette Moffitt, Gordon Barber,
Non-profit 501(c)(3)/Public Sector/Education
Dream House for the Medically Fragile
Category: Small Organization
Nominated by Ross Kogon
HomeBanc Mortgage Corp.
Category: Large Organization
Nominated by Jim Huling
More about the event:
“This ceremony once again proves that it is the things we do on a regular
basis that says more about our values and priorities as leaders than any
words we speak!” remarked Hal G. Henderson, AT&T (BellSouth).
Denise Billups, Director Worldwide TeleWeb Sales, IBM Software Group commented,
“ No one who accomplishes anything in business or in life does it alone.
Working to be the best servant leader I can be in my company, my community
and my life, and reaching back and pulling others through to achieve their
own goals is my way of honoring all of the unselfish people who have helped
me along the way.”
Recognized in the Southeast since 1980 for its work with executives and
organizations in the areas of integrity and character, Atlanta-based Turknett
Leadership Group received over fifty nominations for the four award categories.
The nominated individuals and organizations were recognized for having unquestioned
integrity, for treating their customers, suppliers and each other with respect,
and for maintaining a culture in which everyone takes responsibility for
achieving results and upholding their core values.
Nominations for the Leadership Character Award were evaluated by the Award
Advisory Panel composed of Conchita Robinson, president and CEO of C Robinson
Associates, Inc.; Dr. Betty Siegel, President Emeritus and Endowed Chair
of Siegel Institute of Leadership, Ethics & Character at Kennesaw State
University; W. Thomas (Tom) Smith, Founder and Managing Partner of Total
Technology Ventures; and Oz Nelson, retired chairman and CEO of UPS. Winners
were selected by this panel and announced at the event.
Commenting on the Awards, Dr. Robert Turknett, CEO of Turknett Leadership
Group, said, “Each year Lyn and I look forward to this event as an opportunity
to honor the many leaders of character in our community. All attendees are
energized by the nominees - extraordinary individuals who lead with integrity
Crawford, president & CEO of Crawford & Company (no relation to
Crawford & Company founder) from day one articulated the company’s vision
“to be recognized as the world’s leader in claims and administrative solutions.”
He told employees that he would always be honest with them and let them
know the good and the challenging issues they faced as a company. He has
lived up to that promise and more.
Everyday Tom demonstrates his integrity. He expects honesty from his managers
and that includes keeping no issues from him – a concept of “managing without
fear.” In monthly staff meetings, Tom encourages managers to share problems
in order to share solutions. This practice not only works well, but it helps
unite the team.
In addition to integrity, Tom stands for excellence - coining the phrase
“Excellence in Everything We Touch.” Each person who works on a case is
responsible for checking their own work and that of others before them.
Tom also ensures that the same high standards are used for performance evaluations
across the board without favoritism.
Tom’s nominator said, “Even though he’s the CEO, he’s one of us. He eats
in the same community lunch room, talks to us about our families and hobbies,
and keeps business talk to a minimum.” It’s clear that Tom feels a responsibility
to the associates as much as to the bottom line. He’s helped Crawford workers
get career opportunities when their business unit was sold, helped financially
in cases of hardship and disaster, and provided coaching and mentoring to
the next generation of business owners and leaders.
Finally, whether he’s dressing up like Santa Clause to give to an adopted
family in need, or leading by example within his company, Tom Crawford is
a role model for Leadership Character.
Executive / MGR Category
Henderson, Network Vice President, BellSouth / AT&T has the distinction
of being co-nominated by five managers. We were particularly impressed with
the quality and quantity of examples from others who work with him about
why he deserves this honor.
One person with more than 34 years of service said: “Hal is at the top
of the list of the managers I’ve sought to emulate.” Another said: “Hal
Henderson exemplifies the image of a southern gentleman. He’s fair, smart,
witty, and above reproach in integrity.” Yet another said. “His team and
peers trust him. When faced with difficult issues, he deals with it in a
In one situation, serious accusations were brought against a long-term
employee. While some were ready to terminate the person, Hal insisted on
a full security investigation – and at the end of it, the employee’s credibility
Hal is also a great example of the balance represented by the Turknett
Leadership Character Model – the balance of Respect and Responsibility.
First, people know that he cares - and he shows respect for them by setting
expectations high and encouraging them to exceed them. He’s also open to
suggestions - yet he’s decisive; is calm, but firm; is confident but humble
- and he always leads by example.
Referred to as “a master of open and honest communications,” Hal holds
frequent formal and informal sessions in which the talk can range from job
and family to news about the telecommunications industry.
Executive/Manager Category / Award
of two recipients in the Executive / Manager Category, Denise Billups, Director
Worldwide TeleWeb Sales with the IBM Software Group is an outstanding proponent
of always doing the right thing and treating everyone with respect and dignity
Within IBM and in the many community organizations to which she so generously
gives her time – Denise is highly respected for her honest and forthright
manner – regardless of the consequences. She is truthful with customers
even when it may result in business being awarded to someone else.
When it comes to Respect, Denise Billups is the “go to” person. Other leaders
seek Denise’s opinion because they value her candor. She also listens, advocates
for others, avoids the blame game, and shows her own vulnerability. But
possibly the highest form of respect is to treat others as you would like
to be treated - and Denise is a master at this.
Balancing Respect with high level of Responsibility, Denise holds herself
accountable for not only her own actions but also those of the entire technical
organization when something does not turn out as expected. But like a true
leader of character, when it comes to credit, she gives that to the team.
Denise is a role model in the area of giving back and serving the needs
of others. She has served on the Board of Cool Girls for years, helping
empower countless inner city girls. In one elementary school project, which
resulted in transformational change, she was instrumental in getting 270
volunteers to share their time and talent.
Maddox is a terrific example of the concept of “leaders at all levels.”
She is the first point of contact and a primary interface for her organization.
As one of 18 Regional Program Managers of the AeA, Regina is an invaluable
asset to the Southeast Council and sets a high standard of professionalism
and leadership character in everything that she does.
In the area of Integrity, her supervisor wrote: “In my more that 30 years
of working with and managing employees, I have never known a person as trustworthy
as Regina. She knows that there is no such thing as 99% trust and every
executive we work with has complete confidence in her ability to protect
sensitive information.” In addition, she personally practices the “no office
politics” rule and through her example, helps keep the entire work environment
free from this distraction.
There are numerous examples of how Regina demonstrates Respect. Never taking
an “us vs them” attitude, she constantly promotes a positive team atmosphere
both at the local and national level. No matter the circumstances, she listens
and responds with empathy and understanding. And although she receives frequent
praise from others, she remains modest about her own contributions.
Regina is also exemplary on the other side of the scale – Responsibility.
In a demanding job, she is known as a hard worker, a solutions-seeker, a
self-confident leader among her peers. Whatever is required, she is certain
to complete her own work on time and by focusing on the whole, helps others
do the same.
From every perspective, including a very active family life with two growing
boys, Regina’s impact is unmistakable.
15 diverse and very deserving nominees in the non-profit and education category,
it was an unenviable task to select this year’s award recipient. Nevertheless,
among the nominees is an individual whom we believe is uniquely deserving
of the top honor. That person is Laura Moore, Founder and CEO of Dream House
for Medically Fragile Children.
After making our decision, we realized that we are not alone in recognizing
Laura for her outstanding service and sacrifice. ABC News recently profiled
her as their “Person of the Week.” (A clip from that broadcast was shown here).
Laura is an extraordinary woman and an equally extraordinary leader. She
shows great courage to do the ‘never been done before’ and she leads with
grace and compassion. She is also praised for her unwavering integrity, her
openness, her sincerity, her encouragement of others, and her ability to accept
and face difficulties and failures and to move ahead wiser. Laura Moore -
a woman who has indeed found her purpose in life and is living it everyday.
Small Organization Award Category
3 locations in GA as well as facilities in Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina
and Tennessee, Pull-A-Part’s success is a reflection of their commitment to
respect the environment, the community and the people they serve.
Pull-A-Part shows Integrity through the transparency in its business practices
and by honoring its word. Customers know that when they sell a car to Pull-A-Part
in “as is” condition, the company will remove all remaining hazardous chemicals
and guarantee it is properly disposed of or recycled. As a testament to their
high environmental standards, Pull-A-Part’s storm water collection ponds are
clean enough to maintain fish and frogs!
Another way Pull-A-Part shows Integrity is by advocating end-of-life recycling.
Pull-A-Part’s practices reduce waste by 21%, and last year alone, in GA, diverted
almost 2.9 million pounds of waste from entering the state’s landfills.
In addition to protecting the environment, Pull-A-Part also demonstrates
an uncommon respect for their employees. The corporate office fosters a culture
of trust and mutual respect among managers and employees at all levels by
bestowing them with increasingly higher level of responsibility and decision-making.
For example, many of the company’s cashiers have the authority to write checks.
When new hires enter the company, they are taught the Pull-A-Part culture,
thus heightening the feeling of ownership.
There is plenty of attention to accountability and the bottom line. Friendly
competition between facilities allows each to learn from the other. Some of
the best ideas for improvement come from employee innovation, and the company
tries to provide the freedom and resources to put ideas into motion.
Pull-A-Part partners with local fire rescue departments to offer the facility
and vehicles for jaws-of-life extrication practice and with local law enforcement
K-9 units to provide vehicles for drug and bomb sniffing exercises. They also
plant trees for beautification, help keep abandoned cars off the streets,
and donate to various charities.
Large Organization Award Category
appears on Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America,”
but they are much more than a “Great Place to Work.” They are a great example
of the right way to do business and a stellar example of Leadership Character
as the core of everything that they do.
HomeBanc has institutionalized ethical practices throughout the organization
- including mandatory ethics training - and they empower associates to make
the right decisions. HomeBanc’s unique Customer Service Guarantee is the only
unconditional money-back service guarantee in the industry.
HomeBanc believes that creating and maintaining a world-class employment
environment is their competitive advantage. Their corporate scoreboard states
that “associate satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction, which drives
market share and net income” - therefore their top priority and success metric
is associate satisfaction. Through their Office of People and Culture, they
make sure the people issues are addressed including work/life balance, wellness,
education, training and career-pathing. Not surprisingly, HomeBanc's investment
in total HR resources is 7 times higher than the average spent by companies
in its Larger Lender peer group.
- They have Stock Appreciation Rights for every single employee;
- They have an Associate Emergency Fund that has helped numerous people
with unmanageable medical and funeral arrangements;
- They have a strong commitment to community service and is well on its
way to achieving their goal of building 100 Habitat homes by 2025 and raising
$1 million for the American Cancer Society.
And then there’s the marathon accomplishment of one HomeBanc associate, a
breast cancer survivor. She was supported all the way to the finish line by
two senior leaders who sacrificed their personal marathon goals to help a
fellow team member.
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