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AETN receives two Governor’s Work-Life Balance Awards

Posted 24 May 2010

AETN received two awards, the Mature Worker Friendly Award and the Silver Award in the medium size category. Governor Mike Beebe presented the award. Representing AETN were AETN Commission Chair Sammie Benjamin of Glenwood, AETN Commission Vice Chair Ronnie Williams of Menifee and Arkansas PBS Foundaion Board Chair Dan Farley of Little Rock.

"We are proud to receive recognition for the third year in a row from the Governor's Work-Life Balance Award, AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly said. To receive this from Governor Beebe is a testament to our incredible staff and a commitment to each other even in a difficult economic time.

Coupled with our national Healthy Workplace Awards from the American Psychological Association, we continue to strive to be a place folks can be proud to work and to serve our state.

Weatherly added that AETN fosters a family first atmosphere, offering several programs that make it easier for employees to do their jobs and take care of family obligations.

"People who can take care of their personal lives are happier, more loyal, more productive employees at work," he said.

The Mature Worker Award recognized three companies for their ongoing efforts to provide a work environment friendly to mature workers. The winners were: AETN; Bank of the Ozarks, Little Rock; and Saline Memorial Hospital, Benton.

I worked at several other places prior to AETN and this is the best by far, AETN Finance and Administration Director (CFO) Donna Smith said. After 24 years of service here as CFO, I still believe in the mission.

Most employees come and stay for the mission. Many who leave want to return. That says something about AETN's work culture.

The awards are presented by the Governors Work-Life Initiative, whose mission is to recognize Arkansas employers for establishing and providing resources that support employees in balancing the needs of both work and family.

One of the reasons I enjoy working at AETN is that management is always looking for ways to help their employees keep a healthy balance between their work and personal lives, AETN Human Resources Manager Lela Hodges said.

Other companies recognized in the medium size category were Winrock International, Little Rock, Gold, and Delta Dental of Arkansas, Sherwood, Bronze.

Companies that were nominated for the awards were asked to provide information regarding issues such as health benefits, work-time options and childcare assistance. If a company did not have formal work-life policies, informal ways of making the work environment as family-friendly as possible were taken into account. 

Partners in the initiative are Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Arkansas Business Publication Group, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas, Arkansas State University, Child Care Resource and Referral Network, and the Society of Human Resource Managers. The following state offices and agencies are also partners in the initiative: the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Department of Education, the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Workforce Education, the Department of Health, the Arkansas Head Start Collaboration, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Arkansas Early Childhood Commission, DHS Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, DHS Division of County Operations, and the Office of the Governor.

AETN was honored last year with the American Psychological Associations (APA) 2008 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. One of five employers from across North America to receive APAs workplace award, AETN won in the government/military/educational institution category.

AETN was also recognized by APA as a Best Practices Honoree for its effective use of planning and improvement teams to complete projects. AETN is one of only three national winners in the history of this award program to win both awards.

AETN won the Arkansas Psychological Association Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2002 and 2006.

Our employees care about each other, Smith said. All have worked diligently over the years to make AETN a friendly, creative and productive place.

These prestigious awards help prove that, and they are proudly displayed, helping AETN to recruit more excellent employees.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansass statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit, or follow the AETN blog at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).