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People First Philosophy Pays Dividends

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

When you ask most New Hampshire employers what their most valuable resource is, they very rarely speak about their new equipment, fancy business location or time saving processes. Instead, they talk about their human capital, their workers…the true lifeblood of their companies.

Governo Lynch explains the benefits of the NH HealthFirst initiative to Logo Loc employees.

Governo Lynch explains the benefits of the NH HealthFirst initiative to Logo Loc employees.

Yesterday morning, I was fortunate enough to accompany New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy and Governor Lynch to a company visit at Logo Loc (www.logoloc.com), an apparel and promotional products company based in Manchester. The subject was New Hampshire HealthFirst, an initiative designed to provide small businesses and their workers with new, more affordable, health insurance choices. It requires every insurance carrier, insuring more than 1,000 covered lives in New Hampshire, to now offer a standard health wellness plan.

According to the Governor’s Web site (http://www.governor.nh.gov/policy/nh_first.html), “New Hampshire HealthFirst will help bring to small businesses the same types of innovations that large companies are using to control their health care costs. The Insurance Department will develop an advisory commission to develop the specifics of the standard wellness plan, but it will help control costs and keep workers healthy by:

A. Promoting wellness
B. Promoting primary and preventative care; establishing a medical home
C. Managing care for persons with chronic health conditions or acute illness
D. Promoting the use of effective, low-cost care
E. Promoting quality through the use of evidence-based care, best practice standards and patient-centered care”

It was fitting that the Governor selected Logo Loc as the site of his “kickoff” visit to tout an employee-centered initiative as this company is a excellent example of a business with a “people first” philosophy.

To walk the floor of the Logo Loc operation is to walk the floor of a culturally diverse, family oriented company that sees no barriers to building an effective, goal driven team. Owner Tom O’Reilly’s workforce features a number of workers with developmental disabilities as well as recent immigrants. Alongside their colleagues, they serve clients as diverse as Smith & Wesson, Irving Oil and, most recently, HBO.

Logo Loc President Tom O'Reilly shares his company's story with Governor Lynch.

Logo Loc President Tom O'Reilly shares his company's story with Governor Lynch.

O’Reilly’s dedication to his employees is obvious to even first time visitors as evidenced by a huge poster of a recent retiree that adorns the shop wall and the collegial atmosphere that permeates his company. However, his charitable nature extends far beyond his Millyard location – Logo Loc is the official store of New Hampshire Special Olympics and employees are often found cheering on their newly made friends at both the NHSO Winter Games and Summer Games. O’Reilly opened his business to employees dislocated from the Jac Pac closing so that they could pick out free clothing in time for the Christmas season, and just this evening, he will host a barbecue for ES Riders (http://nh.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=NHDR_ESRiders), a Logo Loc originated program that provides free Segways for Easter Seals clients – to date, Logo Loc has donated eight Segways to the cause.

In speaking with Tom yesterday, I remarked that karma is a very strong force and that doing well by others has certainly resulted in a vibrant company that is attracting new clients and creating new opportunities. True to form, Tom turned and said, “But that’s not why I do this. I do this because it’s the right thing to do and because we’re in a position to help out.” A more poignant, simple lesson was never stated so well on another busy day in the life of a great company adding to the fabric of our state’s economy. Keep fighting the good fight Tom as well as every other business owner who recognizes that people and profits go hand in hand.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director