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Points of Light Recognizes The Ritz-Carlton and HP For Innovative Corporate Volunteer Programs

Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence Presented, as Local Business Networks
Receive Corporate Volunteer Council Awards

Washington, D.C., June 20, 2013 – Points of Light honored The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and technology company HP today for their outstanding employee volunteer programs, which are engaging and inspiring volunteers and improving our nation’s communities. Both companies received the 2013 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence for their unique designs and exceptional results.

At today’s ceremony, which took place at Points of Light’s annual Conference on Volunteering and Service, the organization also honored two local business networks with the 2013 Corporate Volunteer Council Award, for inspiring employees to volunteer in Montgomery County, Md., and Orange County, Calif.

“These leaders in employee volunteerism show the possibilities for engaging the workforce in improving communities,” said Michelle Nunn, Points of Light’s CEO. “We celebrate companies that incorporate their employee volunteer programs the way they do business, with the ultimate goal of making social progress.”

For the 2013 Corporate Engagement Award of Excellence, an independent panel of judges evaluated nominees this year on a new set of criteria: a clear plan, a method of measuring accomplishments, a solid design, strong leadership, community collaboration, a system to engage employees and an openness to learn from past experience. Rising to the top of the list this year, the 20th anniversary of the award:

The Ritz-Carlton – The luxury lifestyle company’s Community Footprints program applies its guiding principles – engage, contribute and inspire – to improve the lives of children, protect the environment and help alleviate hunger and poverty. The holistic program is embedded in The Ritz-Carlton service culture and encourages employees around the world to use their skills and talents to support partner nonprofits. For example, the skills-based volunteering program Succeed Through Service enables employees to help at-risk children fulfill their dreams for successful careers. Having benefited more than 12,000 children in the past four years, Succeed Through Service has earned The Ritz-Carlton a 92 percent “extremely satisfied” rating by principals and teachers. Community Footprints’ design is integrated into the company’s business strategy; engages employees and customers; and establishes The Ritz-Carlton as a leader in the luxury hospitality industry.

HP – HP’s Global Social Impact program draws on the know-how of the company’s more than 330,000 employees, its global reach and its leading technology. Through skills-based volunteering centered on leadership, technology and entrepreneurship, HP applies the same tools it uses to analyze business practices to design employee volunteer programs. The company provides multiple ways for employees to volunteer and offers employees four hours per month to do so. HP’s employees volunteered 1.4 million hours in 2012, a tremendous accomplishment that demonstrates the value HP places on volunteering and the commitment it has to encouraging every employee to use his or her skills to make life better for others. With a focused strategy to increase capacity for nonprofits, HP can successfully report that nine out of ten of their partnering nonprofits reported increased organizational capacity as a result of HP skills-based volunteerism.

For the 2013 Corporate Volunteer Council Awards, candidates are local networks called Corporate Volunteer Councils, which businesses join to address community needs through workplace volunteering. The Corporate Volunteer Council of the Year Award recognizes councils that have a clear purpose, activities that relate to that purpose and measurements for success. The Fast Start Award goes to councils meeting those criteria that have been established within the past three years. All entries are reviewed and winners selected by an awards committee comprised of national CVC leaders and convened by Points of Light and the CVC Advisory Council. This year’s winners are:

Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County, Corporate Volunteer Council of the Year – This nonprofit teaches businesses how to partner with and support nonprofit organizations by helping create successful volunteer or charitable programs that benefit the businesses, their employees and the community. Montgomery County’s 25-year-old council, in suburban Washington, D.C., provides its more than 60 members with educational programming and resources, creates service and networking opportunities and celebrates successful volunteer programs.

Corporate Volunteer Council of Orange County, Fast Start Award winner – This Southern California council, which launched in January 2012 with 26 companies, quickly set to work organizing educational member meetings, sharing success stories and setting first-year goals. In February 2013, volunteers from member companies joined with residents of the Oak View community to restore a playground by painting over graffiti and planting greenery. The council is a program of the nonprofit organization OneOC, an affiliate of Points of Light's HandsOn Network that connects nonprofits with volunteers and trains nonprofit staff.

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About Points of Light

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through HandsOn Network affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of volunteers where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.