Sloan Award Press Release

Shodor Recognized as a Workplace of Excellence

DURHAM, N.C. — On May 28, 2009, Shodor — a nonprofit serving students and educators nationwide - was one of six greater Durham area employers recognized as winners of the 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. This is the third year Shodor has won the honor.

Winners of this prestigious national award were announced by Kathy Hoffmeier, of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, at a meeting of the Triangle Society for Human Resource Management at the Radisson Governors Inn in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Greater Durham area winners included: CrossComm, Durham's Partnership for Children, Expedite Group, Shodor, US EPA and WorkSmart.

According to Shodor's award application, more than half its current employees began as students of the organization, and many say they chose jobs there instead of higher-paying employers because they knew they would have more flexibility and gain more responsibility sooner.

Dr. Robert M. Panoff, Shodor's founder and executive director, credits the mentoring atmosphere of Shodor for its success in its flexibility practices.

"Providing a nurturing environment where young apprentices, interns and more mature, experienced staff show one another respect - regardless of their age, amount of time or level of expertise they bring to the table, has been a foundation for our success in offering flexibility in a number of ways," he added.

Shodor offers a number of flexible workplace practices to its employees such as flex time, telecommuting and less travel thanks to video chat and video conferencing capabilities, and more. Panoff commented, "Our work with the National Science Digital Library and other science education efforts shows that you can use technology to enhance the human touch of the workplace. We re proud of our efforts to help our employees keep family first in their priorities as we continue to help lead national projects."

The Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Flexibility is a recognition program of When Work Works, a nationwide initiative to bring research on workplace effectiveness and flexibility into community and business practice. It is a project of Families and Work Institute (FWI) sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in partnership with Institute for a Competitive Workforce, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Twiga Foundation.

This award recognizes employers that are successfully using workplace flexibility to meet both employer and employee goals. The scoring process is rigorous. Employer responses are measured against national data from Families and Work Institute s National Study of Employers. As a winner, Shodor ranks in the top 20% of employers nationally in terms of flexible work programs, policies and culture.

When Work Works is both a national and community-based initiative. Now in its fifth year, the initiative has expanded the number of participating communities each year. In 2008-2009, When Work Works is partnering with 30 communities and launching three statewide initiatives to provide information and outreach on workplace flexibility and effectiveness.

Press Contact

Mary Paisley, Communications Coordinator, (919) 452-5334,