Time Warner Inc. has celebrated the outstanding volunteer efforts of its employees with the announcement of its 27th annual Andrew Heiskell Community Service Awards. Named for Andrew Heiskell, the late former chairman and CEO of Time Inc., the awards were presented this afternoon at the Time Warner Center in New York City to seven individual and one team of Time Warner employees in recognition of their exceptional community and public service contributions.
Jeff Bewkes, President and CEO of Time Warner, said “The Heiskell Awards underscore Time Warner’s longstanding commitment to supporting its employees’ contributions to strengthening the communities in which we do business. Our Chairman Dick Parsons and I are extremely proud to honor our Time Warner colleagues for such tremendous examples of generosity and remarkable acts of goodwill. These are inspirational individuals who are helping people and communities in need all over the world. Our Heiskell award recipients represent just a fraction of the valuable volunteer work that our employees do to enrich the lives of others as well as their own.”
Also presented today was the Community Service Team Award, which recognizes a group of employees that exemplifies Time Warner’s values of responsibility and teamwork. The 2008 Community Service Team Award was given to a team of employees from AOL India for developing and executing an ambitious program of projects to support education for underprivileged children in their local area.
Geoffrey Canada, President & CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone and noted author, took part in the Heiskell Awards celebration. Recognized widely for his selfless determination in helping children growing up in difficult circumstances, Mr. Canada spoke about the mission and importance of public service.
Each Andrew Heiskell Community Service Award recipient received $5,000, including a $3,000 donation to the nonprofit organization or organizations of his or her choice and a personal honorarium of $2,000. In addition, as part of the Community Service Team Award, AOL’s India group was honored with a $10,000 donation to the nonprofit organization or organizations of the team’s choice.
This year’s Andrew Heiskell Community Service Award recipients, who are profiled below, were nominated by their peers and chosen from more than 220 entries that were submitted from around the world.
Shelley Cole, Director, Compensation Human Resource, Time Inc., New York, New York, who’s been managing a homeless shelter in New York for the past five years in conjunction with the Partnership for the Homeless and the John Heuss House. Shelley recruits and trains new volunteers, while making sure that the shelter is stocked with the necessary supplies. Shelley’s volunteer work has allowed over 600 homeless men to have been fed about 2,000 meals to date.
Nana Eyeson, Bookings Editor, Essence Magazine, Time Inc., New York, New York, who founded African Health Now, an organization that helps Ghanaians in need of medical care. Witnessing firsthand the challenges that the people of Ghana without health coverage face, Nana took it upon herself to help make a change. Her organization has aided Ghanaians by offering basic healthcare for 900 citizens to date.
Marcia Fountain, Executive Assistant, Marketing, Strategy and Intelligence, Time Warner Cable, Stamford, CT, who founded the Open Arms International Outreach Ministries in 2003 and the Minority Entrepreneurs Network Association in 1994. The Open Arms International Outreach Ministries provides food to over 100 homeless people every Sunday under a highway in Bridgeport, CT. The Minority Entrepreneurs Network Association teaches life and communication skills to individuals seeking employment and offers entrepreneurial training for those seeking to start their own businesses.
Debbie Goldsmith, Business Consultant CNN Business Engineering and Systems Development, Turner Broadcasting System, Atlanta, Georgia, who has volunteered for 18 years with the Hands On Atlanta Parklane Elementary School Discovery Program, a tutoring and enrichment group that helps young children succeed in school. Debbie has devoted countless Saturday mornings to teaching children and providing them with a role model who has become part of their lives.
Jonathan Griffith, Media Coordinator, HBO Studio Media Library, HBO, New York, New York, who has been working for seven years with New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC) to create educational videos for the public that inform and raise awareness about autism. His videos have been extremely successful in reaching wide-ranging audiences and helping families of autistic children find the services they need.
Danielle Knight, Vice President of Legal Affairs, Warner Bros. Television, Burbank, California, who served seven years on the Board of Directors and two years as co-president of Outfest, an organization dedicated to preserving of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender film images and artistry. She currently volunteers for GLSEN (Gay and Lesbian Straight Education Network) where she helps promote inclusive atmospheres in schools across the country.
Laurie Tietjen, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Time Warner Inc., New York, New York, who founded, with her family, the Ken Tietjen Memorial Foundation, which provides less fortunate children with basic necessities throughout the year. The foundation is dedicated to the memory of her brother, a Port Authority police officer who was killed in the line of duty on 9/11. Among Laurie’s many efforts on behalf of the foundation are organizing donations and fundraisers, which helped to assist 600 children in 2007.
Harish Babu, Gitanjali Bhattacharjya, Nelson Dcruz, Neetha Devaraj, Rajiv Jain, Anish Kumar, Kamalamanju Kesavan, Vanaja Nataraj, Renu Oberoi, Senthil Selvaraj, Suma Seshagiri and Savitha Shankarnarayan. This team is dedicated to helping underprivileged children in its area of India. In 2007, the group adopted a school, mentored students, sponsored a mid-day meal program and established science and computer labs and classes in the Rakum Blind School, among other projects. This small team of devoted volunteers has had a major impact on the children of their community.
The awards are named for the late former Time Inc. chairman and CEO Andrew Heiskell, whose 43-year career at Time Inc. was marked by a distinguished record of public service and philanthropy. He founded the National Urban Coalition, for which he served as co-chairman from 1967 to 1979, and played an important role in the successful 12-year effort to restore Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. His leadership and generosity have been recognized in numerous ways, including the naming of the New York City Library for the Blind in his honor.