Monday, August 02, 2004

Gloria Deodato Spearheads Innovative Employee Assistance Program at bfi

ELIZABETH, NJ, AUGUST 2, 2004 – Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi), one of the New York Metropolitan area's largest office furniture dealerships, has set a precedent in the industry with its progressive Employee Assistance Program, led by Gloria Deodato, a certified communications consultant. Brought onboard by Dan Morley, president, and Paul Gold, chief executive officer, over 15 years ago, Deodato, who owns Corporate Care Center, a communications business that focuses on employee relations, has implemented a number of innovative programs within bfi. bfi is passionate about building an exceptional working environment for its employees.

"With the cooperation and support of Dan and Paul, we have been able to do so many positive things for employees at bfi," said Gloria Deodato. "By implementing programs that incorporate a humanistic, family-oriented environment, Dan and Paul have truly built an extraordinary culture at bfi. I cannot stress enough how forward-thinking and receptive bfi has been, which is evident by the loyalty and contentment of bfi's employees and customers."

Since Deodato's appointment as employee assistance director, bfi has undertaken a number of unique steps and programs.

For example, bfi employees participated, under Ms. Deodato's suggestion, in the writing of the Company's mission statement. Usually drawn up by executives and company leaders, Deodato realized the importance of employees' voices, and as such, drew upon them for their input in its formation.

Ms. Deodato also was instrumental in setting up Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality testing as part of the hiring process.

"The test does not dictate who is hired by bfi," said Deodato. "Rather, it gives the Company an ability to know each person's tendencies, a greater understanding of what they need and how they work, which allows the Company to tailor programs, seminars and projects to specific needs."

Additional programs and incentives consummated by Deodato include the "Extra Step" program, which, each month, anonymously recognizes professionals who have exceeded expectations. Individuals earn $100 per month mentioned and at the end of each year, the professional who has been recognized most frequently receives one week of vacation time in addition to the standard vacation policy in place.

Ms. Deodato also initiated the implementation of a Human Resources department, which offers confidential, short-term counseling; a yearly management training seminar, focusing on stress and management techniques; and "Lunch and Learn" programs where professionals are treated to experts speaking on a number of topics, including single parenting, assertiveness, dealing with difficult people, etc.

"Gloria has an interest in architecture, which brought her to bfi initially," said Paul Gold, "but because she has a communications background, co-workers quickly recognized her obvious gifts and talents and she became an in-house communications expert to bfi. We are very proud to offer her services to our growing team and to continue to build bfi as an employee and family-oriented business."

Gloria Deodato founded Corporate Career Center, a full-service, in-house employee assistance company aimed at enhancing internal communication and productivity, in 1989. Clients of the successful company include the State of New Jersey, JPMorgan Chase and American Re-Insurance, in addition to bfi.

Ms. Deodato has also developed Divorce Consultation Service and has served as adjunct teaching faculty for Rutgers University, Kean College, County College of Morris and Westfield Adult Education. Having extensive educational experience, Gloria Deodato earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Montclair State College and her Master of Arts degree from Rutgers University. She currently resides in Westfield, New Jersey.

For over 50 years, Business Furniture, Inc. (bfi) has been a leader in furniture specification and furniture project management markets. With offices in Elizabeth, Cranbury and Parsippany, New Jersey, New York City and Melville, Long Island, bfi is a nationwide organization offering product and service procurement, delivery and installation, furniture inventory and reconfiguration services and 24/7 on-line customer service. Representing over 200 office furniture manufacturers and recognized as one of America's largest Herman Miller, Inc. dealerships, bfi employs over 150 professionals serving a diverse customer base in the corporate, governmental, architectural and design and real estate sectors.

For more information, contact bfi's Elizabeth, New Jersey headquarters at 908-355-3400 or visit www.bfionline.com.