Company: Pioneer Financial Services, Kansas City, MO
Company Description: Pioneer Financial Services, a privately held company in Kansas City, Mo., has been meeting the financial services needs of U.S. military personnel since 1986. Whether in our offices or online, our 300 associates share one vision: to improve operational readiness through education and services that enhance quality of life and financial independence for military families.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year - Up to 2,500 Employees
Nomination Title: Pioneer Services' CSR Program
Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2011 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Pioneer Services is committed to quality-of-life issues for military families, and giving back to the communities we serve through by focusing on two key areas: community support and financial education.
The heart of how we support the communities we serve is our paid volunteer time off (VTO) program, which provides full-time team members 16 hours, and part-time eight hours, each year to volunteer for an organization of their choosing. To help those who might not be sure where to use their time, a Volunteer Committee seeks out and then shares information about different group and individual VTO opportunities. This makes it much easier for team members to use their time (a combined 4,700 hours each year!).
VTO is just part of how we give back—we also distributed thousands of dollars in commissary vouchers to military families during the holidays; collected and donated thousands of food items to military pantries; “adopted” military families for the holidays; partnered at Stand-Down events to assist homeless veterans; and gave back numerous other ways.
Our signature community support event in 2011 was a Facebook Cause Campaign called “Operation Building Freedom.” This successful initiative raised thousands of dollars, and a great deal of awareness, for Homes for Our Troops, which builds houses specially designed for wounded service members. This effort led to a piece on FOX4-TV in Kansas City, Mo., about the effort and need for handicap-accessible housing for veterans.
Providing military families with free financial education is an important part of how we change lives, on military family at a time—from one-on-one consultations in our offices, to our VIP newsletter, to a special website that encourages budgeting during the holidays, to numerous articles and podcasts on our website.
In 2011, we continued to build on our successful Financial PEP Talk podcast series by adding video podcasts on our You Tube channel. These pieces are designed to help families better understand their finances in a way that is quick, easy, and even entertaining. One high-level military leader, during a meeting with our company’s leadership at the Pentagon in 2011, said that they were looking for ways to reach military families about financial issues, and podcasts would be a great way to do so.
Last year is also when we created and released our Credit Repair Kit, which gives families a step-by-step checklist, created as a timeline, on what to do and when to do it, in order to repair their credit. It has been incredibly well received, with one military leader encouraging all of his Soldiers under his command to check it out, and a branch of the military is in discussions about using it for their non-commissioned officer training that is attended by several thousand service members each year.
These efforts were well recognized in 2011: our article series received a 2011 APEX Grand Award for Writing, while our podcasts received Bronze Quill and Silver Quill awards from the International Association of Business Communicators.
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Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated organization:
Pioneer Services CEO Tom Holcom and President/COO Joe Freeman continually empower their employees to change lives, one military family at a time. They support the company’s culture of recognition and encourage their employees to giving back, which makes sense given that both are active in the community, serving on numerous boards and donating their time, talents, and money to numerous non-profits.
Their leadership has led to company-record results and earnings, and numerous awards and recognition, including from the Better Business Bureau, Department of Defense, Institute for Financial Literacy, and many other organizations.