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GL group - Executive of the Year


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Company: GL group, St. Louis, MO
Company Description: GL group is a premier provider of literature, educational materials, and crea-tive solutions that bring learning and imagination to the world. Family-owned and operated, GL group is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and is the parent company for Booksource, Peaceable Kingdom, Turtleback Books, and Jaffe Book Solutions.
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Executive of the Year - Business & Professional Services

Nomination Title: Gary Jaffe, CEO

Tell the story about what this nominated executive has achieved since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Describe the impact he or she has had on your organization. Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

A lot of CEOs talk about how important their employees are – but Gary Jaffe, CEO of St. Louis-based GL group, puts his money where his mouth is. He has maintained GL group’s culture of putting people first. He isn’t afraid to spend the money it takes to show his work force – and their families – that the company cares about their health and well-being.

Gary truly puts his employees first. In addition to fully supporting GL group’s Bring-Your-Baby-to-Work program, Gary as approved and facilitated a new WOW! Benefit for employees for the past three years. The Marcia Jaffe Scholarship launched in 2014. Every year, GL group awards a few employees with a 90 percent paid scholarship to continue their education. Sandy Vacations was launched in 2015. GL group awards 10 percent of our employees an all-expense paid vacation. Finally, in 2016, the number of paid days off, or IDOs, was increased to 20. Now all new employees receive 20 days off from day one and once there for a year, company donates 80 hours to a personal bank.

Under Gary’s leadership, GL group hit a record breaking year in 2016, ending at $98 million in total revenue. This is the highest revenue year in the company’s 43 years of business. A number of projects, spearheaded by Gary, contributed to this success, including the New York City CORE Curriculum project and an increase in B2B business.

Gary is also a business leader in the St. Louis area. He was recognized with a Future 50 Awards: The Hardest Working People in Small Business. GL group was also awarded a 2016 Top Workplaces honor by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the fifth consecutive year that GL group has been recognized for this award. Gary also volunteers at local non-profits and each year the Jaffe family matches employee contributions to the charity of the year. In 2016, employees raised $5,000 and the Jaffes matched this contribution, donating $10,000 to the American Cancer Society.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated executive since the beginning of 2016.

• Under Gary’s leadership, GL group won GL group won four awards in 2016, including his own recognition with a Small Business Monthly Future 50 Awards: The Hardest Working People in Small Business
• Approved and facilitated the third WOW! Benefit, increasing the number of independent days off to 20 for all new employees from day one and once an employee is there for a year, the company donates 80 hours to a personal bank.
• Led company in record-breaking revenue year ending 2016 at $98 million in total sales.