The 2018 Smarty Award Winners

8 Minute Read

They say virtue is its own reward. But at SmartDollar, we disagree! We love helping companies get their teams in better shape financially. But we think those who go above and beyond the status quo should be recognized for their hard work!

That’s why we’re proud to announce our first-ever Smarty Awards! All year long, thousands of businesses just like yours have been using SmartDollar to change their employees’ lives for the better. And we love them all! But today we’re calling out five of our most engaged and passionate partners and giving them a well-deserved moment in the limelight.

Who wins these incredible awards? Some go to individuals, others go to teams. But in either case, each of these world-class partners blew us away with their passion and excellence in bringing real financial wellness to their teams. To ensure the best selection, we asked SmartDollar clients for their stories and had our Client Services Team do the same.

The competition was intense! But after two rounds of voting, we had the pleasure of choosing these five worthy winners. 

Check out the complete list of nominees here.

2018 HR Hero of the Year for Small Business

Winner: Heather Vose, Machias Savings Bank
Position: AVP Employee Development
Company Size: 200 employees
Location: Machias, Maine

This award is dedicated to recognizing extraordinary SmartDollar effort by an HR team member at one of our many small-business companies. Having helped launch the program in 2017, Heather hit the ground running and quickly stood out as a champion of real financial wellness at Machias.

We can think of so many reasons she’s deserving, but here are just a few. Heather is incredibly passionate about helping others and seeing life change in her team. She went above and beyond our usual suggested promotional plans to encourage as many people in her company as possible to sign up for and engage with SmartDollar. She even uses her own personal story of behavior change with money to engage even more new users. And she does all of that working just three days a week!

Machias has seen some remarkable financial turnaround for its employees this year. The bank ran a spring contest tracking SmartDollar Points and paid the top five earners $500! As a result of all the engagement, many who never thought they’d get out of debt are becoming debt-free! That’s one big reason they were named the Eighth Best Bank to Work for by American Banker in 2018.(1)

“Heather stays curious about how the team is doing and how she can better promote SmartDollar,” says SmartDollar Client Services Relationship Manager Micaela Branecky. “She reached out to me so she could make sure management would understand the program and see the value of SmartDollar!” 

2018 HR Hero of the Year for Large Business

Winner: Alvin Shaver, Southeastern Freight Lines
Position: Director of Compensation and Benefits
Company Size: 8,300 employees
Location: Columbia, South Carolina

This one goes out to one particular HR hero who does everything they can to bring real and lasting behavior change to their team for one of our large business clients. And nobody does that better than Alvin Shaver of Southeastern Freight Lines!

Alvin’s deep commitment to his employees is undeniable. It’s clear the company as a whole gets the vision of transforming their culture through financial wellness, and Alvin is a huge reason that’s happening.

Once again, Southeastern Freight Lines is an example of a business that goes well beyond the everyday approaches to promote SmartDollar. Although the vast majority of their workers are always traveling or driving trucks, they have awesome participation rates. We love seeing how even a highly mobile staff can get major engagement with SmartDollar! No wonder SEFL was a finalist for the 2018 Plan Sponsor of the Year!(2)

“Alvin’s been an advocate for the program since day one,” says Relationship Manager Jeremy Duke. “He’s pushed continuous communications about SmartDollar to his team and provided so many incentives for it as well! He’s always in touch and sharing stories of his team’s success while also encouraging others to join. He’s truly an HR hero!”

Director of Client Services Daniel Rolfson couldn’t help but notice Alvin’s gift of servant leadership.

“Alvin has a huge heart to help the employees at SEFL,” Rolfson says. “He and his benefits team are always looking to grow the impact of the SmartDollar benefit so the employees improve their financial health.  He’s an incredible servant leader.”

2018 Advisor of the Year

Winner: Brady Dall, 401k Advisors Intermountain
Position: Executive Vice President
SmartDollar Clients: 30+
Location: Sandy, Utah

The name of this award says it all—we want to honor one advisor who deeply cares about helping everyone around them win financially. Advisors play a crucial role in helping us to reach as many people as possible with the life-changing message available through SmartDollar. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce Brady Dall as our Advisor of the Year.

As a passionate advisor focused on creating a positive retirement outcome for all of his own clients, Brady connected with SmartDollar in 2015 and began making an immediate impact with his clients, seeing firsthand how well our emphasis on behavior change fits in with creating real and lasting financial wellness.

“Brady’s so involved and passionate about SmartDollar that he’s brought us over 30 clients,” says Relationship Manager Yalonda Allen. “His clients have an outstanding participation rate with the program on average. He’s an advocate for SmartDollar, and we know it’s because he believes in the same mission.”

Daniel Rolfson agrees. “Brady Dall cares deeply about his clients as well as their employees. That’s evident in the amount of time, energy, and human capital he spends to impact their financial future. It is an honor to serve him and his high achieving team.”

2018 Vision Award

Winner: National Automotive Experts
Size: 150 employees
Location: Strongsville, Ohio

No company can survive long without a knack for looking ahead and anticipating what’s next. And nothing shows that kind of understanding like taking action to help employees fix their money problems. The Vision Award recognizes a company that’s within their first year providing SmartDollar. This year’s winner is National Automotive Experts.

They may be new kids on the block with SmartDollar, but NAE has been putting up unbelievable numbers in under a year. Throughout 2018, they’ve seen a participation rate of nearly 90% (sometimes higher) the entire year! And we know it’s because they care about their people at an uncommon level.

Despite their relatively small size, they’ve seen an overall financial turnaround in debt paid and cash saved approaching $700,000. That’s an average of over $5,000 of progress per employee in one year!

“NAE is definitely a company that cares about their employees,” says Relationship Manager Brandon Richardson. “They took time to visit our SmartDollar offices in person and they loved what they saw here. They loved learning about our culture and how we do things here, and that’s playing a role in how successful they’ve been with the program in their own company.”

2018 Company of the Year

Winner: OMG, Inc.
Size: 475 employees
Location: Agawam, Massachusetts

You can’t hand out a batch of awards without including an overall MVP. It’s time to recognize a company that has not only exceeded the routine rollout and promotions, but has also demonstrated a long-term commitment to the principles and mission of SmartDollar—to see continual, positive life change for workers.

Our Company of the Year is one of our longest-running partners, OMG, Inc. Here are just a few of the ways they’re winning! Every six months they launch a new internal campaign to get people to sign up for SmartDollar. They even include their own unique SmartDollar T-shirts! To keep engagement high, they offer one-on-one interactions about the program with team members.

OMG has been so impressed with the financial turnaround they’ve seen in the lives of their employees, they made moves to be sure it was available to their holding company, Steel Partners. As a result, SmartDollar is coming to all of Steel Partners soon!

“This company has gone above and beyond to impact their team,” says Daniel Rolfson. “OMG leaders have used incentives, contests, and themes to get everyone excited about SmartDollar for one reason—they deeply care about the financial health of their employees. And they have a big heart to help their employees win. You can see that from how the leaders personally celebrated financial wins with their team and shared with everyone. They made financial wellness a priority for their benefit package and it shows in the results. It’s an honor to serve them!”

Want to know how the OMG team really feels about SmartDollar? You have to watch this testimonial about its impact on their company!

If you’re already a SmartDollar client, we’d love to hear even more of these stories of how you’re taking SmartDollar to the next level. And if you don’t have SmartDollar yet, we’d love to help you get started. You can definitely see the same results in your own company as these winners have! Get smart in 2019 with SmartDollar!

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