|For Immediate Release
August 5, 2005
GNG Contacts: Randy Lewis 404-843-8228
Georgia Natural Gas® Honored For Dedication To Community Service
Award presented by Points of Light Foundation &Volunteer Center National Network
Atlanta – Georgia Natural Gas (GNG), Georgia's leading natural gas provider, today received the Award for Excellence in Workplace Volunteer Programs from the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network in recognition of GNG's commitment to engage employees in community service. The award is in the Fast Start category, which recognizes emerging employee volunteer programs.
In the three years since GNG implemented its community service program, the company's employees have made a tremendous difference in the lives of children and senior citizens in the community near GNG's Midtown Atlanta headquarters. Employees have counseled low-income job seekers, tutored children in a community school, introduced a reading program for preschoolers, and much more. Employee volunteerism is one part of GNG's community relations program, which focuses on education and improving the lives of children and senior citizens.
"The skills that build successful communities are the same skills that build successful companies," said Michael Braswell, president of SouthStar Energy Services, which does business in Georgia as Georgia Natural Gas. "When employees with initiative, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, dedication and a sense of community pride work to improve communities, they also are working to grow their company."
The award was presented in Washington, D.C., during the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. The Points of Light Foundation honored six companies for their contributions and commitment to developing and managing effective employee volunteer programs. In addition to GNG, the 2005 honorees are Aetna, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., The Home Depot, The Washington Trust Company, and Federated Department Stores, Inc.
The Awards for Excellence in Workplace Volunteer Programs is a national award that recognizes businesses of all sizes and from all industries that have made a commitment to effectively engaging employees in volunteering.
The Points of Light Foundation, the nation's leading volunteer resource, views businesses as one of the primary sources of volunteers and provides a full range of services to help businesses develop and sustain workplace volunteer programs.
"Workplace volunteering can have a profound impact on employees, communities and the long-term success of a company," says Robert K. Goodwin, president and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation. "Georgia Natural Gas is a shining example of the role that businesses can play in alleviating social problems and bringing about healthier communities."
GNG was selected by a panel of judges from major business and nonprofit groups, who based their decision on how well GNG's overall workplace-based volunteer program reflects the Principles of Excellence for Workplace Volunteering, a plan to ACT:
Acknowledge that effective volunteer programs contribute to a company's ability to achieve its business goals;
Commit to establishing and supporting a program that involves all employees and treats volunteering like any other key business requirement; and
Target volunteering to address serious social problems within the community.
"We are Georgia's leading natural gas company because so many people in the communities we serve have put their trust in us," said Braswell of GNG. "We never forget that we must earn that trust, and working to make our communities better is a vital part of that process."
About Georgia Natural Gas
Georgia Natural Gas is Georgia's leading natural gas provider, serving more than half a million customers throughout the state. GNG is part of SouthStar Energy Services, a Georgia-based joint venture between AGL Resources and Piedmont Natural Gas. SouthStar operates in other parts of the Southeast as SouthStar Energy Services and Piedmont Energy Company. For more information: www.onlygng.com.
About The Points of Light Foundation &Volunteer Center National Network
The Points of Light Foundation &Volunteer Center National Network engages and mobilizes millions of volunteers who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities. Through a variety of programs and services, the Foundation encourages people from all walks of life - businesses, faith-based organizations, low-income communities, families, youth, and older adults - to volunteer. www.pointsoflight.org