The awards recognize the best practices among corporate and public employers in delivering powerful investment education messages to plan participants. To win, plan sponsors must give employees, in a creative way, a thorough education in investing. One important criterion: The campaigns must show strong branding with the plan sponsor, and not be generic materials from the service provider.
A total of 21 awards were given. Two companies won twice. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., White Plains, N.Y., won two first-place trophies; Smithfield Foods Inc., Smithfield, Va., won two third-place awards.
First-place honors went to:
• Brookshire Grocery Co., Tyler, Texas, for corporate plans, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, Harrisburg, for public plans in the initial education campaign category.
• Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., Bridgewater, N.J., for companies with fewer than 5,000 employees, and DaimlerChrysler Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich., for companies with more than 5,000 employees, in special projects.
• M.A. Mortenson Co., Minneapolis, and R.C. Willey Home Furnishings, Salt Lake City, tied for first place for companies with fewer than 5,000 employees in the ongoing education category. Starwood won first place for companies with more than 5,000 employees. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, Washington, won first place in this category for public plans.
• Travel Centers of America, Westlake, Ohio, won first place in the video category.
• Chiquita Brands International Inc., Cincinnati, took the honors in the new media category.
The judges also presented a new "training" award because there were several excellent entries devoted to training the trainers instead of educating participants. Starwood also won first place in that category.