2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Butler

Senate Concurrent Resolution 564


     WHEREAS, Weyerhaeuser Company's disaster response efforts earned a Presidential corporate leadership award at a White House ceremony on November 29, 2006; and

     WHEREAS, the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership recognizes outstanding employee and community relations and was presented to Weyerhaeuser Company for its disaster relief efforts following the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes.  Its guide, Rebuilding a Community:  An Employer's Guide to Assisting Employees in a Disaster, has been praised by national homeland security officials as the gold standard for disaster relief programs and has been used as a benchmark by relief organizations; and

     WHEREAS, the award is sponsored and managed by The Conference Board, a global research and business membership organization.  President Bill Clinton established this Presidential Award in honor of the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, who firmly believed that businesses do well by doing good; and

     WHEREAS, during a ceremony at the White House Indian Treaty Room, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez presented the Ron Brown Award to Steven R. Rogel, Weyerhaeuser Company Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.  Rogel dedicated the award to Weyerhaeuser's disaster coordinator, partners and volunteers who attended the afternoon ceremony; and

     WHEREAS, recognized at the ceremony were Weyerhaeuser disaster coordinators, impacted Gulf Coast employees and volunteer employees and retiree participants in the loaned-employee program and leaders of North Carolina Baptist Builders, the faith-based group and key partner in Weyerhaeuser's relief and rebuilding efforts; and

     WHEREAS, in the days following Hurricane Katrina, which became the nation's worst national disaster after it hit the Gulf Coast August 29, 2005, Weyerhaeuser established a senior management committee, authorized donations of cash and building materials and appointed an experienced disaster coordinator.  More than a year after the disaster, Weyerhaeuser is still at work helping Gulf Coast Communities with combined disaster relief and support, to date totaling more than $2.8 Million; and

     WHEREAS, Disaster Coordinator Katy Taylor was in coastal Mississippi within days of the disaster to begin advocating for impacted employees and retirees, acting as liaison with relief agencies and insurance companies.  The company soon established its unique loaned-employee program, which covers salaries plus the costs of travel and up to 60 days of living and meal expenses for employees (and costs for retirees and spouses) who participate in rebuilding projects for employees, retirees and community members.  Other more standard programs were established to help the 128 impacted Weyerhaeuser families, including professional counseling, an adopt-a-family and employee-to-employee donation fund; and

     WHEREAS, Weyerhaeuser's loaned-employee rebuilding work has centered around three Mississippi communities where the company has operations:  Long Beach/Gulfport, McComb and Magnolia, Mississippi, plus the New Orleans area, where retirees suffered damage.  To date, nearly 300 employees and retirees from across the United States and Canada have volunteered more than 42,000 hours and helped rebuild 50 homes as part of the loaned-employee program; and

     WHEREAS, participants who visited Washington, D.C., and were recognized during the Ron Brown Award program included:  Ernesta Ballard, Weyerhaeuser Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs, who led the company's efforts; employee Alan Pace and his wife, Polly, of Long Beach, Mississippi; employee Ivy Pittman and his wife, Betty, of McComb, Mississippi, who lost their home to Katrina but will soon move into a new home being built by Weyerhaeuser volunteers; employee John Sonnamaker, Manager of Weyerhaeuser's iLevel building materials service center in the Long Beach-Gulfport, Mississippi, area, where many of the impacted employees work; and

     WHEREAS, Weyerhaeuser employs almost 5,000 people at more than 40 locations in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, including heavily impacted communities in South Mississippi and Louisiana.  The company manages more than 2.4 million acres of timberlands in the three states.  Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest integrated forest products companies, was incorporated in 1900.  In 2005, sales were $22.6 Billion.  Headquartered in Federal Way, Washington, it has offices or operations in 18 countries, with customers worldwide.  Weyerhaeuser is principally engaged in the growing and harvesting of timber; the manufacture, distribution and sale of forest products; and real estate construction, development and related activities; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the comprehensive disaster relief efforts of this company, whose citizenship commitment continues to make a difference in the Mississippi coastal communities where its employees live and work:     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend Weyerhaeuser Company for receiving the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership and thanking these executives and employees for their disaster response efforts in Mississippi's Coastal Communities, extending the best wishes of the Legislature in their future endeavors.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Ernesta Ballard, Weyerhaeuser Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs for the company and its employees, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.