Clipper Belt Receives Benefits Honor

October 15, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — Clipper Belt Lacer Co. is one of the 2004 winners of The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security. 

An independent panel of business leaders and employee benefits experts selected the Grand Rapids firm based on its package of employee benefits.

Two other Michigan companies also were named in the national award program, sponsored by the Principal Financial Group.

Principal confers the honor upon growing companies with five to 1,000 employees that excel at contributing to those employees’ long-term financial security, particularly through employee benefits.

“At a time when most employers face tough challenges in maintaining strong employee benefits, Clipper Belt Lacer Company has gone the extra mile to secure its employees’ financial futures,” said Renee Schaaf, vice president at the Principal Financial Group in outlining the reasons for the award.

“Clipper Belt Lacer Company stood out among the competition and is a role model for providing the very best in employee benefits.”

Clipper Belt, a manufacturer of maintenance products for conveyor belts, has 80 employees.

Nancy Ayres, Clipper Belt’s general manager, said the firm considers the award to be “a great honor.”

“We recognize that our employees are our number-one asset,” she said, “and are committed to selecting, providing and managing benefits that work for them. Our satisfied employees provide great service to our customers.”

Clipper Belt, which was founded in 1908, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Flexible Steel Lacing Co. (FLEXCO). It is the world's leading manufacturer of belt hooks used to make light-duty conveyor belts endless. Among the benefits the firm provides are:

  • 100 percent employer-paid medical insurance premiums for employees

  • 90 percent employer-paid medical insurance premiums for dependents

  • 401(k) plan with employer match of 33 percent up to 6 percent of pay; 

  • Profit-sharing plan and defined-benefit pension

  • 90 percent employer-paid prescription drug insurance for past retirees

  • 100 percent employer-paid premiums for short-term disability insurance

The two other Michigan firms receiving the Principal award were Rathbun Insurance Agency, Lansing, and USA Federal Credit Union, Auburn Hills.

The other award winners are: American Urological Association Education and Research Inc. and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, both of Maryland; Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Inc., Washington, D.C.; ELTECH Systems Corp. in Ohio; First National Bank of Greencastle in Pennsylvania; Leupold & Stevens Inc. in Oregon; and Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Co. of Iowa.

Principals’ panel of judges worked with Mathew Greenwald & Associates, a market research company, to choose the winners based on how companies select, manage and provide benefits and other programs that contribute to their employees’ financial security.Among the judges was

Todd Surline, vice president of human relations, MSU Federal Credit Union, a winner in the 2003 award program.

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