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7 Things Employees Love

(page 7 of 8)

7 Things - Life Balance Dawn Mae Rodriguez

Dawn Mae Rodrigues
Maryl Group





• Tuition and books for job-related courses at an accredited institution get reimbursed 100 percent for an "A" grade, 80 percent for a "B" grade and 60 percent for a "C" grade

• Seminars and conferences, whether on the Mainland or in Hawaii, are fully paid, lodging and airfare included

• Management retreat once every five years. Last year, retreat held on Lanai



Dawn Mae Rodrigues, an accountant at Maryl Group, hadn’t been to school since she graduated from Roosevelt High School 10 years ago. But for the next two years, she’ll be taking a full load of night classes toward an associate’s degree in business administration at Heald College while still working full-time at the real estate development company. “I do homework on my lunch break,” Rodrigues says. “I don’t get much sleep, but it’s worth the sacrifice.”

And if she is a good student in her accounting-related classes, Maryl will pay for it. “In terms of reimbursement, we thought it was fair that if somebody received an ‘A,’ we would reimburse 100 percent [tuition] and other associated fees,” says Mark Kong, vice president of administration at Maryl. (“B” grades get an 80 percent refund and “C” grades a 60 percent refund.) Because of that incentive, most people score high marks, Kong says.

“I think they’re a lot more prepared to take those courses because it’s something that the individual is striving for,” he says. “It’s not something that your parents are forcing you to take.”

Like most post-high school students, Rodrigues wasn’t ready for more school early on, but she’s glad her employer has this program now that she’s ready. “I didn’t have the funding at home to do this, and I found a career with an awesome company that allows it,” Rodrigues says.

For Maryl, it’s all about growing its employees. The company also fully pays for employees to attend seminars and conferences locally and on the Mainland. “That allows them to get new ideas, new equipment, new technology that will supplement what we are currently doing,” Kong says. Maryl also holds an annual managers’ meeting for review and evaluation, but every five years the company holds a managers’ retreat. The last retreat was held at the Lodge at Koele on the island of Lanai.

As for Rodrigues, she’s already eyeing a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Hawaii Pacific University, but she’ll try to get some sleep first.


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