NEW ASSOCIATION Group Promotes Employee Recognition Now there's an association for corporate executives charged with employee recognition. The new group, the National Association for Employee Recognition (NAER), provides forums for sharing methods, such as rewards and incentives, to improve employee performance through recognition programs.

NAER President Kimberly Smithson says the idea for the group began a few years ago when a Walt Disney executive had trouble finding information on employee recognition. The executive sponsored a conference to share ideas on the subject, and it was so successful that other companies began holding recognition seminars. "It was truly a grassroots groundswell," Smithson says. "There was a need for a repository for research out there."

NAER has grown to 200 members--70 percent of which are corporations. Founding board members include BankBoston, Chevron Corp., and Caterpillar Inc. Annual membership costs $150 for individuals, $250 for resource companies, and $1,000 for 10 employees of a large corporation. The association publishes a quarterly newsletter, organizes a national conference and regional events each year, and plans to expand the NAER Web site at to include chat rooms and discussion groups by this summer.

For information, call (312) 641-0575 or visit