PHOENIX, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Jessica Lopez, Chief of Staff at U-Haul International, has been named one of four finalists for the Ethical Corporation's Business Leader of the Year award.
Winners of the international Responsible Business Awards will be honored on Oct. 9 in London. This is the ninth year that Ethical Corporation has celebrated leadership in sustainable business, recognizing those who are impacting the marketplace, society and the environment while establishing new standards and direction in business.
"It's a tremendous honor to be a finalist for 2018 Business Leader of the Year, and it wouldn't be possible without the support of a company that matches my passion for making positive changes in people's lives," Lopez stated.
Lopez was appointed Chief of Staff in 2015 and oversees 13 departments at U-Haul headquarters in Midtown Phoenix. Her management supports 29,000 Team Members across North America.
Lopez joined the iconic do-it-yourself moving company as a legal secretary 17 years ago and worked her way up. Upon assuming her latest role, she established the first U-Haul wellness department to prioritize long-term impacts of a healthy work environment.
The results are irrefutable. Lopez's initiatives have included the promotion of sustainable transportation through the installation of electric charging stations and shared bicycles; financial incentives for weight loss and nicotine cessation (U-Haul Team Members lost a collective 23,431 pounds from 2015-17); company health fairs; a $1.2-million renovation to the corporate lobby to build Anna Mary's Café (named for U-Haul cofounder Anna Mary Carty Shoen), where nutritious and low-calorie meals are served daily; the creation of U-Haul Active Day, which brings Team Members and their families together for one day each year to engage in exercise and camaraderie; and the implementation and growth of the monthly Midtown Farmers Market hosted by U-Haul.
"Employee health and wellness, green initiatives … these matters often go overlooked at a large company," Lopez added. "But they are embraced and, in fact, a priority here at U-Haul. That concerned and caring stance has enabled us to increase the awareness and impact we're having in these important areas."
Bigger things are still to come under Lopez, who is helping lead the U-Haul Midtown Campus expansion project that will soon feature a new fitness and conference center built with sustainable materials and technology. Groundbreaking on the project is expected later this year. The center will include Team Member continuing education rooms, a basketball court, inside walking track, workout areas, locker rooms, a medical clinic, and community access for youth sports leagues.
With Lopez's open-door policy, no Team Member's idea is dismissed. Of the suggestions she has received, Lopez noted: "I haven't yet found one that's impossible to implement."
Other finalists for Ethical Corporation's Business Leader of the Year in the Internal Engagement category are: Richard Liu, Chairman and CEO of JD.com, China's largest retailer; Dr. Darian McBain, Director of Sustainable Development Thai Union, the world's largest producer of canned tuna; and Mark Andrich, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Platform, the world's largest database of companies measured for their sustainable development.
For a complete list of individual and company finalists, click here.
Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 21,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 now offers customers access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the self-service options on their internet-connected mobile devices. U-Haul customers' patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to 161,000 trucks, 118,000 trailers and 42,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers nearly 632,000 rooms and 55.2 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry and is the largest retailer of propane in the U.S.