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Wright Express Employees: Making a Difference

SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE – To Wright Express, community support is simply good business. The Maine-based company is not only making a commitment to Maine through new capital investment and quality jobs, it continues to foster a spirit of community by encouraging employees to volunteer and make financial donations to important groups and causes.

And that comes with a goal of creating a better workplace. Wright Express employees have seized on this opportunity, donating thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to vital community organizations and charities that make a difference in local communities.

Last year alone, Wright Express and its employees contributed nearly $200,000 to organizations such as the United Way, Portland Concert Association, Center for Grieving Children, Boys & Girls Clubs, Peoples Regional Opportunity Program (PROP), and the Maine State Music Theater.

But perhaps more important than money, is the personal commitment made by Wright Express associates. More than one-third of the company's 626 employees regularly give time and lend expertise and support to community organizations and events.

"The need to give back to the community is very important to me," said Jennie Krasse, who has been with Wright Express for six years and is the company's volunteer coordinator. "The company's commitment to volunteerism has allowed me to strike that critical balance between work and community involvement." Overall, Wright Express employees formally donated more than 3,500 hours last year, that includes helping at annual events like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Race Against Racism, as well as providing regular, ongoing support to such organizations as the Preble Street Resource Center, Junior Achievement, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, MS 150 Race, Outright and the Ronald McDonald House.

Not included in those statistics is the time employees spend serving on local corporate and non-profit boards such as school committees or coaching local athletic teams.

Most of the Wright Express employee effort is coordinated through WAVE (Wellness. Activities. Volunteerism. Events.), a company-funded group that oversees volunteer efforts.WAVE was developed in 1994 to establish a formal mechanism that allowed employees to support community organizations and encourage and foster volunteer efforts. The goal was to help create a "balanced, fun, vibrant, healthy and caring work environment" at Wright Express that included giving back to the community. WAVE has exceeded all expectations. Employees seized the initiative and WAVE has grown steadily in size and importance during the past eight years. Its budget has nearly doubled in the past five years alone.

While WAVE is funded by Wright Express, it acquires its energy and direction from employees who initiate and oversee all projects. All this helps both the company and the community.

"WAVE and its efforts have helped mold the culture at Wright Express into one that puts the highest value on the employees and the well-being of the family," said Michael Dubyak, president and chief executive officer of Wright Express. "By creating a concerned environment that strikes a balance between work and involvement, we believe we not only help the community where we all live and work, but create a happier more productive workplace."

South Portland-based Wright Express is the nation's leading provider of fleet charge cards to businesses and government agencies. It also provides information management, payment processing, and financial services to fleets through card relationships. Through its fleet card programs, its universal card program and a MasterCard program, Wright Express has more than 3.8 million commercial cards in its markets. Wright Express LLC, a subsidiary of Cendant Corp., employs more than 625 people at its headquarters in South Portland, Maine and its subsidiary in Salt Lake City.

Note: Wright Express is being featured on Everybody's Business every Monday at 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm during the month of May on Portland Time Warner Cable Channel 4.

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