By Leanora Minai
August/September, 2014 Issue
My Puppy Vinny
In 2000, when the Duke employee discount program launched, 20 businesses participated.
Today, more than 200 vendors – ranging from automotive services to entertainment venues – provide special savings to employees at any given time as part of Duke's PERQS program.
"Every little bit of savings anywhere can help out," said Kathy Dury, the senior program coordinator in Duke Human Resources who created the employee discount program.
In each issue of this publication, we select a discount to highlight and talk with an employee who used the deal. On page 14 of this issue, we culled ways to save on pet services and products.
I use one of those discounts at Camp Bow Wow, a dog boarding and day care off South Miami Boulevard in Durham. This is where Vincenzo "Vinny," my 7-month-old silver Labrador, stays and plays when I'm out of town. Vinny has a good time with other camp buddies like Maddie and Chili, and I get a personalized report card – "Tails from Camp" when I pick him up. "I love Vinny!" Savannah, a camp counselor, wrote after the July Fourth holiday.
Dury said restaurants, movies and special events like Disney on Ice are among the most popular program discounts.
Juanita Wilson, human resources manager for the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources at Duke, said her department uses movie tickets through the discount program to help recognize employees through their "Shout Out" program.
"One of the things we think is very important is to be able to recognize employees and provide some means of reward to motivate employees – not only to do a good job but to use Duke's guiding principles like teamwork," said Wilson, who has worked at Duke for 23 years. "We always get a smile from whoever's receiving the tickets."
The discount program offers an opt-in email subscription, which has 13,000 employees, including me. We get an email every time a new discount or deal is announced.