By Ron VandenBoom
The Montana Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW) has selected Al Beute as Employer of the Year for 1999.
Beute, manager of General Electric Transportation Services in Havre, was selected because of his sensitivity to the needs of female employees and his commitment to providing opportunities for the development of female employees, the selection committee said.
Beute was also selected because of what the selection committee said was his exciting business-school partnership with MSU-Northern to provide resources, training and expertise to the college to improve its academic program to make it responsive to student needs and employer expectations.
Its quite an honor for me, Beute said after being informed he was to receive the award. I had a lot of support from the community its really an honor.
Beute said he was very surprised to be receiving the award, especially since he doesnt have a large operation here.
Its just that women are involved with the program here, he said.
Beute said for him, it is just a normal course of doing business, with the only unique thing being the relationship formed between GE and Northern.
The Havre Chapter of BPW first chose Beute for his distinguished efforts to employ qualified individuals with General Electric Transportation Services.
The organization described him as interactive in the community and the school by encouraging his employees to serve on community boards like the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce and Job Service.
He also challenges the co-op employees to involve themselves in community activities like the 1999 Havre Food Bank Collection Campaign.
Beute is active in the Havre Chapter of Rotary and has been invited to join the Havre Soroptimists because of the time and contributions he has made to that organization.
Several letters of nomination were sent to BPW on Beutes behalf including one by Sally Wood, president of the Soroptimists.
Wood describes Beute as someone who is involved, consistent and very productive. She also gives Beute credit for treating women with respect and offering equal opportunities to them in his contacts.
Angelina Smith Walter, a former student who worked for Beute, referred to him as sensitive and understanding and gives him credit as the encouragement behind her success.
She explains how she was apprehensive about working in a male-dominated area, but in Beute found strength, encouragement, understanding, and patience.
He foresees the potential in the personalities he works with and pushes forward only to assure success, Walter said.
Marc Ballard, technical director for G.E. in Havre, also describes Beute as involved in the community, a mentor, committed to diversity and an influence to all those he is in contact with.
Letters from Gail Reynolds, career center director at MSU-Northern, and Tom Reynolds, Executive Director of the MSU-Northern Foundation, speak highly of Beute for his work with Northerns automotive and diesel programs at the campus and his desire to give women the opportunity to find employment in traditionally male-dominated positions at G.E.
The fact that the women have been interviewed, hired and trained by G.E. is impressive, Tom Reynolds wrote. The opportunity for our students to be hired by a major corporation has been very rewarding.
A luncheon is scheduled for Saturday, June 5, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls at which time Beute will receive the award during the BPW State Convention.