Finding Work-Life Balance at Bellmont Partners: Making Time for Caregiving

Here at Bell­mont Part­ners, we believe that “work-life bal­ance” isn’t just a buzz­word: it’s a cen­tral pil­lar to our cul­ture. We know that we’re bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tors, cre­atives and peo­ple when we feel con­fi­dent in tak­ing time to care for our­selves and our loved ones. One of the core ways we sup­port work-life bal­ance is by ensur­ing that each of us is able to pri­or­i­tize cheer­ing on our kids’ soc­cer games, being able to be there for aging par­ents and build­ing sched­ules that allow us to show up for our loved ones best.

We asked our team mem­bers to share about their expe­ri­ences at Bell­mont Part­ners that have helped them pri­or­i­tize the peo­ple who mean the most to them – here are their answers.

“Grateful to the people who made it possible for me to earn the title of caregiver.”

Sara Gras­mon, Account Supervisor

Sara and her mom sit together on a couch“When I start­ed at Bell­mont Part­ners, care­giv­er wasn’t a word I used to describe myself. Five and a half years lat­er, that’s changed. I now see being a care­giv­er as part of my iden­ti­ty, some­thing that’s shaped who I am today and how I see the world. And through­out the life events that led to this point, the team and lead­er­ship at Bell­mont Part­ners has sup­port­ed me. They stepped in when my mom unex­pect­ed­ly need­ed open heart surgery just six months after I joined the team so I could be with her and my fam­i­ly as we nav­i­gat­ed surg­eries, com­pli­ca­tions and her reha­bil­i­ta­tion jour­ney. Then, they dou­bled down when we learned my mom’s sec­ond bout with can­cer wasn’t going to be one she could win. With­out hes­i­ta­tion, I was able to dis­ap­pear from work for more than a month to pro­vide hos­pice care, so she could spend her final chap­ter at home. These expe­ri­ences have been some of the hard­est yet most mean­ing­ful weeks of my life, and I can’t imag­ine get­ting through them and the sub­se­quent months with­out the help of the team we have here. I’m for­ev­er grate­ful to the peo­ple who made it pos­si­ble for me to earn the title of caregiver.”

 

“Bellmont has my back.”

Stacey Robert­son, Account Strategist

“My moth­er-in-law, who resides in Cal­i­for­nia, is liv­ing with amy­otroph­ic lat­er­al scle­ro­sis, or ALS. This pro­gres­sive neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease affects her nerve cells and makes mobil­i­ty dif­fi­cult. Recent­ly, she fell and broke her foot. My hus­band want­ed to fly out that day as a sur­prise to cheer her up and also offer some relief to his sis­ter and father who do most of her day-to-day care­giv­ing. He was wor­ried about leav­ing me so quick­ly with­out sup­port for our own day-to-day demands, like dri­ving our young kids to school and activ­i­ties. As a Bell­mont Part­ners employ­ee, I appre­ci­ate the under­stand­ing that our lives extend beyond the office. We are grant­ed the flex­i­bil­i­ty that allows us to adjust sched­ules as need­ed, to take care of our­selves and those we love. With BP’s cul­ture, I don’t have to be stressed or wor­ried about “doing it all” when I take on all of the pri­ma­ry respon­si­bil­i­ties at home in addi­tion to my work duties, because I know my co-work­ers will sup­port me with my work­load when I need it just as I will sup­port them. My hus­band is plan­ning more reg­u­lar vis­its out west now, and I’m sure there will be addi­tion­al last-minute trips as her dis­ease pro­gress­es. But it’s tru­ly a great com­fort to know that Bell­mont has my back, which allows me to encour­age him to take these trips and enjoy the time he has with his mother.”

 

“I feel like my entire family is truly loved and cared for by my employer.”

Megan Derkey, Direc­tor

Megan D. stands on a deck with her three daughters

“I am so appre­cia­tive of Bell­mont Part­ners’ flex­i­ble work poli­cies that make me feel like a val­ued human and allow me to be both a pro­fes­sion­al and a lov­ing par­ent. Bell­mont has sup­port­ed me through THREE(!) mater­ni­ty leaves, allowed me to change my work hours to care for my kids how I want­ed to, and through all that they’ve pro­mot­ed me mul­ti­ple times and allowed me to grow in my career rather than enforc­ing some invis­i­ble “moth­er­hood penal­ty” on me that you hear about in a lot of cor­po­rate situations.

Sev­er­al years ago I was quot­ed in a Forbes arti­cle about mil­len­ni­al moms in the work­place and I shared then that I nev­er would have returned to the work­place after becom­ing a mom if it wasn’t for Bell­mont Part­ners and the car­ing, flex­i­ble envi­ron­ment they’ve created.

From allow­ing me to adjust my hours to make it to school and doc­tor appoint­ments, to lit­er­al­ly pass­ing down hand me down toys and books to my kids, I feel like my entire fam­i­ly is tru­ly loved and cared for by my employ­er, and I think that’s a pret­ty amaz­ing and unusu­al way to feel!

I’ve seen basi­cal­ly every oth­er co-work­er ben­e­fit from the poli­cies and cul­ture as well, whether they are car­ing for sick fam­i­ly mem­bers, par­ents, pets, etc. The lead­er­ship at Bell­mont under­stands that we all have lives out­side of the agency, and that we all per­form best at work when the rest of our lives are in order and well tak­en care of.

There’s no easy but­ton for rais­ing kids of any age or deal­ing with aging par­ents and ill­ness­es, but Bell­mont Part­ners tries to make it as stress-free as pos­si­ble from the work side of things. And I think it real­ly pays off – peo­ple love work­ing here! And we all con­tin­u­ous­ly deliv­er amaz­ing work for our clients, even while squeez­ing in the doc­tor appoint­ments, field trip chap­er­on­ing, chauf­feur­ing and every­thing else that lands on our plates out­side of the office!”

 

“The compassion even extends to pets and animals.”

Sarah Schiltz, Dig­i­tal Strategist

“I don’t have any care­tak­ing sto­ries, but even things as sim­ple as a sick dog are sup­port­ed here. One night our pup, Gail, had to go to the emer­gency vet and spend the night, so we were there from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m., and the team at BP was very quick to say ‘take the day, do what you need to take care of Gail,’ and we’ve seen the same with when we had to take her to the vet again recent­ly when she was sick and injured. So the com­pas­sion even extends to pets and ani­mals, which is huge – one less thing to wor­ry about while in the ani­mal ER!”

 

“Bellmont’s flexible and supportive.”

Katie with her son

Katie Fitz­patrick, Direc­tor, Account Strategy

“I appre­ci­ate Bellmont’s flex­i­bil­i­ty and sup­port of employ­ees adjust­ing their sched­ules for care­giv­ing needs. I work Mon­day – Thurs­day and stay home with my three-year-old son on Fri­days. I also am using this day to see my aging par­ents more.”

 

“It’s not just talk!”

Bre­an­na Welke, Vice President

“I would say Bell­mont Part­ners’ focus on peo­ple and cul­ture can be seen the most in how the agency allows time for peo­ple to care for their fam­i­lies, and how they tru­ly believe in the impor­tance of fam­i­ly and work/life bal­ance. It’s not just talk!

Breanna with her daughters

For me, as a mom of two very active girls who are 12 and 10, I’m in what they like to call the ‘thick of it,’ when it comes to activ­i­ties, both in school and sports. By allow­ing me to flex my time, I’m able to start work ear­ly most days and sign off when the kids get home from school so that I have time to shuf­fle them off to their next event. This not only allows me to be able to attend their games and in-school per­for­mances, but it also helps relieve a lit­tle bit of the stress in the after­noons by allow­ing me the time (and patience) to get them fed, keep them mov­ing and get them where they need to be on time. While at times the work/life bal­ance can be tough, my kids are only young once so hav­ing a team that allows me to be there for all of their moments is some­thing that is so impor­tant and some­thing that makes Bell­mont Part­ners such a great place to work.

Bell­mont Part­ners was also unbe­liev­ably sup­port­ive when a few years ago I need­ed time to care for my mom who was bat­tling can­cer. The entire team stepped up with no ques­tions asked to help when I had to be out for last minute appoint­ments, run­ning errands or pick­ing up pre­scrip­tions, and most impor­tant­ly, so that I could spend time with my mom dur­ing her final weeks. That time was extreme­ly dif­fi­cult, and invalu­able to me and my fam­i­ly, and the entire team made it so that work was one less thing that I had to wor­ry about. For that, I am for­ev­er grateful.”

 

“I feel supported as a whole person.”

Mad­die Michaud, Con­tent Mar­ket­ing Strategist

“One of the first things I noticed about Bell­mont Part­ners was the open­ness. Peo­ple weren’t afraid to say when they need­ed a men­tal health break or had to dip out to run their kids to sports prac­tice. And it’s not just help­ing out when someone’s sick. Peo­ple cel­e­brate peo­ple tak­ing vaca­tion, and the team shows up to cel­e­brate each other’s accom­plish­ments, inside and out­side of work. I feel sup­port­ed as a whole per­son by my team and lead­ers and know they’ll be there to help me nav­i­gate work when life gets hectic.”

We take the “part­ners” in our name seri­ous­ly. We’re part­ners to our clients and each oth­er and are here to cel­e­brate each other’s wins and lend each oth­er a hand when­ev­er need­ed. A cul­ture of car­ing allows us to be hap­py at work and give our best to our clients – while also help­ing us cre­ate the lives we want out­side of work.

 

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