Driving south on Community Drive, just past North Shore Hospital on the same side, there is a mirrored office building sporting the letters CMP. It is the home of CMP Media, co-founded 35 years ago by Gerry and Lilo Leeds.
Lilo and Gerry Leeds, co-founders of CMP Media, with Debi Doyle, director of the new child care facility and Steve Weitzner, president and CEO, CMP Media at the dedication of the new child care facility.
Their vision was to create a work environment that supported parenting, and the Leeds turned their vision into reality. In 1989 in Manhasset the first licensed corporate onsite child care center on Long Island opened, and today is still one of a few such sites in Nassau County, home to over one million people.
The company began as a publisher serving technology and healthcare companies and 25 years ago might have advised a client launching a new product to "take three pages" to reach their target market. Today people want information in multiple ways, not necessarily from print, and the company now provides varied programs to connect buyers and sellers of the caliber of Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Hewlet Packard and Computer Associates.
While business methods at CMP Media have changed over the years the culture has not. Day care started with three children and today can accommodate 160 between the ages of 10 weeks to 12 years in the newly expanded facility spanning over 12,000 feet.
On April 6 the child care center, named the Lilo & Gerry Leeds Child Development Center, in honor of the co-founders, hosted a grand opening and dedication ceremony. The founders were recognized for understanding the inseparable link between child-care and employee productivity. They were praised for their progressive vision of employee -family relations allowing parents to work and parent concurrently. Parents have lunch with their children and the new center even has an area dedicated to breastfeeding. It also includes a multifunctional art room, computer lab, and gym/activity center. The expanded center has new safety and security measures such as security cameras throughout the building, emergency panic buttons in each room, and a secure lobby area at the entrance of the center.
All year, full day care for pre-schoolers is provided. For the older children, the center offers an after-school program as well as full day care when schools are closed, including summer vacation. The center also has onsite emergency child care for employees who need child care unexpectedly due to extenuating circumstances. Fees are based on a sliding scale and are approximately two thirds of market cost.
CMP Media has become part of a larger public company, United Business Media, and "we have worked very hard to maintain the same positive culture the Leeds established at the onset," Steve Weitzner, president and CEO, CMP Media, offered. He added "dedicating the center to them is something long overdue for their vision of retaining really good people as they move through the stages of their lives." And with the new center, Weitzner said, "there is no waiting list, we always had a waiting list."
The Leeds were both refugees from Nazi Germany arriving in America with few resources save a good education and supportive families. In 1971 they started their company that became a publisher of business newspapers, magazines and Internet services for high tech industries. They established company principals including "Be a good company to do business with" and "Be an excellent company to work for." Their literature states that Fortune and Working Mother magazines repeatedly cited CMP as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For," especially for working mothers.
Debi Doyle is the director of childcare at CMP Media, where she has worked for more than 15 years, the past 10 as director. Doyle directs a staff of 30 and is currently responsible for 130 children. She is the mother of four children ranging in age from 1 to 9 years old, all of whom have attended the CMP childcare facility.
Randy Recientes lives in Manhasset Hills, and began working at CMP in 2000 as a graphic designer in the creative services department and met her husband there in 2001. They married in 2003, she said, and in 2004 her daughter joined the day care system. "It's incredible," she gushed, "the best possible situation you could ask for. I can bring my daughter in with me and we can have lunch together."