by Leo Jakobson | June 05, 2017

Incentive industry veteran Tina Weede has launched a new engagement, recognition and reward firm, Paragon Performance Group.

The Atlanta-based company is a full-service performance improvement and culture engineering agency, according to Weede, a member of the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (Site) Foundation board of trustees who has earned the certified recognition professional (CRP) designation from Recognition Professionals International. Until recently, Weede was president of USMotivation.

"With Paragon, we are taking a different approach," said Weede. "We are not leading with award fulfillment services. We are starting with the clients' needs. We are going in and helping our clients align with their core values, mission, and vision, and then plugging in the tools that can make the program we are running for them more effective, and ultimately more effective from a bottom-line perspective. So many people plug in solutions before they truly have a strategy. First create the strategies, then we'll craft the solutions, then we'll plug in the tools."

This is an approach that goes beyond just sales organizations and distributor partners, Weede adds. Paragon Performance Group's culture engineering process focuses on companywide initiatives incorporating recognition and engagement initiatives that include support, finance, IT, and other employees.

"Of course we will be working with sales and marketing organizations and providing award fulfillment services," she says, "but we're really looking at the culture of an organization, helping them align all of their recognition, engagement, and incentives to create an environment where associates have the will and desire to learn, and to stay, and to contribute -- we're looking to create trust with purpose. Especially with Millennials, there has to be trust in an organization for any programs to work effectively."

Paragon Performance Group's Peerless Research and Analysis processes will be at the core of its work, not just in creating the programs, but throughout its programs' lifecycle, Weede says. "We'll be able to go back in and reanalyze where you are at the current time and if you've been able to move that needle," she adds. "That incremental change can be very valuable for an organization."

Along with Weede, Paragon Performance Group's founders are Jennifer Fowler, the COO, and Barbara Nindos, the chief development officer, both USMotivation alumni. Besides analysis and strategy, the firm's services include engagement and communication platforms, incentive travel, white glove concierge travel, meetings and events, awards, and recognition and wellness programs, as well as creative communication strategies and campaigns.

A woman-owned business, Paragon Performance Group has made corporate social responsibility a core part of the company, Weede says. Among other initiatives, Paragon will support two not-for-profits with both expertise and a portion of its proceeds, though the Paragon Foundation. Megan's Smile, named for Weede's daughter, offers assistance to adolescents and families struggling with a variety of health diagnoses, from anxiety and depression, to behavioral problems and developmental issues, to learning disabilities, substance abuse, and school issues. It does this both by helping parents or caregivers find the right social services and resources to assist their child, and with financial support. The second organization supported is Confetti Celebrations, which brings women fighting cancer, along with a girlfriend who has supported them, on a weekend spa retreat designed to restore them mentally, physically, and spiritually.