The 60 Greatest Companies To Work For

This year 60 industry companies earned a spot on our list of the Greatest Companies To Work For. It wasn’t an easy feat for contenders but the victory was sweet.

Over the past six years this program has been one of PPB’s most popular editorial recognition programs, drawing dozens of nominations from PPAI member companies in all categories and sizes. However, this year, we turned the program upside down and used employee ratings, instead of an in-house panel, as the primary selection criteria to determine the champs.

Specifically, full-time employees at each nominated company were required to complete a confidential 12-question online survey in which they rated their company in key areas including engagement, effectiveness, leadership, ethics, pay, benefits, training and work/life balance. They also completed an open-ended question describing their workplace to a friend.

More than 100 companies were nominated in this year’s competition and more than 4,500 full-time employees were involved in the survey. A minimum percentage of completed surveys was also required from each company for qualification. When the survey closed and tallying ended, 60 companies’ scores qualified them for inclusion on the coveted list. Of those, 19 are suppliers, 39 are distributors and two are business services companies.

The size of the winning companies, categorized by numbers of employees, is diverse, ranging from five to more than 600, and company history is varied, too. The oldest company was founded in 1878; the newest is just four years old.

Overall, what these results show is that a company does not have to be large or have deep pockets to get high marks from employees. Instead, giving employees the flexibility to manage their work, operating by strong values and ethics, and showing genuine appreciation go a long, long way.

2017 PPB Greatest Companies To Work For

(In alphabetical order)

Top Micro Companies

(Fewer than 10 employees)

Ads On Magnets, LLC

Brandito

Elevate Brand Marketing

Identify Yourself

MARCO Ideas Unlimited, Inc.

Plan-It Promotions

PromoMonster, Inc.

PromoPros

Promotional Impact/Green Giftz

Red Promotions

Sock 101

Top Small Companies

(10-25 employees)

A+ Wine Designs

Brand Fuel, Inc.

Brandinc US, Inc.

Bullpen Marketing

CE Competitive Edge, LLC

commonsku

Concepts & Associates, Inc.

DistributorCentral, LLC

DRI DUCK Traders

Icon Blue, Inc.

LogoSpeed

Outstanding Branding LLC

Powerstick.com

Stowebridge Promotion Group

Tic Toc

US Flash & Technologies

Zipline

Top Midsize Companies

(26-75 employees)

Attachmentville/IRIS Ltd.

Axis Promotions

Champion Awards, Inc.

Club Colors Buyer, LLC

F&E Sportswear

Goldstar

Greater China Industries, Inc.

HandStands

Hirsch Gift, Inc.

Image Source, Inc.

I-Mark

Pacesetter Awards Co.

Pinnacle Designs

Talbot Marketing

Tangerine Promotions

Toddy Gear

Top Large Companies

(More than 75 employees)

American Solutions For Business

Ariel Premium, Inc.

BAMKO

Boundless

BrandVia Alliance, Inc.

Concord Marketing Solutions

Geiger

Indoff, Inc.

Myron Corporation

NewClients Promotional Marketing

Peerless Umbrella Co.

Picnic Time, Inc.

Pro Towels, Inc.

PromoShop, Inc.

Quality Resource Group, Inc.

Sunrise Identity


TOP MICRO COMPANIES (In alphabetical order)

Ads On Magnets, LLC

(PPAI 491494)

Top Executive: Steve Brown

Headquarters: Castle Rock, Colorado

Founded: 2012

Employees: 5

What employees say: “A young company with a great energy. There is a lighthearted vibe that radiates through the office.”

Steve Brown on what it takes to create a great workplace: In a small company, it is important to create team participation to achieve a great workplace. Every employee wears many hats and has an impact on each order that goes through the company. Once the team takes ownership of their processes, the overall flow of the business goes much smoother. We have an excellent team and have weekly communication meetings, ensuring that everyone knows the direction the company is headed. Some really good ideas have come from the staff, and I want to encourage an environment where people feel free to speak up. We work hard every day but another factor in making a great workplace is having time for people to talk about life outside of work—this keeps us feeling like part of a big family. Also, you cannot be afraid to develop employees for fear of losing of them to other opportunities. Try to take advantage of those talents and encourage more growth, and you will have employees who look forward to making your business successful.

 

Brandito

(PPAI 440314)

Top Executive: Michael Lovern

Headquarters: Henrico, Virginia

Founded: 2010

Employees: 9

What employees say: “Brandito is an organization that develops people, challenges its employees and celebrates success.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elevate Brand Marketing

(PPAI 409232)

Top Executive: Jeff Sampson

Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

Founded: 2009

Employees: 9

What employees say: “I feel included in the decisions and direction of the company in carrying out the vision. We’re a small company currently undergoing rapid growth. Great company to work for!”

Jeff Sampson, founder and president, on what it takes to create a great workplace: It starts with good people and good chemistry. It helps that some of the Elevate Brand Marketing team members were personal friends long before they joined us. But outside of personal contacts, EBM spends a lot of time during the hiring process to insure candidates are a good fit for our team.

Our priorities to have a great workplace are fun and flexibility. People who are happy at their jobs tend to be successful. The promotional products business is inherently fun and, while client needs are serious, we never take ourselves too seriously. Flexibility is also critical. Our industry doesn’t lend itself to a traditional 40-hour work week, plus EBM has offices in Asia and a worldwide customer base. Therefore, our employees must be flexible and do whatever it takes to get the job done. In turn, EBM provides significant flexibility in work schedules and vacation days. Employees can take whatever time off that they need as long as our customers’ needs are managed appropriately. Overall, we work hard and play hard.

 

Identify Yourself

(PPAI 281720)

Top Executive: Alex LeFevre

Headquarters: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

Founded: 2002

Employees: 8

What employees say: “Working for this company I am treated equally. I don’t feel like just an employee. I feel like a partner.”

Alex LeFevre on what it takes to create a great workplace: At Identify Yourself we are fortunate enough to be located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and literally a stone’s throw to the beach. With that, it offers our team the opportunity to take their lunch on the beach and as long as all our work is accomplished for the day, a surfing session could be in order. As far as our workplace, we make it open and flexible with opportunities for our team to volunteer locally and take advantage of our benefits package. We have a great customer service team and creative studio that allows our sales team to accomplish their goals. We strive to keep up to date with the latest in technology and partnering with the right suppliers to make our office a great workplace.

 

MARCO Ideas Unlimited, Inc.

(PPAI 106680)

Top Executive: Nancy Gudekunst, MAS

Headquarters: Portland, Oregon

Founded: 1959

Employees: 7

What employees say: “They have promoted me twice in six months and I feel as if I still have room to grow and progress in my professional life.”

 

 

 

Plan-It Promotions, Ltd.

(PPAI 201413)

Top Executive: Cindy Chapman

Headquarters: Concord, Ontario

Founded: 1997

Employees: 9 (Photo above includes spouses and guests)

What employees say: “I love working at Plan-It Promotions because they don’t just support my initiatives but make me feel empowered to do my best.”

 

 

 

Promotional Impact/Green Giftz

(PPAI 438899)

Top Executive: Karen Scarpino

Headquarters: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Founded: 1997

Employees: 7

What employees say: “A flexible, independent work environment with a team that’s always around to help and build each other up.”

 

PromoMonster, Inc.

(PPAI 386079)

Top Executive: Charles Feldman

Headquarters: Mt. Prospect, Illinois

Founded: 2008

Employees: 6

What employees say: “Promo Monster is a great place to work. I feel good going to work every day.”

 

PromoPros

(PPAI 273637)

Top Executive: Leslie Roark, CAS

Headquarters: Spring, Texas

Founded: 1946

Employees: 6

What employees say: “A great industry, but more than that—it’s an amazing company with leaders that care about their employees on a personal level.”

 

Red Promotions

(PPAI 385713)

Top Executive: Shelley Stewart

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington

Founded: 2008

Employees: 6

What employees say: “I could not be more appreciative of the innovative culture and overall company warmth Shelley Stewart has built at Red Promotions.”

 

 

 

Sock 101

(PPAI 625402)

Top Executive: Kelly Yarborough

Headquarters: Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Founded: 2012

Employees: 9

What employees say: “Fast-paced, ever‑changing, fun, friendly place to work.”

 

 


TOP SMALL COMPANIES (In alphabetical order)

A+ Wine Designs

(PPAI 173549)

Top Executive: Michael McCarron

Headquarters: San Diego, California

Founded: 1991

Employees: 18

What employees say: “Working with this company has been a great experience; I’ve grown a lot working here. It motivates me to work hard and not give up. I appreciate the company and the people I work with.”

Michael McCarron, president and founder, on what it takes to create a great workplace: We create a great workplace by emphasizing our people. Our first priority is to hire great people.  First, we look for people that are positive and cheerful because we all work together as a team.  Second, we seek those that show internal motivation and take tremendous pride in their work because those are the people that produce great results with minimal management. Finally, we look for competence. People don’t necessarily have to have the skill walking in the door, but they need to be able to learn and be open to continual learning to perform up to company and team standards.

We provide the tools for people to do their jobs, and then get out of the way. Competent, internally-motivated and positive people don’t need a lot of supervision. They need guidelines, boundaries and resources. After that, they will figure it out and come back with outstanding results. Our employees are empowered to make decisions that positively affect their jobs. Great people make great decisions. Trust them and they will constantly surprise you in the best way possible. We invest in our people by providing expert training. We have a company coach that helps with a range of company-wide issues from time management, to basic leadership skills to specific consultative sales techniques that allow us to best serve our customers. This not only creates better employees, but enhances people’s growth as individuals. This investment pays great dividends as we are demonstrating to our people that we think they are important enough to investment in.

Finally, we inject joy into the workplace. We’ve had company-sponsored trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas and the local wine country. We have an annual hosted family day at the San Diego Zoo. We donate to local charities and our employees help out at different charitable events which enhances their own sense of contribution to the community.

Our people are our greatest resource.  Placing the emphasis on the people and treating them well has been the cornerstone of our success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brand Fuel

(PPAI 277900)

Top Executives: Robert Fiveash and Danny Rosin, CAS

Headquarters: Morrisville, North Carolina

Founded: 1998

Employees: 24

What employees say: “Everyone, from the top down, pulls on the same end of the rope and does it the right way—with the customer at the top of the priority list. Awesome culture and working environment.”

 

Brandinc US, Inc.

(PPAI 602113)

Top Executive: Tad Webster

Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

Founded: 2013

Employees: 13

What employees say: “‘I enjoy the creative boutique atmosphere—great energy and great people.”

 

 

 

 

Bullpen Marketing

(PPAI 201546)

Top Executive: Colin Hageney

Headquarters: Houston, Texas

Founded: 1997

Employees: 13

What employees say: “They value family time and personal time as equally as working time, and they support living your life outside of your job—even if that means taking time off to do so.”

 

 

 

CE Competitive Edge, LLC

(PPAI 103776)

Top Executive: Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS

Headquarters: Stevensville, Michigan

Founded: 1993

Employees: 22

What employees say: “Competitive Edge is not just a place to work; it’s a place to do life. The culture is a great blend of work, play and family.”

 

 

commonsku

(PPAI 552077)

Top Executives: Catherine and Mark Graham

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario

Founded: 2011

Employees: 13

What employees say: “I feel really respected, valued and part of the team. There is an attitude of total transparency—nothing is hidden from anyone and that builds trust.”

 

Concepts & Associates

(PPAI 134402)

Top Executive: Tim Hennessy, Sr.

Headquarters: Birmingham, Alabama

Founded: 1983

Employees: 14

What employees say: “I enjoy coming to work every day because the culture is great.”

 

 

 

DistributorCentral, LLC

(PPAI 220404)

Top Executive: Tom Mertz

Headquarters: Gardner, Kansas

Founded: 1999

Employees: 17

What employees say: “DistributorCentral is one of the most rewarding companies I’ve ever worked for. Every employee has a passion to be their very best and it clearly shows in everything DC does. I am proud to work with one of the most talented groups of professionals in the country.”

 

DRI DUCK Traders, Inc.

(PPAI 318801)

Top Executive: Jason Krakow

Headquarters: Overland Park, Kansas

Founded: 2004

Employees: 17

What employees say: “It is a great company to work for, where the employees are clearly valued and given freedom to succeed professionally and create their own success.”

Jason Krakow, president, on what it takes to create a great workplace: As a company, we provide everyone a modern, comfortable workplace, competitive benefits, and many extra benefits like tickets to Royals, Chiefs, Jayhawks, Sporting KC and concerts. I think what sets us apart though, is what we provide as a community. We recognize what can be described as “the value of one, the power of all.” As a small team, we create both the opportunity and the expectation that each person makes an essential and valuable contribution. When everyone buys in, the result for the company is incredibly powerful. As for priorities, it’s a matter of thinking ahead and planning for growth—both physical growth of our spaces and personal growth of our people.

 

Icon Blue, Inc.

(PPAI 217321)

Top Executive: Walter Hill, Jr.

Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

Founded: 1998

Employees: 17

What employees say: “The company encourages a collaborative and team-oriented work environment that fosters idea generation, communication and growth.”

 

LogoSpeed

(PPAI 353176)

Top Executives: Chris Brooks and Scot Schreiber

Headquarters: Lewis Center, Ohio

Founded: 2007

Employees: 15

What employees say: “The owners truly care about the employees and about building a great company where everyone thrives.”

 

Outstanding Branding LLC

(PPAI 678649)

Top Executive: Sarah Penn

Headquarters: New York, New York

Founded: 2010

Employees: 17

What employees say: “A truly brilliant place to work, with incredible values of respect, understanding, creativity and professionalism. Great team spirit and amazing parties.”

 

Powerstick.com

(PPAI 383252)

Top Executive: Nigel Harris

Headquarters: Ottawa, Ontario

Founded: 2009

Employees: 22

What employees say: “I really like how this company has a flat organizational structure and encourages the importance of communication throughout. The design, development and manufacturing of such cool tech items make me feel like I am working in Santa’s Workshop.”

Nigel Harris, CEO, on what it takes to create a great workplace: Creating a corporate culture that everyone feels comfortable in is the first priority. Once created, it is vitally important that potential team members are selected based on how well their personality and history match this culture. As the team grows, the corporate culture will not only ensure a happy workplace but will extend beyond the company doors to customers and suppliers alike.

 

Stowebridge Promotion Group, Inc.

(PPAI 166854)

Top Executives: Ron Thomas and Kathy

Finnerty Thomas

Headquarters: Chandler, Arizona

Founded: 1994

Employees: 21

What employees say: “We are one big family that works together to make an everlasting experience for our customers.”

 

Tic Toc

(PPAI 103614)

Top Executive: Paul Gittemeier

Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

Founded: 1974

Employees: 19

What employees say: “My experience working at Tic Toc has been enlightening. I’ve learned many new things.”

 

US Flash & Technologies

(PPAI 375004)

Top Executives: Gabe Gerhardt and James Fox

Headquarters: Irvine, California

Founded: 2008

Employees: 11

What employees say: “US Flash is an awesome place to work! We work hard but have fun while doing it.”

 

Zipline

(PPAI 342586)

Top Executive: Hans Kindsgrab

Headquarters: Green Bay, Wisconsin

Founded: 2007

Employees: 16

What employees say: “You are always someone at Zipline and not just a number. The owners truly care about each individual working here and share the wealth when the company is doing well.”


TOP MIDSIZE COMPANIES (In alphabetical order)

Attachmentville/IRIS Ltd.

(PPAI 244847)

Top Executive: Dave Gehris

Headquarters: Fleetwood, Pennsylvania

Founded: 1981

Employees: 31

What employees say: “It’s a family atmosphere. There is always someone who will lighten your spirit, help you with a new project or help you when it is difficult to meet a deadline.”

Dave Gehris, COO, on what it takes to create a great workplace: A great workplace is not created by one person, rather a group of individuals who buy into the same philosophy and culture. Our culture revolves around being a company that cares. We care about each other and, as a result, we care about our customers and their satisfaction understanding that without them, we don’t exist. It’s important for each of my teammates to know that they have a role in our success, and their role is equally important as is their fellow teammate’s role—no matter how long they’ve been here or what they do.

A workplace should be a place where one enjoys what they do and who they do it with. Open communication and new ideas are encouraged. We have fun with daily interaction and in weekly/monthly meetings but, ultimately, we all have a mutual respect for one another. When you combine that with a sense of caring, great things can and do happen on a daily basis.  I have been with this company for over 25 years and I can honestly say that I have never had a bad day because I love the people I work with.

Axis Promotions

(PPAI 159158)

Top Executive: Larry Cohen

Headquarters: New York, New York

Founded: 1992

Employees: 67

What employees say: “Axis is a very creative collaborative environment, with amazing talent and leadership.”

Larry Cohen, president, on what it takes to create a great workplace: At Axis, one of the key ingredients is empowerment. As the owner of the company, I recognize that I am really good at certain things and not so good at others. As a result, I've empowered others at every level to provide guidance, insight and leadership to help make Axis the best it can be. For example, we have a culture committee that has its own budget and is empowered to create events and “surprise and delight” for everyone at Axis. I love getting surprised at all the things they do.

Additionally, we have a President’s Advisory Council that is comprised of team members from multiple offices and various levels of seniority. They are tasked and encouraged to help us develop policies that impact all aspects of how we work at Axis. One of the keys to the success of this group is that no one on the senior leadership team is in these meetings so that the members are free to discuss things openly. The goal is to empower this group to develop policies that can be pushed up to the senior leadership team as opposed to the senior leadership team pushing things down. We work hard to eliminate the vacuum that can develop between leadership and the rest of the members.

Champion Awards, Inc.

(PPAI 103877)

Top Executive: Mike Bowen

Headquarters: Memphis, Tennessee

Founded: 1970

Employees: 49

What employees say: “It’s a team environment that challenges you to take ownership and lead others. This is a great place to work, with endless possibilities for growing and learning. It also has a great family environment.”

 

Club Colors Buyer, LLC

(PPAI 135725)

Top Executive: Jeff Baumet

Headquarters: Schaumburg, Illinois

Founded: 1993

Employees: 64

What employees say: “Club Colors cares about its employees. They do the little things that don’t cost much but go a mile in the eyes of those who work for them.”

 

F&E Sportswear

(PPAI 280239)

Top Executive: Richard Patino

Headquarters: Montgomery, Alabama

Founded: 1979

Employees: 45

What employees say: “F&E Sportswear is my home. It’s a family-run business and they treat everyone like family. The owner treats everyone the same.”

 

 

 

Goldstar

(PPAI 114031)

Top Executive: Howard Cubberly

Headquarters: San Diego, California

Founded: 1970

Employees: 26

What employees say: “I get the flexibility to work from home when I need to and the autonomy to make decisions that directly impact my job. Hands down, best job I have ever had.”

 

Greater China Industries, Inc.

(PPAI 191353)

Top Executive: Ben Zhang

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington

Founded: 1995

Employees: 28

What employees say: “You get the support you need from upper management. You have the ability to earn a lot of money in this business and this company will help you to achieve your goals.”

Ben Zhang, president and CEO, on how to create a great workplace: I would say that to create a great workplace has not been easy. Greater China has worked hard for two-plus decades to make the top 60 list. As CEO, I have done my best to make our employees’ career success my No. 1 priority. The following are just some of the actions Greater China has taken to achieve top 60 success:

  • Hire “A” players for “A” positions throughout the company so that we are effective in what we do and responsive to our clients
  • Make the workplace fun and exciting through bi-monthly ice cream socials, annual company retreats, a summer golf tournament, an annual holiday party, periodic team building events such as golf outings, bowling or company lunch and a Chinese New Year celebration
  • Human resource support to address employee concerns and needs
  • Provide job training and career growth opportunities and advancement
  • Provide tuition reimbursement for ongoing job-related education
  • Support family financial needs by providing interest free advances or short-term loans

 

HandStands

(PPAI 111285)

Top Executive: Rodd Steuart

Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah

Founded: 1983

Employees: 45

What employees say: “I work with a good group of people. We do some pretty cool things and I feel like I make a difference. I also think that we do good work.”

Jason Fogg, general manager, what it takes to create a great workplace:  We try very hard to make our employees the top business priority. We believe that if we take good care of our employees, our employees will take good care of our customers and our customers will take good care of the business. One of the ways we do this is through our core values. These core values provide a daily reminder to our team members how important they are to our business.

 

Hirsch Gift, Inc.

(PPAI 221823)

Top Executive: Peter Hirsch

Headquarters: Houston, Texas

Founded: 1999

Employees: 75

What employees say: “The atmosphere at Hirsch Gift is one of cooperation and support, which I think is rare in today’s workplaces.”

Peter Hirsch, president, on what it takes to create a great workplace: ‘Kaizan’—continuous improvement—and we add to that ‘teamwork.’ It’s how we run the business and continuously look at promoting within, even considering personnel trained in one division for a completely different job opportunity. Building a great workplace is about making people enjoy coming to work each day. I think we achieve this by having a new, modern, comfortable and bright workspace as well as taking care of staff needs and listening to their ideas or concerns.

 

Image Source, Inc.

(PPAI 195953)

Top Executives: Tom Goos, MAS, and Brian Haner

Headquarters: Kirkland, Washington

Founded: 1998

Employees: 42

What employees say: “Image Source has developed a culture where people care about each other with a family atmosphere but also deliver on a performance-based environment. It is a great place to work and is much more than a job.”

 

Goldstar

(PPAI 114031)

Top Executive: Howard Cubberly

Headquarters: San Diego, California

Founded: 1970

Employees: 26

What employees say: “I get the flexibility to work from home when I need to and the autonomy to make decisions that directly impact my job. Hands down, best job I have ever had.”

 

I-Mark

(PPAI 111307)

Top Executive: Jay Irby

Headquarters: Arlington, Texas

Founded: 1984

Employees: 33

What employees say: “It is a relaxed work environment that operates at a fast pace that is both challenging and rewarding. We are able to communicate and be involved in major decisions for the company.”

 

Pacesetter Awards Co.

(PPAI 112642)

Top Executive: Roy Newton

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: 1982

Employees: 62

What employees say: “Not a lot of places will work around personal schedules, but they do this frequently for me and others. I’ve worked with all areas of this company and have never worked anywhere else where everyone chips in to get the job done and make the customer happy, regardless of what department you work in. There is a real sense of teamwork here from the top to the bottom. We share the challenges and we share the success.”

Roy Newton, president and owner, on what it takes to create a great workplace: As an owner of a company you quickly realize that to be successful you need to acknowledge and encourage the efforts of all members of your team. The old saying “You are only as good as your weakest link” holds true to every organization no matter of its size. During the interview process you need to look not only for talent, but fit. Will this person work and be supportive to our clients and also to their co-workers? Once they’re a member of the team, it is important to give them constant feedback on their progress. Providing praise and constant interaction with the individual, will allow them to express their ideas while assisting them to grow into their position. Many studies indicate that one of the greatest motivators is publicly acknowledging your team’s efforts and successes. Building a sense of family is also crucial. When people know that you are truly concerned about them and their family’s well-being, then you are on the right track.

I also believe that providing my team a sense of purpose in their job along with a road map to improvement helps them to understand and strive to be better. My personal desire has been to be able to compensate my team 10-percent more than similar positions in our industry and providing them an excellent benefit package as well. As a company, we share a large percentage of our profits to all members of our staff via yearly bonuses. This pulls both management and employees together with a common goal—sales. One thing I am proud of was during the economic down turn, we reduced both owner and management compensation in order to be able to retain our workforce. We also collectively reduced everyone’s hours which allowed us to keep all of our staff.

I am proud to say that half of our employees have been with us for over five years and a quarter of those have been with us between 15 and 45 years. When you achieve a “sense of family” within your organization you have little turnover, high morale and a lifetime of collective memories.

 

Pinnacle Designs

(PPAI 112704)

Top Executive: David Messe

Headquarters: San Fernando, California

Founded: 1983

Employees: 54

What employees say: “The owners of my company truly believe their people are their greatest resource. They care about people and it shows in the way they do business. It is rare to see a company that values people and believes in doing the right thing—even over profit. I believe this is one of the reasons we have beat the odds and have been in business for almost 35 years.”

 

Talbot Marketing

(PPAI 100789)

Top Executive: Steve Levschuk

Headquarters: London, Ontario

Founded: 1886

Employees: 75

What employees say: “The owner really cares about his employees and reps ... he is a family person with very high morals. I am proud to say I work for this company.”

 

Tangerine Promotions

(PPAI 439779)

Top Executive: Steve Friedman

Headquarters: Northbrook, Illinois

Founded: 2002

Employees: 33

What employees say: “The management takes care of their employees with great benefits and work-life balance policies. When employers take care of the employees, it shows in how clients are serviced.”

 

Toddy Gear

(PPAI 516677)

Top Executive: Todd Gabel

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: 2010

Employees: 26

What employees say: “The amount of time we get for training is amazing. I can be totally creative, and they welcome my ideas and suggestions. This makes me do the best work that I can for our customers.”

Todd Gabel, CEO, on what it takes to create a great workplace: A great workplace starts with what matters—a workplace where employees are challenged, appreciated and satisfied with what they do. I foster a fun, open and supportive working environment where everyone is invested in one goal and are empowered to reach that goal. I encourage communication. We talk about new products, design ideas, marketing and sales initiatives as a team.

Team communication enables us to keep improving and accomplishing bigger and better things. I ensure that the employees feel appreciated. We are a lean company, so we are not able to provide the “premium perks” like a gym membership or catered lunch on a daily basis, but our fridge is always stocked and coffee is always fresh. I make sure to say hello to each employee every morning. When a job is well done, the whole office celebrates. We have a great company culture, amazing products, and the best and hardest working people you can find.


TOP LARGE COMPANIES (In alphabetical order)

American Solutions For Business

(PPAI 101656)

Top Executive: Larry Zavadil

Headquarters: Glenwood, Minnesota

Founded: 1981

Employees: 600+

What employees say: “I finally work for a company that values my family/personal life and gives me the support and tools I need to succeed.”

 

Ariel Premium, Inc.

(PPAI 161650)

Top Executives: Yuh-ling Lu and Tai Lin

Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri

Founded: 1993

Employees: 192

What employees say: “I appreciate the benefits offered, the flexibility given, and how the company embraces new ideas and new directions. I think this is why the company has continued to grow and remain successful over so many years, and has proven to be an employer I can count on.”

 

BAMKO

(PPAI 242148)

Top Executive: Philip Koosed

Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

Founded: 1999

Employees: 170

What employees say: “BAMKO is the best company I’ve ever worked for. The folks in charge are genuinely decent human beings who care about their employees. We do work that is meaningful and I actually feel excited to show up to work every day.”

 

Boundless

(PPAI 267078)

Top Executive: Henrik Johansson

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Founded: 2005

Employees: 217

What employees say: “‘Boundless has an open and accepting culture and genuinely cares about its employees. I feel like my superiors and coworkers really care, not only about doing an exemplary job, but also each about each other. Everyone, including C-level leadership, is willing to jump in wherever needed to get the job done.”

 

BrandVia Alliance

(PPAI 105536)

Top Executive: Jim Childers

Headquarters: San Jose, California

Founded: 2003

Employees: 122

What employees say: “Most supportive company I have ever worked for. Management goes out of their way to make you feel appreciated.”

 

Concord Marketing Solutions

(PPAI 164774)

Top Executive: Kirk Graves

Headquarters: Glendale Heights, Illinois

Founded: 1993

Employees: 78

What employees say: “Absolutely everyone at this company cares about their job and doing it well, and we do all we can to support each other. From leadership to colleagues to the business model and philosophies, this company is the most terrific company I have ever worked for and look forward to grow with them.”

 

Geiger

(PPAI 105182)

Top Executive: Gene Geiger, MAS

Headquarters: Lewiston, Maine

Founded: 1878

Employees: 336

What employees say: “The length of time many employees have been with Geiger never ceases to amaze me. In the end, it speaks for itself and truly is a testament of the effort Geiger makes to value their most important resource.”

 

Indoff, Inc.

(PPAI 225638)

Top Executive: Jim Malkus

Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri

Founded: 1971

Employees: 105

What employees say: “From the first day working for Indoff I have felt welcomed and valued. I enjoy coming to work and putting my absolute best work forward. It is really nice to have the president of the company always welcoming you with a smile—and it’s genuine.”

 

Myron Corporation

(PPAI 143617)

Top Executive: Jim Adler

Headquarters: Maywood, New Jersey

Founded: 1950

Employees: 413

What employees say: “Working for Myron Corp. continues to help me grow in my field, with the added benefit of strong leadership and a team of innovative coworkers who constantly motivate me to be at the top of my game.”

 

NewClients Promotional Marketing

(PPAI 282470)

Top Executive: Teki Hall

Headquarters: Richmond, Virginia

Founded: 1981

Employees: 83

What employees say: “The working environment is awesome at NewClients and it continues to get better. The owners are simply great people and I’m confident that they will make the right decisions for the team, our customers and the future growth of the company. They have invested in people that have positively impacted the company and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.”

 

Peerless Umbrella Co.

(PPAI 112666)

Top Executive: Gene Moscowitz

Headquarters: Newark, New Jersey

Founded: 1927

Employees: 85

What employees say: “This company is the best thing that happened to me. I love what I do and the people around me, starting from my boss to my colleagues. This is a job for a lifetime.”

Gene Moscowitz, owner, on what it takes to create a great workplace: We try to give everyone the space and freedom they need to do their job, the way they see fit. We run a pretty loose ship here, but it seems to work. Quality and customer service will always be our priority, so it’s important that no matter how you go about getting the job done, you do it with that in mind. Most of our staff have all been here 10-plus years, so that says a lot about the company and our management style. Our reputation in the industry tells me we are doing something right.

 

Picnic Time, Inc.

(PPAI 143980)

Top Executive: Gustavo Cosaro

Headquarters: Moorpark, Calilfornia

Founded: 1982

Employees: 104

What employees say: “This company is vibrant, filled with staff that has new ideas and likes to work smart. I am energized by the passion of my colleagues and really enjoy my work.”

Paul Cosaro, managing partner, on what it takes to create a great workplace: It may seem obvious, but you create a great workplace by focusing on your people. The members of your team are everything. They are your brand ambassadors, they are your innovators, they are your growth and they are your future. Without great people, you cannot accomplish great things. We start with hiring. We take the hiring process very seriously and it is not uncommon to go through many rounds of interviews and other evaluations before being hired on at Picnic Time.

We owe it to our existing team and we owe it to the candidate to make sure they are a good fit not only for the job description, but with the culture of the company. When we’ve found the right people, we make every effort to provide them with whatever they need to thrive. We are a family and we strive to make sure everyone feels like a part of our success. Also, we are lucky enough to sell fun products, so we get to have fun doing it. Any business that can’t scrounge up a bit of fun every day is destined to fight an uphill culture battle.

 

Pro Towels/Superior/Kanata

(PPAI 112755)

Top Executive: Kevin Nord

Headquarters: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Founded: 2001

Employees: 250

What employees say: “The company offers great opportunities for any employee to grow and learn. It’s a great work environment.”

Kevin Nord, president, on what it takes to create a great workplace: At Pro Towels, we are always challenging our employees to be proactive and think out of the box to come up with ideas and solutions that can help our distributor partners and can make us more efficient. This creates a great workplace because our employees are fully engaged and we are always competing for new ideas to make us stronger as a company. We are the Pro Towels Family and creating the importance of family and caring make us all better at what we do. We just recently had an Easter Egg Hunt at our facility in South Carolina and over 300 employees and family members showed up, which is why Pro Towels is great place to work.

 

PromoShop, Inc.

(PPAI 204997)

Top Executive: Memo Kahan

Headquarters: Los Angeles, California

Founded: 1998

Employees: 104

What employees say: “PromoShop allows me to be all that I can be. The support and technology is unprecedented. We have an art department that is no less than brilliant, [and] great management who are always willing and eager to help. I am surrounded by some of the top salespeople in the industry who are all very gracious with their time. The communications are incredible and we all know what is going on with the company at all times.”

 

Quality Resource Group, Inc.

(PPAI 159353)

Top Executive: Todd Pottebaum, MAS+

Headquarters: Plymouth, Minnesota

Founded: 1965

Employees: 89

What employees say: “QRG has invested above and beyond to provide the team and tools required to be successful in this industry. The incentives and company trips are something you seldom see in any business these days. Even though we have grown to almost 100 team members it still maintains the family atmosphere.”

Todd Pottebaum, MAS+, president, on what it takes to create a great workplace: The foundation of a great workplace is culture. At QRG we hire, reward and coach to five core values. We are Professional. We Persevere. We Care. We’re Reliable. And, we Do the Right Thing.

These tenets receive top priority, which fosters trust, commitment, accountability and results. The next set of priorities are built upon alignment of vision, passion and process. This magical combination, enthusiastically on display every day by our exceptional team members, drives value to our amazing client base and to each other in meaningful ways.

 

Sunrise Identity

(PPAI 229351)

Top Executive: Mitch Mounger

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington

Founded: 1989

Employees: 109

What employees say: “Sunrise is a great mix of a casual work vibe and a driven attitude to succeed. The leadership very much cares about the work/life balance of every employee and really strives to make the workplace somewhere you want to come every day. Plus, there are dogs! Who doesn’t love that?”

Tina Berres Filipski is editor of PPB.


Six Qualities Of The Greatest Workplaces

These qualities were mentioned most often in survey answers:

1  Respects employee input and opinions

2  Makes them feel their contributions matter

3  Reinforces a work/life balance

4  Makes work meaningful

5  Provides opportunities for career growth

6  Creates a trusted “family” atmosphere

 

filed under june-2017 | ppb
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