100 Top Iowa Workplaces in 2013
A look at the top small, medium and large employers in Iowa. Which companies ranked No. 1? Find out here.
CONTENTS Large employers Edward Jones ... 4 Kwik Trip ... 8 Waukee Schools ... 9 Great River Medical ... 10 Mary Greeley Medical ... 11 Large workplace list ... 11 Midsized employers QuikTrip ... 12 Farm Credit Services of America ... 14 UICCU ... 15 IMT Group ... 15 Easter Seals ... 16 Midsized list ... 18 Small employers Spindustry ... 20 Keller Williams ... 23 Carrier Access ... 24 Clickstop ... 24 Peddicord ... 25 Small workplace list ... 26 Secret strategies uncovered WorkplaceDynamics explains its process: Outreach: We reach out to organizations with at least 35 employees in Iowa and ask them to participate. We use a combination of ads in the Register to solicit nominations, and direct outreach to employers via phone and email. There is no cost to participate. Employee survey: We survey workers at participating employers using either paper surveys or an online survey. Employees respond to a set of statements — such as “I feel genuinely appreciated at this company,” “My pay is fair for the work I do,” and “My manager cares about my concerns” — using a seven-point Likert scale. Each of the statements has been tested to ensure it has a high correlation with how employees feel about their workplace, which is calculated by correlating the statement responses to a control question that asks each employee to rate his or her workplace on a scale of zero to 99. Response requirements: We require a response rate of at least 35 percent for employees based in Iowa. In addition, employers with 85 or fewer employees must have at least 30 respondents. We encourage employers to survey all employees, but large employers can choose to randomly sample their Iowa employees. The 179 employers that participated employ 78,608 people in Iowa; 48,589 Iowa employees received surveys, and 33,659 responded. By Lynn Hicks email@example.com We’ve been on a three-year mission to solve a mystery. Our agents have questioned thousands of Iowans and compiled classified information. We’ve analyzed the data and pored over clues. We’re closer to answering the puzzling question: What are the secret strategies that drive the state’s top workplaces? The question has taken on more intrigue as the economy improves and employers jostle for the best applicants. This special report — our third annual — identifies the top 100 workplaces. This year, we’ve also recognized an additional 16 employers that didn’t make the top 100 but whose scores finished above the national average. These rankings are based on employees’ evaluations, not what the editors of The Des Moines Register or some consultants think. Our research partner, WorkplaceDynamics, asked employees what was most important to them, and then had them rate their employers on those priorities. The surveys showed that Iowa employees put the highest importance on believing their company is going in the right direction and feeling appreciated at work. They want to have confidence in their boss and in their future. Some of what we have learned: CONTACT & CREDITS President & Publisher Rick Green Editor Carol Hunter Business editor Lynn Hicks firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (515) 284-8290 Cover illustration and magazine design Amanda Holladay VP of Sales Mark Wurzer Vice President, Sales (515) 284-8384 email@example.com Industry doesn’t matter. Our top workplaces have included nonprofits and publicly traded companies, banks and credit unions, colleges and schools, law firms and insurance agencies, transportation companies and manufacturers. Small startups and decades-old businesses have made the list. Values count. The top workplaces talk about truth, trust, respect, caring and risk-taking, and they use those values when making decisions. Open your books. The best employers value transparency. The more facts they give employees, the more buy-in they receive, and the better decisions they make. Loyalty lives. Some past winners avoided layoffs in the recession, which boosted morale. Pay and perks matter, to a point. WorkplaceDynamics’ surveys show that pay and benefits are important to employees, but they scored near the bottom of the list. Still, many employees surveyed cited flexible scheduling and ample vacation policies. Employers who offer profit sharing or employee stock ownership plans have also scored highly. Small things are big. Employee recognition need not be expensive and elaborate. Some winners regularly send hand-written notes of thanks to employees and hand out gift cards. You can’t win if you don’t play. Why isn’t your employer on the list? Perhaps it scored too low to be included, but more likely, your employer chose not to participate. Maybe it doesn’t take a super-spy to discover these secrets. Employers are practicing these methods every day as they strive to be great places to work. 2 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 No.1 Edward Jones | Large company category Finding prosperity, for themselves and others By Sarah Binder Special to the Register Edward Jones Location(s): 226 locations in Iowa Founded: 1922 Ownership: Partnership Iowa employees: 513 Top executive: Jim Weddle, managing partner Revenue: $4.8 billion nationally fter 10 years of working in small-town law enforcement, Eric Feller was spending his Thanksgiving in distress. The father of four had run out of advancement opportunities on the force, and wondered how many more years he could bear to spend nights, weekends and holidays away from home. That was in 2004. Now a father of seven living in Williamsburg, Feller has been a financial adviser for Edward Jones for eight years, and never has to worry about missing another recital or T-ball game (even A Jim Talley, a former television anchor in Waterloo, is now a financial adviser at Edward Jones, which continues to be named as a Fortune Top 100 place to work. He was able to start an office just minutes from his home. BRYON HOULGRAVE/THE REGISTER Mary Greeley Medical Center is proud to be one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Iowa. Thanks to the exceptional patient care our employees provide every day, Mary Greeley Medical Center has received: www.mgmc.org 4 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 though he might be standing on the sidelines in a suit). “Essentially I was trying to find a better work-life balance,” he said. “I just couldn’t be happier with the change in my career.” For the second year in a row, Edward Jones has been named Iowa’s No. 1 large employer — and Feller is far from the only one to find happiness with the investment services firm after following a winding career path. Angie Rave studied to be a wedding planner, and even completed a wedding planning internship in Italy. She moved around the Midwest, working everywhere from fundraising departments to yoga studios, before finding Edward Jones. She had never pictured herself working in financial services, HEAR FROM AN EMPLOYEE Jim Talley talks about working at Edward Jones. DesMoinesRegister.com but the entrepreneurial nature of the small branch offices appealed to her. Rave has been a financial adviser in Manchester for four years. “Who knew Edward Jones was looking for people just like me — from all walks of life,” she said. “It’s an absolute fit for me, and I never would have thought that four years ago.” Jim Talley was a TV anchor and reporter in Waterloo before relocating to Des Moines and getting married. He took a job as an admissions officer for a college while looking for media Jim Talley, right, a financial adviser at Edward Jones, talks with Jason Mickle of Des Moines. For the second year in a row, Edward Jones was named Iowa’s No. 1 large employer. It has 513 employees in the state. BRYON HOULGRAVE/THE REGISTER IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 5 Together, We Are Transforming The Aging Experience Jim Talley, a financial adviser at Edward Jones, joined the company after the birth of his first child. He had previously worked a job where he put 4,000 miles on his car every month, and wanted to work closer to home. BRYON HOULGRAVE/THE REGISTER work, eventually becoming a successful regional manager. However, after the birth of his first child, he knew that he couldn’t keep putting 4,000 miles on his car every month. “At Edward Jones, I could start an office five minutes from my house. I could be home with my family,” he said. Talley is now approaching his 10th year as a financial adviser in Des Moines. The St. Louis-based company employs more than 500 Iowans in 226 locations around the state. Each office has one financial adviser and one or two branch office administrators. At the heart of the Edward Jones business model are these small offices, each deeply embedded in the local community. “It’s a lot of work. Every Edward Jones employee is essentially going to start their own business,” Feller said. The reward for that work, though, is the flexibility for employees to manage their own schedules and the satisfaction of helping clients meet their financial goals. The company provides an extensive education program for new associates to earn licenses and yearly continuing education opportunities. The best professional development, however, might come from fellow associates. “What makes us unique is this spirit of volunteerism — we’re all here, as a group, to support each other,” said John Westfall, a financial adviser in Marion and regional leader for eastern Iowa. “We have a great culture here, of valuing each individual and their contributions.” Westfall and others credited the company’s ownership model for maintaining that culture. All Edward Jones associates are eligible to become partners, and today nearly 15,000 associates nationwide own a piece of their company. “Because of that, we can keep our culture the same, and focus on our main goal of serving investors. I never have to worry about getting bought out,” Talley said. “I have a say in Our hats are off to our passionate team members who voted WesleyLife as one of the Top 100 Workplaces. Together, our more than 1,200 team members bring their passion and energy to daily interactions with older adults— which means we have the opportunity to witness rst hand living longer doesn’t mean we have to “get old.” As part of the transformation of the aging experience, we’re taking the preconceived ideas of “getting old” and throwing them out the window. We think what really matters is how old you feel. We rmly believe and know life can be meaningful at any age. Visit us online to see how at wesleylife.org/top100 6 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 keeping the focus on clients, and the direction of the firm.” During the recession, for example, associates banded together to cut costs and save every job. Now, Edward Jones is hiring again. In 2012, the company unveiled its “2020 Vision,” a goal to employ 20,000 financial advisers who care for more than $1 trillion in assets by the year 2020. The company prefers to grow organically, hiring these associates in the towns where they already love to live and work, rather than acquiring other firms. “We’re not at the end of a phone, hundreds of miles away. We live and work right with our clients,” said Laurie Copper, senior branch office administrator at Westfall’s Marion office. Copper has been a partner for 26 years, and said what started as just a job has truly become a career. “I think there’s a genuine passion to serve the clients,” Westfall said of the common bond that the diverse associates share. Westfall serves families that have up to four generations, helping them navigate every life stage. “We can watch that relationship grow,” he said. 170Physicians & Healthcare Prov id ers David, D es Moin e s W Abi, ee auk Locat o r t e M 8 ions n y, Antho y Anken Q&A An interview with John Westfall, financial adviser and regional leader, Marion Give an example of how you show employees that they are appreciated. “We show that in several different ways. I do a lot of handwritten notes. We also celebrate successes in a monthly newsletter for the 67 branches in eastern Iowa.” How do you inspire confidence in leadership and the organization’s direction? “We have strong leadership at the home office. One of the things that makes Edward Jones unique is, (managing partner, James) Weddle was a financial adviser himself. There’s a lot of buy-in there, and understanding of the role. It’s a very positive structure for the firm. “Also — the fact that we’re a partnership — we’re all in it together to do what’s best for the firm, which is to do what’s best for the client.” How do you show employees they are part of something meaningful? “There’s a focus on: Our clients’ interests come first. Everything we do falls under that heading. “We want to convey to our clients that it’s an honor and a privilege to work with their family. It’s something we take very seriously.” How do you foster innovation and encourage employees to offer new ideas? “It starts with that open communication. I make annual branch visits — we talk about what’s going on in the region, and any concerns. For our spring meeting, we bring all the teams together to share good ideas.” Locally Owned by Our Doctors 39Specialties The Iowa Clinic is growing, branching out to serve more patients. When these Central Iowans needed a specialist, they got one quickly because their doctor is part of The Iowa Clinic. They all have a similar story to share about teamwork and exceptional healthcare. Proud to be recognized as one of Iowa’s Top Workplaces for the 2nd year in a row! Deeply Rooted in the Community iowaclinic.com DEDICATING OUR LIVES TO TAKING CARE OF YOURS IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 7 No. 2 Kwik Trip Inc. | Large company category Company treats employees right By Patt Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org andy Malay knew one year into her job at Kwik Trip that she had picked the right employer. The LaCrosse, Wis.-based convenience store company offered health insurance to both full- and part-time workers but charged part-timers more for the benefit. Malay said that at a company meeting, company officials decided to correct the inequity by adjusting salaries so that everyone paid the same amount. “It was a company philosophy on the right way to treat people,” said Malay, who has been with the company since 1986. She is now a zone leader in charge of 75 stores. S Kwik Trip operates convenience stores under the name of Kwik Star in several Iowa communities. It doesn’t have any Des Moines stores, but does operate several Tobacco Outlet Plus shops in the metro. The first thing workers will applaud is the company’s profit sharing program, in which 40 percent of the company’s pretax earnings is distributed to workers each year. Then there is the 20-year anniversary gift of four weeks of paid time off in addition to an employee’s regular vacation. “The benefits are great,” Malay, 52, said. “It is hard work, but it is rewarding.” Kwik Trip’s story began in 1965 in Eau Claire, Wis., when it opened its first store. Today the company operates more than 400 Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Hearty Platter and Tobacco Outlet Plus stores. The company was founded by Don Zietlow and is today still run by the Zietlow family. Malissa Powers Cruz, 31, said her 15 years with one of the company’s Marshalltown stores have been rewarding and fun. “It’s a friendly and fun place to work,” she said. “I am just a happy person, and I am more interested in the atmosphere of a job.” The mother of two, Cruz said she has flexibility in taking time off and appreciates the benefits, including training programs. Kwik Trip Inc. Location: LaCrosse, Wis. Iowa locations: 34 Kwik Star stores and 17 Tobacco Outlets in Iowa Founded: 1965 Ownership: Zietlow family Iowa employees: 1,126 Top executive: Don Zietlow, chief executive Revenue: $4 billion “There are awesome opportunities for promotions,” she said. Kwik Trip believes in rewarding workers who go the extra mile, said John McHugh, head of corporate communications and leadership development. 8 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 No. 3 Waukee Community School District | Large company category District encourages innovation By Christopher Pratt email@example.com he Waukee Community School District provides staff members with opportunities to build careers and be part of a growing community. The district serves about 8,000 students in 12 buildings across a 55-square-mile school district in Dallas County. The student population was about 1,100 when Superintendent Dave Wilkerson started as curriculum director there about 20 years ago. But throughout all the growth, his hope remains: He wants district employees to believe their jobs are the best ones they’ve ever had. He T Waukee Community School District Founded: 1916 Ownership: Public Iowa employees: 932 Top executive: Dave Wilkerson, Superintendent became superintendent during the 2004-05 school year. In an education age filled with reporting requirements of No Child Left Behind and other programs, Wilkerson said innovation is encouraged in Waukee. “We want our teachers to be current on education practices and try new things,” he said. Individual teachers are encouraged to analyze data and pitch creative strategies to improve student performance. Wilkerson has been a proponent of implementing programming designed to put the district on the cutting edge of technology. For example, a few years ago, staff helped launch the Hyperstream club, which partners kids up with area businesses working on technology projects. Wilkerson said it’s important to give teachers space to test their comfort zones with the hope that it will improve student achievement. “We want to encourage some risk-taking,” he said. Wilkerson said teachers and other community members with bold ideas for student programs and professional development are encouraged to seek financial support for their projects from the Waukee Schools Foundation, which has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to enhance education programming since its inception in 1996. Jo Ann McConaeghy, a teacher at Prairieview, the district’s ninth-grade facility, started working in Waukee during the 1983-84 academic year. She said her job has provided her with a competitive wage, good benefits and the chance to be part of enriching the lives of children through daily work in the classroom. “I, from day one, just felt comfortable and important,” McConaeghy said. IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 9 No. 4 Great River Medical Center| Large company category Culture of excellence maintained By Benjamin Evans Special to the Register Great River Medical Center Headquarters: West Burlington Founded: 1895 Ownership: Nonprofit Iowa Employees: 1,961 Top executive: Mark Richardson, President/CEO reat River Medical Center’s employees view their jobs as more than providing top health care. Their mission is to offer an unmatched personal experience, President and CEO Mark Richardson said. Richardson said his staff is immersed in a culture that puts patient satisfaction first. “When I first started 16 years ago here, our patient satisfaction was between the 25th and 40th percentile,” Richardson said. “Literally, from my first day, we’ve G 93rd percentile among 668 hospitals nationwide by the consulting firm Press Ganey Associates. Eleven years later, Great River remains toward the top of the list of hospitals in patient satisfaction. “If we have a quarter where our patient satisfaction (rating) dips, say to the 75th percentile, all of our staff and their managers are trying to find ways to improve, trying to get it back up to the 90th percentile,” Richardson said. Great River also cares about the advancement of its staff, which adds to the quality of care. Richardson pointed to an example of an employee who started out as a nurse and advanced to hold vice president positions, including the nonprofit’s first vice president of quality, and eventually becoming the vice president of nursing. “People really go beyond the technical aspects of providing health care to really try to make a difference,” Richardson said. “That is what health care is all about. It’s not about the technical part.” implemented programs that said our underlying value was going to be patient satisfaction.” The programs worked. In 2002, Great River Medical Center received an award highlighting its rise to the 10 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 No. 5 Mary Greeley Medical Center | Large company category Strong relationships emphasized By Benjamin Evans Special to the Register Mary Greeley Medical Center Location: Ames Founded: 1916 Ownership: Public nonprofit Iowa Employees: 1,375 Top executive: Brian Dieter, President/CEO he key to fostering a positive workplace is building strong personal relationships between staff members, said Brian Dieter, President and CEO of Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. At Mary Greeley, Dieter explained, that process starts even before a person is hired. “The final decision in the hiring process of who comes to join our hospital is made by the team the individual is going to join,” Dieter said. Candidates applying for open T peer interview team. The goal of these teams is to determine whether the potential hire would work well with co-workers. “The candidates in these peer interviews are more relaxed, more comfortable and more honest,” Dieter said. “That allows our peers to ascertain how the candidates ultimately work in our unit.” But the impact of the peer interviews doesn’t stop after a candidate is hired. “Once the peers make that decision, then the staff is already invested in that person and so they bring the person on and it becomes part of their responsibility to ensure that individual’s success,” Dieter said. This personal investment grows into personal relationships and allows more experienced individuals to become mentors to new hires. Deiter attributes these types of relationships to Mary Greeley’s success. “We have caring people,” Dieter said. “And part of our message of caring is not only do we care for our patients, we care for their families and visitors and loved ones, but we also care for one another.” positions at the 220-bed hospital are interviewed by a “peer interview team” after they have been interviewed by human resources personnel. The hospital has a medical staff of more than 190 providers covering 50 specialties and sub-specialties, and each area has its own Large employers Rank Company Founded Ownership Sector Locations Employees 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Edward Jones Kwik Trip Inc. Waukee Community School District Great River Medical Center Mary Greeley Medical Center Go Daddy Integrated DNA Technologies Nationwide Vermeer Corporation McGladrey Hy-Vee, Inc. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company The Iowa Clinic Johnston Community School District WesleyLife 1922 1965 1916 1895 1916 1997 1987 1926 1948 1926 1930 1909 1994 1914 1947 Partnership Private Government Nonproﬁt Public Private Private Cooperative/Mutual Private Partnership Private Cooperative/Mutual Private Government Nonproﬁt Financial Services Convenience Store / Gas Station Primary / Secondary School Healthcare — Hospitals Hospitals Web Hosting & Domain Registration Biotechnology General Insurance Ag & Industrial Machinery Public accounting and consulting Supermarket Reinsurance and Direct Lines P & C Insurance Multi-specialty Outpatient Clinic School District Healthcare — Senior Living 226 66 1 5 1 1 1 4 1 7 125 1 7 1 9 513 1,112 932 1,821 1,381 509 538 4,389 2,364 583 28,775 550 712 797 1,250 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 11 No.1 QuikTrip | Midsized company category Randy Frein, manager of the QuikTrip convenience store at 1451 22nd St. in West Des Moines, has been with the company for 28 years. “People stay on for years,” Frein said. “And that makes for better employees.” BILL NEIBERGALL/THE REGISTER QuikTrip retains its employees for a long time By Patt Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org andy Frein is exactly the kind of employee convenience store chain QuikTrip works hard to develop. The 51-year-old manager of the QuikTrip on 22nd Street in West Des Moines has made a career with the company that hired him as an assistant manager 28 years ago. “They look at everyone they hire as having the potential of being a long-term employee,” Frein said. The Tulsa, Okla.-based convenience store chain bases its success on workers who, like Frein, stay with the company for years. Its turnover rate of 22 R percent is well below the national average of 45 percent, according to Convenience Store News. “Retention of employees is critical to our success,” said Ken Pierce, QuikTrip personnel manager. “Not only is it expensive to continually hire and train the same positions, but more-tenured employees have gained valuable training and experience that make them a more productive team member.” QuikTrip employs about 12,625 people at more than 660 stores in 11 states. That compares with Ankeny-based Casey’s General Stores’ 27,000 employees at 1,750 stores. “People stay on for years,” Frein said. “And that makes for better employees.” He started working for the company at a Des Moines store after dropping out of Drake University after his junior year because of finances. He had a new baby and needed the job. And he stayed. He has been provided career training, advancements and bonuses that have included trips to Hawaii and other places. And two of his three children have worked at a QuikTrip over the years. Frein said QuikTrip is a stand-up company that considers employees and community as an important part of business. “QuikTrip always does the right thing. It doesn’t put profits QuikTrip Corp. Location: Tulsa, Okla. Iowa locations: 25 Founded: 1958 Ownership: Private Iowa employees: 348 Top executive: Chester Cadieux III Revenue: $10.77 billion above what’s right,” Frein said. Chester Cadieux and Burt Holmes opened the first QuikTrip in Tulsa 55 years ago. Today, Cadieux’s son Chet runs the business. The privately held company has more than $10.77 billion in sales of gasoline, fountain drinks, snacks, cigarettes, coffee, prepared and packaged foods, and other items. 12 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 Ken Pierce, QuikTrip personnel manager, offers this perspective on why QuikTrip is a great employer: Q. Give an example of how you show employees that they are appreciated. A. A great example of this would be our annual CSA Trip. Each year the president of our company, Chet Cadieux, takes a group of store employees who have scored a perfect 100 percent on a customer service appraisal on a trip. Last year the trip was to Hawaii. He does this to show appreciation for their hard work and excellent results. Q. How do you inspire confidence in leadership and the organization’s direction? A. I think the biggest way we do this is by providing them a voice. We have resource groups for each employee that meet quarterly with division management and are allowed to share their thoughts and ideas. A very large portion of the changes we make and things we do come from suggestions of resource groups. Q. How do you show employees they are part of something meaningful? A. The company’s annual meeting is one way we do this. Our president, Chet Cadieux, holds a meeting in each division every year where he talks about where we have been and where we are going. It’s a big motivator for employees. I think the other way we show employees they are part of something meaningful is by giving a lot of training and support on a daily basis. Store managers also have regular meetings with each employee in the store, both full- and part-time employees. Team members know every shift that their success is very important to the success of the company. Q. How do you foster innovation and encourage employees to offer new ideas? A. I would go back to resource groups for part of this, but we also have a way for any employee to submit suggestions to various levels of management including the president. If it is a sales idea it would go to a sales manager, a personnel idea would go to the personnel manager and so on. We also have an open-door policy where management is available and willing to listen to all employees. QuikTrip employee Lizzie Chilcoat, 19, of Des Moines works the espresso machine at a QuikTrip store in West Des Moines. She said she loves her job and her customers. BILL NEIBERGALL/THE REGISTER The company has made Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list the last 11 years. Benefits include a Christmas bonus; a credit union; seniority awards; tuition reimbursement; paid sabbaticals; and a fund to help employees affected by emergency or disaster. Frein said locally, QuikTrip has participated in the annual holiday gift collection called Toys for Tots and has built homes through Habitat for Humanity. The company’s success is due in large part to its workforce. A 2011 case study by Harvard University detailed how QuikTrip’s focus on employees helps its bottom line. “QuikTrip makes decisions that increase costs in the short term but offer long-run benefits. For example, it invests in ‘relief employees,’ people who do not report to a specific store but are able to fill in for workers who get sick, take a vacation or have an emergency. These people ensure that the stores are never understaffed. QT also cross-trains employees for multiple functions, making it possible to shift employees as need dictates,” the Harvard study said. Lizzie Chilcoat, 19, joined the QT ranks when she was 16. She was working at the store at 19th Street and Ingersoll Avenue until the 22nd Street store in West Des Moines opened a year ago. The new store is what the company calls its Third Generation store because it is big, bright and has expanded food options. Touch screens allow customers to place orders for hot and cold drinks, smoothies and soft-serve ice cream. She said she applied for a job with the company because she often stopped in QuikTrips for drinks and snacks. “The clerks were always happy and it seemed like they loved their jobs,” she said. She works 40 hours a week without benefits because she doesn’t work overnight shifts at the 24-hour convenience store. Other part-time workers who log 40 hours are eligible for benefits after five years. She plans to stay until she finishes a nursing program she started this summer. “I love my job and I love the customers,” Chilcoat said. “They are one of the most honest and safe companies to work for. And if I had decided to stay, I am sure I could have furthered my career.” Chilcoat’s husband, Micah Chilcoat, works an overnight shift at a Des Moines QT store. “He loves it because it’s fast-paced,” she said. “We are looking for high-energy, outgoing people who like working with and around others in a fast-paced environment,” Pierce said. He has been with QuikTrip for 18 years. “I love the fact that we promote from within. You will get a lot of training, direction and support at QuikTrip to help you reach your professional goals,” he said. IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 13 No. 2 Farm Credit Services of America | Midsized company category Fun builds camaraderie, success By Perry Beeman Special to the Register Farm Credit Services of America Locations: 19 in Iowa. Headquarters in Omaha, Neb. Founded: 1917 Ownership: Customers Iowa employees: 347 Top executive: CEO Doug Stark Revenue: $712 million arm Credit Services of America nurtures its employees with award-winning benefits and a reputation for attracting young professionals. The Omaha-based financial services and insurance cooperative caters to employee morale, collaboration and drive “in so many ways,” said Jill Borgelt, the firm’s organizational development and leadership specialist. For example, employees can reward a hard-working co-worker with a $25 gift card provided by the company, any time, without limit. And they can drink free soda and juices. Thank you notes fly around like F so much ticker tape. “You get feedback if you do something well,” Borgelt said. FCS has garnered many awards. The Omaha operation this year was ranked the best workplace in the city in a program sponsored by the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and Baird Holm Law Firm. Previously, the firm won the Young Professionals Choice Award, topping 75 other applicants in a competition that honors organizations good at attracting and nurturing young employees. The staff participates in massive volunteer efforts. Last year, employees put in 2,000 team hours at local nonprofits. Workers willing to brainstorm ideas to improve the company get days off to participate. The leadership regularly keeps goals front and center. “Our leaders have conversations all the time about the vision,” Borgelt said. The firm understands that a little fun builds camaraderie, collaboration and success. Every so often, a barbecue breaks out with a live band. Bonuses are offered if the company meets its goals. A broad benefits package includes flexible hours, a health and fitness account, a computer purchase program and wellness programs. In addition, Farm Credit paid its customer-owners $130 million in dividends in 2012, part of the $700 million it provided since 2004. FCS also contributes $100,000 for annual sponsorships to 4-H and FFA groups. It offers $2,500 land-grant university scholarships to juniors and seniors and $1,000 annual community college scholarships to students studying agriculture. -Equal Opportunity Employer- 14 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 No. 3 University of Iowa Community Credit Union | Midsized company category Employees are key to success By Mitchell Schmidt Iowa City Press-Citizen afraid to act on that feedback.” After all, those employees are key in setting the credit union apart from the competition, he said. “If you really simplify things, we’re a commodity-based business, we buy and sell money,” Disterhoft said. “The only differentiating factor in terms of the quality of service that we provide our members is really the quality of our staff.” Since opening in a small basement storeroom with 27 members in 1938, the credit union has grown to 261 employees among nine eastern Iowa locations, more than 100,000 members and $2 billion in assets. ocusing on the needs of the staff of the University of Iowa Community Credit Union is key, said President and CEO Jeff Disterhoft. “We’re always flattered when we receive some sort of accolade or recognition from our employees,” he said. Employees are one of the company’s three priority groups of stakeholders, along with the members and the communities that the credit union serves. “The biggest takeaway is that we proactively solicit the feedback from our employees,” Disterhoft said. “We’re not afraid to do so, and we’re not F In 1987, the credit union transitioned from serving University of Iowa faculty, staff and students to serving the public in their respective communities. The credit union has three locations in Iowa City and branches in Coralville, North Liberty, Grinnell, Hiawatha, Vinton, Cedar Rapids and a new location set to open next year in Marion. A new headquarters in North Liberty will open in mid-October. “There’s no doubt getting a lot of our administrative folks under one roof will be helpful,” Disterhoft said of the new headquarters. “It’s helpful in terms of communication. It’s helpful in terms of relationships.” University of Iowa Community Credit Union Locations: Three Iowa City locations, Coralville, North Liberty, Grinnell, Hiawatha, Cedar Falls, Vinton and Cedar Rapids. A new location will open in Marion next year. A new headquarters in North Liberty will open in October. Founded: 1938. Ownership: Member-owned financial cooperative. Iowa employees: 261. Top executive: Jeff Disterhoft, president and CEO. Assets: $2 billion. No. 4 IMT Group | Large company category Family atmosphere in the office helps sustain steady growth By Victor Epstein email@example.com The IMT Group Locations: West Des Moines, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, S.D. Founded: 1884 Ownership: Owned by its policyholders. Total Employees: 261; 212 in Iowa Top Executive: Richard Keith who left did so because they retired. “We just don’t lose people — hardly at all,” said Keith. “I can’t even remember the last time someone left us to take a job with another insurance company.” Keith attributes IMT’s retention rate to two main factors: a corporate culture that treats workers like family and a focus on stable long-term corporate growth, rather than maximizing less sustainable short-term gains. The distance between managers and rank-and-file workers is narrow at IMT, which reflects Keith’s unpretentious manner. There is neither an ichard Keith has compiled a slew of impressive metrics since taking over as chief executive officer of the IMT Group 10 years ago. From 2004 to 2012, revenue at the West Des Moines-based mutual insurer grew 50 percent to $149 million, profit rose 25 percent to $11.4 million, and total assets surged 58 percent to $276 million. But Keith takes special pride in the company’s high employee retention rate. The property and casualty insurer has retained 110 of the 181 staffers who worked there in 2003 — about 61 percent — and estimates that half of those R executive bathroom nor executive cafeteria at the 129-year-old company. “We have fun and the people like working here,” said Keith, 67. “I’m a strong believer that if I give an employee or a group of employees a goal — say, ‘We want this done this year,’ or whatever — I just can’t say I want that done and then a year later come in and ask those employees, ‘Well, where’s it at?’ “I need to stay involved throughout that whole year and basically give them the feedback they need (and) be there if they have issues or problems or whatever. I’ve got to be with them doing this. Not off in some castle pointing at them and telling them to get something done.” IMT pays for all the insurance-related courses its employees take and covers the cost of half of other business courses. “We give opportunities, we hire within (and) we very seldom go outside for any promotion,” Keith said. • 15 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • No. 5 Easter Seals Iowa | Midsized company category Easter Seals breaks all the rules By Benjamin Evans Special to the Register Easter Seals Iowa Location: Des Moines Founded: 1926 Ownership: Nonprofit Iowa Employees: 229 Top executive: Sherri Nielsen, President/CEO he leadership team at Easter Seals Iowa has one guiding philosophy in creating a passionate, learning-driven workplace: Break all the rules. The philosophy is based on the book “First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, and it helps the nonprofit foster a culture of learning and growth in its two Des Moines locations. Sherri Nielsen, president and T variety of services for people with disabilities, from managing medical care plans, loaning assistive technology and helping find suitable employment, to offering day camp and childcare directly to disabled children. To provide these services, Nielsen said, it takes a special kind of employee. “To be a part of our mission is to fall in love with us,” Nielsen said. “It’s about learning and growing, bringing in people who have the same passion and making opportunities available to them so they can grow.” One of those opportunities is an annual leadership book club that targets areas that managers think need work, Nielsen said. The book club is required for all managers, but is open to every staff member in the organization as a chance to grow and learn. “People really like the opportunity to be involved and sit next to their leader and their leader’s leader, and learn the same things that they are learning,” Nielsen said. chief executive officer, explained that the key to nurturing this culture starts with her entire staff’s engagement with helping the disabled achieve their dreams. The organization provides a 2x TOP WORKPLACE WINNER – 2012 & 2013 Agricredit Acceptance is honored to be named a Top Workplace in Iowa for 2013 Our continued success is a result of our loyal and dedicated employees working together to provide the best service in the industry. 50 years of experience in the Food & Agribusiness segment Provide suppliers, manufacturers, dealers and distributors with ﬁnance services Global footprint in over 20 countries Find us at www.agricredit.com Agricredit is proud to offer our employees a great work environment and a generous beneﬁts package including: Casual Dress Code Tuition Reimbursement Community Involvement Wellness Initiatives Career Development Opportunities Fitness Center Reimbursement Generous PTO Allotment Agricredit Acceptance LLC 8001 Birchwood Court, Suite C PO Box 2000 Johnston, IA 50131-0020 www.agricredit.com 13F&A239 7/13 16 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 17 Midsized employers Rank Company Founded Ownership Sector Locations Employees 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 QuikTrip Farm Credit Services of America University Of Iowa Community Credit Union The IMT Group Easter Seals Iowa Hagie Manufacturing Company Van Meter Inc. VGM Group, Inc. Village Northwest Unlimited Washington Community School Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons Clarke County Hospital Fort Madison Community Hospital Stewart Memorial Community Hospital Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts, P.C. Jefferson County Health Center Palo Alto County Health System MidWestOne Bank Bankers Trust Company Kossuth Regional Health Center Homesteaders Life Company Cambridge Investment Research Agricredit Acceptance/ De Lage Landen Goodwill of the Heartland Candeo Holmes Murphy & Assoc Inc Iowa Valley Community College District ITAGroup Inc American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company Willis Auto Campus Deerﬁeld Retirement Community GE Capital Hubbell Realty Company Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. of Iowa Interstate All Battery Center-Urbandale Mudd Advertising On With Life, Inc Inﬁnity Contact Inc. Farmers Cooperative Society 1958 1917 1938 1884 1926 1947 1928 1986 1975 1840 1971 1953 1977 1962 1862 1929 1912 1965 1934 1917 1949 1906 1981 1950 1965 1993 1932 1966 1963 1996 1947 2005 1892 1856 1893 1952 1981 1987 1996 1907 Private Cooperative/Mutual Cooperative/Mutual Cooperative/Mutual Nonproﬁt Private Private Private Private Public Partnership Government Nonproﬁt Nonproﬁt Private Partnership Nonproﬁt Public Public Private Public Cooperative/Mutual Private Parent company Nonproﬁt Nonproﬁt Private Public Private Public Private Nonproﬁt Public Private Cooperative/Mutual Private Private Nonproﬁt Private Cooperative/Mutual Convenience Store / Gas Station Financial Services & Insurance Credit Union Property and Casualty Human and social services Agricultural Machinery Wholesale Distribution Business Services Nonproﬁt Primary / Secondary School Orthopaedic Surgeons Hospitals Healthcare - Hospitals Hospitals Residential Real Estate Law Hospitals Health Center Financial Services & Insurance Commercial Bank Health Center Life Insurance, Annuities, & Retirement Investments Financial Services Broker Dealer Credit & Finance Human and social services Human and social services Insurance Consultants & Brokers Community College Performance Improvement Life Insurance, Annuities, & Retirement Investments Auto Dealership Senior Living Community Commercial Lending & Leasing Development Risk Management Solutions Sales and Distribution of Consumer Products Advertising Rehabilitation Customer Contact Center Agricultural Retail 25 19 10 2 2 1 12 1 1 1 3 1 1 4 11 4 1 1 25 13 2 1 1 1 22 1 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 7 348 347 261 212 229 364 388 495 283 255 180 158 429 245 290 176 192 221 395 482 227 168 457 172 407 291 306 230 386 392 315 172 456 178 239 165 171 206 339 271 18 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 Shors & Roberts, P.C. 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 Jefferson County Health Center Palo Alto County Health System MidWestOne Bank Kossuth Regional Health Center Homesteaders Life Company Cambridge Investment Research Agricredit Acceptance/ De Lage Landen Goodwill of the Heartland Candeo Holmes Murphy & Assoc Inc Iowa Valley Community College District ITAGroup Inc American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company Willis Auto Campus Deerﬁeld Retirement Community GE Capital Hubbell Realty Company Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. of Iowa Interstate All Battery Center-Urbandale Mudd Advertising On With Life, Inc Inﬁnity Contact Inc. Farmers Cooperative Society 1912 1965 1934 1917 1949 1906 1981 1950 1965 1993 1932 1966 1963 1996 1947 2005 1892 1856 1893 1952 1981 1987 1996 1907 Nonproﬁt Public Public Private Public Cooperative/Mutual Private Parent company Nonproﬁt Nonproﬁt Private Public Private Public Private Nonproﬁt Public Private Cooperative/Mutual Private Private Nonproﬁt Private Cooperative/Mutual Hospitals Health Center Financial Services & Insurance Commercial Bank Health Center Life Insurance, Annuities, & Retirement Investments Financial Services Broker Dealer Credit & Finance Human and social services Human and social services Insurance Consultants & Brokers Community College Performance Improvement Life Insurance, Annuities, & Retirement Investments Auto Dealership Senior Living Community Commercial Lending & Leasing Development Risk Management Solutions Sales and Distribution of Consumer Products Advertising Rehabilitation Customer Contact Center Agricultural Retail 1 1 25 13 2 1 1 1 22 1 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 7 192 221 395 482 227 168 457 172 407 291 306 230 386 392 315 172 456 178 239 165 171 206 339 271 20 Midsized Bankers Trust Company employers (cont.) Top Places to Work Easter Seals Iowa an Iowa Top Workplace for two consecutive years. Thank you to our team members for always believing in the possibilities for Iowans with disabilities. is honored to be named Bankers Trust understands the value of hiring and developing good employees. We treat people the way they want to be treated. Visit BankersTrust.com, and search Employment Opportunities to join the Bankers Trust team. (515) 245-2863 BankersTrust.com Member FDIC DM-9000391287 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 19 No.1 Spindustry | Small company category ‘A cool place to work’ By Marco Santana firstname.lastname@example.org Spindustry Location: Clive Founded: 1996 Ownership: Private Iowa employees: 35 Top executive: Michael Bird and Stephen Fry, co-founders ason LaCava does not have to check in with his boss at Spindustry in Clive to leave work and pick up his son early from child care if he’s sick. If LaCava, the company’s art director, gets thirsty during a project, he can get a free can of soda at the machine in the break room. He can even hop on a virtual ostrich in the break room and play a few rounds of the old classic arcade game Joust for a breather. Yep, working at Spindustry has its perks. “When you go around telling your friends what a cool place this is to work, this list J solidifies it,” LaCava said. “It shines a light on why clients have success with us. We are happy and it shines through. It’s an amazing honor (to be named a top workplace), but it was not a big shock.” The list comes directly from employee nominations and comments. For this reason, Spindustry co-owner Michael Michael Bird, who co-founded Spindustry with Stephen Fry, helped establish a workplace that provides all kinds of perks for its employees. BILL NEIBERGALL/THE REGISTER PROVIDING THE BEST FOR OUR CUSTOMERS AND OUR EMPLOYEES. We’re proud that our employees ranked us as one of Iowa’s top 100 employers. Visit holmesmurphy.com/careers to learn how you can be part of our team. 3001 Westown Parkway West Des Moines, IA 50266 515-223-6800 | 800-247-7756 holmesmurphy.com DES MOINES | CEDAR RAPIDS | DAVENPORT © 2013 Holmes Murphy & Associates 20 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 Bird said the recognition meant more to him than any previous award the company has received. “Being recognized by peers and clients is great,” he said. “But the people you spend the most time with and build the company with, you struggle with and succeed with, are the employees. To know they have the confidence and belief and they will tell others that this is a great place to work, it’s hugely rewarding and touching. Something you value above everything else.” Bird co-founded Spindustry with Stephen Fry. In a building in Clive, Bird and his team produce digital content for companies to build and promote themselves. They advise strategies for other firms that incorporate website development, social media training and even mobile application development all under one roof. The company counts government agencies like the Iowa Economic Development Authority, commercial businesses like the car wash supplier Ryko and schools like Grand View University among its clients. After 17 years in the business, Bird said the company’s experience serves it well in an industry that has grown quickly as more companies seek an online presence. “This is an easy business to start,” said Bird, who made clear that he respects anyone who tries to enter the competitive industry. “But between the ones that fade out, or move away, there is something to be said for longevity and the proof is in the pudding.” Spindustry was established in Michael Bird, president of Spindustry, said being named a top workplace is the company’s biggest award. It’s “something you value above everything else,” he said. BILL NEIBERGALL/THE REGISTER 1996 as a company that focused primarily on building databases for other companies. Before the dot-com bubble burst in 2000 and 2001, Spindustry turned to digital marketing, showing how website development and other strategies could make money for clients. At that point, most companies had not seen its potential. “We were trying to sell (return on investment) when everyone else was saying, ‘Oh, look, it glows,’ ” Bird said. Spindustry had to prove to clients why it was necessary to go online, questions that California and New York firms W e are On With Life, a not-for-proﬁt organization and a Midwest leader in brain injury rehabilitation. We began as the dream of a dedicated, passionate group of survivors and their families, faced with the challenge of rebuilding lives shattered by brain injury. They envisioned a program that would provide rehabilitation services to persons living with brain injury. Since opening in 1991, we have served more than 2,500 Iowans and their families. On With Life offers a continuum of services for people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumor, aneurysm or other brain injury. IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 21 didn’t face because huge budgets allowed online experimentation. All companies that survived after the dot-com bubble burst soon had to answer those questions, however. That put Spindustry in prime position for success. “The dot-com failure helped us because people started to ask those questions we had been answering for years,” he said. “They had to ask, ‘How is the Internet really helping my business?’ ” As they improved their message, they also stuck with one founding principle Bird has not lost. That is treating employees with respect. “I’ve never worked at a place that had such an intense family atmosphere,” said LaCava, the art director who has been in marketing for most of his life. “Everyone always has your back, no matter what.” VAN METER INC. SUPPLIES | SERVICES | SOLUTIONS www.vanmeterinc.com 22 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 a winning workplace proud TO BE NAMED Jason LaCava, art director and marketing strategist at Spindustry in Clive, said he has never worked at a place that has such an intense family atmosphere. “Everyone always has your back, no matter what,” he said. BILL NEIBERGALL/THE REGISTER No. 2 Keller Williams Realty | Small company category Agents at center of realty firm By Donnelle Eller email@example.com uccess is important at Keller Williams, says Des Moines leader Brian Wentz. But the company wants to build it the right way — in an ethical atmosphere that’s centered around agents “who are happy and enjoy where they are.” “When our people accomplish what they want to accomplish, then the company accomplishes what it wants to accomplish,” says Wentz, the Des Moines CEO. “Helping our people become the best they can be is a critical part of our environment,” says Wentz, who has seen the number of agents joining the company nearly double so far this year. S The approach must be working. The 100 Keller Williams employees in Des Moines, along with an additional 49 at a sister agency in Davenport, believe the company is the best place in the state to work. The focus on agents goes beyond lip service, Wentz says. Agents play an important role in the company’s leadership council. They share in the agency’s profits. They share in the parent corporation’s profits. And agents get intense training, mentoring and co-worker support, says Wentz, whose office opened in April 2012. The focus begins when agents join Keller Williams, he says. They’re asked about their personal goals, since that drives their professional goals. They call it the “big why” and display it in an office poster: One agent wants a Catholic education for her two kids. Another wants to be debt-free to travel the world. Agents also get an unobstructed view of the company books. They know how much the office pays for Post-its. “They hold us accountable,” he says. That makes Keller Williams different from other real estate companies, says Wentz, who expects the office to sell about 8 percent of the Des Moines metro homes this year. That would put the company’s sales volume at $118 million. Another factor is Keller Williams’ belief that agents need to make faith their first priority. Keller Williams Realty Locations: Des Moines and Davenport Founded: The parent company, Keller Williams, based in Austin, Texas, began in 1983. Ownership: Private Iowa employees: 149 Top Iowa executives: Brian Wentz, CEO/team leader, and Kacy Bell, operating partner. It fits with the corporate philosophy of doing what’s moral before what’s necessarily profitable. “No one faith is the right faith,” Wentz says. But “we believe in having priorities ... believing in something greater than yourself.” The VGM Group, Inc., is honored to be named one of The Des Moines Register’s Top Workplaces in Iowa for a second time. The VGM Group, Inc., proudly headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa, is a dynamic member service organization with more than 550 employees and more than 8,000 valued members across the country. Become a valued associate at one of the best workplaces in Iowa by visiting www.vgm.com/careers We believe we have the BEST people in the industry and are truly honored to be listed three years in a row as a Top Workplace in the state of Iowa! 6000 Westown Pkwy West Des Moines, IA 50266 www.american-equity.com 888-221-1234 VGM: A Better Way To DO business. www.vgm.com FALL 2013 • • 23 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 No. 3 Carrier Access Inc. | Small company category Carrier Access uses basic values By Marco Santana firstname.lastname@example.org T he appearance of Carrier Access in Iowa’s Top Workplaces is no accident. because one is no good without the other. If you have a steady workplace with steady people, you build steady relationships with customers.” Carrier provides cloud services, customer support, wireless telephone infrastructure and other products to telecommunications companies, such as CenturyLink. Phelps said the company’s efforts to improve the work environment have to be balanced to make sure the office does not turn into a free-for-all. “You don’t want to trade off a good work environment for President and CEO Brendan Phelps said the company made a push about seven years ago to improve the work environment at the nine-year-old Clive firm. The effort included a 12-member consultant team that analyzed the workplace and made recommendations. The topic “is an important one to us,” Phelps said. “We try to treat our employees the same as we do our customers one where people get to do whatever, whenever,” he said. “We have a lot of good people on our management team and we hold each other accountable to our strengths and weaknesses as a team.” The company has roughly 50 employees, including six on its management team. Phelps, who grew up in Cedar Falls, said his approach is not anything revolutionary. “It is a fine line,” he said. “It has taken a lot of time and effort, but it is just practice more than anything.” He said the values behind improving a work environment are little more than just an Carrier Access Inc. Location: Clive Founded: 2004 Ownership: Private Iowa employees: 50 Top executive: President and CEO Brendan Phelps extension of lessons that most people learn when they are children. “People try to make this overcomplicated,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be. You treat people like you want to be treated, and you do what you say you’re going to do.” No. 4 Clickstop, Inc. | Small company category Clickstop adds a VP of culture By Sarah Binder Special to the Register or Tim Guenther, company culture and business strategy go together like chocolate and peanut butter. That’s how the Clickstop Inc. founder described his leadership team. As owner and CEO, Guenther tries to keep tabs on both culture and strategy. His CFO is wholly in charge of charting the company’s impressive growth. And last year, the combination was completed with the addition of a vice president of culture and communications. Clickstop, an Internet retailer for specialty products, is known as one of the fastest-growing companies in Iowa. Jim Mayhew was promoted to the new position to ensure the company’s culture is expanding F at the same rate as its sales. His department oversees the recruiting, hiring and retention cycle; wellness programs including health coaching, a fitness room and healthful catered meals; communications and external relations; and general support for the company’s culture — including the occasional meeting over a game of pool. Ultimately, though, Guenther believes a great workplace comes down to great people. “Everyone says they have great people,” he said. “But, you give us task A, and you give task A to another company, I believe we’re going to win every time. We just have the best people.” Guenther had always tried to maintain a standard of open communication and respect for all, but he said it became difficult for the leadership team to focus on both their day-to-day jobs and the intangibles of company culture. Promoting Mayhew to a role dealing exclusively with culture was a big step, he said. Clickstop itself does not sell any products, but is a parent company to several ecommerce brands. It started in Guenther’s home in 2005, when he was selling equipment for trucking companies under the brand US Cargo Control. Instead of creating a traditional catalog, he built a website to show off his products, and subsequently became fascinated with the world of ecommerce. US Cargo Control still represents the majority of Clickstop’s business, but the company has acquired and developed several other brands, including EcoFoil (a reflective insulation), BellyBling Clickstop Inc. Locations: Two locations in Urbana Founded: 2005 Ownership: Private Iowa employees: 83 Top executive: Tim Guenther, president and CEO Revenue: $15 million (body jewelry), and SpaceSavers (home organizing products). Clickstop has appeared on Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies for four years. This year, it was named the fifthfastest-growing company in Iowa and the 86thfastest-growing retail company in the nation, charting 256 percent growth since 2009. 24 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 No. 5 Peddicord Wharton | Small company category Peddicord Wharton law firm boosts its profits by treating staff well By Victor Epstein email@example.com attorneys and 35 total employees. “We just do not have turnover — period,” he said. “We haven’t fired anyone in so long that I don’t even know what it means. It’s been over 10 years — might have been 15 — since anyone’s needed firing.” When a pregnant employee has a child the firm purchases the office equipment she needs to work from home and allows her to do so for as long she wishes. The privately held limited liability corporation also champions the “flex time” concept, which allows employees to work part of their time in the office and part of it at home. New employees start with two weeks of personal time off, which includes both vacation and sick time. They get a third week after five years and a fourth after 10 years. oland “Dale” Peddicord is a bit of an outlier at a time when so many executives are fond of using the phrase “it’s not personal, it’s strictly business” when dealing with labor costs. The founder of the Peddicord Wharton law firm in West Des Moines has no use for the line. He maintains that business is inherently personal and treating employees well is a key part of maximizing long-term profit growth. “Being good to your employees is being good to your business,” Peddicord said. “We’re family.” Peddicord Wharton, which specializes in insurance law, has never had a layoff and has dismissed only one employee in the past 15 years, he said. It’s grown into a business with 14 R “They can use the PTO for whatever they want to use it for — vacation, sick, or they just don’t want to come in that day,” Peddicord said. The firm pays for Friday afternoon barbecues and closes down to create four-day weekends whenever a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday. “You get what you pay for,” Peddicord said. “If you are honest with your people, and you reward your people, and you support your people, then your people will support you back.” Peddicord Wharton Location: West Des Moines Founded: April 1, 1965 Ownership: Limited liability partnership Employees: 35 Top executive: President Roland “Dale” Peddicord Revenue: About $5 million Hear Roland “Dale” Peddicord talk about his approach to labor at www.desmoinesregister.com IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 25 Small employers Rank Company Founded Ownership Sector Locations Employees 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 Spindustry Digital Keller Williams Realty Carrier Access, Inc. Clickstop, Inc. Peddicord, Wharton, Spencer, Hook, Barron & Wegman LLP Palmer Group Iowa State Bank Infomax Ofﬁce Systems Inc Noble Ford Mercury Inc Saint Jude Hospice Rock Valley Physical Therapy Innovative Software Engineering CASS Incorporated TS Bank Central Financial Group Halvorson Trane Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, The Erhard Financial Group REMAX Real Estate Concepts Clinton Community College Submittal Exchange Clear Lake Bank & Trust Company Peoples Bank Community Support Advocates Global Reach Internet Productions The Barrent Group OPN Architects Inc Banno Ackley State Bank Knapp Properties, Inc. New York Life Insurance Company, Des Moines General Ofﬁce Iowa Donor Network Pizza Ranch, Inc. Brick Gentry, P.C. Olsson Associates LWBJ Financial, LLC MediRevv Fitzpatrick Auto Center KPMG DISTek Integration, Inc. INVISION Planning, Architecture, Interiors Wright Tree Service Outcomes Incorporated Vital Support Systems, a TDS Company Circle Computer Resources BrownWinick 1996 1983 2003 2009 1965 1998 1928 1958 1985 2012 1984 2003 1977 1923 1982 1989 1857 2000 1946 2003 1934 1946 1997 1995 2008 1979 2008 1934 1992 1845 1994 1981 1966 1956 1992 2007 1958 1987 1992 1945 1933 1999 2001 1986 1951 Private Private Private Private Partnership Private Private Private Private Private Partnership Private Nonproﬁt Private Partnership Private Cooperative /Mutual Private Public Partnership Private Private Partnership Private Private Partnership Private Private Private Cooperative/ Mutual Nonproﬁt Private Partnership Private Parent company Private Partnership Partnership Private Private Private Private Public Private Partnership Digital Marketing Agency Agents / Brokers Connectivity Professional Services Industrial / Commercial Supplies Law Employment Firm Community Bank Ofﬁce Technology Products and Services Auto Dealership Hospice Rehabilitation Custom Software Development & Consulting Human and social services Financial Services Life Insurance, Annuities, & Retirement Investment HVAC Financial Services & Insurance Agents / Brokers College / University Financial Services & Insurance Community Bank Disability Services Website Design & Development Mortgage Quality Assurance Architecture Financial Technology Commercial Bank Property Management Life Insurance, Annuities, & Retirement Investment Nonproﬁt Restaurant Legal and professional representation Civil Engineering Certiﬁed Public Accountants & Consultants Vendor Serving Healthcare Industry Automotive Dealership Certiﬁed Public Accountants & Consultants Custom Software Development & Consulting Planning, Architecture, Interiors Utility Vegetation Management Medication Therapy Management (MTM) VAR, Managed Services, IT Consulting Custom Internet Connection Builder Law Firm 1 2 1 2 1 1 5 2 2 3 15 1 1 4 10 2 7 7 1 3 6 1 3 1 2 2 5 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 3 3 2 35 93 37 51 35 51 51 60 56 37 119 42 90 72 43 62 83 90 62 81 66 89 64 37 71 84 65 42 70 97 124 64 46 35 35 113 47 66 82 49 67 47 103 57 88 Vertical Industry Software Products & Services 1 26 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 DESIGN COPY – NOT FOR PROOF Workplace achiever employers These employers are recognized as “workplace achievers,” organizations that did not make the top 100 but whose scores ﬁnished above the national average. Company Founded Ownership Sector Locations Employees C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP Des Moines Christian School Drake University GNB Bank Green Hills Retirement Community Innovative Injection Technologies Iowa Network Services, Inc. LightEdge Solutions Murphy-Brown LLC a subsidiary of Smithﬁeld Foods R & R Realty Group Sogeti USA South Ottumwa Savings Bank Stellar Industries TeamQuest Corporation Whole Foods Market 1905 1960 1948 1881 1934 1983 1960 1986 1996 2001 1985 2002 1903 1990 1991 1980 Public Partnership Non-proﬁt Non-proﬁt Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Cooperative/ Mutual Private Private Private Public Transportation/Logistics Accounting Private School College / University Community Bank Senior Living Plastic & Rubber Telecommunications & Cable Managed Services & Outsourcing Food / Beverages Property Mgmt/Const. Mgmt/Agent Broker Custom Software Development & Consulting Community Bank Manufacturing Enterprise Software Food / Grocery 6 2 1 1 6 1 1 2 4 1 1 1 6 1 1 1 169 82 119 939 82 115 190 215 78 124 104 58 64 284 135 130 Our Mission is to ENRICH LIVES! Community Support Services for People with Disabilities Atlantic, Iowa Our employees love what they do—and it shows! “I teach life skills to people so they can live more independently. They in turn teach me life lessons so I can live more inspired.” Employee Sally Carlson 3 years as one of Iowa’s Top Workplaces Twice ranked #1 in Meaningfulness of Work www.cassincorporated.org IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 27 Saint Jude Hospice is unique in that we allow for God’s love to freely ﬂow. Rooted in our Christian faith, our philosophy is simple: “radical, loving care.” Love is what drives Saint Jude’s to provide an environment of generosity and kindness, of honor and dignity, and all within the comfort of the home. During a season of vulnerability and loss, Saint Jude’s approach to care is reassuring, ushering in the comforting peace of Christ while leaving space for unexpected moments of joy. The mission of Saint Jude Hospice: to bring healing to those with life-limiting or terminal illness, who—along with their healthcare provider—have decided to seek comfort care over a cure. We carry out this mission from metro locations in Omaha, Madison, Des Moines, Council Blu s, Baraboo, Delavan, Hiawatha and Topeka, serving across these cities and their surrounding counties. No one will be turned away because of an inability to pay; funding is provided by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and even individuals. Strengthened by faith, empowered by our core values and led by our “Servant’s Hearts,” we are Saint Jude Hospice: Where Love and Healing Flow. DM-9000390695 28 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 150 Top Workplaces nationally, as determined by WorkplaceDynamics Top 10 1. Quicken Loans, Detroit 2. The Container Store, Coppell, Texas 3. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., The Woodlands, Texas 4. Park Place Dealerships, Dallas 5. EOG Resources Inc., Houston 6. Pioneer Natural Resources, Irving, Texas 7. Mattress Firm, Houston 8. Coyote Logistics, Chicago 9. Keller Williams Realty, Austin, Texas 10. NuStar Energy, San Antonio, Texas Selected employers with Iowa operations include: 16. Edward Jones 21. Kwik Trip Inc. 42. Whole Foods Market 46. Microsoft Corp. 65. C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. 70. Northwestern Mutual 77. Interstate Battery System of America 82. FedEx 97. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans 110. Fareway Stores Inc. 115. EMC Insurance Cos. 117. Ernst & Young LLP The full list is available at www.topworkplaces.com. Atlantic: • CASS Inc Treynor: • TS Bank Urbandale: • Northwestern Mutual Financial Network West Des Moines: • Hy-Vee Orange City: • Pizza Ranch, Inc Three-year winners Eighteen Iowa employers have made the Top Workplaces list each of the last three years. Algona: • Kossuth Regional Health Center Clear Lake: • Clear Lake Bank & Trust Clarion: • Hagie Manufacturing Marshalltown: • Iowa Valley Grinnell: Community College District • Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co. Des Moines: • Nationwide • American Equity Investment Life Insurance • REMAX Real Estate Concepts Cedar Falls: • Mudd Advertising North Liberty: • Iowa Donor Network Coralville: Iowa City: • Integrated • University of Iowa DNA Technologies Community Credit Union Fairﬁeld: • Cambridge Investment Research THE REGISTER Iowa’s Top Workplaces, 2012 results Large employers 1. Edward Jones, St. Louis, Mo., with locations throughout Iowa 2. Veridian Credit Union, Waterloo 3. Go Daddy, Scottsdale, Ariz., with location in Hiawatha 4. Pella Regional Health Center, Pella 5. EMC Insurance Cos., Des Moines Midsized employers 1. University of Iowa Community Credit Union, Iowa City 2. Fort Madison Community Hospital, Fort Madison 3. Palmer Lutheran Health Center, West Union 4. Van Meter Inc., Cedar Rapids 5. Clarke County Hospital, Osceola Small employers 1. TS Bank, Treynor 2. Banno, Cedar Falls 3. Noel-Levitz, Coralville 4. REMAX Real Estate Concepts, Des Moines 5. Iowa SB, Algona 2011 results Large employers 1. Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ankeny 2. Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny 3. Pella Regional Health Center, Pella 4. Hy-Vee, West Des Moines 5. Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge Midsized employers 1. Davis Brown law firm, Des Moines 2. Madison County Health Care System, Winterset 3. VGM Group, Waterloo 4. GreatAmerica Leasing Corp., Cedar Rapids 5. Dupaco Community Credit Union, Dubuque Small employers 1. New York Life Insurance Co., West Des Moines 2. Home Instead Senior Care, Des Moines 3. Clear Lake Bank & Trust Co., Clear Lake 4. Lakeview Surgery Center, West Des Moines 5. CASS Inc., Atlantic IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 29 Awards Employers, managers honored The following special award recipients were chosen based on standout scores for employee responses to specific survey statements. Employees rate these statements (Such as “I have confidence in the leader of this company”) on a seven-point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Leadership Criteria: I have confidence in the leader of this company at a breakneck speed.” Small: Brendan Phelps, Carrier Access Inc. Employee comment: “He excels at bringing people together and finding how to utilize their specific gifts towards the benefit of the organization.” Winners Large: David Wilkerson, Waukee Community School District Employee comment: “Dr. Dave has an excellent vision for our schools. He is a people person and understands that sometimes employees just need to be heard and have a pat on the back.” Direction Criteria: I believe this company is going in the right direction Winner: QuikTrip Employee comment: “We are working toward goals that will carry us into the future as margins from old standby products diminish. We have a beautiful new store design and I am very excited about it!” IMT Group President, CEO & Chairman of the Board Richard Keith at the company's W.D.M. headquarters. BILL NEIBERGALL/THE REGISTER me learn and grow. My manager makes it easier to do my job well. My manager cares about my concerns. suggestions; comments of this nature are welcome and sometimes contests are done and prizes awarded for the best idea.” Midsize: Jeff Disterhoft, University of Iowa Community Credit Union Employee comment: “He is easily approachable; I have never in my life worked for an organization where the CEO treats you in such a personable manner. He also has a passion for connecting with all of our staff individually, even as we grow Winner: Easter Seals Iowa Employee comment: “Senior staff in general are available to answer questions at any time. There is always someone in the office to help. Are all friendly, have a smile, listen, and I am extremely pleased with managerial staff in case management.” Managers Criteria: My manager helps Doers Criteria: At this company, we do things efficiently and well. Winner: Keller Williams Realty Employee comment: “They have and give you a clear path for whatever it is that needs to be completed.” New Ideas Criteria: New ideas are encouraged at this company Meaningfulness Criteria: My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful. Winner: Edward Jones Employee comment: David Wilkerson, Waukee Community School District Jeff Disterhoft, CEO, University of Iowa Community Credit Union. CHRISTOPHER GANNON/THE REGISTER “We have several ways to submit our input or Winner: Village Northwest Unlimited 30 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 Employee comment: “We walk our talk. We provide purpose, privacy and dignity to those we serve. ... The team I work on is like none other: good communication, mutual respect, mutual support, co-mentoring. This benefits our customers with a quality service that is appreciated.” Clued-in Senior Management Criteria: Senior managers understand what is really happening at this company. Winner: Spindustry Digital Employee comment: Managers use monthly staff meetings, weekly Tuesday morning meetings, business status updates via email and senior leadership vision presentations. Work/Life Flexibility Criteria: I have the flexibility I need to balance my work and personal life. Winner: The Barrent Group Employee comment: “Having the availability to come in early, or work a Saturday so you have time available to be with family is very important and a nice benefit to have.” Winner: The IMT Group Employee comment: “There are no hidden agendas. Everyone wants everyone else to be able to do their job to the best of their ability. Everyone is genuine and no one makes you feel inferior in any way.” Appreciation Criteria: I feel genuinely appreciated at this company Ethics Criteria: This company operates by strong values and ethics. Winner: Peddicord, Wharton, Spencer, Hook, Barron & Wegman LLP Training Criteria: I get the formal training I want for my career. Winner: Kwik Trip Inc. Employee comment: “This company cares about me as a person. The 40 percent sharing of profit has afforded my family to have a better life.” Communication Criteria: “I feel well-informed about important decisions at this company.” Employee comment: “We receive positive comments from managers and partners.” Winner: Great River Medical Center Stop buying downtime. Invest in uptime Get the support your business deserves. Streamline your IT & Telecom. Call Carrier Access “I deal with many telecommunication companies and Carrier Access has always been honest, fair and an extreme pleasure to work with. It truly is a one call process for us and they take care of everything.” - Director of IT, Gasoline Company Telecom • IT Support • Responsiveness www.carrieraccessinc.com 515-987-9200 or firstname.lastname@example.org “Our IT and desktop support is dedicated ate ed to giving you prompt service, quick ck communication and support levels to ﬁt every budget.” DM-9000390746.INDD IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 31 I love my job because ... The following are comments taken from employee surveys: VGM Group Inc. I greatly appreciate that I will have a retirement fund one day (ESOP) and this benefit definitely drives me to stay at VGM for a long time. Being in an employee-owned company is a huge perk and a motivator. WesleyLife I love the mission of WesleyLife. I love that I work for something that I believe has higher meaning. Hagie Manufacturing Co. Being honest is encouraged even if it isn’t the response our managers were hoping to hear. Ackley State Bank It’s always challenging, always learning. The decisions I make are supported by senior management, and my supervisor is genuine and kind. Van Meter Inc. The route we are taking should make me a millionaire by the time I retire, and I won’t be the only one! MediRevv The company believes in a moral and ethical way to do business that is consistent with my personal feelings. Vermeer Corp. I have the freedom to do what needs to be done, with the support of my manager. Bankers Trust Co. I am honored to work for a company that is engaged and encourages employees to give back to the community that supports us. Our president, Suku Radia, sets an incredible example for us. Cambridge Investment Research It’s a fun place to work, and they have regular meetings to let everyone within the company know what is going on and where the company is headed. This makes everyone feel a part of something bigger. Homesteaders Life Co. I love my job because it truly helps families on the worst day of their life. CASS Inc. I love being part of an organization that strives each and every day to carry out our mission and to provide a culture that is positive, inspiring and meaningful. I wake up every day knowing that I will walk into a place that has made me a better person and continues to do so. Nationwide You get the little extras, like several choices of food for lunch, clean break rooms with different snacks, couches to relax and read on for your break, free parking downtown, plus a lot more. Clarke County Hospital The flexibility is great and my pay is comparable to that of larger hospitals, which keeps me from having to travel for better pay. Farmers Cooperative Society It is a real benefit to work for a company that has a positive balance sheet and is always looking for new opportunities. Noble Ford Inc. I have the ability to be involved in my children’s and wife’s activities, and our owner cares about my well-being. Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons I feel appreciated. In the past I have had jobs where we were treated as the least-important employees in the hospital. Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. of Iowa FMH is a hidden gem in the city of Des Moines. The family-owned business demonstrates its concern and appreciation for its employees. Pizza Ranch Inc. I love my job because it fulfills me as a man ... and as a Christian. Fort Madison Community Hospital I am not just another employee, but everyone knows everyone by name and everyone is treated equally. Even the CEO will go out of his way to come up to me when he sees me in the hallway and ask how I am doing. OPN Architects Inc. The studio atmosphere generates so much energy and passion it’s hard not to love my job. Global Reach Internet Productions I get to work with the newest technology that is out there and keep learning. Banno Everyone is always willing to stop and teach. Goodwill of the Heartland I get to do what I do best for an organization that truly makes a difference in the lives of people working to overcome barriers to independence. Willis Auto Campus I have been instructed to manage this department as if it were my business. That represents a lot of confidence in my ability and in the opportunity to manage. Palmer Group Communication from management is open and often. We don’t have to guess what direction we will go next or what our goals are. 32 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co. My supervisor is understanding and caring and flexible with issues that can arise with a young family and civic duties. Holmes Murphy & Associates Inc. Holmes Murphy makes it easy to balance family and work. The energy and direction provided by Kevin Knutson is outstanding. Hubbell Realty Co. With the economy improving I believe we are perfectly positioned to really take the lead and be extremely successful. American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. I am contributing to a company that has integrity, and is not just in it for the money. Agricredit Acceptance / De Lage Landen I don’t work under pressure — contrary to what I sometimes learn from people in other companies. Go to DesMoinesRegister.com/topworkplaces and: Go inside the workplaces: See 23 videos that show special moments in the life of these employers. The videos include WesleyLife, Vermeer, Nationwide Insurance, Goodwill of the Heartland, Saint Jude Hospice and others. Hear from the No. 1 employers: View video interviews of leaders at Edward Jones, QuikTrip and Spindustry. Click links to a separate page on each of the 100 winners. The page includes photos, employee comments, a description of the workplace and maps of the winners. Download a flip-book of the magazine. Join us. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Cambridge Investment Group, Inc. V.CIR.0613 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 33 What’s important to Iowa employees? The following statements on the employee survey are used to determine which companies are top workplaces. The importance value shows how strongly each statement correlates with how employees in Iowa rate their workplaces. The closer importance is to 100 percent, the more important the statement. Factor Connection Direction Connection Connection Direction Execution Direction My Work My Manager Execution Execution Execution My Manager My Manager My Work My Work My Pay & Beneﬁts My Work My Pay & Beneﬁts Statement I feel genuinely appreciated at this company I believe this company is going in the right direction I am conﬁdent about my future at this company My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful I have conﬁdence in the leader of this company Senior managers understand what is really happening at this company This company operates by strong values and ethics This job has met or exceeded the expectations I had when I started My manager cares about my concerns At this company, we do things efﬁciently and well New ideas are encouraged at this company I feel well-informed about important decisions at this company My manager makes it easier to do my job well My manager helps me learn and grow I get the formal training I want for my career There is not a lot of frustration at my workplace My pay is fair for the work I do I have the ﬂexibility I need to balance my work and personal life My beneﬁts package is good compared to others in this industry Importance 67.8% 66.9% 65.6% 63.7% 62.4% 60.7% 59.9% 59.2% 57.1% 57.0% 54.9% 54.3% 53.1% 53.0% 51.0% 47.6% 45.2% 44.1% 32.0% THE REGISTER Source: WorkPlace Dynamics 34 • • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 Helping top Employers Find top Talent ExceptionalService | AccountableResults Reach your best audience and ﬁnd qualiﬁed candidates. To get started, call 515.619.0715 or email Sarah at email@example.com. IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 FALL 2013 • • 35 e c n e r e f f i d e h t e r a e l p o e p Our We are proud to be named an Iowa Top Workplace for the third consecutive year. center, professional training opportunities and outstanding More than 700 employees take pride To learn more about a career at Grinnell Mutual, visit grinnellmutual.com. grinnellmutual.com A Policy of Working Together® • FALL 2013 IOWA'S TOP WORKPLACES • 2013 36 •