NorthCoast99 - 2022

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H O N O R I N G 9 9 G R E AT N O RT H E A ST O H I O WO R K P L AC E S F O R TO P TA L E N T

2022 WINNERS

The NorthCoast 99 Awards PRESENTED BY ERC THE 2022 NORTHCOAST 99 AWARDS PROGRAM IS SPONSORED BY: ANTHEM BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD | CAREERCURVE | CLEVELAND MAGAZINE ERCHEALTH | GINO’S AWARDS | MALONEY + NOVOTNY | MEYERS, ROMAN, FRIEDBERG & LEWIS OSWALD COMPANIES | STAFFING SOLUTIONS ENTERPRISES | WAYFIND CREATIVE


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Five for Five!

We’re pleased to be named a NorthCoast 99 Award winner for the fifth year in a row! A special Thank You to all of our talented employees, dedicated to providing exceptional products and service to customers throughout the world … and to our communities here at home. To learn about our company, including career opportunities, please visit www.bettcher.com/about.

An innovative international manufacturing corporation based in Ohio.

www.bettcher.com/careers N O RT H C OA S T 9 9 .O RG / YO U R E RC .C O M

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©2022 Bettcher Industries, Inc.


NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

R EFLEC TIO N Honoring 99 Great Northeast Ohio Workplaces for Top Talent IN FEBRUARY, I was sitting at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and I couldn’t help but overhear a visitor to Northeast Ohio on the phone discussing his visit before boarding his plane to California. He went on to describe the people as super friendly and welcoming. He then shared his experience with the weather — he said, “Everything is wonderful, but I don’t know what it is with this place; it was 70 degrees yesterday, and it is snowing today!” We all know that people aren’t flocking to Northeast Ohio because of our February weather, but people are staying and moving to our region because of many of the efforts of the 2022 NorthCoast 99 winners! The leaders of these winning organizations know that in order to have a strong workforce they must create a workplace that allows their employees to be their best selves in all aspects of their lives. These leaders are building workplaces that empower employees to be and do their best. Through groundbreaking and progressive HR policies and practices, these organizations are attracting, developing and retaining the best and brightest people. And in today’s tight labor market, keeping talent means a world of difference. Each year, as we celebrate these 99 winners, the team at ERC (the creators and producers of NorthCoast 99) picks a theme that summarizes the essays as well as the experiences of the winners. The word “Reflection” rose to the top. As the storm of 2020 and 2021 becomes the new normal, strong leaders are taking time to reflect on what matters most to them, as well as their people. As you’ll soon learn, these Northeast Ohio organizations persevered through insurmountable odds and pivoted in tremendous ways — all the while remaining committed to the health and safety of their people. Taking time to reflect allows us all the opportunity to learn from the past, but more importantly, to envision where we are going — and these organizations are going in the right direction, according to their employees! We’re thrilled to recognize and honor them as part of our 24th annual NorthCoast 99 awards program and event. This past year, nearly 6,000 high-performing employees were asked to rank which attributes of their jobs are most important to them. For the first time in the 24-year history of the NorthCoast 99 program, challenging and meaningful work was not the most critical aspect of their jobs. Instead, compensation won out the most sought-after job attribute, ranking No. 1 by 20.7% of top performers. Work-life benefits was not far behind and took the second most common slot at 18.9%. Several other job attributes, all of which typically rank among the top five, decreased in importance from the previous year, including challenging and meaningful work (16.0%), job security (8.8%) and autonomy (8.8%). If we have learned anything throughout these past couple of years, it’s that leaders and organizations need to challenge the ways of the past and be open to new possibilities and new ways of work. We have learned that beyond financials and goals, each employee has a purpose and a meaning — and great employers embrace that knowledge. We at ERC commend these 99 organizations for persevering during this challenging time. They realize that their role is to provide a safe, engaging and challenging workplace for their employees. They know that with each employee there is a meaningful story that deserves to be heard. They not only care about their employees, but they also create great policies that ERC offers an array of data-driven reports build great cultures. designed to provide Northeast Ohio Congratulations to the organizations with ideas and benchmarks for 2022 NorthCoast 99 APPLICATIONS OPEN continuous improvement, including: winners and thank

MAKE YOUR WORKPLACE GREAT!

you for continuing to push our region forward!

KELLY KEEFE

FEB 2023

FOR NEXT YEAR'S AWARDS. SUBSCRIBE TO NC99 UPDATES: NORTHCOAST99.ORG/ EMAIL

PRESIDENT, ERC 4

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• NorthCoast 99 Winner Practices Report • ERC Member Polls • ERC Compensation & Benefits Surveys

Contact us for more information: yourerc.com

HOW WE DO IT EARNING THE TITLE of NorthCoast 99 winner is no easy task. The NorthCoast 99 isn’t just a list of great places to work — it’s a look at the Northeast Ohio organizations that are excelling in providing environments in which top performers can flourish. Each of the winners you’ll read about in these pages participated in a rigorous application process to help us find the best of the best in our 22-county region. To be eligible, all organizations must have a local workforce of at least 15 full-time equivalent employees and have had a Northeast Ohio presence (headquarters, satellite office, distribution center, etc.) for a minimum of three years. Here’s how we do it: • APPLICATION To apply, organizations were required to complete an application that asked for detailed information about how their organization addresses topperformer attraction, development and retention in six distinct areas. These areas included: Organizational Strategy, Policies & Benefits; Talent Attraction, Acquisition & Onboarding; Employee Well-Being; Employee Engagement & Talent Development; Total Rewards; and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. • NEW-HIRE SURVEY At least three newly hired employees from each company — totaling 1,089 respondents from all applicants — completed a survey on the effectiveness of the employer’s recruiting, selection and onboarding process. • TOP-PERFORMER SURVEY Surveys were also distributed to at least 50% (or 200 total, whichever was smaller) of each organization’s top performers, defined as employees who earned an above-average rating on their most recent performance review. This year, we collected 5,885 employee responses from applicants regarding what they value most in a workplace and how their employer meets their needs.


FedEx Custom Critical has been proudly recognized as a top Northeast Ohio workplace 21 times! Thank you to the outstanding FedEx Custom Critical team for their commitment to our company, customers and community. Interested in joining our award-winning team? Go to: customcritical.fedex.com/careers

©2022 FedEx. All rights reserved.


NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

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THE 2022 NORTHCOAST 99 AWARDS PROGRAM PRESENTED BY

FOR MORE THAN 100 YEARS, ERC has been a trusted resource for organizations in Northeast Ohio and around the country. We help leaders build great workplaces through thought leadership, comprehensive data and HR solutions that include membership, training and professional development, consultative services and more. ERC is the founder and producer of NorthCoast 99.

PUBLICATION CREATED BY

2022 NORTHCOAST 99 SPONSORS

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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

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99

Honoring Great Northeast Ohio Workplaces For Top Talent

T

he new year brought a seemingly new normal as organizations started picking up the pieces from the last couple of years and figuring out how they were going to move forward. They started taking a tough look at the kind of companies they wanted to be and types of work environments they were providing for their employees. This not only involved looking ahead to the future, but also reflecting on the past. For the region’s top performers, success is a testament to an organization’s dedication to its customers and employees. As one NorthCoast 99 winner said, “You can’t run a business based on great customer service if your employees are having a lousy experience.” To this year’s winning organizations, that meant rethinking policies of the past and implementing changes to accommodate the needs of today’s workforce. From flexible schedules and work-life balance to growth opportunities and open-door policies, the NorthCoast 99 truly care about their

employees and strive to make them feel appreciated and valued. Throughout these pages, the winning organizations reveal ways they’ve transformed policies, benefits and rewards to give their workforces the foundations and stepping stones they need to strive professionally and personally. This year’s NorthCoast 99 include two Platinum Award winners and two Legacy Award winners, who are celebrating their 20th and 10th year on the list, respectively. Also hear from companies that exemplify best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); employee well-being; talent attraction, acquisition and onboarding; and more, as well as people boasting their exceptional experiences working for the eight first-time winning organizations. As organizations reflect on the past and implement changes for the future, it would be wise for them to follow in the footsteps of the NorthCoast 99 by asking their hardworking, dedicated employees what kind of support they need to ensure their company’s success.

CONTENTS

10 14

PLATINUM AWARDS

18

LEGACY AWARDS

22

AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE

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SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARDS

44

FIRST-TIME WINNERS

MEET THE WINNERS

This year’s 20-time NorthCoast 99 winners showcase the qualities of a great workplace.

This year’s 10-time NorthCoast 99 winners highlight the importance of ensuring employees feel valued and appreciated.

Stories of workplace success from winning organizations based on size or industry type.

Winners’ stories of unique practices in total rewards, organizational strategy, policies and benefits, and more.

Meet employees from the eight organizations that won a NorthCoast 99 Award for the first time.

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QUALITIES OF WINNING ORGANIZATIONS Strategies and best practices of the NorthCoast 99, as well as data about the region’s top performers.

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WHERE THE WINNERS WORK Breaking Down the 2022 NorthCoast 99

INDUSTRIES

BUSINESS TYPE

25%

# OF EMPLOYEES 26%

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Small Organization (15-99)

18%

Health Care and Social Assistance

16% Manufacturing 11%

Finance and Insurance

5%

Information

4%

22%

70% Private, for-profit 13% Private, nonprofit 10% Public, for-profit 4% Government 2% Other 1% Education

3%

2%

• Transportation and Warehousing • Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services • Education Services and Arts • Entertainment • Recreation

1%

• Utilities • Retail Trade • Management of Companies and Enterprises • Accommodation and Food Services

Large Organization (500+)

Median: 215 • Average: 1,012 Jobs Added in 2021: 3,172

COUNTIES

Construction and Wholesale Trade

Real Estate and Rental Leasing

52%

Mid-Sized Organization (100-499)

YEARS IN BUSINESS Average: 54.1 Youngest: 5 Oldest: 185

69% Cuyahoga

14% Summit

2% • Erie

• Holmes • Lorain • Trumbull

3% Lake

• •

Stark

1%

• Huron • Medina • Portage

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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

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2022 NORTHCOAST 99 WINNERS

FIRST-TIME WINNERS

4-TIME WINNERS

7-TIME WINNER

7 17 Credit Union Apex Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center DRB Systems, LLC Good Place Holdings mDesign NPL Home Medical OneDigital SEAM Group

Amsdell Companies Core BTS InterDesign Synthomer Verantis Corporation VividFront

Fire-Dex Unity Health Network

2-TIME WINNERS BoxCast Fund That Flip, Inc. GBX Group LLC Good Nature Organic Lawn Care Leppo, Inc. Navigate360 RVshare The Austin Company

3-TIME WINNERS ChoiceLocal LLC Employers Health Exsurco Medical Fleet Response Jergens, Inc. Lifebanc Westfield Bank

5-TIME WINNERS Airgas USA, LLC - North Division BSC Asurint Bettcher Industries, Inc. MarshBerry Vitamix World Synergy

6-TIME WINNERS CrossCountry Mortgage Everstream Greater Cleveland Food Bank Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District R.E. Warner & Associates, Inc. The Commercial & Savings Bank

8-TIME WINNERS Avient Corporation Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group FIT Technologies FrontLine Service The Anderson-DuBose Company Turner Construction Company Willory

9-TIME WINNERS Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank Bialosky Cleveland Equity Trust SDMyers The Village at Marymount VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System Western Reserve Hospital

10-TIME WINNERS AMS Earnest Machine

Proud 18-time winner!

Thank you to our employees, clients and the community for making us one of the best workplaces in Northeast Ohio! 10

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www.hwco.cpa



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2022 NORTHCOAST 99 WINNERS

11-TIME WINNERS

16-TIME WINNERS

21-TIME WINNERS

Centric Consulting Charter Communications Direct Recruiters, Inc. Medical Service Company National Interstate ThenDesign Architecture (TDA)

Cleveland Metroparks Cuyahoga Community College Majestic Steel USA, Inc.

Applied Industrial Technologies FedEx Custom Critical

17-TIME WINNERS

Avery Dennison

12-TIME WINNERS Barnes Wendling CPAs CBIZ, Inc. Cleveland Guardians Oatey Co. Swagelok Company

13-TIME WINNERS Jennings Park Place Technologies State Industrial Products

22-TIME WINNER

Cleveland Clinic Foundation Software/Payroll4Construction.com Pomerene Hospital

23-TIME WINNERS Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland The Garland Company, Inc.

18-TIME WINNERS HW&Co KPMG LLP The MetroHealth System Vocon

19-TIME WINNERS

14-TIME WINNERS

Flexjet Summa Health The Reserves Network, Inc. The Schroer Group

Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network GARDINER

20-TIME WINNERS

15-TIME WINNERS

Benesch The Cleveland Foundation

“The fact that our employees nominated us for the award means the world to me. It’s validation that our people know they not only have the ability to work hard, but are also encouraged to focus on their family — which is the most important thing.”

Ciuni & Panichi Inc. GroupeSTAHLS’ Transfer Express MRI Software

GREGG EISENBERG, MANAGING PARTNER, BENESCH

BE A PART OF THE bigger picture The Cleveland Foundation strives to attract and retain diverse and talented individuals as a part of our team. We are committed to providing an inclusive, equitable and engaging culture where all employees feel a sense of belonging and support. We offer meaningful and impactful work, competitive and equitable pay, exceptional benefits, professional development opportunities and work-life balance. Invest in your future with a career at the Cleveland Foundation!

www.ClevelandFoundation.org/Careers

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What sets us apart is what we achieve together. AMS is thrilled to be named a NorthCoast 99 winner for the 10th year in a row.

AMS is a global total workforce solutions firm that enables organizations to thrive in an age of constant change through talent acquisition, talent advisory services and skills development solutions. The ultimate aim is to help our clients create workforces that are fluid, resilient, diverse, and differentiated. We call this True Workforce Dexterity. As a global organization, we value the diversity of our people, their individual circumstances and their unique backgrounds. We recognise that it’s the combination of people’s personal life experiences that will enrich our clients’ businesses and our own.

Interested in joining our award-winning team? Please visit www.weareams.com/careers


NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

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PLATINUM AWARD | 20-TIME WINNER

A FAMILY ATMOSPHERE

Benesch

BENESCH IS DEDICATED TO MAKING THE WORK-LIFE BALANCE WORK FOR EVERYONE.

“We pride ourselves on getting to know our employees’ families. What’s important to them? What are their hobbies? What are their interests? As a result, we know a lot about each other. That, in my mind, connects us much more closely as an organization.” GREGG EISENBERG, MANAGING PARTNER

partner at Benesch, describes his law firm as having “some of the most robust policies in the industry,” he’s clearly spoton. A $50,000 benefit that covers the cost of fertility treatments for those desiring to have a family and paid paternity and maternity leave that stretches to six months are just two of the ways the company goes the distance for its employees. “We’re hypersensitive when it comes to maintaining our family atmosphere,” Eisenberg says. “One of the things I’m proudest of is that despite our growth, we’ve remained very protective of providing an environment where everyone feels comfortable and has support. Obviously, when we recruit attorneys and staff, we want to make sure they’re great at what they do. But we also make sure they’ll be a good fit. When you add great culture upon great culture, it leads to a nice experience for everyone.” 14

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During the pandemic, employees and their families met in safe, EMPLOYEES: open spaces to play baseball 165 lawyers and 250 staff members (Cleveland) and attended outings at the WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Full-service national law firm specializing in a variety New hires are encouraged to of complex legal matters focusing on commercial immediately lend their input to litigation, corporate securities, real estate, health care, intellectual property and labor employment. initiatives that drive the firm, as well as causes that are important WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: The culture centers on a family atmosphere to them. where employees have a voice and “We don’t say, ‘Well you just got feel comfortable using it. here, so wait your turn,’” Eisenberg says. “We’re very different in that regard.” As he prepares for the law firm’s move to Key Tower next year, he reflects on what the Platinum Award means to the practice. “The fact that our employees nominated important thing. We’re not going to stop us for the award means the world to me,” creating new opportunities for them to Eisenberg says. “It’s validation that our do so. As an organization, we’ll continue people know they not only have the ability to enhance our culture to ensure our to work hard, but are also encouraged to employees’ continued happiness.” focus on their family — which is the most — Linda Feagler

CODY YORK

WHEN GREGG EISENBERG, managing

LOCATIONS: Cleveland (headquarters), Columbus, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Wilmington, Delaware


When it comes to top talent We’re at the top of our game Named a NorthCoast 99 winner 6 years in a row

JOIN THE TEAM

Visit CareersAtCCM.com today

Equal Housing Opportunity. All loans subject to underwriting approval. Certain restrictions apply. Call for details. CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC. NMLS3029 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)


NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

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PLATINUM AWARD | 20-TIME WINNER

ALL-IN MENTALITY

The Cleveland Foundation

THE CLEVELAND FOUNDATION PRACTICES WHAT IT PREACHES IN SERVING THE NEEDS OF EMPLOYEES.

“Based on the great input we received from our staff over the last decade, we’ve worked to create an environment where employees can share feedback, see action, thrive and be a part of the bigger picture.” MONICA BROWN, VICE PRESIDENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND BUILDING OPERATIONS

LOCATION: Cleveland EMPLOYEES: 90

looking out for the lives of those it serves. The organization’s employees are no exception. “We never stay still with the status quo or what necessarily worked in the past,” says Monica Brown, The Cleveland Foundation’s vice president of human resources and building operations. “We keep in touch with our employees regularly to be sure we’re constantly working to keep a pulse on their needs and our organizational culture.” Recent initiatives include sharing additional communications about projects and strategies and upgrading technology based on staff feedback. The foundation’s Employee Engagement and Culture Committee creates enjoyable and educational experiences that have included a tour of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens at Rockefeller Park and celebrations of the Hispanic, LGBTQ, AAPI, Black and 16

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LatinX communities. During the past several years, there’s been an increased emphasis on emotional well-being that was particularly appreciated during the pandemic. “Even before the first case happened in Cuyahoga County, we saw the handwriting on the wall,” Brown says. “Because we already had a business resiliency plan in place in case there were weather issues or [maintenance] problems in our office, we were ready to work 100% remote. As always, we focused on our internal community and cared about them as people outside of their work at the foundation. The way we support our staff is what allows us to really attract incredibly talented people who are the reason that we’re able to effect positive change in the community.” Brown and her team are preparing to relocate the foundation’s headquarters to a new building in MidTown by year’s end. The

WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Employees can count on the organization and the community to listen, learn and take action.

multiuse space, which will be open to the community, will include meeting rooms, a cafe and art gallery. As she prepares for the move, Brown reflects on what the Platinum Award means to the organization. “I love the fact that it’s based on feedback from our staff about how they feel about The Cleveland Foundation,” she says. “It’s a great feeling to know our office culture is as wonderful to our employees as I think it is.” — LF

KEN BLAZE

FOR 108 YEARS, THE CLEVELAND FOUNDATION has been dedicated to

WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Funds critical needs, projects and initiatives that help Northeast Ohio thrive, as well as improves the lives of residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.


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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

R EFLEC TIO N GLOBAL CONNECTION

LEGACY AWARD | 10-TIME WINNER

LOCATION: Cleveland (North American service center)

AMS

EMPLOYEES: 350 (Cleveland), 10,000 (globally)

AMS ENSURES EMPLOYEES MAINTAIN THE WORKLIFE BALANCE THAT’S CRUCIAL TO PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS.

WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Directs large-scale recruitment solutions for 20 Fortune 500 and 10 Fortune 100 companies around the world. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Although the company has grown since it was founded in the U.K. in 1996, AMS remains true to the belief that employees are the foundation of the organization’s success and demonstrates that appreciation in a variety of ways.

“The fact that we’ve [been an NorthCoast 99 winner 10 times] speaks volumes that AMS is not a place where employees have to be, it’s a place where they want to be.” MARK JONES,

EVEN THOUGH AMS HAS MORE THAN 10,000 STAFF MEMBERS stationed around the globe, executive vice president Mark Jones and his team never waver from maintaining the universal sense of belonging that’s led to employee longevity. “We place a quarter of a million people in jobs around the world annually,” he says. “The brands we work with trust us to find top talent for them, and we make that a priority at our firm as well. To make that possible, we’ve created a culture where employees know they’re truly valued.” Like so many companies, AMS was not immune to the effects of COVID-19. Virtually overnight, many of the businesses the company represents went from hiring 18

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tens of thousands of staff members to hiring none. But through it all, AMS remained steadfast to ensuring its employees knew how essential they’d always be. “Since AMS was founded in the U.K., we have a DNA that’s modeled after many British firms,” he says. “In addition to making sure our benefits are strong, we pride ourselves on not being hierarchical. We don’t have a top-down approach where the culture is, ‘You’ll do whatever we say.’ Instead, we operate in a way in which everyone has a voice. And that voice is important because it manifests itself in loyalty and people being happy in their work.” The dialogue is demonstrated in ways that range from the company’s strong LGBTQ participation in Pride events around

the world to a Juneteenth celebration that includes a day off and a luncheon featuring dishes associated with the culture that’s prepared by a professional chef. AMS is also dedicated to maintaining a climate centered on the work-life balance employees appreciate. “Clearly, we need to hold people accountable to outcomes,” Jones says. “But we create as much flexibility as possible because right now people are looking for flexibility — whether that be flexibility in working location, working hours or flexibility for child care. We’re very open to when you want to get your work done. As a result, we’ve really created a climate where the workplace is seen as a good place to work.” — Linda Feagler

KEN BLAZE

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT


A Place Where Hope Heals

18-time winner of NorthCoast 99 Top Employer Award The new 11-floor MetroHealth Glick Center is allowing our providers to reimagine how healthcare is delivered.

MetroHealth is honored to be named a NorthCoast 99 Top Employer for the 18th time! This repeated recognition is only possible because of our employees. Every day, they walk alongside people on their healthcare journeys, offering compassionate care that is focused on each person’s needs. This dedication to those we serve has helped attract the best people, practices and programs. And together, it’s made MetroHealth the special place it is—a place where callings are pursued, passion ignites, and hope heals. Become part of this place where hope heals! Scan this QR code or go to metrohealth.org/careers for open positions.


NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

R EFLEC TIO N SHARING THEIR STRENGTHS

LEGACY AWARD | 10-TIME WINNER

Earnest Machine

EARNEST MACHINE ENCOURAGES EMPLOYEES TO USE THEIR INGENUITY ON THE JOB.

LOCATIONS: Rocky River (headquarters); Indianapolis, Atlanta and England (distribution centers); and Lakewood (manufacturing center) EMPLOYEES: 90 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Wholesale industrial distributor and manufacturer of nuts, bolts and large-diameter, high-strength fasteners to 4,000 customers throughout North America and Europe. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: The company is focused on creating a culture of teamwork through trust and respect.

“You can’t run a business based on great customer service if your employees are having a lousy experience. This award is a reminder that the work never stops, and there’s always room to become better.” KIRK ZEHNDER,

IT’S EASY TO SEE WHY KIRK ZEHNDER,

president and CEO of Earnest Machine, understands what employees appreciate on the job. Once upon a time, he was one. Zehnder’s grandfather, Paul Earnest Zehnder, launched the firm in 1948, and his dad, John, signed on in 1967. Zehnder, who worked in the film and video industry before joining the firm in 2002, is quick to admit that his father wasn’t keen on the idea of him coming aboard. “I spent six months convincing him that I’d be a good employee and not just a layabout,” the president and CEO says with a smile. “Our business has always been solid. But I convinced him that I’d be a good employee who would get it and be ready to meet the challenges and demands of the next 50 years.” In addition to sprucing up the interior and upgrading the plumbing system, Zehnder, who took the helm in 2011, also 20

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continued the tradition of paying attention to suggestions co-workers made. “We don’t have a corporate ladder here, it’s more of a jungle gym,” Zehnder says with a laugh. “One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is that we embrace change and continue to learn from our employees. They’re given the chance to use their strengths to make us better and to make them better — and they really like that opportunity. Not everyone has a chance where they work to take their strengths and deploy new ideas in an organization that says ‘yes.’ We encourage a progressive mindset for internal entrepreneurs and give them the resources they need to succeed.” The newest initiative, Earnest Operating Units, invites employees to become active participants in community events. In Greater Cleveland, that includes Salvation

Army holiday gift drives and Rocky River cleanup days. During COVID-19, the company eschewed layoffs, determining instead to simply break even. Since Earnest Machine was deemed an essential business, employees had the opportunity to work from home and social distance in the firm’s distribution centers. Free counseling was also available to anyone who needed it. When asked why employees cite his company as one of the best places to work, Zehnder echoes the sentiment professed by a longtime staff member: “Earnest will make you work very hard, but they’ll lift you up in the process.” “From a philosophical standpoint, people want an opportunity and a place to be great, push themselves and feel proud,” he says. “It all adds up to something bigger than selling nuts and bolts.” — LF

KEN BLAZE

PRESIDENT AND CEO


INFLATION HAS RISEN 9.1% IN 2022.*

ARE YOU PAYING YOUR EMPLOYEES ENOUGH TO STAY COMPETITIVE? ERC has the compensation data you need to combat turnover. Learn more at yourERC.com! *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

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AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE

ISTOCK

These seven NorthCoast 99 winners demonstrate that companies of any size and industry can be standout employers. Discover how with stories from small, mid-size and large organizations, as well as industries that include manufacturing; health care and social assistance; finance and insurance; and professional, scientific and technical.

Our Mission

WHYGOODNATURE.COM 22

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We Make the World a Little Better Place One Organic Person at a Time


AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE | SMALL ORGANIZATION

LOCATIONS: Seven Hills and Indianapolis (headquarters) EMPLOYEES: 97 (Northeast Ohio), 900 (U.S.) WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: IT consulting firm and managed services provider dedicated to problem-solving, transforming businesses and enabling change. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Team members tackle challenging projects using upcoming technologies. Most of the time, they also can work in their sweats — at home or while they are on the road.

GINA LOGOZAR (FRONT), JENNIFER BANISH, (BACK-LEFT) AND VITALIY EVTUSHENKO (BACK-RIGHT)

WORK WHERE YOU WANT

Core BTS GET THE SCOOP ON THIS ORGANIZATION’S AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES FOR REMOTE WORK AND MORE.

KEN BLAZE

ONE CORE BTS TEAM MEMBER wished

to support his daughter’s educational and exceptional athletic ability. His family is living in Spain for three years, where the daughter’s soccer goals (in every sense of the word) can best be realized. The employee kept his house in Greater Cleveland, but he works entirely remote from overseas. Another team member also works 100% remotely, but he’s on the road in an RV, traveling throughout the U.S. “Our team members have the ability to work on projects all over the world in the comfort of where they prefer,” says Gina Logozar, vice president, human resources and OE (organizational effectiveness), adding that 100% of the company’s employees have that choice. “All of our offices are back to full capacity and open to all team members if they want to go in. But, we hire remote team members all of the time.

“I believe we became better communicators and integrators during the pandemic. We went from about 400 to 900 employees by acquiring three successful businesses during 2020 to 2021 while working through COVID-19, working remotely and communicating often. We even held two holiday events that included a family night of baking, a mixology night and personal development opportunities.” But, that’s not all. Last year, Core BTS initiated an FTO (flexible time off) policy with an unlimited amount of paid time off days. Logozar says team members are “definitely using it to their advantage,” but less than 1% have abused the opportunity. “We want people to use FTO, but not abuse it,” says Logozar. “So, when it was determined that two to four people were abusing it, we said we would deal with those individuals and not change the policy.”

An FTO isn’t the only incentive or reward open to employees. New team members are paired with mentors during onboarding. Also, team members are provided up to $2,000 annually for professional development, certifications and webinars/ events. Employees may choose a no-cost medical plan, and they may receive annual bonuses. They are also honored with monthly recognition events. One of the most successful company programs is Empow(H)ering Women at the Core. Rolled out this spring, the initiative focuses on women’s overall wellness, development, community and social aspects. It complements Core BTS’s mission to support equity, diversity and inclusion. In 2020, just 18% of employees were women. Now, it’s 40%. “We are a technology organization. In this industry, women take a back seat. It’s definitely a male-dominated industry,” says Logozar. “We decided Empow(H)ering Women at the Core was a good program to start and really focus on getting our women team members to have more of a voice both in the company and in the community.” — Jill Sell N O RT H COA S T 9 9 .O RG / YO U R E RC .CO M

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AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE | MID-SIZE ORGANIZATION

LOCATIONS: Solon, Uniontown, Maumee and Boardman EMPLOYEES: 254 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Provides HVAC and building technology services. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: A wide range of opportunities in different fields and positions available within the company help employees stay challenged and engaged.

OPPORTUNITIES TO EVOLVE

GARDINER FOCUSING ON BOTH CLIENTS AND EMPLOYEES SETS THIS CLEVELAND COMPANY APART.

LATE LAST YEAR, GARDINER ACQUIRED

Continental Fire & Security Inc. (CFS) of Independence, a provider of fire suppression, fire alarm, video surveillance and intercom communications systems. Those additional services boosted GARDINER’s capabilities and became one more reason government, health care, education, commercial and industrial facilities turn to the company for full building coverage. But it isn’t only GARDINER’s 2,500-plus clients who benefit. It’s the company’s employees as well. “Not a lot of companies provide such a wide range of professional services as GARDINER does,” says Lisa DeBoe, the company’s director of human resources. “This allows us not only to provide clients with expertise in a variety of areas, but it provides our associates with a wide range of opportunities to solve interesting problems and explore their own interests and passions.” 24

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DeBoe believes some companies focus on their clients and others focus on their employees. A key to GARDINER’s success has been its ability to do both, she says. Another unique quality of the business has been its ability to expose employees to a variety of jobs and ability to make career changes. “As much as a manger may not want to see a really good associate move on, they know that individual is going to another department within GARDINER and not leaving the company,” says DeBoe, adding that it’s possible for an administrative worker to go into field work and vice versa. “You have that opportunity to look around and say, ‘I’d like to learn a little more about what that department is doing.’ Associates want to evolve, and this is one way they can do that.” That flexibility and unusual practice helps retain GARDINER employees. One-half of its

employees have been with the company 10 years and one-fourth for 25 years. “When we reflect, we realize how fortunate we are at GARDINER to have those longtime associates. To look around and see the faces of those who built GARDINER into what it is today and have that depth of experience and yet see a desire to do some things differently for the better, is extraordinary. We recognize the need to change and evolve,” says DeBoe. One of those recent positives changes has included simplifying the company’s compensation plans to provide greater transparency for how pay is determined. Other changes have been doubling the company’s 401k match and increasing the supplemental benefits package so employees can better customize it to their needs. “We did a lot of work on making these changes, but that’s our job,” insists DeBoe. “We see it as our end of the deal. At GARDINER, we don’t make anything. What we offer our clients is the experience of our associates. Investing in people’s development, both personally and professionally, is an investment in our company.” — JS

KEN BLAZE

(LEFT TO RIGHT) STERLING GILL, KATE PARTEE, KIM JOSHAWAY, KIM GELLER, LISA DEBOE AND CHRIS SHANAFELT


AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE | LARGE ORGANIZATION

LOCATIONS: Downtown Cleveland (with three other campuses and numerous facilities throughout Cuyahoga County) EMPLOYEES: 1,292 full time, 1,856 part time WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Helps people of all ages and backgrounds achieve economic mobility and career readiness. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Tri-C employees build bridges to success for Tri-C students — and their dedication is what makes the college great.

(LEFT TO RIGHT) MICHELLE KUSKIN, MELISSA KAWKABANY, LILLIAN WELCH, MARK FRYS, BARBARA PITRONE, AMI HOLLIS AND FEBRA PENDLETON

NEVER STOP LEARNING

Cuyahoga Community College

OHIO’S FIRST AND LARGEST COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOASTS A REPUTATION AS A PLACE TO BUILD A CAREER.

KEN BLAZE

YOU WON’T FIND A BETTER SOURCE to

talk about building a career at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) than Lillian Welch, former vice president, chief human resource officer, who retired June 30. Welch devoted 32 years to Tri-C, Ohio’s first and largest community college. “I think my career is indicative of many careers at the college. It’s really a place where if you really want to advance, you have the opportunity,” says Welch. “There are numerous stories like mine where someone started out in one area and moved to another. However, in this generation, people don’t usually stay in one job for 32 years. But it doesn’t mean that someone who is here for five

years isn’t able to bring something to the organization and have an impact.” Welch began at Tri-C in the accounting and finance department. She moved into human resources when she realized she could not only offer her established skills but also add a human element to her work — “a face behind the numbers,” she says. “I am a person who needs change every four or five years, so people ask how I could have stayed so long,” says Welsh. “I really am a loyal person, but here I was also able to find advancement and change every several years.” The college’s nourishing and encouraging culture also allowed Welch to suggest improvements, new technologies and

fresh ideas with each career position she embraced. She is also grateful that throughout her entire time at Tri-C, personal innovative career development was given. The college has two premier leadership development programs that have evolved over the years. They are the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Leadership Development Program and the Leadership Integration for Tomorrow (LIFT) Program. For the past two years, Tri-C has been named one of the top workplaces among higher education institutions nationwide by ModernThink LLC. The honor, being named one of the Great Colleges to Work For, included “honor roll” status in all 10 award categories, a recognition only two schools received last year, and four in the latest survey. Categories included job satisfaction and support, compensation and benefits, professional development and mission, faculty and staff well-being, shared governance, faculty experience and diversity, inclusion and belonging. Welsh sends her successor best wishes and notes that because of COVID-19 and other significant events, the employment environment at Tri-C (like everywhere else) is transitioning. “What worked in the last 10 years is not going to work in the future,” says Welch. “But the employees who work here now, and who will work here, want to improve the quality of the community. Our employees are all part of the community.” — JS N O RT H COA S T 9 9 .O RG / YO U R E RC .CO M

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R EFLEC TIO N EMPOWERING EMPLOYEES

The Garland Company, Inc. AS AN ESOP THAT INVITES IDEAS FROM EVERY TEAM MEMBER, THE LONGTIME MANUFACTURER CAN ATTRACT AND RETAIN TALENT IN A LABOR-CHALLENGED INDUSTRY.

MATTHEW MCDERMOTT

Garland Company, Inc. is “upside down,” says Matthew McDermott, president of the 127-year-old manufacturer of waterproofing and coating products for the commercial building industry. Customers are at the top, followed by the sales force and support staff and then finally the executive board. As an employee-owned business, everyone has a stake, and the company’s ESOP structure and entrepreneurial spirit make it a place where people are invested and feel valued. “If you look at an employee’s opportunity during a 15- to 20-year career span, the stock they will earn through the ESOP is

We are honored to be a three-time recipient of the NorthCoast 99 Award. Thank you to all of our employees for your dedication, hard work, and excellence. We’re proud to share this recoginition with our Jergens family!

JOIN THE JERGENS FAMILY WWW.JERGENSINC.COM/CAREERS

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THE ORGANIZATIONAL CHART at The


AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE | MANUFACTURING very attractive,” McDermott says. “They can earn money for retirement without having to set it aside from their annual salaries. As we succeed together as a company, all employees benefit.” Those looking for a creative work environment find a home at Garland. “We want to lead innovation and service, and we encourage feedback from everyone,” McDermott says, pointing toward the company’s annual “Gartank” program, where employees from all departments participate in a Shark Tankstyle competition. “If you have a great idea, we want to hear about it and reward you for it and try to fund those opportunities to implement them in the business.” One employee hatched an idea for a sustainable waterproofing membrane that was moved to development. “It spurred a lot of products, services and creativity around that option, and we believe we will lead sustainability in waterproofing and roofing in the future,” McDermott shares.

Innovation ultimately goes back to the spirit of ownership. “We continue to grow the business by the ideas from employees because everyone is a partner,” McDermott says. “Some of our best ideas come from the sales force in the field, folks in the plant making products, customer service or throughout our businesses. Everyone has an opportunity to contribute.” Personal and professional growth are encouraged by access to continuing education through the internal training department. “We prefer to promote from within when we can and want everyone to grow, so we offer at least quarterly education opportunities,” McDermott says, relating that those could occur during a staff lunch or half-day seminars. “Whether you want to learn Excel or public speaking or take some other course, we will help cover or compensate for that,” McDermott says. With the ownership option, innovation focus and educational support, Garland

LOCATION: Cleveland EMPLOYEES: 130 (Cleveland), 311 (U.S.) WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Produces high-performance roofing and building envelope solutions for the commercial, industrial and institutional markets. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: The company’s ESOP structure and entrepreneurial spirit make it a place where people are invested and feel valued.

attracts like-minded individuals who want to be partners. “They care about the overall business and we have a people-first philosophy,” McDermott says. “We make great products, of course, but it’s really our service and attention to customers that make us different. And that’s because of our people.” — Kristen Hampshire

PROUDLY NAMED ONE OF NORTHEAST OHIO’S BEST PLACES TO WORK FOR 19 CONSECUTIVE YEARS.

800.FLEXJET | FLEXJET.COM YOU WON’T JUST BE FLOWN, YOU’LL BE MOVED. © FLEXJET, LLC. 2022

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R EFLEC TIO N MAKING A DIFFERENCE

FrontLine Service

A PASSION FOR HELPING OTHERS ENSURES THE SUCCESS OF THIS HEALTH CARE INSTITUTION.

MAUREEN SWEENEY

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health care institutions and organizations “moved further and further way from face-toface care,” recalls Maureen Sweeney, director of clinical strategy for FrontLine Service. “But we serve people with serious mental health issues who are homeless. So going to telehealth was not an option for us. Most of our clients don’t have phones,” says Sweeney, who has been with FrontLine Service for seven years. “So, every day we tried to maintain the importance of seeing clients we were treating face-to-face. It is something I am super proud of.”

KEN BLAZE

DURING THE HEIGHT OF COVID-19, most


AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE | HEALTH CARE & SOCIAL ASSISTANCE Sweeney says the private, nonprofit organization is a “safety net, treating people other places aren’t treating.” It’s not easy work. The clients (individuals who are homeless) served by FrontLine Service die an average of 25 years earlier than the general population, primarily from chronic conditions, including heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. “But there is a feeling of hope from the leadership here that makes a difference. The work here is really hard, and sometimes the outcomes are not always perfect. Our leadership does a lot to remind our staff that the services we provide are hopeful ones that benefit the community as a whole. COVID-19 was particularly hard on nurses, and FrontLine has done a lot to support its nurses through this period. That’s one of the really cool things FrontLine has done.” FrontLine Service emphasizes resiliency for its employees and encourages staff to take care of themselves. Yoga and guided meditation sessions are just part of the company’s effective and gentle ways it

encourages employees to focus on their mental and physical health. Work-life balance goals are also encouraged. “And truly, I have never worked in a place that was more generous with its employee benefits,” claims Sweeney. Those benefits include generous time off, health insurance, life and accidental death and dismemberment policies, shortterm and long-term disability, in-house training, retirement savings, group savings and employee assistance programs. FrontLine Service was well aware of “social determinants of health,” long before that term became a buzzword, according to Sweeney. Focusing first on housing and basic needs has been something the organization has always done, she believes. That never-wavering goal has worked well in the past and will continue to succeed in Northeast Ohio. Cooperation with organizations including Eden Inc. (a housing agency that provides temporary or permanent rental assistance), Greater Cleveland Food Bank,

LOCATION: Cleveland EMPLOYEES: 313 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Reaches out to adults and children to end homelessness, prevent suicide, resolve behavioral health crises and help people overcome trauma. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: A mission-driven culture plus a practice of cutting-edge services for the vulnerable population make it an exciting, meaningful opportunity. local hospitals and others has made that possible, Sweeney believes. Most importantly, FrontLine Service looks for employees “who have a heart for the mission first and foremost,” says Sweeney. “Everyone who works here in some capacity is a social justice warrior, whatever that means for them,” she says. “I can teach almost anybody anything, but I can’t teach them how to care.” —JS

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R EFLEC TIO N

Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group

PROTECTING OUR PETS

DISCOVER AN ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO PUTTING PETS FIRST. beloved four-legged friends, working at Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group may not be the right place for you. “We are an insurance company, but we are pet people first,” says Bob Capobianco, Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group’s senior vice president and pet parent to Hank, a handsome orange American short hair cat. “Whether our folks volunteer at rescue shelters, work in a vet clinic or just own a menagerie of animals, they are pet lovers.”

BOB CAPOBIANCO

a proud recipient of the 2022 Northcoast 99 Award Our professionals support large employers and their benefits teams in the contracting and delivery of pharmacy benefits. What started as a collaboration of local employers has grown to hundreds of employers across the country delivering benefits to more than one million individuals.

EMPLOYERSHEALTHCO.COM

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IF YOU DON’T MELT at the sight of your


AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE | FINANCE & INSURANCE Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Today, the international company, with satellite offices in Toronto, London and Chicago, protects a half-million pets and has processed 1.6 million claims. The group’s parent company, Crum & Forster, is celebrating its 200-year anniversary. The pet health insurance industry has had steady growth, according to Capobianco. But he believes the internet, which expanded awareness and accessibility of pet insurance policies, as well as the huge desire to own pets to ease loneliness and isolation during COVID-19, gave a big boost to the option. Insurance companies also need valued employees to succeed. Remote employees share a feeling that Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group “has my back,” says Capobianco. “I love to see people and pet puppies,” Capobianco adds. “But the fact that we have been able to create a remote and diverse community of people across the country and still have that special sauce (of

caring for our employees), is a testament to the community and entire team.” Capobianco believes his company’s core values set it apart. Those include: empathy to understand what pet owners experience during difficult times; integrity to always work with the best intentions; community (the company participates in the Dragons on the Lake Dragon Boat Festival in Akron to support breast cancer awareness); and diversity of people and ideas. Now more than ever before, Capobianco would like to see pet health insurance become a routine part of pet care. The soaring cost of veterinary bills means more pet owners are forced to choose “economic euthanasia” instead of treatment. Businesses that offer a pet health insurance benefit often see it as an effective hiring and retention tool. Capobianco says his company and his employees can make a difference. “We are cross-generational. I am at the tail end of my career, but I have folks just starting out in the work world as well,”

LOCATION: Akron EMPLOYEES: 270 (local), 450 (total) WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Provides pet health insurance. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Animals lovers can do something real to help pets. Also, colleagues will understand if their co-worker comes to work with pet hair all over their sweater.

says Capobianco. “It is important for us to establish a commitment to them in a way that it is genuine. Our people are our single most important asset. Without them, we can’t provide this protection for pets. Our interest in our employees is not just nine to five. We try to provide an interesting place to work, and we care about the whole person.” — JS

Be Connected. Be Valued. Be You.

jobs.swagelok.com

At Swagelok, our people-focused culture and no-layoff philosophy have created a sense of stability, connectivity, and pride for 75 years. We’re humbled to be a 12-time NorthCoast 99 winner and congratulate our fellow recipients! Swagelok is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Swagelok Company | Solon, OH, USA | swagelok.com ©2022 Swagelok Company

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R EFLEC TIO N TEAMING UP

Verantis Corporation VERANTIS CORPORATION GIVES ITS PEOPLE LEEWAY TO EXPLORE CAREER PATHWAYS AND THE SATISFACTION OF MAKING A POSITIVE GLOBAL IMPACT.

(LEFT TO RIGHT) JEFF LAMBACHER , MIKE CASTENIR, SCHIRLEY JUSTINIANO AND GARRETT PAVLOVICZ

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Society of the Swiss Army Knife, you’re a jack of many trades that can manage multiple roles. “One of our managers was referring to an employee and said, ‘I’m trying to turn him into a Swiss Army Knife so he can handle all of these roles,’ so we turned it into a unique recognition program,” explains Mike Castenir, director of HR and marketing at Verantis Corporation. “We have a heavy focus on interdisciplinary work and not silo-ing people into a specific role. It’s never easy to step out of your comfort zone, but the process is easier when there are people there to support you who truly want to see you succeed.”

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IF YOU’RE A MEMBER of the Verantis


AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC & TECHNICAL SERVICES If interested, employees can participate in an alternative work schedule; they can work nine nine-hour work days and get a day off. “We can take every other Friday off,” Castenir says, adding that leadership isn’t manning the clock. While typical business hours are honored, a team member could start at 8 a.m. and head home at 5 p.m. or go to the office earlier. “This gives families the ability to mesh work into their personal lives, and we understand that there are times when people might not be able to come into the office,” he relates. “We can still get business done on Microsoft Teams and keep moving forward.” Longevity is a testament to the work-life balance Verantis offers. Of the executive team, the CFO has been on board for 18 years, the controller for four and plant manager for nearly 45. Why do team members choose to stay with the company? “You get to be a part of a really knowledgeable, strong team that works interdepartmentally and makes a difference on a global scale,” Castenir says,

relating how Verantis helps companies meet EPA regulations and assures that essential products like microchips and semiconductors can be made safely and sent into the market. “You get a chance to see the impact of your work around the world. And we’re making an impact on products that drive the world’s economy, too.” At Verantis, “everyone is encouraged to ask questions,” Castenir says. And this begins with the interview process. “We actually flip the interview on its head and begin by asking the candidates what questions they have for us first.” Because the business can’t operate without the knowledge of its people, Verantis is always looking for top talent. To identify the best people, interviews are casual, Castenir says. While this might seem counterintuitive, “the more formal it is, the less comfortable a candidate is and then it’s hard to find out who that real person is.” The culture is one of transparency. “If employees have a question about why we are doing something this way or that way,

LOCATION: Middleburg Heights EMPLOYEES: 65 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: An engineering, design, components sourcing and project management firm for emission control systems that remove harmful acids, gases, odors and airborne particles from the environment. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Verantis team members can make a global and economic impact by doing work that improves the environment. we can answer those and they are always listened to,” Castenir says. And there are opportunities to climb. “As a smaller business, you have a chance to touch many aspects, and as you continue and grow your skills, you get more involved,” he relates. “There’s a real sense of working toward the same goal.” — KH

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R EFLEC TIO N

SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARDS

ISTOCK

These six companies are putting best practices to work to create great workplaces, earning them special awards in the categories of employee well-being; organizational strategy, policies and benefits; talent attraction, acquisition and onboarding; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); total rewards; and employee engagement and talent development.

Humbled to be honored as one of the 99 best workplaces in Ohio for Top Talent. And proud to share this recognition with our DRB family! Join our growing, winning team! Drb.com/careers

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SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARDS | EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING

SUMMA HEALTH

Caring for the Caregivers

EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING GOES HAND-IN-HAND WITH PATIENT CARE AT SUMMA HEALTH. SUMMA HEALTH HAS LONG ADDRESSED

the emotional and physical well-being of its thousands of employees, and the health system quickly and meaningfully pivoted to increase its support of employee well-being in response to the effects of COVID-19. “Our main focus was always maintaining healthy lifestyles [among employees] — eating well and staying active,” notes Ashley Krul, program coordinator of employee wellness for Summa Health, adding that the current focus is more on stress management. “The need to focus on mental health is greater than before [COVID-19]. If [a person is] not handling that, they won’t be able to handle physical wellness.” To that end, Summa Health has specific methods for addressing mental health of employees, one of which is the Code Lavender Cart. Anytime employees are in a traumatic state experiencing stress, such as following the death of a patient or co-worker or during times when there is an extra influx of patients, a manager or director can request the cart to bring them lavender plants, chocolate, cookies, electric candles, a Keurig machine, a CD player with calming music and information and contacts for stress management and the Employee Assistance Program. The cart can be placed in a lounge area, meeting room, or empty patient room

for employees to access. The Oasis Room is another form of support. It offers a low-light, calming room with comfortable furniture that’s open 24 hours to offer an escape from chaos. The Calm Cart, ASHLEY KRUL for those who can’t get to the room, offers stress management tools, such as adult coloring books and coloring utensils. “We offer mindfulness classes that are very popular,” Krul says. “Our Employee Assistance Program [EAP] offers free counseling, including a 24/7 line for immediate counseling. In case of a traumatic event, each employee can access six free sessions per event — a death in the family, marital problems, patient loss. After those six, the employee can choose to continue with a counselor via insurance, or seek a Summa+ provider, which is 100% covered.” This focus on supporting colleagues extends to individual employees supporting one another, Krul adds. “Summa is very unique in that everyone cares about each other. Everyone not in patient care during COVID-19 was looking for opportunities to assist front-line workers,” she says. “A spiritual and mental health committee shared ideas on how to

LOCATIONS: Akron and Barberton (main campuses); Green, Medina and Wadsworth (hospital systems); and additional health care, hospital and urgent care systems throughout Northeast Ohio EMPLOYEES: About 8,300 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Treats every sort of patient need. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: In a workplace that handles trauma and loss every day, employees are given the support they need to do their jobs in a healthy way.

help people on the front lines. They created ‘hero bags’ with goodies. We offered wellness binders for employees and had counselors onsite daily. We offered daily readings over speakers, snacks and goodies and massage pillows. People came to the floors and just started working and helping out.” — Ruth Corradi Beach

What the Winners Do: NorthCoast 99 winners contributed an average of 587 hours of community service in 2021. In addition, 99% of this year’s winners allow employees to individually participate in other charity event fundraisers, pro-bono work or other community service work during normal work hours and outside of activities initiated by or sponsored by the organization. N O RT H COA S T 9 9 .O RG / YO U R E RC .CO M

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VIVIDFRONT

SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARDS ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY, POLICIES & BENEFITS

The Power of Yes

VIVIDFRONT KEEPS PUSHING THE LIMITS OF WHAT’S POSSIBLE FOR ITS PEOPLE. VIVIDFRONT HAS A YOUNG STAFF that

is almost entirely made up of millennials and Gen Z. “They are caring, and they value different things,” says Lisa Perry, COO of VividFront. “We try to meet them where they’re at and cater to their interests. We are not afraid to pivot and adapt. We’ve said yes to nearly everything they’ve asked.” And she does mean everything. The list is impressive. “Hybrid work environment? Yes. Can we be done by 5 p.m.? Yes. Summer Fridays? Yes. Unlimited vacation days? Yes, with the caveat that each employee must take at least two weeks,” Perry says. “Every time we extend a new benefit or more flexibility, it leads to a higher retention rate, higher productivity and increased profitability.” In fact, in the midst of this Great Resignation, VividFront has seen its highest retention rate in nearly five years, only losing one employee. And this is in a field with a notoriously high turnover rate. Even with all of these policies and benefits in place, Perry notes, a concerted attempt is still made to make sure employees feel challenged and see a future path in their careers with VividFront. That personalized

strategy starts when the employee is hired. “It takes work from the leadership team to figure out what and vision, a child care discount, pet each new employee discount program, pet-friendly office, is interested in, what new parent policy, free parking and offers them a mix of LISA PERRY subsidized lunches and snacks. We are their comfort zone and truly offering everything we possibly can adrenalin. If we can match all of our team to make our peoples’ careers as fair, stable, members to projects they enjoy, why would enjoyable and rewarding as we can.” you ever leave or do anything else? We take — RCB that seriously, connecting our people to projects that make sense to them, rather than the reverse.” And for employees with a few years at VividFront under their belts, LOCATION: Cleveland opportunities are still available. EMPLOYEES: 29 “If an employee is searching for more, WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: not a hard and fast policy or benefit, Holistic digital marketing and web but in terms of structure, we work development agency that helps companies hard as a leadership team to connect scale their brand digitally. them with a project that interests and WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: fulfills them,” Perry says. In a field that’s known for high turnover rate, It’s important to note that these VividFront is not afraid to pivot and adapt to unusual perks and benefits are not meet the needs of its young workforce simply window dressing. “We’re not just and give them the support they need offering fun and new benefits and taking to do their best work. away foundational ones,” Perry says. “We’re building on full coverage of dental, health

What the Winners Do: From a list of 14 flexible work arrangements, this year’s NorthCoast 99 winners selected an average of about 8.5 options that they offered to at least some subset of their workforce in 2021. Ninety-six percent of winners offered a hybrid of remote/in-person work. Other less common flexible arrangements used by winners included shift swaps (45%), job sharing (31%) and a results-only work environment (ROWE) or similar philosophy, i.e., get the work done (24%).

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SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARDS TALENT ATTRACTION, ACQUISITION & ONBOARDING

LOCATION: North Canton EMPLOYEES: 5,200

THE SCHROER GROUP

All in the Family

WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Provides skilled nursing centers, home health care, hospice, pharmacy, managed care, rehab and food services. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: The Schroer Group showcases a culture where employees and their families feel valued and supported.

THE SCHROER GROUP SHOWS CARE AND CONCERN FOR EACH EMPLOYEE’S FAMILY AND CAREER. THE FAMILY NATURE OF THE SCHROER GROUP is apparent when talking with CEO

Jerry Schroer. He knows his employees and is genuinely invested in their experience. He identifies the family aspect of the company as a big reason people want to work at The Schroer Group. “When you start to talk about our value system, that appeals to people,” he says. “We have a new generation of workforce coming, so flexible work schedules are important [to attracting talent].” The Schroer Group is also staying responsive to the market by moving more quickly in acquiring qualified employees, acknowledging that for some positions, this is a worker’s market. “We’ve shortened the timeline from the time someone applies to the time they’re getting interviewed. If someone applies at 8 a.m., how quickly and timely are we getting to that person? At 8 a.m., they may be applying to 14 companies.” For employees who are in need of financial help, The Schroer Group created In Jerry’s Footsteps, a foundation named in honor of Schroer’s father, Jerry Sr., who was known both within his company and in wider philanthropic circles as a generous, caring

man. In Jerry’s Footsteps is funded by employees, the company and vendor partners. It is a voluntary contribution from employees’ earned wages. “An employee can go to HR JERRY SCHROER or to an administer. Or, it may be a supervisor who say, ‘You should apply,’” Schroer says. “The request is forwarded to one of the board members, who is also an employee. They reach out, get more details and take the application to an employee committee. It’s a confidential process, and the maximum amount [of grants available] is up to $4,000.” New employees also are introduced to a variety of career options, which Schroer says is very attractive to people. “We have five different pillar organizations, and you’ll see time and time again someone who started as x and they’re now y. It’s a great opportunity for people to move and do different things,” Schroer explains. “Moving like that is something we do for employees in the hope that people never feel like they got stuck. One of the toughest things for an individual is that they feel that they got stuck.

It’s an informal process, an honest conversation with a supervisor, most of whom are realistic that if they don’t help that individual then they’re going to lose them. The main thing is to help that person grow in their career.” — RCB

What the Winners Do: Internship programs are common among NorthCoast 99 winners, with 95% of winning organizations responding they have a program in place. The average size of these programs in 2021 was about 19 interns, although they ranged from as small as one to up to 1,648. Ninety-three percent of the organizations that offered internships paid all of their interns.

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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

R EFLEC TIO N CLEVELAND GUARDIANS

It Takes Teamwork THE CLEVELAND GUARDIANS COVER ALL OF THE BASES TO MAKE THEIR DIVERSE FRANCHISE INCLUSIVE FOR EVERYONE.

that encompass the Cleveland Guardians, the phrase “teamwork” is not limited to the action on the field. “We know our people, and treat them with respect,” says Mailynh Vu, director of talent acquisition off the field. “The passion they bring to our organization through total teamwork and continual learning is something to be proud of.” Diversity, equity and inclusion, Vu adds, are keys to the organization’s success. “We listen to our staff to understand what motivates them to be part of the team

TO THE 370 STAFF MEMBERS

and why they want to be here,” she says. “The answer is so different for everybody, and we’re dedicated to harnessing each individual’s strengths so they feel valued and are excited to come to work and connect with our fans.” The franchise also encourages inclusion and celebrates diversity by welcoming dialogue about current events. The Cleveland Guardians partner with The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio to lead discussions with staff about ways all people can be connected, respected and valued.

Thank you to our passionate employees and clients for supporting our mission of Empowering Schools, People and Communities to Stay Safe and Thrive every single day. It’s because of you that we have been named a NorthCoast 99 Award winner two years in a row!

“We’re an organization that’s learning along the way to make sure we’re doing what we know is right,” Vu says. “And sometimes our decision — i.e. the name change — won’t be a popular one.”

Navigate360’s solutions protect and prepare more than 50,000 districts, schools, law enforcement agencies, businesses and houses of worship.

Houses of Worship

Law Enforcement & Government Agencies

School Buildings

Business & Healthcare Facilities

We’re proud to help communities nationwide mitigate and reduce acts of violence with solutions backed by research and developed by industry experts. Join the mission at navigate360.com/careers 330.661.0106

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SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARDS | DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

Like many businesses, the Cleveland Guardians staff went from working side by side and chatting around the water cooler to working alone at home. To stay connected, employees were invited to log on biweekly coffee chats, and Slider hosted a family dance party on Zoom. The virtual Monster Mash highintensity workouts that started during the pandemic are now offered in person to staff throughout the ballpark during lunch or at the end of the work day. The franchise also makes sure the staff is able to savor moments that are unforgettable. “How many people are lucky enough to say that their office is connected to a

ballpark?” reflects Vu, who’s been a member of the front office for 12 seasons. “On top of that, we’ve had the opportunity to host an All-Star Game MAILYNH VU and be in the World Series. We make sure our teammates have the ability to enjoy these milestones because we know it’s their dedication and hard work that helped us accomplish them.” — Linda Feagler

LOCATION: Cleveland EMPLOYEES: 370 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: An American League professional baseball team. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: The staff shares a passionate commitment for making a positive impact on their community and the baseball industry.

What the Winners Do: Eighty-four percent of the NorthCoast 99 winning organizations measure employee sentiment around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) among their employees. This is most commonly done as part of a larger employee engagement survey that includes measurements around inclusion or psychological safety.

Great Employees. Great College. Proud to be recognized as one of Northeast Ohio’s top employers for the 16th year. Our employees build bridges to success for Tri-C® students — and their dedication is what makes the College great.

Grow your career with Tri-C. Visit

tri-c.edu/careers

22-0654

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R EFLEC TIO N

LOCATION: Cleveland EMPLOYEES: 145

LIFEBANC

Life in Balance

WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Heals and saves lives by procuring eyes, tissue and organs for donation and transplantation.

LIFEBANC EXTENDS ITS MISSION OF IMPROVING PEOPLE’S QUALITY OF LIFE TO ITS EMPLOYEES.

WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: In addition to the importance of its mission, Lifebanc encourages employees to grow in their careers and their personal lives.

EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION was determined entirely by the good a company does, then Lifebanc would be at the forefront of happy workplaces. But Lifebanc understands that employees require much more, and their commitment to rewarding employees shows that they value their workers’ day-to-day lives just as they value their communities’ well-being. “The mission brings great purpose,” acknowledges Michelle Leighton, Lifebanc’s chief talent officer. “But, it’s the people who make the difference. So, it’s how we interact with and support each other [that matters].” Lifebanc operates on a total rewards perspective, meaning that the organization IF

Thanks to our Top Talent we are a Top Workplace 40

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supports and rewards employees on a number of levels, from day-to-day social interaction to long-term career advancement. “Our rewards perspective is a large, broad stroke,” Leighton says. “We have a lot of programs and strategies to help focus on not only attracting the right people but retaining them.” Lifebanc conducts an annual Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Survey that asks people to reflect on the year and make requests or offer suggestions. The most recent survey revealed that people

Proud to be named a Top Workplace for the 8th Consecutive Year

www.FITtechnologies.com


SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARDS | TOTAL REWARDS

were craving more social In terms of compensation, interaction, something that Leighton notes that Lifebanc’s is only recently possible wages are highly competitive. again after months of “If we have the money and COVID-19 protocols. staff is working hard, we On a more strictly profesdistribute a bonus at a whim. sional level, Lifebanc employWe just processed [a bonus] for ees have access to the iDrive everyone due to the cost of living Program, a career-development and high inflation,” Leighton says. MICHELLE LEIGHTON opportunity for staff. They can “We have unbelievably robust do self-paced career development or find PTO. We offer two buyouts every year and specific books with development opportuni- additional ones for different reasons. With ties for them online. Employees can also find COVID-19, people couldn’t go anywhere. So, out about open internal positions and apply we do buyouts so they don’t lose [their PTO].” before the position officially opens and even The COVID-19 climate is currently directing shadow fellow employees to learn more about many of Lifebanc’s incentives. This includes their position if they’re contemplating a move. a longevity bonus and incentive plan.

“COVID-19 was a great way to learn what works and what doesn’t,” Leighton continues. “What really works is a hybrid schedule. Having those hybrid schedules allows for higher flexibility and greater magnitude of life and work balance.” The willingness to listen and learn during COVID-19 has paid off for Lifebanc. “We continually pivoted to make sure needs of our mission and our people were always our top priority,” Leighton says. “It’s not a stroke of luck that we won this award. We continue to focus on the right things. People are our mission. We have to be people-centered to make sure that mission stays alive.” — RCB

What the Winners Do: Seventy percent of the NorthCoast 99 winning organizations ask their employees to specify the rewards and recognition they value. In addition, 96% of those organizations took at least one action to refine their rewards and recognition based on those results.

Cleveland Metroparks wishes to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our employees. Thank you for making us a NorthCoast 99 winner 16 times.

216-635-3200 | clevelandmetroparks.com/careers N O RT H COA S T 9 9 .O RG / YO U R E RC .CO M

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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

R EFLEC TIO N FOUNDATION SOFTWARE/ PAYROLL4 CONSTRUCTION. COM

Career Paths FOUNDATION SOFTWARE/PAYROLL4CONSTRUCTION.COM KEEPS ITS EMPLOYEES ENGAGED BY HELPING THEM DEVELOP THEIR TALENTS

KEEPING EMPLOYEES ENGAGED starts

3-

tim

ew

inn

er

with hiring employees who are engaging. “I am a firm believer that we always hire based on attitude and aptitude. Aptitude is measurable, attitude is more of a challenge [to measure],” explains Mike Ode, CEO of Foundation Software/ Payroll4Construction.com. “[We hear from] our employees that they work here because they love the place and the people, and they first came here because of what they’d heard or seen from friends and family — we have a lot of friends, spouses of employees working here.”

To learn more about our team visit www.fleetresponse.com

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Once they’re in the door, employee hit the ground running, receiving training that expands their skill set to allow for career advancement. “The vast majority of our hires cycle through client services first,” Ode says. “It’s a five-to-seven-week class where you learn the software. If you can learn the software, you’ve created numerous pathways for yourself within these walls.” The pathways of talent development are clearly defined and up to the employee to choose, Ode explains. “First we determine, A or B — within the field you’re in [or not]?


SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARDS EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & TALENT DEVELOPMENT If so, here’s the pathway for tier in as a help desk engineer, and 2, tier 3, team leader, then then they show interest and assistant manager. desire to become a network “If the employee’s choice engineer. We will put them is to move on [into another with the engineer there, where field within the company], a they will be mentored and get logical path is to go from client a clear idea of what it takes to services to implementation move up. Some paths are very trainer. We have a ‘train the structured, like client services to MIKE ODE trainer’ class, in which someone implementation, some are less so.” will be mentored x hours a week, and Whether the paths are structured or when an implementation trainer position not, it’s clear that the strategy of helping becomes available, they are qualified and employees advance works very well for ready to go. Like a farm system in baseball. Foundation Software/Payroll4Construction. “In the tech department, each individual com. The plan, Ode says, is to identify and has career paths as well. Say a person comes retain any employee who “wants to stay here,

just doesn’t want to do what they’re currently doing, as well as people who have been here awhile and need a change of pace.” — RCB LOCATIONS: Strongsville (headquarters); Chandler, Arizona; and Boynton Beach, Florida EMPLOYEES: Approximately 400 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Provides software to the construction industry. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Employees are given plenty of options and support if they want to move up in the company or try another field within it.

What the Winners Do: All NorthCoast 99 winning organizations delivered, paid for or reimbursed employees who participated in professional and leadership development and/or training classes in 2021. On average, winners offered more than 20 topics in their professional and leadership development and/or training. Apart from job-related or job-specific skills, which were offered by 98% of the winners, the top three most common training topics were leadership development (92%), supervisory skills (88%) and communication skills (86%).

Proud to be recognized as a NorthCoast 99 Employer of Choice

13 times!

Where your role meets your soul! Jennings recognizes our staff for the quality, compassionate care and service they provide to Northeast Ohio’s older adults, children & families.

(216) 581-2900 | www.jenningsohio.org Brecksville | Chardon | Garfield Heights | Shaker Heights N O RT H COA S T 9 9 .O RG / YO U R E RC .CO M

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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

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FIRST-TIME WINNERS

ISTOCK

Hear from employees of eight first-time NorthCoast 99 winners about what makes their workplaces great. They tell their stories of organizations that encourage flexibility, foster communication, provide meaningful work and offer opportunities to learn and grow.

AD Associates on our win 8 years in a row!

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FIRST-TIME WINNERS | 7 17 CREDIT UNION

7 17 Credit Union PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE. “We feel the way you improve communities is by improving individuals’ lives, one at a time, and that is meaningful work,” Gary Soukenik, president and CEO of 7 17 Credit Union. “So, we hire people with excellent people skills so we can really manage those relationships.” Originally started as a credit union for GM employees, “we modeled this financial institution after the benefits our members were receiving. So that was above-market wages. We also offer fantastic benefits, and that has allowed us to attract people and provide the best service.”

BRYON MILLER

GARY SOUKENIK PRESIDENT AND CEO YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 42 YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 45

KEEPING UP. Fast-paced technology in the financial space can be a challenge, Soukenik acknowledges. But it provides an environment of constant learning for team members and gives employees tools to deliver the type of service members expect. “People expect to bank anytime, anywhere, and they want it now with frictionless delivery,” Soukenik says. So, the credit union is evolving, now offering video banking and with plans to renovate branches. “Technology is an exciting part of the business — it’s a fun part.” And so is the intersection of digital offerings and helping people achieve dreams like buying a home or car. — Kristen Hampshire

LOCATION: Warren EMPLOYEES: 334 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Offers memberships for those living or working in Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage, Summit and central Stark counties, providing 14 branches and services to more than 100,000 account holders. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Expansion affords opportunities for employees, and they are given the financial and tech tools to help members achieve their financial goals.

You’re constantly striving for a better way to get the job done: a better way to build, serve, produce, care, collaborate, innovate. Every day, your determination inspires us to think bigger, work harder, and better understand the unique challenges you face. It’s all about helping you find innovative and sustainable solutions that drive your growth and success— and supporting your commitment to being the best you can be.

800.909.8058 | info@airgas.com

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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

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FIRST-TIME WINNERS APEX DERMATOLOGY AND SKIN SURGERY CENTER

Apex Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center

ACHIEVING HIGH STANDARDS. Apex Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center helps employees succeed through a robust mentoring and onboarding phase. Each new person is paired with a “big sister” or “big brother,” and there are touchpoint meetings with managers. The executive team holds quarterly development roundtables.

DR. JORGE GARCIA-ZUAZAGA FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 11 YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 11

GROWING OPPORTUNITIES. Since the company’s founding, it has accelerated from four people and an office to 12 locations and 170 people. “As an entrepreneur, I like the challenge of continued growth, and we have people who started as a medical assistant and over the years were promoted to clinical coordinator or office manager, even area manager,” Dr. Garcia-Zuazaga says. “We create pathways, and we realize not everyone wants that path so we support them as needed.” — KH

LOCATION: 12 offices located throughout Northeast Ohio EMPLOYEES: 170 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Dermatology and skin surgery center offering medical, surgical and aesthetic services. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: The company boasts a high-energy culture driven by entrepreneurial leadership that promotes career development and has a “staff first” approach.

Understanding Understanding and Advice Advice and

THANK YOU TO OUR HARD-WORKING AND DEDICATED FOODBANK FAMILY!

Wealways always try try to We to understand understand our clients, their our clients, their business, business, and their goals. and their goals. By listening first,

By listening we help them find first, solutions we specific help them find needs. solutions to their specific to their needs.

PROUDLY NAMED ONE OF NORTHEAST OHIO’S TOP PLACES TO WORK FOR 9 CONSECUTIVE YEARS

We are proud to be honored

We We are are proud proudtotobe behonored honored as a NorthCoast 99 winner.

SEPTEMBER IS HUNGER ACTION MONTH. Learn more at akroncantonfoodbank.org/ham

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216-831-7171 216-831-7171 216-831-7171

www.cp-advisors.com www.cp-advisors.com www.cp-advisors.com

BRYON MILLER

DERMATOLOGY ROCK STARS. “When I founded Apex, I was trying to fix the dermatology access problem,” says. Dr. Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga. “When someone comes to our offices, we want to be the rock stars, so we focus on key principles that are simple to talk about but hard to deliver. Our staff is what allows us to see patients — we are synched and motivated, and we keep them motivated.”


FIRST-TIME WINNERS | DRB SYSTEMS, LLC

DRB Systems, LLC MOVING ON UP. In 1996, Todd Davy, senior vice president of sales at DRB Systems, LLC, started as a support representative. The entrylevel position evolved into customer support, R&D for product management, operations and eventually management. “DRB provides many opportunities for internal growth, with both internal training and career development, along with external opportunities for coaching from seasoned leaders outside of our industry.”

BRYON MILLER

TODD DAVY SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 2 YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 25

HUNGRY, HUMBLE, SMART. DRB Systems, LLC focuses on seeking opportunities and looking for ways to improve. This is done with care and respect, as well as by treating others by the Golden Rule. “We try to look at problems from all angles, not just our own perspective,” Davy says. “We encourage teams to challenge each other respectfully while working together to reach common goals.” BARRING BURNOUT. “We’re focused on how work from home fits in our business and how to prevent burnout for those team members who are working from home,” Davy says, adding that flexibility is encouraged. “I’ve been lucky enough to coach my kids in many sports while they were younger. DRB gave me the time I needed to spend with my family.” — KH

Because we’re all caregivers

Healthcare is evolving, and Cleveland Clinic is transforming healthcare – pushing the limits and paving the way to establish new practices and set new standards.

LOCATION: Akron EMPLOYEES: 557 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Provides point-ofsale software and hardware to car washes, quick lubes and repair shops. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Employees are not just co-workers. They treat each other like friends and family and pull together to help each other and their customers.

THE CLEVELAND GUARDIANS ARE HONORED TO RECEIVE OUR 12TH

AND THE SPECIAL CATEGORY AWARD FOR DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Discover your next career opportunity at Cleveland Clinic. clevelandclinic.jobs

Cleveland Clinic is pleased to be an equal employment employer: Women/Minorities/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.

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FIRST-TIME WINNERS | GOOD PLACE HOLDINGS

R EFLEC TIO N

Good Place Holdings SUSTAINING TALENT. “Our average tenure is over 15 years,” Bissonette reports, noting that the company celebrates 30- and 40-year anniversaries for employees. “That shows us our principles stand the test of time and do not change just because a leader changes, and then you have a new purpose or reason or new ways of doing things. We are drawing on generations of stability and it’s something our people can rely on. That draws people.”

DALE BISSONETTE PRESIDENT YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 7 YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 21

DRIVING PERFORMANCE. Bissonette acknowledges, “It’s not always an easy transition from one organization to Good Place Holdings. We are very intentional in what we do. We have performance-driven motives to do the right things by our customers, our vendors, our employers and our communities. We believe that creates a sustainable business and a surplus that we can regenerate to create jobs. That’s the core.” — KH

LOCATION: Stow EMPLOYEES: 36 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Focuses on sustainable, organizational life and includes SDMyers, OnNow Digital, EPRA, PowerPro360, Living City Farms, Ms. Julie’s Kitchen and Redemptive Properties. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Good Place Holdings gives its people the training, tools and encouragement to live a mission of growing thriving, meaningful communities.

THANK YOU TO OUR DEDICATED EMPLOYEES

SYNTHOMER HAS BEEN PROUDLY NAMED ONE ‚ OF NORTHEAST OHIO S TOP WORKPLACES FOR FOUR YEARS IN A ROW.

Our People, Our Passion,

Your Results

Celebrate our 25th year of business growth and our 5th NorthCoast 99 win. If you’re a business looking for results from Marketing, Technology, or App Development, call us today!

NORTHEAST OHIO LOCATIONS: AKRON, BEACHWOOD, MOGADORE

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BRYON MILLER

DO GOOD. “We value people over creating surplus, we build up good places in the community, and we are focused on being economically regenerative,” says Dale Bissonette, president. How does this message sink into the work ethic of its team members? The Good Place Institute offers a leader’s guide on how to steward a Good Place.


FIRST-TIME WINNERS | mDESIGN

mDesign AUTHENTICALLY APPROACHABLE. “Management is so approachable, co-workers are approachable and people I’ve only met virtually — I feel like I know them,” says Clarissa Boyer, Amazon Marketplace assistant at mDesign. “I haven’t worked anywhere else where I’ve felt so supported and important.”

BRYON MILLER

CLARISSA BOYER AMAZON MARKETPLACE ASSISTANT YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 1 YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 1

BALANCING HOME AND CAREER. A year into the pandemic, Boyer was looking for a job where she could help homeschool her children as a single mother. Now fulltime, the hybrid schedule affords her time to manage kids’ appointments while fulfilling her duties, and continuously learning new tasks as she focuses on building the mDesign brand on Amazon. “When school closed for snow days or during summers, I haven’t had to use child care and can still support us — that means a lot to me,” she says. SHARING IS CARING. Monthly townhall meetings bring together employees for a debriefing on company news and performance. “The CEO shares what is going on so you always feel like you are working toward a common goal,” Boyer says. “It makes me feel really good that the company respects us enough to share that information. It’s a community.” — KH

LOCATION: Glenwillow EMPLOYEES: 160 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Offers home decor and organizational products through many channels, including online marketplaces, its website and wholesale. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: The growing eCommerce company offers great work-life balance, benefits and career paths.

Proud to be a 12-time winner!

Thank you to our Barnes Wendling CPAs team for making us one of the top 99 best workplaces in Northeast Ohio for 12 years! Learn more about joining our award-winning CPA firm at barneswendling.com/careers

19 years strong as One of the Best Places to Work in Northeast Ohio Helping our community is at the core of what we do. At Summa Health, our employees are essential to helping us achieve our goal — to help patients get the care they need, when they need it. Join our winning team at summahealth.org/careers.

Cleveland | Sheffield Village | Sandusky 216.566.9000 | info@barneswendling.com

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FIRST-TIME WINNERS | NPL HOME MEDICAL

R EFLEC TIO N

NPL Home Medical

DAVID HAYNES PRESIDENT AND CEO YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 3 YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 3

A BALANCED MOVE. Rather than a cubed-off floor plan, conference rooms and gathering spaces allow for training, social time and weekly department roundups. Remote work improves productivity and allows for flexibility, Haynes says. “But we want to keep everyone plugged in and connected to the camaraderie, so we have a fun committee where we come up with ideas for events whether whiskey tasting or going to a ball game, and the company picks up the tab.” — KH

19 Years Proud

LOCATION: Strongsville EMPLOYEES: 40 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Offers custom wheelchair and mobility solutions. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: NPL Home Medical provides a flexible work environment with tangible opportunities to change roles or move up.

Employee Built, Employee Owned Working hard and achieving more together. Thank you to our partners for making Garland such a special place!

Proudly Named One of Northeast Ohio’s TOP WORKPLACES for 19 Years!

THE SCHROER GROUP FAMILY OF COMPANIES A Commitment to Quality. A Promise to Care.

The Garland Company, Inc.® www.garlandco.com

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BRYON MILLER

DRIVING BEHAVIORS. David Haynes, president and CEO of NPL Home Medical, believes in getting results while aligning with core valies as a company. During performance reviews, employees get good constructive feedback. Haynes is passionate about the performance reviews because they show employees where they stand. “I can’t think of a single instance where we haven’t been able to get someone out of a box they didn’t want to be in,” he says. It’s also a tool for shifting people into roles where they’ll excel. “In 2021, we hired new or moved 18 people to different positions so they could learn something new, move up or get additional training.”


FIRST-TIME WINNERS | ONEDIGITAL

OneDigital DO GOOD, DO WELL. “Our tagline is to do well for business by doing good for people,” Dino Sciulli, principal of OneDigital, says, relating that the company attracts team members who have an intrinsic feel for the purpose they have for helping other people. “We have a fierce culture of empathy, caring and collaboration with a strong commitment to inclusion.” CAREER U. The company offers online learning through OneDigital Learning Institute (OLI), where team members can access training related to the culture, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, social well-being or technology. It also offers leadership and employee development, with more than 60 executive education courses at the country’s top 12 business schools.

BRYON MILLER

DINO SCIULLI PRINCIPAL YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 2 YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 2

KUDOS TO YOU. OneDigital recognizes employee efforts with a program called Kudos. “If we recognize someone’s effort that is a shared company value, we can give out Kudos points and there is a store where you can use them,” Sciulli explains. In a different plane, employees earn recognition by gaining opportunities to change roles. “In the last year we’ve had a lot of people get opportunities to move into different positions within the company.” — KH

LOCATION: Medina EMPLOYEES: 120 (Northeast Ohio), 3,000 (U.S.) WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Insurance, financial services and HR consulting advisory firm that provides businesses a singular platform to empower their workforce. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: Access to top-shelf training and career mobility give employees the opportunity of a national corporate player with the hometown feel of a local office.

Join Our Mission:

Save & Heal Lives It's more than just a job.

Lifebanc promotes and coordinates organ, eye, and tissue donation for transplantation in its northeast Ohio service area, partnering with local hospitals and transplant centers. Thank you to our staff of dedicated professionals who play a critical part in achieving our mission—saving and healing lives through organ, eye, and tissue donation.

Learn more, visit

Lifebanc.org

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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

FIRST-TIME WINNERS | SEAM GROUP

R EFLEC TIO N

SEAM Group

MICHAEL RADAK DIRECTOR OF FIELD SERVICES YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION: 3 YEARS WITH THE COMPANY: 18

WORK IS AN ADVENTURE. “I’ve traveled everywhere — taking trips all over the country, I’ve seen all 50 states and 14 different countries, problem-solving,” Radak says, though his current role is about 20% travel. “Because of that, I’ve worked with people in all different environments — malls, hotels. I’ve stood on the top of skyscrapers in New York City and looked at the mountains in Hawaii. It’s been one experience after another.” GROW AND CHANGE. “We have so many lines of business, so people can change, grow and learn,” Radak says. “And our opportunities are quite visible. We have three directors of field services and all three are home-grown. So you can see people are moving up and staying with the company a long time.” — KH

WE THANK OUR ASSOCIATES FOR MAKING STATE A 13-TIME WINNER

LOCATION: Beachwood EMPLOYEES: 357 WHAT THE COMPANY DOES: Offers services such as Arc flash analysis, infrared inspections, consulting for combustible dust and EV charging technology. WHY IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO WORK: SEAM Group helps employees grow by offering technical training that gives them the skills to rise in the ranks.

CARE IS WHAT WE DO BEST Care for our residents... Care for our communities... Care for our employees.

THANKS to our caring team and supporters for helping Eliza Jennings be named one of the NorthCoast 99 best places to work for the past 14 years. SCAN BELOW TO FIND YOUR NEXT CAREER OPPORTUNITY AND JOIN STATE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS, ONE OF

NORTHEAST OHIO’S BEST PLACES TO WORK STATEINDUSTRIAL.COM CAREERS 52

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To learn more about us, visit elizajennings.org.

BRYON MILLER

CLIMBING THE LADDER. Michael Radak, director of field services for SEAM Group, started as a field technician and “realistically, I was unfamiliar with the technology,” he says. “I got training, both in the classroom and out in the field, and I progressed to field trainer and then management during the course of four years.” Because of the niche field, the company values technical experience and promotes from within. “That’s what was able to get me to where I am today.”


FIRST-TIME WINNERS | QUOTES

“We have story after story of people who have gone the extra mile here and have found ways to give people financial freedom — and we make friends for life.” GARY SOUKENIK, 7 17 CREDIT UNION

“ “We are the rock stars of dermatology! What I mean by that is when you come on to our stage, you are going to have an experience where you come in and we are available. You are going to get out of here cancer-free and get treatment.”

“When you are part of a company that is on the leading edge of new technology you just feel the excitement. Where is it going to go? How big is it going to get?” MICHAEL RADAK SEAM GROUP

“At DRB, we strive to be Hungry, Humble and Smart. This can sound cliche, but we really mean it. We encourage teams to challenge each other respectfully while working together to reach common goals.” TODD DAVY DRB SYSTEMS, LLC

“When you walk into our building, you feel like you are at home.” CLARISSA BOYER mDESIGN

DR. JORGE GARCIA-ZUAZAGA APEX DERMATOLOGY AND SKIN SURGERY CENTER

“The reason we care is bigger than ourselves, and what we do is more than getting the job done. The community is impacted for the better.”

“We attract people who want to work with us because of our customer-centric approach that allows us to deliver valuable guidance at a scale that impacts millions of lives.” DINO SCIULLI ONEDIGITAL

DALE BISSONETTE GOOD PLACE HOLDINGS

“We hold each other accountable. And it’s empowering when you hear someone on the team say, ‘That’s not the NPL way.’” DAVID HAYES NPL HOME MEDICAL

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NORTHCOAST 99 • 2022

R EFLEC TIO N EMPLOYER DATA ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY, POLICIES & BENEFITS 99% offer a retirement plan to employees 99% provide health insurance to full-time employees 42% provide health insurance to part-time employees 80% offer paternity leave 65% do not have a waiting period for employees to utilize paid time off after they are newly hired

TOP-PERFORMER TRENDS % OF TOP PERFORMERS RANKING JOB ATTRIBUTES AS #1

TALENT ATTRACTION, ACQUISITION & ONBOARDING 100% have a structured, formal onboarding program, as well as use one or more metrics to measure the effectiveness of their onboarding process 93% offer 30- and 90-day check-ins as part of their onboarding process 57% have a formal mentorship program for new employees

EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING 95% have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 82% encourage civic engagement among their employees by providing time off to vote 78% assist/encourage employees to take on leadership roles in civic life, including serving on boards of directors or elected positions 94% ensure a safe and secure working environment by providing an entrance that can only be accessed via an employee swipe card, coded keypad or manual buzzer inside of the building 38% offer security escorts to employees’ cars

MALE & FEMALE TOP PERFORMERS BY YEAR

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & TALENT DEVELOPMENT 95% offer informal staff gatherings around food/drink, including morning coffee chats, happy hours, etc. 99% have formal development and career advancement discussions with top performers 100% delivered, paid for or reimbursed employees who participated in professional and leadership development and/or training classes

TOTAL REWARDS 92% have a compensation philosophy in place 80% share their compensation philosophy during performance reviews and/or merit pay discussions 54% provided employees with a Total Rewards Statement, which outlines the types of compensation and benefits an employee receives, including monetary value and noncash items, such as salary, bonuses, profit sharing, equity compensation, health benefits, transportation benefits, meals, travel expenses, gift cards and clothing allowances 56% offered performance-based incentive amounts that were larger than what had typically been offered in the past

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION (DEI) 93% have a documented policy about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) 71% discuss their diversity, equity and inclusion policy during staff meetings 91% made one or more budgetary or staffing allocations specific to furthering their DEI efforts 75% offer employees a formal opportunity to self-identify their preferred pronouns by providing the option to do so in various written communications, such as on job applications, email signatures, employee ID, business cards, etc. 72% measure employee sentiment around DEI among their employees as part of a larger Employee Engagement Survey that includes measurements around inclusion or psychological safety

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Data note: This gender question in this year’s Top-Performer Survey was restructured to include additional answer choices. As a result, the percentages in the graph above do not equal 100%. The percentages for the expanded gender answer choices are noted below. Prefer to self-describe as: 0.2% | Prefer not to answer: 6.5%

GENERATIONS OF TOP PERFORMERS BY YEAR


61% OF U.S. WORKERS ARE LOOKING FOR NEW JOBS.*

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO RETAIN YOUR PEOPLE? ERC provides HR resources to keep your teams intact.

Learn more at yourERC.com! *Business.com, July 2022


The future of work is here. So are we. In a year of disruption, we’ve embraced new ways of looking at challenges. We understand that collaboration happens everywhere. Innovation doesn’t start or stop at a door. That agility and flexibility are keys to success, and we succeed when everyone gets a seat at the table, whether that table is in a conference room or in the cloud. It’s the Cleveland Fed’s 23rd year on this list, and for all of these years, the Bank has worked to support the American people. While we continue to adapt and to address challenges, the Bank’s people are still doing that work.

Join the Cleveland Fed and inspire more of its change: https://clefed.org/joinus