100 Best Companies to Work For 2013


From spectacular insurance benefits to inclusive workplace culture to generous work/life balance, the 100 Best Companies to Work For show how it’s done, year in and year out. The 15 firms profiled, in the estimation of our panel of judges, rose to the top of the 100 this year. (Find a complete PDF listing of the 100 Best Companies to Work For and clickable links to each category below.) The judges’ conclusions were based in part on data submitted anonymously by thousands of employees of the participating businesses. The research firm Fieldwork Webwork used the detailed responses to determine each company’s score in 12 categories, including such vital areas as communication, executive leadership, corporate culture and workplace environment.
For judging purposes, nominated companies were separated into five classifications: small firms (30 or fewer employees), midsize (31 to 100 employees), large (more than 100 employees), nonprofits and firms headquartered outside Washington. Congratulations to the Seattle Business magazine 100 best Companies to Work For of 2013!

100 Best Companies to Work For list
100 Best Companies to Work For list (PDF Format)

Small Company Winners:  Atlas Coffee Importers,Artitudes Design, Addioz Corporation
Midsize Company Winners: Torklift International, MicroGreen Polymers, Moz
Large Company Winners: Slalom Consulting, Baker Boyer Bank, Synapse Product Development
Nonprofit Company: Career Path Services, Washington Technology Industry Association
Headquartered Outside Washington Winners: DoubleDown Interactive, Walsh Construction, Cutler Investment Group, Edward Jones



SMALL FIRMS (up to 30 employees)

1. Atlas Coffee Importers, Seattle
Importer and warehouser of high-quality green coffee

2. Artitudes Design, Issaquah
Graphic design firm specializing in executive presentations, branding, marketing and motion desighn

3. Addioz Corporation, Bellevue
Technical recruitment firm specializing in executive search and corporate training

4. Provisional Recruiting & Staffing, Spokane
Recruitment firm specializing in accounting/finance, legal, medical, administrative and technical staffing

5. Merlino Bauer Media, Seattle
Marketing firm

6. Sales Talent, Mercer Island
National sales talent recruiter

7. SwitchPoint, Seattle
Management consultancy specializing in health care and nonprofits

8. SpaceCurve, Seattle
Developer of a Big Data platform that delivers real-time intelligence

9. Milepost Consulting, Seattle
Management consultancy specializing in green issues and sustainability

10. ClassifiedAds.com, Bellevue
Free classified advertising website

11. SOS Employment Group, Seattle
Employment recruiter specializing in temporary, temporary-to-full-time and contract positions

12. Tactical Marketing Concepts, Federal Way
Sales and marketing firm

13. Centri Technology, Seattle
Creator of wireless service technologies

14. Goldberg Jones, Seattle
Law firm representing men in divorce, child custody and other family law matters

15. ZUM Communications, Seattle
Public relations/marketing communications firm

16. AES Logistics, Burien
International freight forwarder

17. Attunix Corporation, Bellevue
Software consulting firm

18. Engineered Compost Systems, Seattle
Engineering/manufacturing firm providing design, technology and technical support to the composting industry

19. EveryMove, Seattle
Program allowing users to convert healthful activities into rewards from their health plans and employers

20. BuzzBee Company, Seattle
Technology marketing firm

21. PeopleFirm, Seattle
Management consultancy

22. Chermak Construction, Seattle
Construction company

23. Intersource, Sammamish
Technology consultancy

24. Image Source, Kirkland
Designer and maker of promotional merchandise and apparel

25. Thinkspace, Redmond
Provider of office space and business services to startups and small firms

26. Fierce, Seattle
Leadership development and training firm specializing in improved workplace communication

27. BioLife Solutions, Bothell
Manufacturer and marketer of proprietary biopreservation media for cells, tissues and organs

28. Symform, Seattle
Provider of cloud storage services

29. AAOA Healthcare, Kirkland
Provider of benefit programs to professional membership organizations and associations

MIDSIZE FIRMS (31 to 100 employees)
1. Torklift International
, Sumner

Manufacturer of towing and recreational vehicle accessories
2. MicroGREEN Polymers
, Arlington
Manufacturer of plastic food and beverage packaging

3. Moz, Seattle
Provider of software for search engine optimization and marketing analytics

4. 206inc, Seattle
Consumer engagement agency

5. Limeade, Bellevue
Creator of rewards systems for corporate wellness and benefits programs

6. Arryve, Bellevue
Management consultancy

7. WhitePages Inc., Seattle
Provider of contact information for people and businesses

8. ExtraHop Networks, Seattle
Producer and seller of enterprise network appliances

9. Substantial, Seattle
Digital product studio

10. Avvo, Seattle
Directory of lawyers featuring consumer reviews and Q&A forums

11. Genelex, Seattle
DNA testing and analysis laboratory

12. Wexley School for Girls, Seattle
Advertising/branding agency

13. Tecplot, Bellevue
Creator of visualization software for enginers and scientists to analyze and communicate results

14. Zumobi, Seattle
Mobile media company providing integrated advertising on smartphones and connected devices

15. The Unity Group, Bellingham
Insurance and employee benefits consultancy

16. Stratos Product Development, Seattle
Product development, design and strategy consultancy

17. Brightlight Consulting, Redmond
Business intelligence and data warehousing consultancy

18. Noetix, Redmond
Business intelligence software firm focused on simplifying access to data

19. Chef’n, Seattle
Creator and seller of innovative kitchen utensils and products

20. MCM, Seattle
Benefits consulting and insurance brokerage firm

21. Inrix, Kirkland
Provider of traffic information, directions and driver services

22. Wood Harbinger, Bellevue
Consultancy providing mechanical, electrical and industrial systems engineering services

23. Bader Martin, Seattle
CPA and advisory firm serving affluent families, closely held businesses and nonprofits

24. Idea Entity Corporation, Bellevue
Consultancy offering software development, new product research, cyber security and other services

25. Aronson Security Group, Seattle
Provider of integrated security solutions

26. Piraeus Consulting, Seattle
IT services firm focusing on business intelligence, custom development and managed consulting

27. Brighton Jones, Seattle
Wealth management advisory firm

28. Wetpaint, Seattle
Entertainment website offering audience analytics

29. Bridge Partners, Seattle
Consultancy specializing in business transformation, technology, marketing and sales strategy

30. Mactus Group, Redmond
Provider of marketing, program management and business intelligence for technology firms

31. HPG, Seattle
Parent company of firms that connect people and professionals around health care experiences

32. Paladino and Company, Seattle
Green building and sustainability consulting firm

33. Winshuttle, Bothell
Producer of software to help SAP users interface with other programs

LARGE FIRMS (More than 100 employees)

1. Slalom Consulting, Seattle
Management consultancy offering business technology services

2. Baker Boyer Bank, Walla Walla
Banking and financial services company

3. Synapse Product Development, Seattle
Provider of engineering solutions to consumer electronics and life sciences companies

4. Society Consulting, Bellevue
Technology consultancy focusing on product development and business intelligence

5. Kidder Mathews, Seattle
Commercial real estate firm

6. Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company, Enumclaw
Property and casualty insurer

7. Pinnacle Capital, Kirkland
Mortgage company

8. Varolii Corporation, Seattle
Designer of cloud-based customer interaction software systems

9. Eagle View Technologies, Bothell
Provider of measurements from aerial imagery

10. Allyis, Kirkland
IT consultancy specializing in managed services and staffing solutions

11. DocuSign, Seattle
Provider of secure electronic signature services

12. GGLO, Seattle
Integrated design firm offering architecture, interior design, landscape and urban design services

13. 110 Consulting, Bellevue
Business and technology consultancy

14. Blucora, Bellevue
Operates Infospace, a provider of online search and monetization solutions and TaxACT, an online tax preparation service.

15. Dade Moeller, Richland
Consultancy offering services for assessing and controlling exposure to radiation and hazardous agents

16. DataSphere Technologies, Bellevue
Provider of turnkey technology, content and sales solutions for media companies

17. The Everett Clinic, Everett
Provider of health care at nine locations in Snohomish County

18. Seed IP Law Group, Seattle
Law firm specializing in intellectual property

19. Columbia Bank, Tacoma
Banking and financial services company

20. Columbia Hospitality, Seattle

Hotel management and conference center operator

1. Washington Technology Industry Association
, Seattle
Trade organization promoting Washington technology companies

1. Career Path Services, Spokane
Provider of information making job searches and employee recruiting easier

3. Verity Credit Union, Seattle
Banking and financial services company

4. Workforce Development Council Snohomish County, Everett
Agency focusing on aiding competitiveness and boosting employment

5. Bellwether Housing, Seattle
Provider of affordable housing or low-wage working people and low-income seniors

1 (tie). DoubleDown Interactive
, Seattle
Home office (International Game Technology): Las Vegas, NV. Online social gaming company

1 (tie). Walsh Construction, Seattle
Home office: Portland, OR. Construction company

2 (tie). Cutler Investment Group, Seattle
Home office: Jacksonville, OR. Independent investment adviser

2 (tie). Edward Jones, Seattle
Home office: St. Louis, MO. Financial services firm

5. West Monroe Partners, Seattle
Home office: Chicago, IL. Consulting and professional services firm

6. Buckland & Taylor Ltd., Seattle
Home office: North Vancouver, BC. Bridge engineering firm

7. Pariveda Solutions, Bellevue
Home office: Dallas, TX. Technology consultancy

8. TCS & Starquest Expeditions, Seattle
Home office (TUI Travel): Crawley, UK. Provider of high-end travel to exotic locations via private jet

9. Weber Shandwick, Seattle
Home office: New York, NY. Global public relations and crisis management firm

10. Sogeti USA, Bellevue
Home office: Dayton, OH. Provider of IT consulting services

11. Cook Security Group, Seattle
Home office: Milwaukie, OR. Provider of alarm, security and ATM services to the banking industry

12. Pacific Continental Bank, Seattle
Home office: Eugene, OR. Banking and financial services company

13. Astronics AES, Kirkland
Home office (Astronics Corp.): East Aurora, NY. Designer of electrical power systems for aircraft and missiles.


Provide a comprehensive benefits package including dental. Offer a comprehensive retirement plan, paid vacation and sick leave, flexible hours, telecommuting and job-sharing opportunities.

Communication. Share good and bad news about the business. Make management accessible to employees and encourage feedback.

Corporate culture. Encourage employees to act and think independently. Focus on long-term success. Allow employees to act on their convictions.

Hiring and retention. Offer opportunities to advance. Maintain low turnover. Establish a formal program for identifying future leaders.

Leadership. Inspire employees to do well. Encourage team spirit. Respect employees and their opinions. Promote diversity. Encourage employees to take leadership. Build strong relationships based on trust.

Performance standards. Create challenging but attainable performance goals mutually agreed upon by manager and employee. Conduct evaluations that are updated regularly.

Responsibility and decision making. Foster an environment of accountability. Give employees latitude and authority. Encourage problem solving and teamwork. Rewards and recognition. Provide competitive and equitable salaries. Implement performance-based compensation. Provide bonuses for excellent performance. Regularly recognize individuals and groups.

Training and education. Promote employee development. Train mentors. Encourage employees to share expertise.

Work environment. Encourage creativity and brainstorming in a comfortable and safe setting. Provide balance between work and personal needs.

First-, second- and third-place winners were determined by this panel.
Catherine Dovey, founder and principal, Compensation Works
John Hartman, cofounder, CEOtoCEO
Charles Mah, vice president, global talent acquisition, Concur Technologies
Nita Petry, area president, Washington state, Gallagher Benefit Services
Jeannine Ryan, vice president of sales, enterprise social software, Success Factors|SAP
Brent Schlosstein, founder and principal, TRUEbenefits LLC
Josh Warborg, district president, Robert Half International

Paying the Price for $15 an Hour

Paying the Price for $15 an Hour

With the economy soaring, it’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of Seattle’s minimum-wage hike. Some small-business owners remain dubious.
When the Seattle City Council passed the $15 minimum- wage ordinance in June 2014, David Lee, founder and CEO of the Field Roast Grain Meat Company, was not happy.
“The minimum wage hurts businesses like ours that compete on a national level,” says Lee, who believes it makes employers feel “cheap” and weakens “the goodwill that bound employers to employees.”
Even so, reflecting the mixed feelings of many Seattle businesses that want to do the right thing even as they struggle to survive, Lee decided to raise the minimum pay of his workers more than 20 percent — to $15 an hour — this fall, years before he was required to do so under the law.
“I wanted to get it behind me,” he explains.
Under a complex, multitiered system, Seattle companies with more than 500 employees must begin paying a $15-per-hour minimum wage starting in January. Companies with fewer than 501 employees  have until 2019, unless, like Lee, they provide health care or other benefits, in which case the $15 minimum wage rule applies to them beginning in 2021. Lee says his decision will cost Field Roast $300,000, about a quarter of its total earnings in 2015.
Ivar’s Seafood increased prices by 21 percent in 2015 to cover an increase in employees’ minimum wages to $15. The company didn’t have to start paying $15 an hour until next year, but Ivar’s President Bob Donegan believed it was the right thing to do. The decision helped resolve long-standing tension between lower-paid workers in the kitchen and wait staff who received much higher wages thanks to tips. Donegan says most patrons continue to tip even when they are told gratuities are now included in their bills.

A CASE OF COMPRESSION: Lynn Stacy unwraps grain meat for sausage products at Field Roast,
which has a flatter pay structure because of its higher minimum wage.

Some companies, however, remain concerned that the higher minimum wage could still hurt them. BrightStar Care, which offers home care and medical staffing in most states, is operating at a disadvantage because of the minimum wage, says CEO Shelly Sun. “Our Seattle franchise has only about 50 employees,” Sun notes, “but it’s being treated like a big business.”
Because Seattle treats the franchised operation of a national chain as if it were a large business, BrightStar will have to pay $15 an hour as of January, whereas some of its competitors with similar employee numbers in Seattle may not have to pay that much until 2019. Sun says a consequence may be reducing the size of the Seattle franchisee’s staff, which could have implications for clients.
Meanwhile, the national restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings says it is hesitant to expand in Seattle because the high minimum wage makes it economically inefficient to hire and train inexperienced workers. Still, what was once considered a movement isolated to “liberal” western cities like Seattle and San Francisco has gained sufficient momentum nationwide to be included in the national platform of the Democratic Party this election season. 
Thanks to Seattle’s strong labor market — the unemployment rate in the Seattle metropolitan area was 4.4 percent in July (compared to 5.8 percent statewide) — the higher wages have had little negative effect on the economy.
A report released in July by the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance concluded that the new minimum wage law hasn’t had a lot of upside, either. Since a strong labor market would have increased wages in any case, the study concluded, only a quarter of the recent gains could actually be attributed to the minimum-wage law — a little more than a few dollars a week. 

Revisiting the minimum-wage story | Seattle Business magazine examined the minimum-wage issue in its May 2014 issue, just as the Seattle City Council was considering an ordinance raising the minimum hourly rate to $15 in a gradual process over several years, depending on a company’s size. This is the magazine’s first follow-up since passage of the minimum-wage law.