100 Best Companies to Work For

100 Best Companies to Work For 2019: Small Companies

These companies with 15-49 full-time Washington employees were voted Best Companies to Work For.

By Rob Smith and Lena Beck July 1, 2019

Adler Giersch founding principal Richard H. Adler, seated, with, from left, Melissa D. Carter, managing partner; Jake Zhang; Jenny Iacobucci; and Maritza Moreno-Sanchez.

This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

These companies with 15-49 full-time Washington employees were voted Best Companies to Work For.

MISSION-DRIVEN. Adler Giersch founding principal Richard H. Adler, seated, with, from left, Melissa D. Carter, managing partner; Jake Zhang; Jenny Iacobucci; and Maritza Moreno-Sanchez.

This story appears as the cover story of the July 2019 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

Rankings are derived from scores assigned to each company based on confidential employee surveys. The city reference is the company’s home office and the employee count represents the company’s full-time Washington workforce. Quotes are actual comments by employees.

‘Bigger than anything that we could ever have thought possible’’
Location: Seattle   |   Employees: 19
To say that Richard Adler is mission-driven is an understatement.
Adler, founding principal of the Adler Giersch law firm, leads a group of attorneys passionate about advocating for clients who’ve suffered traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries.

Notably, the firm represented Zachary Lystadt, a Tahoma High football player who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in 2006. Washington state passed the Lystadt Law three years later, which mandates that a youth athlete who suffers a suspected concussion must be removed from a game and not allowed to return until he or she has been examined by a skilled health care professional. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have since passed similar laws.

“So, this is like the epicenter of preventing preventable brain injuries, and in our work as advocates, we now have something that is bigger than anything that we could ever have thought possible,” Adler says. “We are truly purpose-driven. We’re here for the calling.”

That passion for clients permeates the company’s culture. There’s no ping-pong table or in-house café, but there is an intense emphasis on communication and employee well-being. The company has only 19 employees, but has six different work teams, allowing for the open sharing of ideas. Last year, the entire staff gave every partner a performance evaluation, creating trust and respect. If an employee isn’t performing up to expectations, it’s not unusual for the company to create a job that better fits his or her skill set.

Adler Giersch also holds an annual retreat for employees and families. This year, it was on Orcas Island. In the past, it’s been held in places such as Cabo, Mexico, and Arizona. One longtime employee was recently rewarded for 25 years of service with a company-paid vacation in Maui. During summer, the company normally shuts the office around noon on Fridays, essentially giving employees a three-day weekend.

Seattle | Staffing Agency |  Employees: 21
“We hit a very big goal and the whole company will be going to Hawaii and staying at the Ritz Carlton. That is on top of everything else that makes us a best company to work for.”

Seattle | Business Consulting Firm |  Employees: 16
“Getting to work on global health and other important issues every day with such great colleagues and such great clients is a dream job for anyone.”

Bellevue | Executive Staffing And Search Firm |  Employees: 16
“Staff are given the opportunity to rise according to their own ability and desire. The work is challenging but fulfilling. The leadership is of the highest integrity.”

Vancouver | Credit Card And Check-Acceptance Company | Employees: 17
“What I love most about TMC is how there are so many growth opportunities, personal growth, career growth, leadership growth. The people at TMC aren’t just co-workers — they’re like family.”

Redmond | Commercial Contractor | Employees: 15 
“I was a self-employed contractor for 17 years. The level of responsibility and freedom that Avara offers is as close to self-employment as I could imagine. I really feel a sense of ownership.”

Lynnwood | Community Lender | Employees: 17
“All employees know that their personal life is a priority. During the February snowstorm, we opened late and closed early every day to make sure everyone was safe. We were closed on the worst day.”

Renton | Mechanical Design And Consulting Firm | Employees: 17
“I really enjoy the people I work with, and the collaborative culture that has been cultivated. There is great leadership opportunity, and access to the leadership within the company to learn and grow at all levels.”

Bellevue | Human Resources Company | Employees: 21
“The autonomy that is provided to me I’ve never felt/been exposed to in my 30-year career. Trust is something you can’t measure, but you can certainly feel and actually live it in our environment.”

Seattle | Solar-Asset Management And Protection Company | Employees: 27
“Even as the company has nearly doubled in size over the last year, there remains a strong commitment to responsible leadership and a healthy corporate culture. There is a high level of trust here.”

Seattle | General Contractor | Employees: 30
“Carlisle has great leadership, and that has a trickle-down effect no doubt. They foster a culture and work environment that is upbeat, fun and extremely productive.”

Seattle | Wealth Manager | Employees: 24
“We are all in the same boat, pulling the same oars and working towards common goals and objectives. It is open-door policy, and everyone is encouraged to learn.”

Bellevue | Data-Analytics Company | Employees: 15
“[The company] gives me ample opportunity to learn and challenge myself and work with different teams and customers to make a difference. Being able to work remotely at flexible times allows me to get more work done.”

14. HIYA INC. 
Seattle | Provider Of Robo/Spam Call-Protection Services | Employees: 46
“I’ve worked in about eight companies before, six of them startups. Hiya is the best startup culture and the best place to work that I have ever worked at.”

Seattle | Artificial-Intelligence Software Company | Employees: 40
“At Xnor.ai, we have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research in a fast-paced, collaborative startup environment. There’s always new challenges to take on and never a boring day at work.”

Fife | Interior-Finishes Contractor | Employees: 35
“Joining Sustainable after 25 years in the business has been the best choice I’ve made in companies. The unselfish drive of our leadership, and their constant empowerment of everyone that works here, is remarkable.”

Seattle | It Services Provider | Employees: 20
“Personal responsibility, ethical conduct, giving back to the community that sustains us, respectful interaction, fun and inclusion at work. These are the fundamental elements of working at Kalles Group.”

Seattle | Technology Platform And Provider Of Sports Content | Employees: 15
“I account for the added value of being at a company where I genuinely enjoy showing up every day. To me, that’s priceless. For me, there is no better place to work. Don’t tell my boss I like him.”

Bellevue | Insurance Brokerage | Employees: 16
“We all have the opportunity to acknowledge our peers and, at the end of each week, one winner is drawn to spin the wheel of cash. At the end of the year, one lucky person is drawn for a weekend getaway.”

Seattle | Family Law Firm For Men | Employees: 17
“Leadership: excellent and accessible. Communication: prompt, relevant and true. Company culture: professional, hardworking, collegial.”

Bellevue | Technology-Solutions Consulting Company | Employees: 25
“I have been with the company for over 10 years and love every part of it. Sure, we do have growing pains, but we are part of the solution and feel empowered.”

Seattle | Personalized-Training Technology Company | Employees: 24
“We all legitimately get along, and that helps create a culture that you want to be a part of. How many tech companies put together a co-ed rec softball team and actually dominate the competition?”

Seattle | Architecture And Design Firm | Employees: 35
“Our company has so many wonderful benefits — a wellness program, ORCA passes, an education stipend, etc. I really appreciate how well this company treats us.”

Seattle | Management-Consulting Firm | Employees: 16
“The open channel of communication with the firm’s leadership and business team is indicative of the collaborative, supportive culture that has been built at TokuSaku. Ideas and suggestions are considered and encouraged.”

Mercer Island | Outsourcing Service For Investment Advisers | Employees: 23
“Leadership values communication and transparency, which promotes a feeling of mutual responsibility for business success. The culture is relaxed enough to be comfortable, without sacrificing professionalism.”

Bellevue | Cybersecurity Company | Employees: 20
“Polyverse has successfully created the psychological safety needed for open and honest communication. While there are managers and individual contributors, one would struggle to tell the difference — except when [it] matters.”

TEAMWORK. Paul Ingalls, CEO, seated at right, with, back row from left, Garrick West, Benny Phanichkul, Paige Goessing, Troy Frever; and front row from left, Gannon Pierce, David Redenbaugh and Christine French.

‘Freedom to follow our passion’
Location: Bellevue | Employees: 23
Ripl was founded on the premise that love and collaboration create a more effective work environment than fear and competition.

Chief Operating Officer Clay McDaniel says the philosophy goes hand in hand with the service the company provides, which is to help small entrepreneurs effectually market their businesses on social media, with an emphasis on visual marketing content via a mobile app.

“It’s endlessly inspiring,” says McDaniel. “You’re being a part of enabling millions of people to tell their stories.”

Ripl, which has raised a total of $6.8 million over five funding rounds, gained more than a million customers in 2018, doubled its office space and ramped up hiring. The company cultivates a supportive workplace culture by celebrating with team bonding events such as bowling nights, ice cream parties, cooking classes or community service. These activities help facilitate an open and compassionate communication style, and employees have the freedom to choose how, when and what to work on.

McDaniel says such freedom is rare for a software company. Said one employee, “Our company culture, transparency and communication, and freedom to follow our passion, are all the best I’ve experienced. Respect pervades everything.”

Kirkland | Transportation Consulting Group | Employees: 48
“I truly believe that Transpo has excellent benefits and makes decisions each year to ensure that staff are well taken care of and given competitive salaries and benefits.”

Seattle | Workforce-Consulting Firm | Employees: 22
“PeopleFirm let’s its employees truly live the work-life balance or ‘work-life integration’ you hear about. I feel somehow entirely free in my life, autonomous, not a slave to the 9-5, and also fully employed, supported and engaged.”

Seattle | Business And Real Estate Law Firm | Employees: 20
“We [have] a meditation room, complete with aromatherapy, a soothing-sounds machine and yoga instruction. These are a few of the aspects that make SFS one of the best places in Washington to work.”

Bellevue | Technology-Consulting Firm | Employees: 25
“The integrity and generosity of the owners is the best I’ve seen in my 25-year career. Amazing leaders focused on creating healthy work environments.”

32. SHW
Seattle | Meeting And Event Business | Employees: 35
“We are treated with respect and care. That’s reflected in our benefits, the emphasis [on] communication, the way we [support] each other and our ability to interact with company leadership in a way that fosters trust and understanding.”

The nominating process for the 100 Best Companies to Work For starts in September and runs through December at seattlebusinessmag.com. Winners are recognized in the July issue of Seattle Business and at a gala celebration in late June at the Washington State Convention Center that attracts more than 1,300 attendees. For more information on the program, contact Ariana Taylor at [email protected].

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