Best Places to Work 2013 Winners

Large Companies

1. Edward Jones



U.S. Corporate Headquarters: St. Louis
Year Founded: 1922
Regional Leader: Mary Maddux
Status: Private
Employees in State: 472

With nearly 11,500 U.S. locations, Edward Jones is the nation’s largest financial-services firm in terms of branch offices. Every aspect of its business, from investment types to branch locations, is designed to cater to more than 7 million individual investors in communities where they live and work, embracing the importance of building long-term, faceto-face relationships with clients, helping them understand and make sense of the investment options available today.

The business model is simple: one financial advisor and one office administrator in each Edward Jones branch. The company pays costs, installs technology and provides all the training and support needed to succeed. Financial advisors are paid to study for licenses and then go on salary, plus earn commissions and bonuses, and get subsidized benefits in their early years. They eventually transition to commission earnings supplemented by profitability bonuses and profit sharing, even the possibility of limited partnership.

Edward Jones pays branch administrators hourly, but they earn bonuses, get profit sharing and are offered limited partnership, too.

Because of this business model, hiring efforts for branches all over the country never slow, including in Oklahoma. Financial advisors and BOAs have been hired to open new branches throughout current economic difficulties.

What makes Edward Jones one of the best places to work, from its employees’ point of view, is the employees are the company. Each associate has an opportunity to own part of the company — this partnership is a unique reward that few companies offer. Any associate in good standing with three years of service can be offered partnership.

About 40% of all associates are owners. And when employees feel like owners, everyone succeeds. Edward Jones is proof of this.

2. Capital One Auto Finance


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: McLean, Va.
Year Founded: 1988
Director: John Cook
Status: Public
Employees in State: 392

Fortune 500 company Capital One has worked hard to become one of the biggest financial institutions in the world by being a diversified bank that offers a broad array of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients in the U.S., Canada and the UK, as well as being one of America’s top 10 largest banks based on deposits. Through Capital One Auto Finance, Capital One provides loans for new and used cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs for personal use.

So while customers are driving their cars thanks to Capital One, its employees are shifting into gear and driving to success by such perks as Diamonds Over Dollars, a peer-to-peer recognition program that encourages teamwork, innovation and going above and beyond by allowing senior leaders to see what is going on throughout the organization.

There are also its various clubs, of which admission to is based on outstanding performance. For example, the Silver Club offers a monthly snack to recognize the top 6% to 10% of performers, while the Gold Club is an exclusive monthly luncheon dedicated to applauding the efforts of the top 5% of performers. Stay in the Gold Club three months in a row and employees earn Platinum status and are honored at a quarterly dinner. These kind of employee-motivating incentives have kept Capitol One in the platinum club of the business world for so long.

3. Eide Bailly LLP


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Fargo, N.D.
Year Founded: 1917
Partner in Charge: Steven M. Corley
Status: Private
Employees in State: 105

Ag producing. Construction. Dealerships. Financial institutions. Government. Health care. Insurance. Manufacturing. Nonprofit. Oil and gas. Real estate. Renewable energy. Utilities.

Eide Bailly, a certified public accounting and business advising firm, does ’em all with laser focus by recruiting some of the best accountants in the biz who not only care about the numerous incentives Eide Bailly offers, but have a true passion for providing dynamic customer service to a number of clients.

Of course, the incentives don’t hurt, either. Eide Bailly offers a flexible work schedule and fun office parties, and wants its employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance, even going as far as offering a wellness program with benefits to aid them in that goal. There are even paid sabbaticals for partners of the firm, because a well-rested mind is a focused mind.

It also offers numerous accolades to its employees who achieve various milestones, from monetary years of service to $10 gift cards for birthdays. Gift cards are given at random times to recognize an employee who goes above and beyond.

And who’d want to miss their chili cook-off? The staff brings their own homemade chili and it is tasted and voted on by other staff, with prizes awarded. Accounting and chili: two great tastes that taste great together, especially at Eide Bailly.

4. Cancer Treatment
Centers of America


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Schaumburg, III.
Year Founded: 1988
President and CEO: Steve Mackin
Status: Private
Employees in State: 744

Few life-changing events that as much care and comfort as dealing with cancer. That’s why the Cancer Treatment Centers of America are here. CTCA in Tulsa is part of a national network of cancer hospitals with additional locations in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia and a clinic in Washington, all working to combine advanced forms of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and imaging services with scientifically supported integrative therapies, including nutrition, spiritual support, mind-body medicine and naturopathic medicine, all under one roof.

Its innovative treatment model relies on a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts who work together and with the patient to create individualized treatment plans while using some of the most advanced technology and treatments such as CyberKnife VSITM, intraoperative radiation therapy, stem cell transplant and cell-therapy program and deep-tissue hyperthermia to help patients fight cancer and enjoy the best quality of life.

CTCA also wants its employees — or “stakeholders,” as they are called — to enjoy the best quality of life. It does this by offering numerous health incentives such as a $600 annual vitamin and supplement benefit; 15-minute flash exercise classes with an on-site personal trainer in the office and quarterly free massages outside in the courtyard and flower garden, courtesy of Lifetime Fitness Spa. It’s a healthy attitude that reflects CTCA’s “Mother Standard” of care that empowers each employee to deliver the same responsive, compassionate care that you would want your own family members to receive, which results in a care environment like no other.

5. Diagnostic Laboratory
of Oklahoma


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 1999
Managing Director: Bill Mosteller
Status: Public
Employees in State: 690

Providing medical laboratory services and management to more than 2,000 physicians, hospitals and clinics throughout the state is a huge job, but it’s one that Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma does with a smile.

A business unit of Quest Diagnostics, DLO is ultimately not only proud to employ Oklahomans who serve Oklahomans, but to deliver the best possible customer service for Oklahomans. And it’s an ideal that DLO strives for by keeping its employees constantly motivated and driven.

DLO offers an annual goal-sharing bonus, family health care benefits, time off with pay benefits with annual rollover and payout, and a free, comprehensive individual health evaluation. But the motivating perks don’t stop there, as DLO

goes out of its way to show its employees how appreciative it is of their hard work via a company recognition program, Achievers. It rewards employees who go above and beyond their expected responsibilities and consistently deliver superior service in support of the company’s strategies. Prizes range from gift cards to all-inclusive trips.

This is in addition to the alreadyestablished Employee Appreciation Week, luncheons and a weekly event where employees are encouraged to dress down on Fridays if they also contribute $1 to their national charity.

Helping others and getting to wear jeans at work? That’s a win-win for DLO and its employees.

6. First Fidelity Bank NA


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 1920
President/CEO: Lee Symcox
Status: Private
Employees in State: 306

For more than 90 years, First Fidelity Bank, a homegrown national bank, continually has served the banking needs of Oklahomans. It has done this by maintaining the original characteristics it was founded on: dependability, commitment to personal service, and creative and prudent lending practices. This has earned First Fidelity not only a stellar reputation as a strong financial institution offering leading-edge services, but with more than $1.1 billion in assets, it is the third-largest Oklahoma City-based bank, with 24 offices in the state.

Yet, even with all this growth and success, First Fidelity employees still take pride in a “small bank” attitude with attention to details and individual needs. With more than 330 employees, it has earned a name for itself as “The Family Business Bank,” and, like family, it is very much a community partner, with employees who enjoy participating in civic activities; many serve in leadership roles of civic and nonprofit organizations.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the employees go home empty-handed, either. First Fidelity offers free banking services, reduced-rate personal loans and early closure on Christmas Eve to allow employees to spend extra time with their families. Otis Spunkmeyer cookies are baked and served every Friday for employees and customers to enjoy. If that weren’t tasty enough, it also offers a Thanksgiving lunch, with the main course provided by the bank while employees bring sides and desserts. Employees gather together during their lunchtimes and fellowship.

And that’s just the tip of what it does for its employees. With so much giving, it’s no wonder the employees are always saying, “Thanks!”

7. First United Bank


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Durant
Year Founded: 1900
CEO: Greg Massey
Status: Private
Employees in State: 576

Stress affects each and every one of us in some way, and, sadly, for some it can affect everything from our home life to our job. First United Bank knows this, and that’s why it has been an example of mental well-being by offering employees stress-management programs that incorporate supervisor-led stretch breaks and incentives for practicing stressmanagement activities, as well as free guided imagery and relaxation CDs.

For the body, First United welcomes workers to take part in its comprehensive wellness program and work out at the on-site fitness center at its corporate headquarters. This allows employees to engage in such activities as Pilates and cardiovascular exercise.

With a healthy mind, body and spirit.

First United has become one of the most popular full-service financial institutions in Oklahoma that is determined to meet all its customers’ needs, whether it’s a checking account or a savings account, a mortgage loan or a commercial loan, wealth management or just insurance.

All this is because, if you ask them, their calling is “to do what we can to help our customers grow and succeed.” Because each customer and community is different, each of its community bank locations has devised various forms of recognition that it has tailored to its location, such as recognizing the employee who has the most referrals. Employee personalization equals customer personalization at First United Bank.

8. First American Title
Insurance Company


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Santa Ana, Calif.
Year Founded: 1889
Vice President, State Manager, Southwest Division: Monica Wittrock
Status: Public
Employees in State: 251

First American Title Insurance Company is a leading provider of title insurance and settlement services to the real estate and mortgage industries. Its heritage traces to 1889.

120 years later, with reported revenues of $4.5 billion in 2012, First American and its affiliated companies offer products and services directly, as well as through its agents and partners in all 50 states and abroad. It employs more than 15,000 individuals through its family of companies.

How does a company last this long?

First American believes it is because it was built on a foundation of integrity and service with a philosophy of providing customers the respect they deserve and the services they need, creating a corporate culture that more than 250 Oklahoma employees embrace and deliver to its clients every day.

Another key component to its success is exceptional employees who believe in the company and its mission. First American nurtures employees by offering opportunities for education, training and professional licensing. This not only helps the company in achieving goals, but the individual. These goals are reinforced through First American’s recognition programs that are designed to support business objectives and reward participants who create profitable business objectives, are ethical and compliant, and contribute to successful operations. With values like this, expect to see First American around for a long time — maybe even another 120 years.

9. Encompass Home Health


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Dallas
Year Founded: 1998
Regional Vice President: Lisa Cahill
Status: Private
Employees in State: 523

Encompass is the largest Medicare-certified home health services provider in Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Idaho. It also specializes in hospice and pediatrics with services that include skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical social services and home health aide services.

The responsibility of having someone’s health in your hands is a big deal to Encompass, and that is why it lives by the credo to maintain high ethical standards and practices for all employees, as well as a company culture that provides exceptional support and empowers them with a state-of-the-art electronic patient records system, extensive training and development, career advancement opportunities and a comprehensive benefits package. The latter includes, through its health insurance plan, a disease-management program that offers to help an employee with the challenges of a chronic health condition.

But that’s not the only personal touch that Encompass gives its employees. Once a year, the CEO and COO visit each branch to interact with employees and solicit feedback, giving workers a chance to feel like their accolades and concerns are listened to and appreciated. This is further stressed by the Encompass Rewards Program, wherein employees are awarded points that can be redeemed for all types of merchandise and/or services for exemplary performance and conduct, as well as the Encompass Cares Foundation, which provides financial resources to employees to go on medical mission trips or assist if there is an employee hardship.

With programs like these, Encompass truly does “encompass” everything it means to be a Best Place to Work.

10. Chaparral Energy


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 1988
CEO: Mark Fischer
Status: Public
Employees in State: 604

Chaparral Energy continues to be proof-positive that Oklahoma is a land rich in resources. An independent oil and gas producer and operator with headquarters in Oklahoma City and field offices throughout the South Central United States, Chaparral has experienced steady growth since beginning its operations in 1988 and is known for its expertise and specialization in well rejuvenation.

Even more than that, over the last few years, Chaparral has transitioned from mostly an acquisition company into an active drilling company, and is renowned for its expertise in enhanced oil recovery. It also has a large inventory of carbon dioxide tertiary recovery projects in the Mid Continent and Permian Basin. Chaparral plans to sustain its growth through a balanced program of acquisitions, exploitation, development and exploration. And, of course, through its excellent employee record.

Chaparral offers excellent benefits; employee health insurance is fully paid by the company and the workweek ends at noon every Friday.

Employees find they have plenty of time to devote to their communities. From mentoring and tutoring programs at area middle schools to helping Habitat for Humanity complete homes, the rewards employees receive go far and above the already established monetary and gift options for workers who celebrate various milestones with Chaparral, such as longevity, customer service and participation in wellness programs.

And let’s not forget that 2013 is the company’s 25th anniversary celebration. To mark the occasion, each employee will receive three gifts: a jacket, a shirt, and a desktop “roadrunner” corporate mascot. Lookin’ sharp, Chaparral!

11. Cintas Corporation


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Cincinnati
Year Founded: 1929
Vice President, Central Plains Region: Brad McNeese
Status: Public
Employees in State: 359

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate-identity uniforms and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, first aid and safety and fire protection products and services. It also provides carpet and tile cleaning and document management services to more than 900,000 businesses. You could say for many businesses, Cintas is the backbone.

A publicly held company, Cintas operates more than 430 facilities in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia, including six manufacturing plants and nine distribution centers that employ more than 30,000 employees or, as it calls them, partners.

When asked what they love so much about working for Cintas, employees responded with overwhelming love for the company and its commitment to them. Such responses included: “Having so many activities and several that allow our families to be involved.”

“Providing weekly onsite active release therapy for partners’ personal or workrelated injuries/aches/pains. This allows us to not miss work for treatment and is free to all partners.”

“The corporate culture of the location is inclusive. I work here for the people, because of what they mean to me.”

And if that’s not enough, they’re also proud to brag that the popcorn machine is a partner favorite. Those little things really do add up.

12. Paycom Payroll LLC


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 1998
President and CEO: Chad Richison
Status: Private
Employees in State: 406

Paycom’s got your number … your check number, that is! Oklahoma City-based Paycom Payroll pioneered the online payroll market in 1998 as the first 100% online payroll provider. Now with a robust suite of HR technology, Paycom is the largest and fastest-growing exclusively online provider of payroll and human capital technology in the U.S., serving customers in all 50 states from 21 offices across the country.

As the need for payroll grows in this country, so does Paycom. It continues to expand its operations with plans to add an $11.8 million fully equipped building adjacent to its current headquarters in Oklahoma City. The new building is expected to house approximately 700 additional employees. This announcement for further expansion comes just two months after the company was recognized as an Inc. Hire Power Award winner as one of America’s top 100 job-creating companies.

Those soon-to-be-hires have a lot of great things to look forward to when they join Paycom: free company gym and workout sessions, $4 lunches in the company café, a year-end party with paid hotel accommodations and travel, three floating holidays given to use for additional time off and the list just goes on. Paycom goes out of its way to show it is just more than a paycheck, and that’s something employees can take to the bank.

13. McBride Orthopedic Hospital


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 2005
CEO: Mark Galliart
Status: Private
Employees in State: 608

The mission of McBride Orthopedic Hospital is to serve the communities of Oklahoma by providing access to excellence in orthopedic and arthritis care in an environment designed to efficiently and effectively deliver consistently superior patient outcomes. McBride Orthopedic Hospital’s vision is to redefine the way orthopedic and arthritis care is delivered in Oklahoma City.

McBride also serves as a community partner and medical provider to multiple sports organizations throughout the state. From the professional level and college and high school athletics, McBride is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of more than 1,000 competitive athletes. McBride physicians serve as head team/orthopedic physician for the OKC Thunder, OKC Barons and OKC RedHawks, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and others.

It also provides sports medicine services to 26 high schools/athletic organizations throughout the metro.

With a responsibility like this, McBride can’t afford to cut corners, and its employees are as good as it gets, with benefits and perks to match. With the retention bonuses, 401(k) match, profitsharing, tuition reimbursement, meals and gift-shop discounts, as well as the Operation Kindness program — wherein peers submit employees to be recognized for going above their daily duties and receive $50 Visa cards, balloons, pics with the CEO (emailed to all employees) and a coveted front-row parking spot for a month — McBride makes its employees happy to come to work by showing its constant appreciation. Sometimes, that’s the best perk in the world.

14. Cox Communications


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Atlanta
Year Founded: 1962
General Manager and Senior Vice President: Percy Kirk
Status: Private
Employees in State: 1,820

If you live in Oklahoma, chances are something in your home relies on Cox Communications. A renowned broadband communications and entertainment company providing advanced digital video, Internet and telephone services over its own nationwide IP network, Cox is the third-largest U.S. cable television company, servicing approximately 6 million residences and business. Cox is best known for its pioneering efforts in cable telephone and commercial services, industryleading customer care and its outstanding workplaces.

How outstanding? Cox offers its employees profit-sharing as an incentive. Spokeswoman Heather Romeike believes that this program “drives behavior, promotes personal commitment and ultimately recognizes employees for their individual dedication to helping Cox succeed.”

Add to this an allowance of volunteer hours per year to serve the nonprofit organization of their choice. Employees also receive discounted cable, Internet, phone and home security services. They also participate in the Cox Connects Foundation, an initiative where employees are empowered and enabled to give back even more to the community. Funded by employee contributions, it already has donated $4 million to benefit Oklahomans since its inception. Cox employees prove that it’s truly a job that makes coming to work every day a joy.

Small/Medium Companies

1. Foundation Medical Staffing


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Salt Lake City
Year Founded: 1999
Director: Matt Rice
Status: Private
Employees in State: 25

To Foundation Medical Staffing, these words are the reason it is a success putting caring people on the right path in the health-care industry. Specializing in temporary and permanent dialysis staffing services for medical facilities nationwide since 1999, the dialysis nurses, dietitians, managers and patient care technicians value Foundation’s dedicated efforts on their behalf.

And because it has more agents dedicated to dialysis staffing than other firms, it can have these specialized professionals on assignment quickly. This is of critical importance to its client facilities, with whom it has built trusting relationships through consistently delivering excellent service and structuring its own process to best accommodate its way of doing business.

Foundation has been lauded by employees for its efforts in the arena of workplace fun as well. It already has a ping-pong table, and currently, it’s building a rest area with a TV and Nintendo Wii. Team-building activities (on-site and offsite) occur annually, and dancing, trivia and Employee Appreciation Week are all examples of the promotion of fun in the office.

But perhaps the most fun are the hilarious, made-up holidays for the employees to celebrate. Last month, it celebrated National Weatherman’s Day; the gang played a game where you had to guess how many times the meteorologist said a weather-related word and then gave away a gift card to the winner. Foundation believes these fun contests and holidays help keep people motivated; but more than anything else, by making it a point to celebrate one another’s successes, these events help keep employees feeling appreciated.

2. Tri County Technology Center


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Bartlesville
Year Founded: 1967
Superintendeant/CEO: Lindel Fields
Status: Educational Institution
Employees in State: 98

Tri County Technology Center, created in 1967, is one of 29 public technology centers in the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education system. The mascot for TCTC is Blaze the Bison and pays tribute to the American Indian heritage of the communities it serves. Everyone who works and attends TCTC are proudly known as the Trailblazers, which they believe characterizes the innovative pioneering spirit of their organization.

The distinctive characteristics of TCTC’s culture can be summed up in four words: The Tri County Way. It’s a series of core values that stress the importance of community, education and responsibility. This includes “employee development and well-being,” which provides an environment in which employees have the opportunity to excel and achieve. It’s one of the things that truly set TCTC apart from the rest.

Tri County prides itself on having a happy workforce. The full-time employee retention rate has been above 90% for the past five years. Flexibility at the workplace is a norm, and employees can rest assured that they always can feel comfortable asking for time off if their attention is needed at home or with family at specific events. TCTC embraces employee family members by hosting a family-friendly event each year, whether it is dinner and a ball game or a day at the zoo. Spouses also are encouraged to participate in community relation events. On a quarterly basis, TCTC hosts an event where employees can let their hair down and get away from the workday stresses. Whether it’s a visit from an ice cream truck, a singing quartet or a Cinco de Mayo fiesta, TCTC employees like to have fun!

So much so that it might as well be a core value as well.

3. InterWorks Inc.


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Stillwater
Year Founded: 1996
CEO/President: Behfar Jahanshahi
Status: Private
Employees in State: 68

While most businesses tout their Bring Your Child to Work Day celebrations, InterWorks is proud to tout the fact that it regularly has dogs roaming the offices. It’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day, every day.

And why not? It’s this cool atmosphere that makes InterWorks the most cuttingedge and hippest IT consulting firm in town, providing a wide variety of services through its “total IT approach” that offers services in the areas of IT networking, business intelligence, software development and web strategy.

Through this approach, it strives to be a total resource for all of its clients’ needs. So while most IT companies keep a narrow focus, limiting themselves to only a few fields and industries, InterWorks shrugs this stereotype by establishing presences in all areas of IT and business solutions across virtually every industry, meeting the highest standards of industry expertise in all of its endeavors.

The employees love what they do, and most of all, they love helping others with what they do, as they are well aware that the success of their clientele is directly linked to their own. That successful attitude is what keeps InterWorks employees consistently the best.

And InterWorks perks are what makes it one of the best companies to work for. The company outings to Oklahoma City Thunder games are much loved, as well as a few minutes in the game room, loaded with massage chairs, couches and pool tables. But the fun doesn’t stop there, as its post-work Margarita Fridays show. Hey, even a computer genius has to wind down too, right?

4. Maschino, Hudelson & Associates


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 2002
Owner: J. Kelly Huselson
Status: Private
Employees in State: 35

Maschino, Hudelson & Associates help their clients develop benefits programs that make a competitive difference for the company while also making a difference in the lives of their employees.

It is Oklahoma’s single source for employee benefits, executive benefits, HR solutions and wealth management. Combining its experience and expertise has produced the largest and most successful NFP-selected employee benefits firm in the state. So it would only make sense that a company that specializes in benefits would provide them for its own employees.

Maschino, Hudelson & Associates offers their employees flexible work schedules and generous PTO, as well as a quarterly bonus program that keeps them motivated. For example, sales personnel receive a bonus if their annual target is met, and a “super bonus” is given if they exceed their annual target. Employees also are encouraged to participate in a voluntary wellness program that provides monthly, quarterly and annual rewards or incentive opportunities. They also have a ping-pong table, which is a great stressreliever that makes every break time fun time.

5. Ideal Homes of Norman LP


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Norman
Year Founded: 1990
President of Sales and Co-Owner: Vernon McKown
Status: Private
Employees in State: 113

Founded in 1990, the Oklahoma owned-and-operated Ideal Homes consistently has set the standard for innovative homebuilding. It has been recognized nationally for the quality of its products and processes and has constructed more than 7,000 homes throughout the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, including Choctaw, Deer Creek, Edmond, Moore, Mustang, Midwest City, Norman, Oklahoma City, Yukon and Stillwater.

For its efforts, Ideal Homes has been awarded the Professional Builder of the Year Award for 2010, the America’s Best Builder Award for 2007 and the National Housing Quality 2006 Gold Award. It’s these types of accolades that have held Ideal Homes to a gold standard, right down to their employees.

Ideal Homes keeps its employees buzzing by keeping their social calendar filled with events that would be the envy of many an office. Besides Bring Your Child to Work Day, there are many events for the family to participate in, including a hoe-down party at the owner’s barn, complete with barbecue, pony rides, hayrides and a bucking bull. And don’t forget about the chili and dessert cookoffs, the softball tournaments and the various potluck dinners.

But what really makes employees excited are the quarterly staff member awards — which come with $200 cash prizes — and the innovative Fred Award, based on the book The Fred Factor, which was set up to recognize employees mentioned by customers on surveys. Given the great track record of Ideal Homes’ employees, it won’t be too long until everyone has their own Fred Award.

6. Vox Printing


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 1971
CEO: LaVerna Reid
Status: Private
Employees in State: 52

Since 1971, Vox Printing has been a leader in the printing of materials for quick-service restaurants, including trayliners, place mats, coupons, direct mail pieces and newspaper inserts. It also prints promotional items such as bag stuffers and pads. It admittedly serves a niche market and, as such, is quite competitive in pricing; because of this, it has developed equipment and procedures to produce quality products while being highly efficient.

The employees at Vox pride themselves on the fact that not only do they provide great products for their customers, but also personal, professional ideas about ways for them to promote and increase their businesses. These personal relationships amount to better customer service and better employee satisfaction for a job well done. This leads to an employee pride that

has resulted in Vox receiving the “Best Work Places in the Americas Award” given by the Printing Industries of America a record six times.

So what is Vox doing right to earn accolades? The yearly $1,000 bonus that has been given to all employees over the last several years in recognition of meeting sales and production goals certainly helps. And whenever breaking a sales record, all employees are treated to lunch at a local restaurant of their choice.

But what truly takes the cake — literally — is when the vice president bakes a birthday cake for each employee for everyone to share during break. The individual gets recognition and to choose the type of cake.

7. GableGotwals


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Tulsa
Year Founded: 1919
CEO: Sid Swinson
Status: Private
Employees in State: 141

Although Oklahoma-based, GableGotwals, a full-service law firm, represents Fortune 500 corporations, entrepreneurs, privately owned companies, foundations and individuals throughout the United States and internationally. Clients entrust GableGotwals attorneys every day with the stewardship and strategic management of their legal challenges.

Since 1919, the firm has provided efficient, professional and ethical representation for clients at competitive rates. The talents of almost 80 attorneys ensure that GableGotwals has the depth to serve both small and large clients with a wide range of expertise, including oil and gas, banking, bankruptcy, securities and finance, construction, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, tribal and gaming, water, environmental, tax and employment law.

It combines the experience of attorneys in virtually every discipline to meet all of its clients’ needs.

One of the most personal aspects of working for GableGotwals that employees appreciate, however, is its commitment to family and employee friendship. Employees can bring children to work when school is closed, and the inclusion of spouses in after-hours events is welcomed. A policy against eating in work areas was put in place to encourage all staff to take lunch breaks; and with a new large kitchen and break room that can accommodate staff eating lunch together, as well as a firm lunch held every Tuesday for attorneys, employee camaraderie and morale is at an all-time high. High enough to make it one of the Best Places to Work.

8. Republic Bank & Trust


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Norman
Year Founded: 1988
President and CEO: Chuck Thompson
Status: Private
Employees in State: 141

As a local community bank, Republic understands that its success is dependent on the success of the businesses and community it serves. Republic bankers develop consultative and trusted relationships with locally owned and managed businesses and individuals in order to help them succeed as well as build a vibrant community. The bank does this by offering a variety of financial services, including investment, trust and mortgage services.

It also does this by employing people who firmly believe in its core values: “attitude, accuracy and action.” So much so that the quarterly AAA Spirit Awards are given to bankers demonstrating these values.

Republic also selects a candidate to receive the President’s Award, which is the highest level of achievement at Republic Bank & Trust. It’s truly the mark of employee excellence. Personal achievements aside, Republic employees also work hard to create a better community for themselves and their customers. This is easy for them to do, as Republic gives paid time off to volunteer at the United Way Day of Caring event, as well the executive committee serving a United Way participation breakfast. This spirit of action, along with its positive attitude and commitment to accuracy, is why Republic Bank is a Best Place to Work mainstay.

9. Wallace Engineering


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Tulsa
Year Founded: 1981
President and CEO: Tom Wallace
Status: Private
Employees in State: 106

Straight out of Tulsa, Wallace Engineering is a structural and civil engineering consulting firm that provides investigation, planning, design, budgeting, inspection and construction services to architects, contractors, building owners, municipalities, engineering companies and other companies or individuals associated with the building environment.

Wallace’s constant stream of noteworthy and interesting projects keep its employees busy enough, but there’s always time to enjoy some frozen treats when the company has an ice cream truck come out during those hot summer months or — because it uses geothermal wells to heat and cool its building, making the roof of the headquarters building free of multiple rooftop units — go up to the roof, where employees can walk, play bocce ball or simply take a relaxing break. There are also onsite yoga and fitness classes, and Wallace actually pays $500 to employees who to quit smoking.

But it doesn’t end there. All employees are recognized and given gifts for their 10-year and 20-year anniversaries and every five-year anniversary thereafter; the value of the gift increases progressively with tenure. Additionally, engineers are recognized in front of the entire office by the CEO when they pass their Professional Engineering exam. They are presented with Champagne and a glass set at that time.

But at Wallace, everyone can get in on the praise with their intranet kudos folder, in which any employee can extend recognition to another where it will be seen by all. Letters of praise or thanks from clients, as well as interoffice kudos, are posted. It is for programs like this that Wallace gets a big kudos for being one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma!

10. 180 Medical


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 2002
President and CEO: Todd Brown
Status: Private
Employees in State: 203

180 Medical is one of the top catheter distributors in the country, but it takes pride in the fact that it does a lot more than just sell catheters. Between providing exceptional service to its customers by staying current on industry trends and truly being specialists in the field, it shows compassion to all and treats everyone like family.

As a matter of fact, at 180 Medical, the executive team has made it their business to set the tone and example of keeping family first. They encourage employees to work hard while there, but also to go home on time to be with their families, in an effort to try to maintain a healthy work/ life balance that so many other businesses seem to forget about. This even goes as far as the popular half-day Fridays, wherein if employees work 40 hours by noon on Friday, they get the afternoon off to spend

with their families or even some simple personal time with friends.

The perks of working for 180 Medical don’t stop there. It also offers quarterly and annual rewards ranging from gift cards and paid time off to actual monetary prizes to top performers. But if you ask the employees of 180 Medical, the real rewards come from their ability to work for a company that continuously shows integrity by providing one-of-a-kind education and educational materials to doctors’ offices and their patients on how to properly use its products and stay healthy while using them. These things are what its team is constantly working to excel in and improve upon. It’s something they call “the 180 Medical Way.”

11. Nextep Inc.


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Norman
Year Founded: 1997
Founder and Chief Visionary Officer: Brian Fayak
Status: Private
Employees in State: 34

Nextep has been serving the human resource needs of small businesses throughout the country since 1997. With Nextep, clients receive the same benefits and access to technology that Fortune 500 competitors provide to their employees.

Not only does Nextep specialize in serving small businesses from a broad range of industries, but its dedicated HR specialists have the experience to customize solutions that will enhance clients’ ability to be agile, competitive and an employer of choice.

Additionally, as a business partner, Nextep collaborates with businesses to offer unique employee solutions and has the big-company experience in risk management, benefits, payroll and human resources that clients need with the personal touch they deserve.

It’s the same personal touch that Nextep gives its employees, allowing them to feel like important individuals, as opposed to wheels in a cog. Take, for example, the Nexcellence awards, a peer-recognition award for outstanding performance in such areas as customer service, assisting co-workers with projects and tasks and developing new company ideas. Or, if that doesn’t sell it, how about their company anniversary? On their anniversary date, employees can choose a gift from a catalog, including such items as Keurig coffee makers, Bulova watches, Dyson vacuum cleaners, cookware, electronics — you name it, because you earned it.

This is, of course, in addition to the potlucks and parties, monthly bonuses, video-game break space and weight-loss challenges.

Personal touch? Yep, Nextep’s got it.

12. BIS


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Edmond
Year Founded: 1986
President and CEO: Dan Rotelli
Status: Private
Employees in State: 57

In today’s high-speed, up-to-thesecond world of constant information, businesses can’t afford to be even a minute behind. They need their information now, and they need it to be reliable.

This is where comes in. It makes the information that drives everyday business operations more accessible, usable and secure. It does this by connecting people, processes and data and by placing information where, when and how you need it. By working hard to eliminate tedious data entry tasks, automate costly processes, and protect valuable data against misuse and loss, BIS is determined to increase efficiency to unprecedented levels so companies can get more work done with less human effort and focus on business growth.

But to many employees of BIS, even in a world of zeros and ones, they recognize that sometimes the real world needs not only their brains, but also their hands. That’s why BIS has made it a point to continually give back to the community by volunteering to help in times of need.

Whether it be helping clean up after a tornado or even the simple act of delivering Christmas presents to area battered women’s shelters, BIS makes sure its human face is just as important as its virtual one. And this humanity is one of the main reasons BIS is one of the Best Places to Work.

13. BodyWorks Collision Centers


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 1997
President: Chris Donnelly
Status: Private
Employees in State: 75

Dents, dings or full-on collisions, Oklahoma City staple BodyWorks has made a name for itself by helping customers get their cars back on the road and looking good while doing it by providing automotive collision repair services to the general public, mostly through their insurance companies. With three locations, it is the largest independent body-shop operation in the Oklahoma City metro area. Chances are if your car needs a little body work, Bodyworks will be the first number you dial.

For employees of BodyWorks, it’s not all work. They look forward to the annual family picnic at Frontier City, employee group night at an Oklahoma City Thunder game and, just in time for the holidays, turkeys for Thanksgiving and hams for Christmas.

And let’s not forget about the little things like “Donut Friday” and monthly birthday lunches. Things like that let the employees of BodyWorks know their work is top-notch enough to be rewarded and appreciated. It’s this dent-free employee service that directly translates to dent-free customer service. No wonder Bodyworks is the biggest and best in the metro.

14. Paragon Films Inc.


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Broken Arrow
Year Founded: 1988
CEO: Mike Baab
Status: Private
Employees in State: 121

Not to be confused with the B-movie studio of the late 1980s, this Paragon Films manufactures grade-A plastic stretch film used to unitize loads, primarily for shipping purposes, with three manufacturing facilities across the country.

Paragon’s primary customers are distributors of packaging products. These distributors, in turn, sell to the end user (the consumer of the film). Almost any manufacturer, distribution center or warehouse in North America is a potential user of stretch film used to transport and/ or protect its product.

In business since 1988, Paragon is one of the top five producers in volume of stretch film in the U.S. Privately owned, it is also one of the most financially secure. Mike Baab, owner and CEO, stresses talent and innovation from employees to ensure the company is continually developing new products. Paragon offers a wide variety of performance levels of film, but specializes in thin-gauge, high-performance products.

And high-performance products need high-performance people to move them. Paragon’s employees fit that bill to a T. When asked what three things they love most about their company, various responses included:

“It’s a love in the workplace culture.” “The people are genuinely friendly and respectful.”

“Our work hard, play hard attitude, with lots of practical jokes to boost morale.”

There are company lunches, a casual dress code and even a Rolex watch for an employee’s 10-year anniversary. The Employee of the Month recipient receives a $500 bonus, a recognition certificate and luncheon and an extra vacation day and is eligible for the Golden Eagle Award.

What’s the Golden Eagle Award? you ask. It is awarded to individuals or groups who stand out and go beyond the call of duty by representing Paragon’s unique culture. Truly, Paragon does live up to its name!

15. Southern Oklahoma
Technology Center


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Ardmore
Year Founded: 1966
Superintendent: David Powell
Status: Educational Institution
Employees in State: 89

To Oklahomans, education is not only one of the most important things we value, but also one of our most lucrative fields of employment. The Southern Oklahoma Technology Center serves 13 school districts and three dependent school districts in the southern Oklahoma area and offers 65 majors in nine career clusters. They also offer adult career development services, which provides courses designed for adults desiring to update or develop new career skills, only helping add to Oklahoma’s employability ranks.

While spending so much time teaching others to be employable, SOTC has not forgotten to be a competitively viable outlet of employment as well. An apple for the teacher might be what it took in the past, but now, teachers need the whole bunch, and SOTC doesn’t skimp. Offering PTO and non-contract leave, competitive salary and benefits, participatory management and a matching 403(b), it offers some of the best incentives in the state. Also, being a school, it only wants SOTC employees to be as inspirationally educated as possible, so it also has professional development and educational assistance for those wishing to further themselves and their careers.

But sometimes the gang at SOTC has to put the books down and celebrate, which it does with an annual awards banquet and the summer picnic and lake excursions. It’s always a fun way to beat the heat.

SOTC definitely gets an A+ from its employees!

16. Claims Management Resources


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 1988
Chairman: John M. “Clip” Fudge
Status: Private
Employees in State: 138

Claims Management Resources adjusts and recovers property damage claims for self-insured entities and partners with organizations in the utility industry (telecommunications, cable, power and gas) and governmental agencies (municipalities, departments of transportation, counties, etc.).

Organizations hire CMR to recover more money, recover money faster and use staff in more important areas of their organization. Organizations state CMR’s results, culture, experience and process set it apart from other claim organizations (including in-house operations).

While those accolades for doing such a great job are reward enough for employees of CMR, the in-house accolades are a much-loved bonus among them. From employee of the month to employee of the year, everyone wins with CMR, with not only employee bonuses for all employees but off-site parties when the company reaches its month-end goal.

And don’t forget about Red River Rivalry Employee Appreciation Day, where, no matter what the outcome, one winner is definitely guaranteed: the employees.

17. Gemini Coatings Inc.


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: El Reno
Year Founded: 1984
CEO/President: David Warren
Status: Private
Employees in State: 101

Since 1964, high-quality wood coating manufacturer and distributor Gemini Coatings has been dedicated to the wood finishing industry. Founded in Oklahoma, Gemini began as a local manufacturer, grew into a regional player in the ’70s, a national supplier in the ’80s and now provides wood finishes to the entire U.S. market as well as most international markets.

To achieve and maintain this level of excellence, a business needs a great support staff and employees who are dedicated to providing the best possible customer service. And to do that, a business needs to attract the best of the best. With numerous perks and benefits, it’s obvious to see why Gemini’s employees are just that: the best of the best in the industry.

Gemini wants its employees to feel like they have a stake in the success and future of the company, so it offers both employee stock and company ownership benefits as well as open-book management and monthly and annual bonuses.

But beyond the ownership angle, there’s just a general sense of pride Gemini has in its employees. From on-the-spot awards of excellence and an annual shareholders banquet to the Employee Owner of the Year award and the recognition of employees for various contributions to the community. It’s these examples of employer and employee pride that show while the wood at Gemini is finished, the future of the company is just starting.

18. CPC Insurance Agency


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City
Year Founded: 1904
President: Allen Paine
Status: Private
Employees in State: 32

CPC Insurance Agency Inc. is an independent insurance agency whose goal is to assist customers in all of their insurance needs, both personal and business. Its professional agents take time to consult with customers on coverage and premiums that meet their specific needs.

The reason they go the extra mile? One word: service.

Service, whether it is in response to an insurance claim or general question, is the most important value CPC believes it can offer. Working hard to build a trusted relationship with its customers, CPC strives to make them feel both comfortable with and confident in its abilities by acting as a consultant. As an “organization dedicated to its customers,” CPC seeks out the best companies that offer the appropriate coverage at a fair price.

Of course, all work and no play makes insurance agents dull people, so employees take time out to celebrate each other’s achievements and milestones. For example, employees not only get their birthday off but also receive a birthday cake.

In addition, while employees are required to work 35 hours a week, they are paid for 40 plus an extra flex hour each week. This leaves plenty of time to finish off that delicious cake.

19. CFS2


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Tulsa
Year Founded: 1986
CEO/President: Bill Bartmann
Status: Private
Employees in State: 106

It’s a mantra that employees of not only strive to achieve but truly believe in: “I am CFS2.” It’s also the name of a monthly award to an employee who receives an outstanding customer testimonial, with his or her name added to a plaque for recognition. To date, CFS2 has received more than 1,000 customer testimonials, something that instills its employees with unequivocal pride.

And why not? Customer service is the driving force behind CFS2’s platform. As a technology and data-gathering company whose business model is to capture and refine acquired consumer data, it then delivers that to the consumer with highlytargeted offerings of financial services, goods and other services that are unique to the consumer’s patterns and expressed preferences. It does this by acquiring large blocks of consumers in a unique,

cost-efficient fashion and then builds relationships based on trust.

These relationships enable CFS2 to obtain personal information from consumers that would otherwise be unobtainable or obtainable only at significant cost. It provides unique valued services, such as debt negotiation, job search, social services and tax preparation to customers free of charge. And the customer voluntarily provides an extraordinarily wide variety of information that would otherwise be extremely difficult to obtain.

This allows CFS2 to build a profile of personal, employment, financial, educational, demographic and sociological data that is singularly unique for each consumer.

20. Integrated Business Technologies


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Broken Arrow
Year Founded: 2007
President and CEO: Eric Kehmeier
Status: Private
Employees in State: 29

Ask many businesses that rely on technology and they’ll tell you that not only is their biggest fear a total IT shutdown but an inability to reach customer service to help get them running again. Every minute a business is down, that’s another dollar — or customer — the business is losing. This is where Integrated Business Technologies comes into the mainframe.

IBT is a complete IT service company that exists to provide superior support and customer service to companies with business technology needs, all so customers can focus on the goals of their business and not the challenges. IBT provides backup and disaster recovery plans, remote and onsite IT support, and proactive account management, as well as hosted solutions and email and spam protection. IBT also sells, services and maintains phone systems and offers web conferencing and fax solutions along with cabling structures. And don’t forget about media management and presence management.

Basically, if it’s IT solutions a business needs, IBT is a one-stop shop. But to power all that technology, you need technologically powerful employees. The daily perks alone are enough to attract any serious computer wizard, what with the pool table and free snacks and beverages it provides. There are holiday parties and quarterly outings. And if that’s not enough, at the monthly meeting, not only is lunch catered, but so are free back massages. You know what they say: a relaxed IT employee is a happy IT employee!

21. Meridian Technology Center


U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Stillwater
Year Founded: 1973
Superintendent and CEO: Douglas Major
Status: Educational Institution
Employees in State: 129

Meridian had its beginning as the Indian Meridian Area Vocational- Technical School in July 1973. In 1994, the school was renamed Meridian Technology Center.

The school has grown to more than 70 career training majors and has nearly 800 students enrolled in this area alone. Over the course of the year, more than 11,000 individuals will set foot in Meridian to take one of its classes, including its customized business and industry training. A wide variety of course offerings make career education possible for students from all walks of life: career training, professional and personal interest, online classes and business solutions.

So, although Meridian started in July 1973, it also recognizes the importance of the future, both of the leaders it’s training and the mentors it’s employing. Because of this, Meridian strives to be an exemplary school that employees like to describe as a “great working environment and atmosphere” and offers such bonuses as additional time off, a fitness center, tailgate-style luncheons for staff, educational assistance and personal development programs and, because even staff needs to let their hair down every now and then, designated jeans days.

Hey, the kids can’t have all the fun!

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