Best Places to Work 2014 Winners

Large Companies

1. Edward Jones

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri
Website: edwardjones.com
Year Founded: 1922
Company Leader: Managing Parter Jim Weddie
Status: Private
Employees in State: 482

The culture of Edward Jones can be summed up in one word family. Family comes first, and branches will come together to support each other in times of crisis.

As the nation’s largest financial services firm with branch offices in 11,000 U.S. locations, Edward Jones invests in the communities it caters to with over 7 million individual investors. Advisors understand clients’ personal goals and work to create long-term solutions benefitting their clients’ needs from college to retirement. It’s that personal, face-to-face, neighborly interaction that makes associates and clients alike feel like family.

Like a family business, every associate has an opportunity to own part of the company, a quality both unique and rare nowadays. Any associate in good standing with three years of service can become a partner — about a third of all associates are owners. Therefore, as in all families, when associates face personal or professional challenges, Edward Jones stands by them. Such examples could include assistance in natural disasters, paid leave or medical exceptions or just being a shoulder to lean on in hard times.

Edward Jones exemplifies work hard, play hard by taking thousands of its financial advisors and associates on all-expenses-paid diversification trips to exotic destinations around the globe. In 2013, over 50% of all financial advisors earned at least one of two trips that year.

Furthermore, like family, Edward Jones encourages associates to give back by volunteering in their local communities and pays them for their volunteer time. The company also offers a mentorship program called Goodknight, in which a financial advisor selects a trainee to mentor, advise and ultimately present clients to the start of a new branch.

So what does the Edward Jones family do for fun? Mini mental escapes to beautiful locations, tickets to comedy shows, sporting events and dinner cruises are just a few of the stress relievers offered by the company. Branch office administrators have fun all year long by running contests in which recipients can win gift cards and trips.

“Edward Jones rewards independence and hard work and provides all the tools and resources I need to succeed,” said Regional Leader Mary Maddux. “I can establish my own work schedule and hours and am not only encouraged but expected to always put my family first and maintain a balance between work and family life.”


2. The Nature Conservancy

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Arlington, Virginia
Website: nature.org/oklahoma
Year Founded: 1951
Company Leader: CEO Mark Tercek
Status: Private
Employees in State: 25

Conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends is the mission of The Nature Conservancy. It was founded in 1951, and there has been a rise and increase for food, water and energy resulting from high population growth, which deeply impacts the Earth’s natural systems. The work at the Conservancy is to restore natural habitats, improve freshwater conservation and teach others how to properly care and manage the land.

The mission of this organization alone is enough to make it a Best Place to Work in Oklahoma, but it only gets better. Employees have the ability to set flexible work schedules, which in some cases allows them to work from home so they can incorporate more family time. During the summer months, employees can work a half-day on Fridays.

Time in the field gives the Conservancy’s employees a breath of fresh air where they can hike, be at peace and enjoy the great outdoors. The organization has programs promoting health and wellness and gives paid days off every year to those who participate in environmental efforts such as canoeing the Illinois River for cleanup day.

And its three top community initiatives are well suited to their cause. The company participates every month at Oklahoma City’s H&8th Night Market where they setup interactive nature booths, children’s activities, art shows and more. It actively volunteers and donates to a variety of local conservation groups including The Invasive Plant Council, The Oklahoma Fire Council, the Illinois River Clean-up and many more. Moreover, each year, it participates in the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife’s Conservation’s Wildlife Expo.

“The Nature Conservancy is a great place to work for so many reasons — it provides great benefits, including a significant dollar-for-dollar 401k contribution match, competitive salaries and flexibility in work schedules. Most importantly, the staff are amazing, talented people who are attracted to and fueled by our mission to conserve lands and waters on which all life depends. Our team is incredibly passionate about working together to develop collaborative solutions to the conservation challenges we face here in Oklahoma and beyond. That’s the difference that helps us make a difference,” said State Director Mike Fuhr.


3. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Itasca, Illinois
Website: aig.com
Year Founded: 1927
Company Leader: CEO Pat Gallagher
Status: Public
Employees in State: 78

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s  team in Oklahoma City focuses on designing, implementing and managing a cost-effective benefits program structured to reduce costs, improve workforce productivity, educate employees, mitigate risk and help clients attract, retain and develop top talent.

What makes the company wonderful to work for is using the same principles mentioned above to attract its own talent. It also has flexible Fridays, incentivized bonus programs and free vacation days for employees to use on their birthdays. It holds friendly health challenges during the holidays and an annual company picnic/barbeque.

The company promotes wellness and community service initiatives by encouraging its employees to participate in Relay for Life and the Midnight Streak 5K fundraisers. In the office, it offers discounts on programs such as Nutrisystems and gym memberships.

In terms of the environment, the company incentivizes its employees to join in on the recycling by providing cash reimbursements for the use of public transportation and/or carpooling. It has also taken steps to eliminate paper waste by transferring paper files to an electronic drive.

Gallagher also encourages employee development through education with tuition reimbursement programs for advanced or post-graduate degrees, certifications, business education and professional conferences. It offers monthly webinars with testing, e-learning online training and job shadowing and mentoring.

“As a leader in providing insurance and risk management products and services, Gallagher is focused on protecting businesses and families against loss and helping them to recover after a loss occurs. We also believe in being good corporate citizens, and many of our offices, teams and individual employees are very active within their communities. Gallagher encourages and promotes these efforts to support charitable organizations, protect the environment and assist others who are in need. That’s another example of The Gallagher Way,” said CEO Pat Gallagher. “We’re committed to recommending what is in the client’s best interests – not ours – and delivering on our promises. In fact, Gallagher’s commitment to doing the right thing has led to our recognition as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute in 2012, 2013 and 2014.”


4. Eide Bailly LLP

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Fargo, North Dakota
Website: eidebailly.com
Year Founded: 1917
Company Leader: Managing Partner/CEO David Stende, CPA
Status: Public
Employees in State: 115

Focusing on industries including agriculture producers, construction, dealerships, financial institutions,government, health care, insurance, manufacturing, nonprofit, oil and gas, real estate and renewable energy and utilities, Eide Bailly LLP provides certified public accounting and business advisement.

So what makes the folks at Eide Bailly fun? They enjoy a healthy work/life balance, parties at the office and chair massages, just to name a few. They also have a wellness benefit, enjoy casual Fridays, earn gift cards and can receive the Top Banana Award, a quarterly program that recognizes those who go the extra mile.

For the wellness benefit, staff members can earn credit toward reducing their insurance premium up to 25% during on-site wellness screenings held annually. Employees who have benefited from the program improve their overall health and reduce their insurance premiums. They can also receive wellness reimbursements of $300 for staff with 0-3 years of service and $600 for staff over three years of services. Those funds can be used for gym memberships, home exercise equipment, personal trainers and weight loss management programs.

To relieve stress, this bunch organizes fun lunches with themes, and employees are encouraged to dress up. Wellness challenges with circuit training encourage exercise by getting folks out from behind their desks to do stretches and decompress after long hours in front of the computer. There are chili and soup cook-offs and chances to win prizes.

“Eide Bailly recognizes that our strengths are our people and our clients. Our culture is at the heart of how we recognize and provide opportunities for advancement to our team members. We spend energy and resources in training and engagement opportunities in order to allow our staff to obtain exposure to different industries and different partners. Our culture statement specifically states ‘having fun,’ which we strive to achieve daily,” said Oklahoma Partner in Charge Steve Corely.


5. Mars Pet Care
U.S. of Oklahoma

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Franklin, Tennessee
Website: mars.com
Year Founded: 1911
Company Leader: CEO Paul Michaels
Status: Public
Employees in State: 96

Known for its confections, the Mars company history is a quaint story that began in the kitchen of Frank C. Mars and his wife Ethel. The couple began making candies out of their home and soon after opened their first factory.  By 1968, they were branching out into the business of pet care and since then have developed highly recognized brands such as Pedigree® and Royal Canin®, which are distributed to over 90 countries today.

Mars Petcare has two facilities located in Clinton and Miami, Oklahoma. Employees who work for the facility in Clinton, Oklahoma, manufacture dry and semi-moist pet food and treats. Specific benefits for those who work at the facility is generous vacation time and retirement plans and new hires receive health insurance on the first day of employment.

“Making our first appearance on the best places to work in Oklahoma list is a huge achievement for our team. The foundation of a great place to work is the people,” said, Daniel Klapuch, site manager at Mars Petcare in Clinton. “Our team of Associates achieved this honor together.  It’s a great complement to our Mars, Incorporated ranking on the 2013 and 2014 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list.”

Mars has a paid volunteer program and programs for achievement and site incentive and health. The Health Tracks Incentive Program encourages employees take a preventative exam and complete an online risk assessment so they can receive $500 as a reward for themselves and eligible partners.

Some of the community initiatives involve helping feed hungry people and their pets as well as beautifying pet-friendly places encouraging the bond between pets and humans. The facility even has a dog onsite to relieve stress and promote fun. Employees also stretch between shift changes, listen to music one week per month and get free healthy snacks daily.

“It not only takes great associates; it also takes a strong relationship with the community,” said Ronnie Taylor, site manager at Mars Petcare in Miami. “We’ve focused our efforts on growing together with the city of Miami. In 2013, our Oklahoma Associates completed nearly 200 volunteer hours in our communities. By working together to build Oklahoma, we all win.”


6. Capital One Auto Finance

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: McLean, Virginia
Website: capitalone.com
Year Founded: 1988
Company Leader: Director John Cook
Status: Public
Employees in State: 447

Capital One Auto Finance keeps it simple when it comes to instilling the right culture in its employees with its two key values Excellence and Do the Right Thing. It empowers its employees to think for themselves and collaborate and encourages them to share their ideas with senior management.

The main company/holding company, Capital One Financial Corporation, subsidiaries include Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to its customers with Capital One Auto Finance providing loans for new and used cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs for personal use.

Under the direction of Founder and CEO Richard D. Fairbank, the company has been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and 20 Great Employers for New Grads. Therefore, it’s no surprise that its Tulsa-based Capital One Auto Finance operation has been awarded one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma several years in a row.

The company has great benefits, flexible work schedules, a team-oriented culture, pool/Ping-Pong/foosball tables and a video gaming console. And it’s not just about healthy play; the company promotes health culturally, as it wants its employees to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The American Heart Association has certified the Tulsa operation Gold Fit since 2009. It has an indoor/outdoor walking area for employees to use and a Biggest Loser weight loss competition. After all, a healthy body promotes a healthy mind. The Tulsa employees work with the school system to mentor in the classrooms, help purchase school supplies and uniforms and assist the teaching staff on the playground.

“At Capital One, one of our core imperatives is the development of talent and ensuring that our associates love what they do. We are always looking for amazing people who have a passion for helping customers,” says Sanjiv Yajnik, president of financial services. “Our team in Oklahoma is some of the most passionate, high-performing associates we have at Capital One, and it is no surprise that our Tulsa site has once again been named one of the best places to work in Oklahoma.”


7. Laser Spine Institute

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Tampa, Florida
Website: laserspineinstitute.com
Year Founded: 2005
Company Leader: CEO Bill Home
Status: Private
Employees in State: 42

Three physicians had the desire to help patients by revolutionizing neck and back surgery, and out of that need, the Laser Spine Institute was born. Now, as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, the Laser Spine Institute treats debilitating neck and back pain caused by spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, bone spurs, bulging/herniated discs, scoliosis and sciatica. The Oklahoma City staff uses state-of-the-art equipment at its outpatient surgery center and caters to all patient needs. The techniques and professionalism used at the facility have earned the institute a 96% satisfaction rate among its patients. The facility performs four types of endoscopic surgeries at the location.

The company provides its employees with great incentives such as a referral program that could net an employee $250 to $2,500 depending on the candidate. It also offers a program it calls CHIPS. CHIPS are given when an employee implements a company value and another employee notes it. CHIPS money can be used to buy anything educational or pertaining to wellness.

As a desire to give back and involve the community, employees can choose a child in need from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and make a child’s holiday wishes come true. Employees run in the Color Me Rad 5k benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and when tornadoes hit Oklahoma City last year, employees collected money and donations to benefit those who lost loved ones and their homes. Moreover, they financially supported four families that were tornado victims.

The work they do is serious, but when they need to relieve stress, employees have access to game rooms, quiet areas with relaxing furniture and massage chairs. They also do team-building activities and enjoy monthly breakfast meetings and the occasional team lunch.

“Laser Spine Institute can be summed up in what we call our CHOICE values Care, Have fun, One team, Integrity, Commitment and Excellence. Those values extend to how we treat each other and the patients who visit our award-winning, accredited facility for minimally invasive spine surgery. Our organization has always fostered an environment that’s both fun and rewarding, two traits that have been incredibly influential in attracting and retaining the best and brightest in our industry,” said Bert Lindvall, executive director of the Oklahoma City office.


8. Chaparral Energy

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: chaparralenergy.com
Year Founded: 1988
Company Leader: CEO Mark Fischer
Status: Private
Employees in State: 618

As pioneering and independent as the state it calls home, Chaparral Energy is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. It is also the third largest oil producer in Oklahoma and, based on active projects, the third largest producer of carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery in the nation. The company’s activity at its North Burbank Unit in Osage County, Oklahoma, emphasizes that fact because it is the largest oil recovery unit in the state.

Chaparral offers 100% employer-paid health coverage, direct access to senior management and compressed workweeks with the office closing at noon on Fridays. To encourage wellness, the company has on-site health screenings, reimbursement for gym memberships and weight loss and smoking cessation programs. In addition to these offerings, Chaparral promotes community engagement with up to eight hours paid time off to volunteer throughout the year. Employees can use these hours mentoring schoolchildren or helping Habitat for Humanity.


9. Cancer Treatment
Centers of America

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Schaumburg, Illinois
Website: cancercenter.com
Year Founded: 1988
Company Leader: President and CEO Gerard van Grinsven
Status: Private
Employees in State: 870

One of the hallmarks that makes Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) unique is something it calls The Mother Standard® of care. How would you want your mother to be treated if she had cancer? When a business takes that kind of approach to caring for your loved ones, you know they’ve hired a highly qualified and compassionate team of individuals to support that kind of care.

CTCA in Tulsa has created a workforce that might resemble your family a little. It partners with numerous organizations and looks for diversity in candidates from varying ethnic and cultural backgrounds and those who are disabled, such as Hire Heroes, a program to assist disabled veterans with employment, and offers opportunities for those who have retired to return to employment.

“Cancer Treatment Centers of America is delighted to once again be named one of the best places to work in Oklahoma,” said Richard Haldeman, president and CEO of the Tulsa hospital. “We are committed to providing the Mother Standard of car to our patients, meaning we treat them the way we would treat our own loved ones. To be able to do this, we must first start with caring for our employees, who we call stakeholders. We know that if we give our stakeholders the freedom to go above and beyond, then they will be able to achieve greatness.”

It treats its employees as stakeholders and offers special benefits and incentives such as pet insurance, critical care, group accident and cancer insurance. It also has an Employee Assistance Program, a Work/Life Balance Program, concierge services, emergency travel assistance and flexible spending accounts. It has an on-site fitness center staffed with a personal trainer, a paved walking trail around the property and a Wellness Committee that meets monthly to create and implement new initiatives. In addition, every day, a personal trainer visits different departments to do Flash Classes (mini workout sessions).

It’s not a surprise when it comes to the company and its employees giving back to the community. A natural community partner is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Host Chefs for the Cure. The company has been a sponsor of those programs for 17 years. It also supports the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Light the Night and HopeWorks Community Outreach. It participates in quarterly campaigns such as a holiday toy drive, a food drive, a teddy bear and HUGS (hats, underwear, gloves and socks) drive, a coat drive and a back-to-school supply drive.


10. First United Bank

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Durant, Oklahoma
Website: firstunitedbank.com
Year Founded: 1900
Company Leader: CEO Greg Massey
Status: Private
Employees in State: 579

Promising to respect and honor their customers by helping them with their financial goals is part of the philosophy behind the success of First United. The stakeholder model is the backbone of its business practice. The stakeholders are its customers, employees, partners, communities and shareholders. The banking company is a full-service financial institution-serving customers needing checking and savings accounts, mortgage and commercial loans, wealth management and insurance.

Taking care of its employees so they can better care for their customers is a top priority at First United. The banking company has a comprehensive wellness program, and the corporate location has a fitness center. As part of the wellness program, employees can be reimbursed for gym memberships. First United also pays 100% of the monthly premium for its employees’ health, dental and life insurance.

It also has a wellness program called YouFirst, and employees are incentivized to participate in health promotional programs and wellness coaching. The program offers free health screenings and risk assessments, flu shots, access to the wellness web tool, educational seminars, sponsorship in community health events, an intense nutritional program and a tobacco cessation program.

It provides flexible work schedules for employees and gives them paid time off to volunteer. Among the many nonprofits the banking company supports annually, it participates in a program called Teach Children to Save. Employees go to local pubic schools and speak about financial responsibility.

“Our benefits package has many perks and our focus on wellness and giving back to our communities is very exciting. However, I truly believe it’s our employees, the values we strive to live each day and our desire to help one another and others spend life wisely that makes our organization such a great place to work,” said CEO Greg Massey.


11. First Fidelity Bank N.A.

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: ffb.com
Year Founded: 1920
Company Leader: President/CEO Lee Symcox
Status: Private
Employees in State: 314

As the third largest bank in Oklahoma, First Fidelity is locally owned and operated and has served clients in Oklahoma and Arizona for over 90 years. The company has more than $1 billion in assets and operates 23 offices in Oklahoma City, Norman, Midwest City, Moore, Mustang, Edmond, Noble and Tulsa in Oklahoma and Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale and Nogales in Arizona.

Some of the perks employees love are free banking services and reduced rates for personal loans. They also get free zoo passes and benefits such as free checks, travel perks and discounted movie tickets. And the bank’s foundation has stepped up to provide assistance during catastrophic disasters for employees and their families.

Additional perks include Otis Spunkmeyer cookies baked and served every Friday, closing early on Christmas Eve so employees can spend more quality time with their families and encouraging folks to sport clothing donning their favorite athletic team the day after Thanksgiving to celebrate what they call School Spirit Day.

Incentive programs come in the form of friendly competition between colleagues for client referrals, sales and the promotion of new services. Cool winnings include extra vacation time, iPads, trips, gift cards and more. And the new Enterprise Bonus Program links goal attainment with overall financial success and rewards employees through annual monetary bonuses.

Like most of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma, First Fidelity gives back to its community through a variety of ways and in 2013 donated $1,200 and over 450 pounds of food to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

“It is an honor to be named as a best place to work in Oklahoma for the fifth time, and we would not be here without our wonderful employees. As a family-owned and operated community bank based here in Oklahoma City, we know how important these hardworking members of our organization are to our clients. We are grateful for the opportunity to make an impact on the daily lives of our employees and, in turn, the clients they serve,” said President and CEO Lee Symcox.


12. Encompass Home Health

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
Website: ehhi.com
Year Founded: 1998
Company Leader: CEO April Anthony
Status: Private
Employees in State: 538

Providing “a better way to care” is the mission. Encompass is one of the largest Medicare-certified home health, hospice and pediatric service providers in the nation, with over 136 branch offices from Texas to Virginia. The company provides skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and additional services to over 60,000 individuals.

Employees exemplify the best in providing exceptional care and are equipped with state-of-the-art electronic records systems, extensive training and development, career advancement opportunities, comprehensive benefits packages and generous paid time off.

Encompass Cares is a reward program in which employees are awarded points for exemplary conduct and those points can be redeemed for merchandise or services. The company also has its own foundation that provides financial resources for employees to go on medical mission trips and to assist in employee hardships. And it has an educational center at its home office that offers online continuing education courses to clinical employees for licensing requirements.

Encompass Cares also helps other causes such as Habitat for Humanity, local fan and blanket drives, the March of Dimes and the American Cancer and Diabetes Foundations. In addition, its local offices will provide charity care to those less fortunate who are not covered by health insurance.

Encompass has a number of recognition programs highlighting employee professional excellence and promotes activities for fun, such as casual Fridays; team celebrations; and annual picnics with music, food and sporting event competitions. Formal recognition programs include Caregiver of the Year, Clinician of the Year and Ambassador of the Year. Award-winners are sent to an awards ceremony each year.


13. Diagnostic Laboratory
of Oklahoma

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: questdisgnostics.com
Year Founded: 1999
Company Leader: Managing Director Bill Mosteller
Status: Public
Employees in State: 705

Oklahomans serving Oklahomans. Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO), a business unit of Quest Diagnostics, employs 705 Oklahomans and provides medical laboratory management and services to over 2,000 physicians, hospitals and clinics throughout Oklahoma.

Not only does DLO provide employees excellent health care benefits such as free lab work, it also offers comprehensive health evaluations. In addition, DLO offers a program called the Goalsharing Bonus Plan. The program is based on establishing financial and performance objectives. With the Employee Referral Bonus program, all employees who refer a qualified candidate to work in the laboratory are eligible for a cash bonus. And the Management Incentive Program rewards management for achievements of company financial goals, individual objectives and business-driven results.

Diversity isn’t just something DLO strives for; the company is recognized for its efforts. It was selected to join a special AARP Foundation Featured Employer group because a large percentage of its employees are 50 or older.

And like most of the companies that made our Best Places to Work in Oklahoma list, giving back to the community is key to DLO’s success. It actively includes community giving in its recipe for success by supporting the American Cancer Society with a fundraising event called DLO-Cares. The event encompasses a bake sale, jeans day, bowling tournaments and cookouts. DLO also supports the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Regional Food Bank’s food drive for Thanksgiving by donating 1800 pounds of food annually and adopts families during the holiday season. Other nonprofits employees donate their time and resources to Oklahoma Blood Institute, Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life, which supports the American Cancer Society.

Healthy bodies equal healthy minds, and DLO offers its employees two wellness programs. The first, GLOBALFIT, provides a discounted fitness club membership to employees and their families, and the second, HealthyQuest, is a program in which employees can choose to participate in various plans to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some of the plans include tobacco cessation and weight management and nutrition.

When it comes to developing its future leaders, DLO offers employees personalized development plans that include mentoring, online coursework and leadership courses, and it even has a tuition reimbursement program. The DLO Tuition Reimbursement Plan reimburses employees 100% of college tuition for up to six hours each semester. Furthermore, DLO offers a scholarship loan program to encourage employees to enhance their education and skill set.

“I am extremely honored to have DLO named a Best Place to work in Oklahoma for the ninth consecutive year. This is a clear testament to how our entire organization pulls together as a family in good times and challenging times, how we respect each other and work as a team and how we put clients and their patients first. It’s a rewarding business, and that’s where the satisfaction begins,” said CEO and Managing Director Bill Mosteller.


14. Cintas Corporation

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Mason, Ohio
Website: cintas.com
Year Founded: 1929
Company Leader: CEO Scott Farmer
Status: Public
Employees in State: 360

Cintas Corporation designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs; entrance mats; restroom supplies; promotional products; first aid, safety and fire protection products and services; carpet and tile cleaning products; and document management services to more than one million businesses.

Headquartered in Mason, Ohio, Cintas is a publicly held company that operates more than 430 facilities in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. It has six manufacturing plants, nine distribution centers and over 30,000 employees.

What makes Cintas one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma and around the world is that it considers it employees its partners. And it takes every opportunity to celebrate its partners’ anniversaries, birthdays and special days like Mother’s and Father’s Day, among others. And for those celebrating 50-year anniversaries, Cintas literally rolls out the red carpet and treats its partners to a limo ride and a party with coworkers, friends and family.

Every month, Cintas provides partners fun activities and takes the opportunity to celebrate every holiday. It holds drawings for dinner and movie tickets, conducts Easter egg hunts and provides Valentine’s Day treats, just to name a few. And annually, it holds a Spirit Day, which celebrates its culture. During this event, Cintas’ founder, chairman of the board and CEO send a video message sharing the company’s evolution and future success with partners.

Cintas also considers a program it calls Partner Safety & Wellness Day a top priority. For example, to take care of its partners and partnering community, Cintas provided first aid supplies to the emergency response teams after the May 20 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. It just celebrated its 11th year on June 1.

In addition to great traditional benefits, Cintas holds an annual Go Red for Women Day to promote awareness and provide information on healthy lifestyles in the fight to prevent heart disease in women. The company also held its third annual Partners in Pink day, during which it served pink cupcakes and punch and scheduled mammograms to promote awareness for national Breast Cancer Awareness month. Information was provided to participants, and donations were made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. In addition to these community service initiatives, Cintas celebrated its 11th year of teaming up with Matthew 25 Ministries for Cintas kids’ clothing drive.

How do Cintas partners let their hair down? They have Just Because days during which the company serves nachos, root beer floats, popcorn and popsicles. During the summer months, Cintas holds monthly cookouts with dunk tanks, car washes and snow cones. And for the bedlam rivalry between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, partners can wear clothing supporting and representing their team.


15. 180 Medical

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: 180medical.com
Year Founded: 1996
Company Leader: President and CEO Todd Brown
Status: Private
Employees in State: 230

As one of America’s most knowledgeable, customer-focused and fastest growing providers of urinary catheters, ostomy and urologic medical supplies, 180 Medical is often used as a referral source for some of the top urologists, pediatric hospitals and rehabilitation facilities in the world.

Founder and CEO Todd Brown had experienced a motocross injury 18 years ago and had difficulty adjusting to daily routines after rehab. Brown experienced painful recurring urinary tract infections from catheters and set out to create a better product. Brown is not the only one in his company to have experienced disability and the challenges that encompass day-to-day activities; many staff members are sufferers of spinal cord injuries, and the company provides whatever equipment is needed for them to perform their duties.

Its no wonder the staff gets its inspiration and compassion from Brown leading the way. It treats each member of its team like family, and its team, in turn, treats its customers the same way. Additionally, all team members give back to their community. Each spring, they hold fundraisers benefitting disabled athletes and adopt disadvantaged families during the holidays.

Some of the things that make the working environment at 180 Medical great are Fun Favorites Fridays, Spinning the Prize Wheel and half-day Fridays. Employees are treated to ice cream, cupcakes, pretzels and more when the company has met its goal for the week, and if it meets more than 125% of its goal, employees get to spin for prizes.

The company also incentivizes its employees with an excellent benefit package, casual work attire, free snacks and beverages, workout facilities and a basketball court. Other unique incentives for the employees are Biggest Loser-inspired weight loss challenges, a Ping-Pong table and paid time off to provide on-site relief for disaster victims.

“Making the Best Places to Work list is such an honor because it’s based on what our employees say about us, not what we say,” said Sharon Hodnett, director of human resources. “Seventy-five percent of the overall score is based on an anonymous employee survey, so coming out of the survey with an employee engagement/satisfaction score that puts us with the best of the best in Oklahoma is something we’re incredibly proud of.”


16. Chickasaw Nation
Industries, Inc

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Norman, Oklahoma
Website: www.chickasaw.com
Year Founded: 1996
Company Leader: CEO David Nimmo
Status: Private
Employees in State: 637

As the leading provider of information technology and professional services for the federal government, Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc. (CNI) is known for its customer care. Maybe that’s because CNI takes care of its employees and, in turn, they take care of their customers by providing proven solutions for optimizing program and project performance. In fact, CNI has been ranked among Washington Technology’s top 100 lists for the past three years.

“It is a great honor to be selected as a finalist for Best Places to Work in Oklahoma. Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc. strives to create an environment that encourages decision-making at all levels and rewards innovation and hard work. Our employees are committed to the success of our company. They are empowered to provide ‘service without reservation’ to all of our customers; both federal and commercial. Most importantly, they support each other and, in so doing, create a work environment second to none,” said David Nimmo, CEO.

Some of the things CNI implements to keep its employees happy are paid time off for community service efforts, Taco Truck Day and holiday parties with prizes. And in terms of the community service initiatives, CNI participates in United Way’s Day of Caring, Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake and Susan B. Komen’s Race for the Cure.

To encourage health and happiness, the company has walking trails on campus, and its break room facilities double as a yoga studio. Employees can earn up to $175 in gift cards for completing health assessments and related activities. The company also provides an employer-sponsored Employee Assistance Program, which provides family and financial counseling and assistance for specific conditions such as substance abuse, smoking and gambling. The program also includes time management and financial education seminars, classes and workshops.

A really fun and original program called Innovation Nation provides employees public recognition and “spot awards” for identifying practices that improve customer relations and boost morale. In addition, the Wow! program allows peers, managers and senior leaders to publically reward and acknowledge employees for exceptional customer service.


17. First American Title
Insurance Company

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Santa Ana, California
Website: firstam.com
Year Founded: 1889
Company Leader: Senior Vice President, Direct Operations Monica Wittrock
Status: Public
Employees in State: 250

Founded in Santa Ana, California, in 1889, First American Title Insurance Company has a long history and notable expertise. What began as a small, independent abstract company now employs thousands worldwide and offers a broad range of products and services in real estate and mortgage. Through its subsidiaries, the company offers title insurance, settlement services, property data and analytics, title data and technology, property and casualty insurance products, home warranty services and other services.

Employees at First American enjoy educational opportunities, training and professional licensing provided by the company. They also get recognized at birthday and employment anniversary dates and are provided state-of-the art equipment to produce their work.

With educational opportunities, employees engage in strategic teambuilding workshops in which they can exchange ideas and get to know peers. First American incentivizes workers by a number of plans, including an Annual Incentive Plan that rewards members of management based on performance objectives over a one-year period for an award opportunity expressed as a percent of their base salary or target plan.

The Commission Incentive Plan rewards employees who contribute to creating profitable business, and incentives are paid monthly. The Production Bonus Plan focuses on the operational aspect of the business and rewards employees for completing production goals. Bonuses for this program are paid monthly and quarterly.

In terms of community involvement, these folks participate in Toys for Tots, the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank’s food drive and United Way. And for fun, First American encourages group walking around the building in the afternoon, celebrates holidays with costumes and gift exchanges and conducts morning “huddle” meetings to share motivational stories, games and contests.

“At First American, our business is based on people, and we believe people want to make a difference. We look for people that believe every transaction, every service, and every agreement is important. Then, we try to create an environment that allows our people to do the best work of their careers. More often than not, this translates into high performance, customer experiences that exceed expectations, and a great place to work,” said Monica Wittrock, senior vice president and Oklahoma state manager.


Small/Medium Companies

1. Foundation Medical Staffing

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah
Website: foundationmedicalstaffing.com
Year Founded: 1999
Company Leader: Director Matt Rice
Status: Private
Employees in State: 25

Teamwork, dedication, respect, personal accountability and integrity sum up characteristics of the Foundation Medical Staffing (FMS) group. Since it’s founding in 1999, FMS has been specializing in dialysis services. Leading the industry, its nurses, technicians and renal dieticians give clients confidence and care because services are delivered with utmost expertise and a personal touch.

Moreover, in terms of employment, FMS recruiters seek out, find and match their skilled medical professionals with the client in mind. Every step of the way, FMS guides its staff and clientele on the latest opportunities available and market conditions, ensuring a successful relationship.

It takes into account the special requests and needs of its experts and clientele, taking a first-class approach to service and knowledge of all professional assignments. With this top-notch attitude, FMS employees radiate an expert and positive approach in all they do.


2. TBS Factoring Service

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: tbsfactoring.com
Year Founded: 1968
Company Leader: CEO/Managing Member Wood Kaufman
Status: Private
Employees in State: 96

Rooted in the transportation industry, TBS Factoring Service began working with independent truckers through Truckers Bookkeeping Service, a compliance company providing permitting and fuel tax reporting services. Later in 1998, after the success of the  service, TBS Insurance Agency was created to focus on providing the best insurance protection tailored to the trucking industry’s unique needs with no costly extras. Then, in 2004, TBS Factoring Service was formed. This family-owned group of companies became the one-stop shop for independent trucking companies by providing simple and flexible cash flow solutions with freight bill factoring.

What makes TBS unique is it tailors its coverage to the needs of the trucking industry and offers easy payment plans. TBS is widely respected and recommended by industry experts for being a one-stop shop for transportation needs. In the company’s own words, it is without “gimmicks” and offers customers compliance, insurance and freight bill factoring solutions that are straightforward with a variety of cash flow products to suit small and large business needs.

Overall, TBS employees make the difference by offering friendly and prompt personal service freeing independent truckers from paperwork and typical office constraints. In addition, because TBS is family-owned and operated, it maintains a family culture, fair prices and 50 years’ experience serving independent truckers.

“As a family business serving family businesses, we try to be the kind of company where people enjoy coming to work every day, where everyone feels they are part of something exciting, and feel valued for their individual and team contributions. We work very hard, but we have a lot of fun along the way. I think that’s important,” said Wood Kaufman, managing member.


3. Paragon Films

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Website: paragonfilms.com
Year Founded: 1988
Company Leader: CEO Mike Baab
Status: Private
Employees in State: 124

Stretching minds and film, Paragon’s success is worldwide. Founded in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, in 1988, the company is an industry leader servicing locations in Canada, Mexico and South America as well as all 50 states. Since 1988, in addition to the plant in Broken Arrow, the company has opened two new ones in Taylorsville, North Carolina, and Union Gap, Washington State. It is also one of the top five producers of volume stretch film in the U.S.

What makes Paragon one of the top five producers is its recipe of innovative ability, cutting-edge technology and a highly skilled workforce led by visionary Mike Baab. And what makes it a great place to work are several bonus programs in place to reward employees, group fitness classes, healthy vending options and unique communication practices such as Coaches Corner, a quarterly meeting with a Q&A session with Baab.

The company also has flexible hours, an employee assistance program providing family counseling, workshops and seminars. And on special projects for which employees travel extensively, the company rewards them with an all-expenses-paid vacation.

They have fun as a group and relieve stress by participating in costume contests, summer picnics, holiday parties, March Madness events and team-building activities such as deep-sea fishing. Many of these events are open to employees’ families as well.


4. Citywide Mortgage

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Moore, Oklahoma
Website: citywide-loans.com
Year Founded: 2000
Company Leader: President Vernon McKown
Status: Private
Employees in State: 25

Keeping customers happy throughout the home-buying process is Citywide Mortgage’s aim. Keeping employees happy throughout the workday is how Citywide keeps its customers happy. The organization is a full-service mortgage company handling purchasing and refinancing transactions from conventional home loans to rural development loans. It originates, processes, underwrites and closes loans in-house and was created to ensure a smooth, simple, enjoyable process for employees and customers alike.

“Citywide Mortgage is a locally owned, hometown lender. We care about our employees and their families. We promote a happy and healthy atmosphere. It is very important to our team to make the borrower’s dream of home ownership come true,” said Johnnell Jones, vice president of sales.

Some of the perks that keep Citywide employees happy are generous vacation time, leadership by coaching and profit sharing. Moreover, not only do full-time employees enjoy profit sharing but also full- and part-time employees get discounts toward new home purchases, and those discounts are extended to family and friends. The company also has performance-based bonus programs for employees who meet file-processing and loan-closing objectives.

Keeping the community happy is another goal of Citywide and its employees. It participates in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and United Way’s Day of Caring and also holds annual fundraising activities for United Way. Citywide employees choose organizations that they are passionate about and see their involvement as a reinvestment in the community.

So how do Citywide employees blow off steam and promote fun? Good, old-fashioned endorphin-producing activities. They participate in company softball games and golf tournaments. Citywide also rewards its employees with parties, including cookouts and birthday celebrations.


5. Nextep Inc.

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Norman, Oklahoma
Website: nextep.com
Year Founded: 1997
Company Leader: Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Brian Fayak
Status: Private
Employees in State: 49

Nextep Inc. is dedicated to taking small business to a playing field of Fortune 500 companies. Founded by Chief Visionary Officer Brian Fayak, the company has grown to be one of the top professional employer industry organizations with clients in 37 states. As a professional employer organization, it acts as an offsite human resource department for small to medium businesses and manages their key employee-related functions such as payroll, employee benefits, tax and HR compliance and worker’s comp.

Personal touches and unique employee solutions give Nextep the edge over competitors. The company conveys personal touches to its employees by providing a breakroom with a Wii, a quiet room, a nursing room and a coffee bar. It has fun themed events such as the Purple Cow event, a month-long celebration to promote excellent customer service, and meetings outside the workplace environment.

“I left a publicly-traded PEO in 1996 with a dream of doing it differently. My goal was to give my clients the best of both worlds the benefits and state-of-the-art technology that large companies have to offer and the personal service and flexibility that smaller companies deliver. We’ve grown over the years, and we’ll continue to grow, but I’ve never lost sight of that dream. It’s still what I’m passionate about today,” said Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Brian Fayak.


6. InterWorks

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Stillwater, Oklahoma
Website: interworks.com
Year Founded: 1996
Company Leader: CEO/President Behfar Jahanshahi
Status: Private
Employees in State: 87

Proud to say they hire nerds, clarifying that they don’t mean the ones you see in the classic ’80s movies, InterWorks hires people who don’t just enjoy but love technology, building websites and coding software. Some of the perks employees enjoy include free drinks, dual-screen monitors, Ping-Pong competitions and video games projected on a big wall. How cool is that for a bunch of nerds? Other perks include great insurance, free ice cream, flexible work schedules, free gym membership, pool and foosball tables, in-office massages, an espresso bar and amazing social gatherings. Not only do employees benefit from working at such a fun place, their families do too! Families of employees enjoy free gym, museum and zoo memberships as well.

Established in 1996, InterWorks started with computer networking and technical support. As the needs of its clients grew and fluctuated, so did the services InterWorks provided, reaching out into web strategy, business intelligence and software, mobile app development, CIO services and online marketing.

The company is now a comprehensive  IT services and business solutions provider offering support and an amazing, fun, hardworking team of experienced consultants and technicians dedicated to providing quality service to InterWorks clients all over the country and around the world.

InterWorks isn’t fun and games all the time. It has a compassionate side and dedicates itself to serving in the communities it works in with projects that involve child advocacy and education. Its employees serve as board members and volunteers to many organizations such as the Payne County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

“InterWorks has always been made up of talented, hardworking people who love what they do and have fun doing it,” said CEO Behfar Jahanshahi. “This statement best defines our company culture and if that ever changed, we’d close the doors and find something else to do.”


7. Ideal Homes of Norman LP

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Norman, Oklahoma
Website: ideal-homes.com
Year Founded: 1990
Company Leader: President of Sales and Co-Owner Vernon McKown
Status: Private
Employees in State: 102

Dreaming of your ideal workplace? Well you no longer have to dream because the team of experts at Ideal Homes will make your dreams a reality. The company began in 1990 with two college buddies, Vernon McKown and Todd Booze, and Vernon’s father Gene, who is a longtime expert in the real estate industry. What began as a few homes has exploded into an empire making Ideal the No. 1 builder for Oklahoma families. To date, that’s about 8,000 homes.

“The foundation of our company is the people who work here. Each day, I’m amazed by the teamwork that I see from our staff and the desire to build the American dream for our homeowners,” said Co-owner and President of Sales Vernon McKown.

Just some of the aspects of why employees love to work for Ideal Homes include Bring Your Kids to Work Day; chili cook-offs; and good, old-fashioned family hoedowns that include pony rides, hay rides and music. In addition, the company also holds softball tournaments, which make for afternoons of friendly competition and snow cones.

Each year, the company has a kick-off party at which employees enjoy a hearty breakfast and slideshow showcasing the prior year’s successes. Employees also enjoy discounts on new home purchases and can participate in profit sharing and be recognized and awarded cash prizes on a quarterly basis

A common characteristic shared by many of the Best Places to Work companies is giving back to the communities they serve. Ideal Homes is no exception. Their three top community service initiatives include United Way and its highly recognized Day of Caring program and the American Cancer Society.


8. BIS

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Edmond, Oklahoma
Website: bisok.com
Year Founded: 1986
Company Leader: President and CEO Dan Rotelli
Status: Private
Employees in State: 57

Making connections of all kinds — people, processes and data — BIS was founded to make information more accessible, usable and secure. As an IT consulting and services company, it performs a multitude of processes, taking the worry and headache out of operations and providing business continuity and security in the management of information.

However, the best tool in its box is its people. BIS recruits and retains the brightest and best by providing monthly bonuses and, during the holidays, Segways to get around and give tours of the office. It also offers company-paid gym and boot camp memberships and a referral program for new hires.

BIS recognizes its sales person of the year, offers free or discounted tickets to local family entertainment or sporting events and shares its season tickets to the University of Oklahoma football and Thunder games with employees.

The company provides a real playground-type atmosphere. In addition to the Segways, BIS provides skateboards for riding and footballs for tossing around the warehouse, video games and a community pavilion complete with a grill.

When the employees are not hard at work or blowing off some steam on a Segway, they donate their time to key charities such as Oklahoma Blood Institute and Sunbeam House Golf Tournament.


9. MassMutual Oklahoma

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: oklahoma.massmutual.com
Year Founded: 1851
Company Leader: General Agent Mark Burson
Status: Cooperative
Employees in State: 90

Serving more than 35,000 clients in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, MassMutual Oklahoma is a wealth management organization focusing on the long-term needs of its clientele. Along with MassMutual, the agency is committed to helping its clients meet their financial needs, protecting family and business and building predictable retirement income and the security of mind that its clients will be prepared for the future.

MassMutual’s employees help their clients achieve these goals by celebrating success, being open to growth and new ideas and being flexible. And there are many reasons for its employees to celebrate. The company holds annual picnics, awards banquets and staff parties and contests.

The organization gives back to the community as a show of commitment to the cities it serves. MassMutual Oklahoma is a member of the State Chamber of Oklahoma and some of its affiliates. It is also actively involved with United Way, the American Red Cross and Make-A-Wish Foundation, just to name a few.

“What we can offer you goes beyond financial services. We listen to what you have and put your interest first. We work as a team in pursuit of your financial goals. Back when business was done on a handshake, collaborations like this were common. Mush has changed since those days, but we believe what was true then is true now we’re more likely to succeed if we do so together,” said General Agent Mark Burson.


10. Southern Oklahoma
Technology Center

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Ardmore, Oklahoma
Website: sotc.edu
Year Founded: 1966
Company Leader: Superintendent David Powell
Status: Educational Institution
Employees in State: 92

Nestled between the Red River and the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains is the school district that is home to Southern Oklahoma Technology Center (SOTC). For 48 years, SOTC has provided quality service to its customers with exceptional adult education and training. SOTC offers state-of-the-art equipment, modern classrooms and highly qualified instructors.

SOTC serves 13 school districts and three dependent school districts in southern Oklahoma. The educational institution offers 68 majors in 9 career clusters. Its Business and Industry Services classes provide quality organizational development and technical training to businesses, and its Adult Career Development Services provide courses designed for adults desiring to update or develop new career skills.

In addition to great employee benefits, SOTC offers its employees physical fitness classes in its Physical Therapy Lab, and a designated Wellness Committee has collaborated with Carter County Turning Point Coalition, at ShapeYourFutureOK.com, to add signs marking paths and mileage for the inside/outside walking trails on campus. SOTC also offers healthy menu choices in its cafeteria with caloric counts as well.

“I have never been more proud of our staff at SOTC. Their passion for our mission and their professional character has consistently put us as one of the most desirable places to work in Southern Oklahoma. It is with great honor that okc.BIZ has once again recognized us as one of the best places to work in the state of Oklahoma,” said David Powell, superintendent of SOTC.


11. GableGotwals

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Website: gablelaw.com
Year Founded: 1919
Company Leader: President Sidney Swinson
Status: Private
Employees in State: 149

Oil and gas, banking, bankruptcy, securities and finance, construction, real estate, mergers and acquisitions are just some of the many fields of special expertise this full-service law firm offers. Whether you’re inquiring about the laws of intellectual property or Indian and gaming issues, environmental tax or employment law, GableGotwals is the go-to firm.

With offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, GableGotwals has the talent of almost 90 attorneys at its fingertips. The firm offers services dealing in the general practice of civil law on both the litigation and transactional front. And the company is known beyond its Oklahoma borders. GableGotwals represent Fortune 500 corporations, entrepreneurs, privately owned companies, foundations and individuals. Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Oklahoma Super Lawyers and Benchmark Litigation as well as many others have recognized it.

Some of the advantages employees appreciate working for GableGotwals include the environment and office space, great benefits with out-of-pocket expense reimbursement and employee celebrations throughout the year. It also gives performance-based annual bonuses, and for revenue-producing staff, bonuses can be reflective of intangible contributions such as community service, business development and mentoring others.

In regard to community service, GableGotwals is the leading donor of all Oklahoma firms to Legal Aid and gives hundreds of hours in pro bono work for Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, CASA, Oklahoma Lawyers for Children and the University of Tulsa Boesche Legal Clinic.

Its lawyers don’t always have their noses in legal briefs and books; they also enjoy a healthy work/life balance with four-day workweeks, no overtime and monthly employee social events such as chili cook-offs and ice cream socials.

“What makes GableGotwals a best place to work is our people. We have a very positive and supportive culture because we have people who truly care about each other. We focus on making sure we celebrate not only our work successes but also personal milestones, such as birthdays, weddings, births, work anniversaries, etc. As a result, we have very low turnover amongst our attorneys and staff because we are co-workers and friends,” said Sidney Swinson, president.


12. Wymer Brownlee

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Enid, Oklahoma
Website: wymerbrownlee.com
Year Founded: 1969
Company Leader: CEO Kyle Brownlee
Status: Private
Employees in State: 68

Inspiring “true wealth” one client, one family and one business at a time is the mission of Wymer Brownlee. Providing tax and financial services, the team at Wymer Brownlee focuses on eight wealth management issues, including investment, management, cash flow and debt management, insurance, retirement planning, education planning, legacy planning, business planning and special situations. In terms of business consulting and planning, there are eight components that Wymer Brownlee uses fiscal and asset management, human resources, marketing, culture, client experience, operations, IT and administration.

So what makes Wymer Brownlee a Best Place to Work in Oklahoma? Well, for one, its employees benefit from a quarterly profit-sharing bonus. All employees who refer an employee for an open position earn a $1,000 bonus. And the company rewards veteran employees with awards and financial bonuses beginning at the five-year mark and each five years after.

One unique aspect of the company is something it calls its WOW wall. The wall of wow, located on the company’s intranet, gives employees an opportunity to post stories and give kudos to fellow employees and customers. Those who are mentioned the most on the wall receive awards at the company’s annual banquet. Wymer Brownlee offers free coffee, tea and water to its employees and rewards them at the end of tax season with closing the office and scheduling golf and spa day outings. These activities promote wellness for everyone too.

“At Wymer Brownlee, we work with each other—not for the company—to take care of our clients and provide exceptional service each day. Our internal culture and philosophies rival none,” Aaron Brownlee, president and COO of Wymer Brownlee, said. “Our work environment is validating, encouraging and empowering with great energy and opportunity. We are grateful to be a part of this adventure and work diligently to maintain our unique culture as we continue to grow.”


13. Industrial Controls
of Oklahoma

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Website: ico-inc.com
Year Founded: 1980
Company Leader: Manager Mike Huckaby
Status: Private
Employees in State: 85

Powering business is the business of Industrial Controls of Oklahoma (ICO), LLC. Founded in 1980 to provide electrical construction services on small, skid-mounted oil field equipment, the company quickly gained a reputation for delivering quality work on difficult projects. As an industrial electrical contractor, it now furnishes electrical construction services to large corporate customers in northeast Oklahoma.

As the company began handling larger projects, it grew and its mission became “Powering business – Empowering people.” ICO empowers its employees by helping them build their careers, teaching them skills that will allow them to grow and tackle ever more challenging projects.

“We want ICO to be a place where people want to build their career for the long-term. To reach this goal, we are intentionally creating the culture, programs and training that will help people reach and expand their full potential,” explained Manager Mike Huckaby.

Employees at ICO enjoy four-day workweeks with flexible time off, an annual ICO day at a Tulsa Driller’s baseball game and an annual holiday party at the Hard Rock Hotel. They also get paid time off to volunteer with the company’s community service partners such as Rebuilding Together Tulsa, which assists low-income homeowners with repairs, allowing them to live in safe and secure homes. In addition, employees receive tool discounts and reimbursements.

ICO provides an apprenticeship-training program called ICO University. Through the program, the company covers all aspects of training, including technical, management and safety, and has an accredited electrical apprenticeship program consisting of a four-year education program to teach employees the skills they need to advance in the electrical trade. It also offers tuition reimbursement for college to assist employees in furthering their education.


14. NFP Maschino,
Hudelson & Associates

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: mha-ins.com
Year Founded: 2002
Company Leader: President J. Kelly Hudelson
Status: Private
Employees in State: 36

Enhancing the lives of your employees while developing benefit programs that maintain a competitive difference is what the team at NFP Maschino, Hudelson & Associates does daily. Having the right benefits can help companies recruit and retain better employees. NFP Maschino, Hudelson & Associates can support businesses navigating the complex world of compliance and regulatory as well as designing comprehensive services tailor-made for any business.

It can do these expert tasks because it recruits and retains the best professionals. The company’s employees enjoy flexible work schedules, quarterly bonus programs, creative wellness offerings and rewards as well as employee appreciation days. And like its fellow Best Places to Work in Oklahoma recipients, many of the company’s team members participate in community service initiatives such as Junior Achievement, which empowers young people to win their economic success, and Oklahoma County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Several of the company’s employees serve as volunteers on these boards and many others.

How do these benefit specialists have fun? They toast glasses or mugs at coffee bar and wine tastings; they have impromptu celebrations with ice cream socials, smoothie bars, cookies and cupcakes; and they enjoy the coveted chair massage

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our workplace practices. NFP Maschino, Hudelson & Associates provides the kind of culture that fosters personal and professional growth. We believe and have seen when our employees are happy and enjoy their jobs, company success will be inevitable,” said J. Kelly Hudelson, principal.


15. Vox Printing

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: voxprint.com
Year Founded: 1971
Company Leader: CEO LaVerna Reid
Status: Private
Employees in State: 72

Serving a niche market and providing competitive pricing are not the only reasons Vox Printing is successful. Its employees’ personal relationships with its customers have set Vox above its competitors.

Since 1971, this printing juggernaut has been leading the competition in printing materials — including trayliners, placemats, coupons, direct mail pieces and newspaper inserts along with promotional inserts and bag stuffers — for quick-service restaurants. It has also expanded its business to include the production of folding cartons and expect business to grow in this area over the next couple of years.

Family comes first at Vox Printing, and yearly bonuses help families. Employees get a yearly bonus of $1,000 if the company meets its goals, which it has for the last several years. It also holds celebrations, parties and events to commemorate important milestones. One such event is Days Without An Accident Celebrations. If the company goes a year with a reportable accident, employees are treated to a special dinner. And to help through the rough patches, the company employs a chaplain who makes weekly visits and assists employees who might be dealing with personal issues.

Since some of Vox Printings largest customers are quick-service restaurants, it seems natural that its president and CEO serve on the board of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Many at the company help financially support the houses through fundraising activities. Several of Vox’s employees are leaders in the Boy Scouts of America and let the nonprofit use their 70-acre campus to have campouts and training.

“Our company is a best place to work in Oklahoma because we recognize the value of our employees. Our employees are the reason we are one of the most productive printing companies in the national and why we have relationships with many of our customers that go back decades. We appreciate our employees and do what we can to make sure the time they spend at work is enjoyable and rewarding. Our culture statement is we enjoy working and are enjoyable to work with,” said David Reid, president.

When it comes to wellness and health, Vox takes the cake. They have a workout room, a brand-new state-of-the-art racquetball court, a disc golf course, softball fields, walking paths and a playground for the little ones. One of its employees is a certified boot camp instructor and offers classes two days a week. Vox pays half of gym membership fees as well as marathon and half marathon entry fees. And if the exercise doesn’t relieve the stressors of the day, the company participates in Mardi Gras and Halloween celebrations as well as Fantasy Football and Thunder games.


16. Integrated
Business Technologies

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Website: ibtsupport.com
Year Founded: 2007
Company Leader: President Eric Kehmeier
Status: Private
Employees in State: 30

Integrated Business Technologies (IBT) has a goal of helping other small businesses grow and move forward with the philosophy that “we’re all in this together.” And the company takes that approach as a team with its employees.

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).

IBT offers services to businesses to outsource IT, project implementation, business telephone systems and product sales. For most clients, outsourcing IT enables them to focus on business and clients. With project implementation, jobs can be simple or complex, such as installing a new computer or merging networks into one. IBT’s telephone systems can decrease costs when properly designed to integrate with other communication systems.

So how does IBT keep its techy employees happy? It’s not as complicated as you might think. They have fun with monthly birthday lunch celebrations; get chair massages twice a month; have options for standing and ergonomic workstations; enjoy access to pool foosball tables, treadmills and elliptical; and get random surprises like afternoon ice cream, food truck lunches and gift certificates for going above and beyond. IBT has also been known to send its account managers out for pedicures and golf.


17. Blusource

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Guthrie, Oklahoma
Website: blusource.com
Year Founded: 1992
Company Leader: CEO and Owner Steve Hatfield
Status: Private
Employees in State: 26

Since 1992, Blusource’s mission as a distribution organization has been to acquire excess inventories of companies and distribute those goods at a much lower cost to nonprofits. The company strives to provide nonprofits with high-quality products at the lowest possible fees. And due to Blusource’s ability to work as a friendly conduit between companies and nonprofits, the needs of the people the nonprofits serve are met.

Blusource not only makes a business practice out of ultimately providing needed goods to an underserved population, it practices with a sense of duty to service those in need. It gives employees 30 hours of paid time off for service or mission trips. This sense of giving back carries over into its community initiatives such as providing backpacks to the Maisha Orphanage in Kenya and contributing to the Lyric Understudies Program in Oklahoma City.

However, it’s not all about serving the needs of others; it’s also about serving the needs of its employees with a four-day work week in a fun and relaxed work environment, an onsite workout room and food trucks that cater lunches throughout the summer months. Blusource also provides back-to-school supplies for all of its employees’ children.


18. Public Strategies

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U.S. Corporate Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website: publicstrategies.com
Year Founded: 1990
Company Leader: President/CEO Mary Myrick
Status: Private
Employees in State: 97

Celebrating diversity, strengthening families and promoting child welfare initiatives are just some of the objectives Public Strategies has accomplished though its strategic planning and project management. The company’s portfolio includes the National Marriage Resource Center, the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative and Family Expectations and Urban Services.

These projects are carried out by a diverse group of individuals from various professional backgrounds with a common vision that includes people, passion, portfolio, partners and productivity. Public Strategies rewards its employees with summer work hours, gym memberships for employees and their families and wonderful holiday celebrations. Employees also get free tickets to community events and downtown paid parking. On-site perks include food trucks in the summer and popcorn Wednesdays.

The company’s three top community initiatives are mentoring schoolchildren at Edwards Elementary, working with different affiliations and programs in northeast Oklahoma City and Light the Night, which supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Wellness efforts also make Public Strategies a great place to work. The company offers Weight Watcher memberships, a newsletter focusing on healthy practices and lifestyles, onsite immunizations and YMCA memberships. And what better way to root and support morale and team spirit than Thunder Celebration Days? When the Oklahoma City Thunder is in the playoffs, employees are encouraged to wear their best Thunder gear.

“We are delighted to be named one of the best places to work in Oklahoma for the fifth time, but the greatest honor is to be surrounded by such a diverse and talented team of individuals committed to the work we do helping others reach their full potential. Way to go Public Strategies Team,” said Sammy Norvell Cravens, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

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