Chicago honors its ‘Best and Brightest’ companies

Every company wants to build an organizational environment that, from a workplace standpoint, sets it apart from other companies.

Hundreds of companies who’ve done just that – according to the people who work for them – convened at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel Sept. 16 for the 2019 “Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” celebration, honoring those companies who’ve done it the best.

It was the first time the event was hosted in downtown Chicago. In keeping with the “Wake Up With the Stars” theme, attendees were greeted with mimosas and red-carpet interviews from long-standing and some first-time winners.

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The event drew more than 450 attendees, including some there for the Best and Brightest National Summit, featuring seven exhibitors, with a chance to network with guests and hear the panel and keynote speaker.

The event honored 176 companies, including 33 first-time winners.

Best and Brightest Companies to Work For President/CEO Jennifer Kluge moderated the panel, which included:

  • Tony Chimino, president/CEO of Assurance – Insurance Agency of Chicago, a 14-year winner, seven-time national winner and 10-time elite winner.
  • Jennifer Dean, President and CEO of Dean’s Professional Services – Staffing firm out of Houston, Texas, an eight-year Houston winner and four-time Houston elite recipient.
  • Heather Baker, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner at Southwest Michigan First – Economic Development firm, a seven-year national Best and Brightest winner, eight-year West Michigan winner, eight-time West Michigan elite recipient and five-year Michigan Wellness winner; and
  • Tracy Hagen, Human Resources Director – Great Lakes Region for Turner Construction, a national Best and Brightest winner, 12-year Chicago winner, eight-time Chicago elite recipient, 12-year Metro Detroit winner, four-time Metro Detroit elite recipient, and an Atlanta Best and Brightest winner.

The panel’s discussion centered around statistics and strategies to improve the trust between leadership and their team, developing the talent within, alternatives to performance reviews, and refreshing your recruitment process.

Ignite Keynote speaker, Dr. Gustavo Grodnitzky, author of “Culture Trumps Everything: The Unexpected Truth about the Ways Environment Changes Biology, Psychology, and Behavior,” was dynamic and inspiring to the audience.

Event organizers said everyone “left the ballroom feeling like he touched their souls. We received raved reviews of his presentation on how leaders have the opportunity to shape their cultures in ways that foster positive outcomes for all stakeholders.”

Judy Hsu of ABC 7 Chicago and Pat Cassidy of WBBM radio served as Mistress and Master of Ceremony for the awards, which incorporated movie themes from “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Grease” and “Rocky” with music to coincide with the groups.

Following are the 2019 Chicago elite winners and a list of all of this year’s Best and Brightest Companies:

ELITE WINNERS

Communication and Shared Vision
Echo Global Logistics

Community Initiatives
Assurance

Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions
FONA International, Inc.

Diversity and Inclusion
Milhouse Engineering and Construction, Inc.

Employee Achievement and Recognition
MotherG

Employee Education and Development
TransTech

Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention
MONDO

Recruitment, Selection and Orientation
CoSourcing Partners

Strategic Company Performance
LaSalle Network

Work/Life Balance
Procuretechstaff

The Best of the Best Small Business
CKL Engineering

The Best of the Best Medium Business
Turner Construction

The “Best of the Best” Overall Category
Paylocity

Winners:

3Red Partners

Accelerated Growth Advisors

ACE Hardware

Adage Technologies

Aldi

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Society of Anesthesiologists

Aras Global Inc.

Arco Murray National Construction

Arlington Resources, Inc.

Arrow Strategies

ArrowStream

Aspire Chicago

Assurance

Automated Business Designs

Barton Malow

BCDVideo

BDO USA LLP

Blue Plate Catering

Bosch Rexroth

Brilliant

bswift LLC

BuildThis

Burwood Group, Inc.

C-4 Analytics

Call One

CapGrow Partners

CAPSIM Management Simulations

CBIZ

Chicago Marketing Inc.

City Staffing

CKL Engineers LLC

Comcast

Conway MacKenzie

Coplan + Crane

CoSourcing Partners

COTG

Daughterty Business Solutions

Demo Duck

Dialogtech

Digital Third Coast

Digitas

Donlen

Dragon Spears

Ecentria Group

Echo Global Logistics

Echogravity

EdLong

Emkay Inc.

EngTal LLC

Entara

Evention LLC

Fastmore Logistics

Flexco

FONA International

Framework Communications

Fusion92

Gallant Construction Company

Geneca LLC

Genesis Technologies

Ghafari Associates LLC

GoHealth

Grand Prairie Services

Harley Ellis Devereaux

Healthcare Financial Resources

HealthScape Advisors LLC

Helping Hand Center

Honigman LLP

HydraForce

Ikonix USA LLC

ImagIT Solutions

Impact Networking LLC

Infinity Consulting Solutions

Inspirant Group

Institute of Food Technologists

International Contractors, Inc.

Jonathan Wesley, Inc.

KDM Engineering

KemperLesnik

Kenway Consulting

KForce Professional Staffing

Kutchins, Robbins and Diamond, Ltd.

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

Lakeshore Recycling Systems

LaSalle Network

Loberg Construction

Loma Systems

Lyons Consulting Group

Magnet360

Manifest LLC

Medix

Meeting Tomorrow

Merchants Fleet

Milhouse Engineering and Construction, Inc.

Mondo

Mortenson Construction

MotherG

Motivation Excellence

Mutual Trust Life Insurance Company

North American Polymer Company

National Futures Association

Navigate Research

Neighborhoods.com

Next College Student Athlete

Nitel

NOW Health Group, Inc.

NVISIA

Office Revolution

Olson Agencies – American Income Life

Omron Automation

Omron Healthcare

Origami Risk

Parasol Alliance

Payformance Solutions

Paylocity

PBD Worldwide

Pepper Group

Perficient

Phaidon International

Plexus Corp.

ProcureTechStaff

Power-Reviews

Premier International Enterprises

Prince Castle

Proliant Inc.

Prominence Advisors

Protiviti

Rabine Group

Rational Cooking Systems

Red Caffeine

Redwood Logistics

Reinhart Foodservice

Resolution Media

Revenue-Well

Riskonnect, Inc.

Royal Cyber

SALO LLC

Schuler Scholar Program

Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores, Inc.

Service Express

Seismic Software

Shop Smart LLC

Shure, Inc.

Signature Bank-Chicago

Skender

SMBHD

Soliant Consulting

Solstice

Spider Rock

Starcom USA

Stout Risius Ross, LLC

Strive Consulting

SWC Technology Partners

Switchfast Technologies

Tetra VX

The Dagaz Group

The Marketing Store

The MX Group

The Salem Group

ThoughtWorks

Top-Step-Trader

Total Quality Logistics

Total Technology Solutions Group

Tovar Snow Professionals

TransTech

Transwestern

Turner Construction

Verizon Wireless

Vetter Development Services

Videojet Technologies

Wespath Benefits and Investments

Wheels

Wi-Tronix

Wow! Internet, Cable and Phone

York Solutions

Zeigler Auto Group