The Winning Formula: 101 Best and Brightest Companies of 2011

For the year 2011, the National Association for Business Resources (NABR) named national winners of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. This was the first time NABR made this national selection. The assessment for the winning companies was conducted by an independent research firm.

The companies were assessed in the following categories: communication, community initiatives, compensation and benefits, diversity and multiculturalism, employee education and development, employee engagement and commitment, recognition and retention, recruitment and selection, small business and work/life balance.

NABR has 10 years of experience in conducting Best and Brightest company competitions. They also picked the top three Elite winners based on the size of the company. Radio Flyer won the small-size business award, and BGT partners from Chicago was selected in the medium-size business classification. For Henry Ford Health System from Michigan, it was a dual victory since it won the large business Best and Brightest Elite category along with the year’s Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The awards were presented in five markets: Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago and West Michigan. Nearly 40 Chicago companies and 45 Michigan companies made it in the winner list.

In hopes of identifying, what makes these companies a “winner,” and what is the perfect formula in achieving that employee engagement goal, Corp! spoke to some of the winning companies from different regions.

Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Health System is one the country’s largest health care systems comprising of seven hospitals, the 1,000-member Henry Ford Medical Group, the 500,000-member Health Alliance Plan, 27 primary care centers and many other health-related entities throughout southeastern Michigan. The hospital first opened doors in 1915 and today it has more than 1,200 physicians with 24,000 employees serving the community.

Barbara Bressack

Barbara Bressack, senior consultant within corporate human resources at Henry Ford, has been the project lead for employee engagement. The company has been implementing employee engagement surveys since 2008; prior to that the goal was to focus on employee satisfaction. It was necessary to acknowledge the difference between the two features. According to company research, employees who are truly engaged in their work go above and beyond their duties. A satisfied employee suggests that they are satisfied to receive a paycheck.

In an interview with Bressack, she explained their methods of surveying and keeping employee engagement high, even in a large-scale operation like Henry Ford:

How do you inspire your employees?
Given that we are in the business of patient care, it’s really important for us to be able to know we have employees that are psychologically connected and passionate. We use Gallup as our survey administrator, where they have copyrighted 12 questions that measure engagement. We first educate our leaders on what employee engagement is all about, because our leaders are responsible for creating an environment in which employees can survive.

According to you, what makes Henry Ford the Best and Brightest Elite and Baldrige award winner?
We do a very good job in lining our offices and improving communication throughout the system so everyone is very clear on what Henry Ford stands for and what we are trying to accomplish within our organization. And that’s a leadership model that really supports how we deliver health care and it doesn’t matter where you are within the system, the model is the same. That’s something very difficult to achieve and it’s a constant challenge to make sure that you are communicating to all 24,000 employees and everyone knows how to hit the target.

-¨What are the key qualities in Henry Ford management team that makes it a great working environment?
We are in the fourth year of our engagement, what we call our engagement journey. Every year we keep building on what we are doing. So in 2008, people weren’t even familiar with what the difference between engagement and satisfaction was and that was our focus. The following year it was -¦ now that you understand the difference and we have the survey results we have expectations of what should be done with the data. We don’t want the data to just sit there, we want to use that to have discussions with our teams on what engagement means to them personally, and how do I keep them engaged and committed to stay with the system.

We keep building on that process. We are actually at the stage right now where we have leaders who are doing engagement very well who are mentoring, coaching and working with leaders who aren’t doing as well by helping them, because we are constantly keeping engagement at the forefront.

We find it very important to make sure in large corporations there are a lot of system level goals, so we have organizational target. We will serve so many patients in the year, and at the employee level people feel disconnected to that goal. We make sure that employees understand their role and how they impact our system goals.

BGT Partners
Independently owned BGT Partners is known to be one the most award-winning interactive agencies in the world. With offices in Miami and Chicago, it creates interactive marketing and technology solutions for global corporations. The company was founded in 1996 and their clients include Sony, Wal-Mart, Carnival, ADT and GE among others.

Andrea Fishman

BGT’s Andrea Fishman, partner and vice president of global strategy, told Corp! what makes them a consistent winner:

What was instrumental in forming the company; what inspired it?
In 1996, when the Internet was in diapers, we saw an opportunity to advise companies on how to maximize their online presence. Over 15 years later, we’ve grown from a two-person shop to a 150-people agency that’s one of the oldest and largest independents in the country. Today we work primarily with Fortune 500 and Global 2000 corporations, and this is all thanks to the dedication and commitment of the BGT team.

How do you inspire your employees?
We inspire our employees through several methods, including:

  • We have a long-term vision for our employees: BGT’s mantra is “trade your job in for a career.”

  • We create a flexible workplace where employees find the position that’s the best match with their talents and interests so they can do what they love.

  • We avoid pigeonholing employees by cross-training them so they can work in different departments across the company.

  • We constantly communicate the high value each employee holds within the organization.

  • We appreciate an entrepreneurial spirit -“ your job here is what you make of it, which means that opportunities abound.

  • We provide industry-leading benefits, perks and bonuses: comprehensive health, dental and vision care, a generous employee referral program and bonuses every year since we were founded in 1996.

  • We created custom-built, brand-new offices for our teams in Chicago and Miami.

We organize events and activities throughout the year to show appreciation of BGT’s employees, including:

  • BGT Palooza – an entire week of employee appreciation.

  • Monthly happy hours – we visit the local watering holes and do karaoke.

  • Art in the Workplace – we bring in local artists to interact with the staff.

  • Ugly holiday sweater contests.

  • Beer cart Fridays – there’s nothing better than a beer at 5 p.m. on a Friday.

  • Halloween costume contests.

  • A BGT team that participates every year in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

  • Softball teams for both BGT Chicago (league champions) and BGT Miami.

What does employee engagement mean to you?
It’s our responsibility to make sure that when BGT’s greatest asset -” our staff -” leaves the office at night they’re excited to return the next morning. It means interesting clients, smart colleagues and an environment that fosters collaboration. Therefore, strong employee engagement is essential to the success of the company. We’re most proud of our near-100 percent employee retention rate, which means many of our teams have been working together for many years. Team longevity results in great work and happy clients, and this all stems from high levels of employee engagement.

What are the key qualities in the BGT management team that makes it a great working environment?
There are several key qualities of the management team that create a great working environment, including:

  • Management has an open-door policy meaning anyone at any time can speak with a senior leader.

  • The management team sets the tone in terms of unprecedented amounts of transparency and openness.

  • Business is personal for the BGT management team -“ people are investing in BGT and management really cares about the staff’s success and well being.

  • Management stresses the importance of giving back to the community and donates numerous resources and time to charities and non-profit organizations.

Miller Johnson
Founded in 1959, Miller Johnson is based in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Mich., and is a 90-attorney, full service law firm providing legal counsel to businesses and individuals. The firm offers legal expertise in areas such as business and corporate law, employment and labor, litigation, employee benefits, family law and estate planning.

Kelly S. Fischer

Kelly S. Fischer, the director of human resources at Miller Johnson, talked about their employee engagement strategy:

What was instrumental in forming the company; what inspired it?
From day one, firm culture and client relationships have set Miller Johnson apart. John Cummiskey, a founding member of the firm, stressed that our clients are our partners -“ our family -“ and that truly understanding their businesses and/or challenges is essential to providing good counsel. The family oriented relationship we aim to have with clients also applies to our employees. We make an effort to include family in firm events and encourage attorneys and staff to make family a priority. More than 10 percent of our workforce is part time, including attorneys and staff. The new folks who join Miller Johnson repeatedly tell us, “It feels different here.”-¨

How do you inspire your employees?
We seek to manage the firm effectively and efficiently, while providing those who work here the opportunity for meaningful input into the decisions affecting their professional lives. Education, family, environment, diversity and collaboration are critical concerns of our firm. We support any individual’s pursuit and passion for these concerns, and thereby offer inspiration for personal growth with professional gain.

What does employee engagement mean to you?
Creating an environment that fosters integrity, innovation, excellence, teamwork and leadership.

-¨Why do you think Miller Johnson won 101 Best and Brightest?
We take the law and our clients very seriously, but not at the expense of being ourselves. Our down-to-earth, approachable style is reflected in the people here. We dedicate our skills and energies to promoting a climate where diversity of thought, background and culture thrives in our workplace and in our community, ensuring the success of our clients and enriching our lives.

Jakob Marketing Partners LLC
Based in Holladay, Utah, Jakob Marketing was formed in 1999 and its founder and CEO -“ Julie Jakob -“ quit her job at Wells Fargo to start this company. Jakob started doing consulting work on her own and in the past four years the company saw exponential growth, from Jakob being the sole employee to an annual revenue of $4 million and becoming a 14-member team. Jakob Marketing is a full service agency providing marketing services, creative development, website design, brand identity and other services.

Julie Jakob

Jakob told Corp! about how she brings her own quirks to enhance employee engagement:

How do you inspire your employees? What does employee engagement mean to you?
The type of work that most of our employees do is very focused and takes a lot of time because it requires accuracy and they have to think creatively, and we are also very high volume. So any given day they might be juggling 20 different projects. To keep things light we have contests, we have different sorts of activities that we do outside the office.

I had one employee write me a note just expressing his gratitude that he gets to work in such a fun place. A lot of what we do is based on my personality, for example we have something called the bowl of boredom and what’s in the bowl are pieces that I get in the mail that could be re-designed more attractively. It sits in the designers’ room and if they ever run out of anything to do they can just pick from that and create something new themselves, just for fun.

We also have a ceramic antique called the adventure pig, so when we go out for an outing to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries or just to get out, whoever wins gets to pick from the pig and decide where we are going next. The winner comes with us and wears a little cape. We have something called the white board where if we see a typo that somebody made we put that up on the white board. We have created a whiteboard book that we made our own definitions for the words. We also do anniversary T-shirts that are unique to each person.

FONA International Inc.
Flavors of North America or FONA, founded in 1987, is a company that creates and manufactures flavors for many of the largest food, beverage, nutraceutical (nutritional supplements) and pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Tonya Hubbartt

FONA Human Resources Director Tonya Hubbartt spoke about the company’s success and being a manufacturer in a very competitive flavor industry:

How do you inspire your employees?
FONA offers a wide variety of opportunities to inspire employees, from health and wellness, training and development and public speaking to volunteering or even taste testing. On any given day at FONA, there are a number of ways throughout the building to be inspired.

What does employee engagement mean to you?
At FONA, employee engagement means community -” employees working together, laughing together, winning together, and pursuing personal and professional excellence together.

Why do you think FONA won 101 Best and Brightest?
Because of FONA’s tremendous culture as an employee-centric organization that places a high degree of value on personal, professional and corporate excellence. Here, we embrace both the intellectual quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ) of every employee, focusing on ways to engage employees as current and future contributors to the organization’s growth and development.

What are the key qualities in the FONA management team that make it a great working environment?
FONA Chairman and CEO Joe Slawek is our strong and steadfast leader in every sense –a man of high integrity, our role model and our example. Joe is the visionary who has made this organization what it is 25 years now. Employees look up to Joe, admire Joe, respect Joe. This organization is best of the best because Joe Slawek has built it to be just that.

Nuspire Networks
In the late ’90s, public Internet was starting to grow and businesses were starting to buy into broadband. For big companies, public Internet became a cheaper way to transfer data between different locations. Nuspire was founded in 1999 (in Detroit) taping into the security services market. President and Founder Saylor Frase saw the writing on the wall that public Internet would be used for transporting things like technology and information and Nuspire wanted to fill the requirement for monitoring and managing these platforms securely. Today, they design their own network management and security solutions.

Saylor Frase

According to Frase, everyone in the company needs to be on the “same page,” and that is critical in any business:

Why do you think Nuspire won 101 Best and Brightest?
I think it just comes from the core strategy of the company. Operating security operation centers is a huge part of what our business delivers and that really is about having talented and motivated people. We see that as one of our core value propositions and we do everything we can to attract and continually grow and encourage the best and brightest people we can possibly locate.

How do you inspire your employees?
We do a lot of things that are little bit out of the box, little bit over the top as far as events and team building activities. Instead of platforms and packages, we want to basically take everything off the table that our people have to worry about so they can really focus on where their value is. That really adds the most to goals of the company. I think we do a pretty good job of that and we continually strive to do better so I think that’s really where the award is coming from.

How has Nuspire maintained the long-term success as a company?
I think the company itself needs to have a clear vision and that vision includes a goal set where everyone in the company needs to be in lock step. We have a very clear vision about what exactly we are trying to achieve and people don’t only see their day-to-day duties, but also what they need to set past there. No matter what position they have in the company, they clearly understand those goals. We over-communicate the hire level goals and mission of the company, so everybody here, even if they make the smallest decision, on day-to-day basis understands why those decisions are being made and what the ramifications are to the entire company. I think it gives each individual employee a real sense of ownership and empowerment when it comes to the success of the company and, in turn, to their own personal success. That’s the key part; without that it doesn’t matter what activities you do or it doesn’t really matter what you pay people. If they don’t have a sense of ownership and excitement about what they are trying to do as a group then nothing else matters.

Dodge Communications
Based in Atlanta, Dodge Communications is a full service public relations and marketing agency, serving the health care industry. President and CEO Brad Dodge founded the company in 2001, but prior to that while working at a technology agency he monitored the dot com crash and when big companies were running out of funds but still needed good representation. Dodge started with a small firm to help small companies develop strong brands on a limited budget.

Brad Dodge

Dodge spoke to Corp! about his views on success and maintaining employee loyalty:

How do you inspire your employees? What does employee engagement mean to you?
It really has to do with our focus on work-life balance and we work really hard to make sure that we have an environment that is flexible for our employees and they have a lot of good benefits and human resources type opportunities. One of the benefits that employees have is they can telecommute one day a week, as in work form home and it’s a popular benefit. There are also some employees who work flex hours.

We try to have a lot of team-building activities, even if it is sponsored lunches to celebrate people’s birthdays or every quarter we have some kind of employee outing where we go bowling. We also inspire them to do their job well; we try to give people opportunities that are above their pay grade, an opportunity to prove themselves at a higher level. I think it works pretty well.

What are the key qualities in the Dodge management team that makes it a great working environment?
One of the things is that they have all grown up through the company and that means they understand our culture and vision right from the ground up. I think that’s the reason the management team is so successful and they have good longevity. They have all been here for ten years. It would be very difficult for us to lose one of these key people now. We try to make sure that we are giving them good opportunities and good benefits and making it a good place to work and a good career for them.

We do get feedback from the employees fairly regularly but I think people feel that in order to be a successful company we have to have strong communications. There can be bad feelings between teams and those types of things and all the employees would agree that we don’t have those problems and we work really hard in making sure that we don’t have any issues like that.

Headspring was founded in 2001 and serves the Austin and central Texas area. The company helps other local clients to build customize software solutions. In three separate interviews with Headspring staff members, they offered their opinions on employee engagement.

Sharon Cichelli, senior developer:
What does employee engagement mean to you?

The staff at Headspring

When there’s a decision to be made, such as how much vacation time we can take in a year, each of us has a voice in the discussion and a stake in the outcome. Unlike a “normal” company where the bosses grant vacation time to the workers, I had the chance to consider how my billable hours contributed to my company’s success and, by extension, my own success. And the strategy we decided on is incredibly flexible: as long as I bill a sustainable number of hours a year, I can use the remaining time for attending conferences, writing technical articles, recharging on vacation-¦ whatever keeps me at the top of my game.

Why do you think Headspring won 101 Best and Brightest?-¨-¨
As an employee of Headspring, I am granted more respect, autonomy, support and opportunity than I had with any other employer. Our leadership team is invested in our success and listens to our suggestions and goals. They are refreshingly transparent with information, including company financials; I know right where we stand and where I fit into that. I work with members of the developer community I have respected for years, and we have such fun collaborating and challenging each other.

Glenn Burnside, director of software development:
How do you inspire your employees?
I make sure everybody has something bigger to aim for -“ new responsibilities, new project opportunities, a side project that lets them experiment with something they’re interested in, whatever I need to do to make sure that they’re looking and thinking about something more than just day-to-day execution.

We make sure that we recognize people every month, based on peer nominations, for exemplifying our company’s core values. And we try to keep things fun -“ rather than punish people for late time logging each day. For example, I reward the team when everybody gets their time in by doing ridiculous forms of exercise (like off-the-ground clapping pushups).

What does employee engagement mean to you?
It means that everybody at Headspring has a reason to come to work beyond their paycheck. It means that our employees believe in what we are doing -“ which is revolutionizing the way software consulting is done. I want all our employees to be 100 percent bought in to our “no surprises” approach to delivery, and to consider it a badge of honor to sport a Headspring business card.

Why do you think Headspring won 101 Best and Brightest? -¨
If there’s one thing it’s deliberate about, it’s who we hire. We’d rather grow slower and keep the talent density high, and make sure we’ve got a good fit with every hire, than bring someone in who isn’t going to gel with the rest of the team, or who doesn’t share our passions. I think we won the Best and Brightest award because we insist that everybody who works here lives out our four core values every day – honest communication, people are values, passion for learning and growth, and drive for excellence. These are the qualities we expect from everybody at Headspring, and if you have a team like that, how could they NOT be the Best and Brightest?

Mahendra Mavani, principal consultant:
How are you inspired by Headspring?
Unlike robot or machines, human beings are driven by emotion. The history of mankind is filled with incidents that reveal “desire to take over challenge,” “willingness to step up and be recognized for accomplishments” and “strive for freedom or autonomy.” At Headspring, I get the opportunity to push my limits by taking over new challenges, coaching when I need it most, freedom to earn it my own way and warm recognition on my achievements. I am never turned down because I wanted to do it differently and mistakes are accepted part of the learning curve.

What does employee engagement mean to you?The often misleading and highly overlooked concept about strategy and execution is: strategy is made above the line while execution is expected below the line. No employee can be expected to be involved whole heartedly when he or she is not convinced about what they are doing and why are they doing it. At this stage, you don’t need charts to remind people what they should be doing. It rather became a natural process with everyone clearly understanding what is expected out of them. Active participation from employees toward achieving a goal that everyone has agreed upon upfront is what I call “employee engagement.”

Winners of the national 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2011:


Dodge Communications
Dodge Communications is a full-service integrated public relations and marketing agency serving the health care, technology and life sciences industries.

eVestment Alliance
eVestment Alliance is an innovative, Web-based provider of comprehensive investment information and analytic technology delivering extensive data through robust, user-friendly products with an unparalleled commitment to client service.

Hitachi Consulting
With decades of business process, vertical industry, and technology experience, Hitachi Consulting delivers practical, value-based business strategies and technology solutions and services to help clients quickly realize measurable business value and achieve sustainable results.

Jabian Consulting
Jabian Consulting is a strategic management and technology consultancy serving mid market and fortune clients across multiple high growth industries.


Headspring (Austin, Texas)
Headspring delivers custom business software applications for growing companies.


American Academy of Dermatology
The American Academy of Dermatology is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic professional associations and is committed to excellence in patient care, medical and public education, research, professionalism and member service and support.

American Academy of Pediatrics
The mission of the AAP is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

Bel Brands USA
Bel Brands USA makes and sells branded specialty cheeses such as The Laughing Cow, Mini BabyBel, Boursin, Merkts and Kaukauna. The company is headquartered in Chicago and is the United States subsidiary of Fromageries Bel, headquartered in Paris.

BGT Partners
BGT Partners, one of the most award-winning interactive agencies in the world, helps companies strengthen their brands through business strategy, creative design and technical expertise.

Care Communications Inc.
Care Communications Inc. is a nationally recognized leader in Health Information Management (HIM) and has served the needs of leading health care organizations since 1976. Care Communications Inc. offers health care organizations the industry’s most focused, effective and comprehensive suite of health information services.

Celergo solutions make the complex-¦ simple. Celergo eliminates the headaches and frustration of managing international payroll for clients in more than 90 countries.

Cosi Inc.
If life is a journey, food is the fuel that lets us keep exploring. Cosi, a premium convenience, fast-casual restaurant chain, was founded on the idea that good food will make that journey all the more delicious. From its hand-tossed Signature Salad to its Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Sandwich, to the comfortable, urbane and contemporary atmosphere, Cosi is more than a restaurant.

Domino Amjet Inc.
Domino North America is a global partner in total printing and coding technologies, with a focus on value and forming strong customer relationships.

EMKAY is a premier fleet service provider.

FONA International Inc.
Founded in 1987 and built on a commitment to excellence, the highest standards of personal integrity, exceptional service and respect, FONA International creates and manufactures flavors for many of the largest food, beverage, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies in the world.

Greeley & Hansen
Greeley and Hansen is a leading national niche firm specializing in practical engineering, architectural, and management solutions for complex water, wastewater, and infrastructure challenges since 1914.

Harley Ellis Devereaux
Harley Ellis Devereaux is an award-winning, full-service organization offering a complete range of planning, architecture, engineering, interior architecture, landscape architecture and construction services with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, San Diego and San Francisco.

kCura are the developers of the e-discovery software Relativity, a Web-based platform servicing the review, analysis, and production of electronic documents during litigation.

Milhouse Engineering & Construction
Milhouse Engineering and Construction Inc. is a professional full service engineering/architecture firm, that practices “Constructing Quality from the Ground Up” while providing services to private, municipal and governmental clients.

Mutual Trust Financial Group
Mutual Trust Financial Group provides whole life insurance products that give policyholders and their beneficiaries peace of mind and financial security when they are most in need.

PointBridge is an IT consulting firm that specializes in building high-impact business solutions with Microsoft technology.

Radio Flyer Inc.
Radio Flyer, maker of the famous little red wagons, is the leading producer of wagons, tricycles and spring horses in the United States. Radio Flyer has more than 100 award-winning products available in 25 countries, including bicycles, scooters and ride-on toys. Since 1917, this family-owned company has created icons of childhood, building a legacy of high quality, classic and innovative toys.

With a history of audio innovation spanning over 80 years, Shure has turned a passion for making great microphones and audio electronics into an obsession.

Sikich LLP
Sikich is a public accounting firm providing a full range of financial services, management advisory and technology products and support. Sikich is one of the country’s 100 largest CPA firms and is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

Spot Trading LLC
Spot Trading is a proprietary trading firm specializing in equity and index options, which has grown from a team of five individuals in 1999 to nearly 150 professionals in a variety of disciplines including equity research, trading, financial engineering, and technology. It distinguishes itself through world-class trading technology, an innovative trading model, and a collaborative culture.

Stout Risius Ross Inc.
Stout Risius Ross (SRR) is a financial advisory firm specializing in Investment Banking, Valuation & Financial Opinions, and Dispute Advisory & Forensic Services. SRR’s clients range from Fortune 500 corporations to privately held companies in numerous industries around the world.

The Comprehensive Group
The Comprehensive Group is Illinois’ leading provider of rehabilitation services, providing high-quality, outcome-driven and cost-effective therapy staffing, management and consultation.

The James Hotel -“ Chicago
The James Chicago is a residentially styled luxury hotel, which delivers an artful blend of hand-crafted design, seamlessly intuitive service and personalized comfort, just steps away from Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile.

The Marketing Store
The Marketing Store delivers innovative, large-scale promotional and loyalty programs that result in sales, having particular expertise in the areas of loyalty/CRM programs, promotional development, toy premiums, contests/games/sweepstakes and digital strategy.

Total Quality Logistics
Total Quality Logistics is a third-party logistics firm that brings customers who need freight shipped together with the available trucks to carry the shipments; we track the loads from pickup to drop off with 24/7/365 customer service.

Verizon Wireless
Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., Verizon Wireless, which is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone, is a leader in wireless voice and data services, and it operates the nation’s fastest and most advanced 4G network and largest and most reliable 3G network.

WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone
WOW! provides a customer experience that lives up to its name.

Maven Wave Partners
Maven Wave Partners provides business consulting, technology delivery, and outsourcing services to companies that seek exceptional business advancement through transformation.

LeasePlan USA (Chicago/Atlanta)
LeasePlan USA is the premium service provider of vehicle leasing and fleet management solutions for companies nationwide.


ServiceSource (Denver/Nashville, Tenn.)
ServiceSource provides a cloud-powered managed service that drives more recurring revenue and customer satisfaction for technology-based companies, like Adobe, Dell, GE, IBM, Johnson Controls, Microsoft, SuccessFactors, Roche and VMware.


Altarum Institute
Altarum Institute is a nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization. Altarum integrates independent research and client-centered consulting to create comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health. With the rigor of the finest research institution, consulting skills honed over more than six decades, and an abiding commitment to the public interest, Altarum Institute enables better care and better health for all people.

Arrow Strategies
Arrow Strategies is a full service staffing firm focused on contract, contract-to-hire, and permanent placements of high-end professionals in Information Technology, Engineering, Accounting / Finance and Professional Services.

Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is committed to improving the health of Michigan residents, increasing access to quality health care services for the uninsured, and offering health insurance products that meet the diverse needs of its customers.

Brown & Brown
Brown & Brown of Detroit is an organization comprised of people of the highest integrity and quality who provide a broad range of insurance and re-insurance products and services.

Computerized Facility Integration LLC
CFI has established itself as the premier consulting and systems integration firm focusing on facility management and corporate real estate; its niche in the market is its use of technology and data-related services to solve business problems for real estate/facilities management clients.

Employees Only
Employees Only works with business owners and company presidents who are frustrated with administrative tasks that do not create revenue, tired of managing benefits and employee issues and interested in making improvements in their organization that result in increased profits.

ePrize LLC
ePrize creates engagement across digital channels through mobile and social apps, promotions and loyalty programs. Since 1999, ePrize has successfully launched more than 7,000 campaigns in 44 countries for 76 of the top 100 brands, including Coca-Cola, General Motors Corp., GAP Inc., Yahoo!, P&G, and Microsoft.

Farbman Group
With ethics and integrity, Farbman Group strives for excellence in all facets of real estate services in order to enhance its position as an industry leader. Its team transforms forward thinking ideas into cutting edge applications, to achieve maximum results for clients, company and communities.

Greenleaf Trust
Greenleaf Trust is an independent Michigan chartered bank dedicated to meeting its clients’ needs in the areas of wealth management, trust and estate administration, as well as administration of company-sponsored retirement plans. Greenleaf Trust is committed to using its expertise in a team approach to provide customized and prompt client service, free of proprietary products, for generations to come.

Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Health System, one of the country’s largest health care systems, integrates primary and specialty care with research and education. It includes the 1,000-member Henry Ford Medical Group, seven owned hospitals, the 500,000-member Health Alliance Plan, 27 primary care centers and many other health-related entities located throughout southeastern Michigan.

Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP
Honigman is a leading business law firm, based in Michigan with an international practice. It is headquartered in Detroit and has offices in Lansing, Oakland County, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, Mich. With more than 230 attorneys working in 40 different areas of concentration, Honigman provides timely and cost-effective counsel to clients in numerous industries.

Image One
Image One exceeds the expectations of those they come in contact with through gratitude, giving and their expertise in the management of multi-function printers and document workflow.

Image Soft Inc.
ImageSoft Inc. provides technology solutions to automate, streamline and improve workplace processes, increase productivity, reduce operating costs, and save time and money.

JARC is a Farmington Hills, Mich.-based nonprofit, nonsectarian agency dedicated to enabling people with disabilities to live full, dignified lives in the community, and to providing support and advocacy for their families. JARC operates 20 group homes and a variety of independent living programs for adults, and serves more than 450 families who have a child or adult with a disability who is living at home.

McGraw Wentworth
The state’s largest group benefit consulting and brokerage firm, McGraw Wentworth focuses on serving the employee health and wellness benefits needs of Michigan’s mid-sized organizations.

Menlo Innovations LLC
Menlo Innovations LLC is a software design and development firm in Ann Arbor, Mich., which seeks to “end human suffering in the world as it relates to technology” and to return joy to the world of business.

Michigan First Credit Union
Michigan First is a leading technology-focused credit union dedicated to providing outstanding service to its more than 80,000 members and 225 team members (employees). Originally founded in 1926 as the Detroit Teachers Credit Union, Michigan First has grown to more than $550 million in assets and is now open to anyone who lives, works or worships in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, as well as local businesses.

MiPro Consulting
MiPro Consulting is a nationally recognized technology service consulting firm that is customer centric, inspires and empowers its employees, and delivers value to all its constituents, customers, employees and partners.

My Insurance Expert
My Insurance Expert has been helping individuals and families with their insurance needs for more than 30 years. Its business was built on relationships, and it continues to be the cornerstone of its growth.

Nemeth Burwell PC
Nemeth Burwell offers clients unparalleled knowledge of labor and employment law. It is dedicated to working with employers to prevent, resolve, and litigate employment disputes.

Nuspire Networks
Nuspire is an industry and technology leader, dedicated to designing and providing state-of-the-science network management and security solutions including: device management and monitoring, vulnerability scanning, intrusion detection and prevention, integration, support and executive services culminating in unique and powerful systems and tools delivered as a service.

Plex Systems Inc.
Based in Auburn Hills, Mich., Plex Systems is the developer of Plex Online, a Cloud ERP solution for the manufacturing enterprise.

Polk is the automotive data and marketing solutions leader. With a reputation for excellence and a passion for uncovering high-value insights, Polk helps customers make more informed, confident decisions.

Delivering business wisdom, Rehmann offers CPAs and consultants, wealth advisors, corporate investigators and more. Rehmann combines its best thinking with its clients’ to develop the right solutions.

Seco Tools
With the core values of a passion for customers, a family spirit and personal commitment, Seco Tools partners closely with manufacturers to provide comprehensive metalcutting solutions.

The Epitec Group Inc.
The Epitec Group Inc. is one of southeast Michigan’s largest technology services and staffing providers.

The Taubman Company
The Taubman Company is one of the leading real estate developers and operators of regional shopping centers in the United States.

University of Michigan Health System
UMHS is a premier, highly ranked academic medical center and award-winning health care system with state-of-the-art facilities. Its vision is to create the future of health care through scientific discovery, innovations in education, and the most effective and compassionate care.

US Foodservice Inc.
US Foodservice is dedicated to being the most trusted, respected, knowledgeable and service-oriented partner one can choose.

w3r Consulting
w3r Consulting is a 14-year-old information technology staffing and consulting company headquarted in Southfield, Mich.

Grand Rapids/Chicago/Atlanta/Las Vegas

BDO is a professional services firm providing assurance, tax, financial advisory and consulting services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies.

Holladay, Utah

Jakob Marketing Partners LLC
With years of hands-on experience in all areas of marketing, plus access to a vast network of subject-matter experts (market research, media planning/buying, public relations, statistical modeling, etc.), Jakob Marketing has met or exceeded client expectations on thousands of projects.


Inktel Direct Corp.
Inktel Direct is a business process outsourcer of direct marketing services such as contact centers, order fulfillment, inventory management and direct mail, and works with leading Fortune 500 brands and government agencies.

New York/Atlanta/Chicago

ThoughtWorks Inc.
ThoughtWorks is not your typical company. It is talented, driven and principled people who are passionate about software, brought together because they want to do something amazing.

Pleasanton, Calif.

ServiceMax is a cutting edge innovation to field service and offers a complete suite of cloud-based, collaborative, and mobile applications that ensure a finely tuned operation that delivers customer delight.

West Michigan

Acoustics By Design Inc.
Acoustics By Design is an independent consulting firm specializing in acoustical engineering and audio-visual system design.

Amway is a global partnership of diligent, committed distributors and loyal, engaged employees, steadfast in its desire to create real change in people’s lives, homes and in the world around them.

Dan Vos Construction Co.
Dan Vos Construction Co. is a leading design build contractor in Grand Rapids, Mich., and are experts from design to construction, steel erection and facilities management.

Easter Seals Michigan
Easter Seals – West Michigan Therapy Center provides life-changing solutions for children and adults with disabilities. They are a leading provider of therapy services for children by offering the P.L.A.Y. Project for children with autism and many other therapy and respite programs for children with disabilities. They also offer therapy programs for older adults including Independent Living and Caring for Caregivers. Their goal is to help people with disabilities lead more independent lives.

Elzinga & Volkers Construction Professionals
Elzinga & Volkers is the leading provider of construction management, design/build and general contracting services that prides itself in “listening to clients, providing innovative solutions and delivering the highest satisfaction.”

Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering Inc.
Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering Inc. is a professional engineering firm with strengths in civil and environmental engineering, architecture, transportation and drainage, water and wastewater systems, landscape architecture, construction management, and Geographic Information System programs.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Grand Rapids Community Foundation supports Kent County nonprofits and leads the community in making positive, sustainable change. Its success is connected to the generosity of donors, the expertise of grantee organizations and its dedicated staff.

GreenStone Farm Credit Services
GreenStone Farm Credit Services is one of America’s largest rural lenders. Headquartered in East Lansing, Mich., GreenStone is the country’s seventh largest association in the Farm Credit System. GreenStone is a $5.6 billion organization of 20,000 members with 37 branches throughout Michigan and northeast Wisconsin.

Holland Hospital
Holland Hospital provides health care services for more than 150,000 residents within its primary service area, and has been nationally recognized as a Top 100 Hospitals by Thomson Reuters and a Magnet designated hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for quality practices and exceptional patient care.

L-3 Avionics Systems
L-3 Avionics Systems is a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced aircraft instruments that enhance safety for general aviation, business jet, air transport and military aircraft.

Marquette General Health System
Marquette General Health System is a 315-bed federally designated Regional Referral Center that provides care in 65 specialties and subspecialties to patients throughout Upper Michigan.

Miller Johnson
Founded in 1959, Miller Johnson is a full-service law firm providing counsel to businesses and individuals in areas of business and corporate law, employment and labor, litigation, employee benefits, family law and estate planning. In September 2010, U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers awarded Miller Johnson with first-tier rankings for 23 practice areas-”the most of any law firm for the Grand Rapids metropolitan area.

Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, a collection of seven hospitals and more than 140 service sites; the Spectrum Health Medical Group, mmpc and West Michigan Heart-”physician groups totaling more than 400 providers; and Priority Health, a health plan with 580,000 members.

Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital
Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital is a 57-bed, not-for-profit hospital with nearly 200 physicians, 566 employees and 133 volunteers providing inpatient and outpatient services, including surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, emergency and urgent care, intensive care, digital mammography, MRI and CT scans, and nuclear medicine, to its community for more than 80 years.


Impact Networking LLC
Impact Networking is an integrated technology solutions company that helps businesses create, distribute and manage documents with distinct business units to handle creative marketing services, document management, scanning and conversion, networking and telecom and digital office equipment.

West Michigan/Metro Detroit/Atlanta

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction networks in the country serving a broad range of industries including health care, education, sports, data centers, government, aviation, transportation, and water/wastewater. Headquartered in New York with 35 offices across the country, Skanska USA employs approximately 7,000 employees committed to sustainable construction and an injury-free workplace.

West Michigan/Metro Detroit/Chicago/Tennessee/Kentucky

Service Express Inc.
Service Express Inc. (SEI) is a leader in delivering customized service solutions for on-site data center maintenance, focusing on mainframe, midrange and Intel based servers for IBM, DEC, HP, Sun, Dell, as well as EMC and STK storage.