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What Makes Your Company a Florida Trend Best Company to Work For?

Jennifer Stoll
Jennifer Stoll
President - DentalPlans.com - Plantation - No. 36 / Midsize Company - Healthcare
[Photo: Monica Orsono]

"A big focus of ours is creating an environment where people can be successful. And really trying to be in tune with what motivates our people, not assuming we know. We've learned all of our employees are motivated differently. We have something that's called 'Breakfast with Buddy.' Four employees a month eat breakfast with CEO Buddy Johnson. He's officially met with everyone in the company and now is in his second round. What came from that is, 'We wish we had a 401(k) program.' We instituted that this year. We have a big contingent of moms coming back into the workforce part time. 'It would be great to offer benefits to part-time employees.' That's something we're about to launch as well. We've created an employee lounge with a beach theme. We put a Wii in there, a foosball table, a popcorn machine."


David Miller
David Miller
CEO - Brightway Insurance - Jacksonville - No. 9 / Midsize Company - Insurance
[Photo: Jensen Hande]

"The single best thing is opportunity. When employees feel safe and secure about their future, they're free to achieve and be their best. We do some neat things: In-house massage therapy; twice a day we have someone come around with coffee and espresso. Routinely we bring in food. All of that is sort of icing on the cake. I want to constantly make them realize that we are looking to tangibly exceed their expectations. We just announced we're guaranteeing bonuses and including them in pay raises for everyone. We're looking to further distance ourselves from the competition."


Rhonda Skipper
Rhonda Skipper
Walton County tax collector - DeFuniak Springs - No. 29 / Small Company - Government
[Photo: Ray Stanyard]

"As a government agency, financial incentives are very limited. So we created new ways to inspire our staff. We sit down with them and create an individual career plan. We involve family in functions. We work hard to have a team approach to problem-solving. We encourage and reward their skills development. We implement their ideas. We include them in programs that go on in the county such as Leadership Walton. We provide timely and accurate feedback. We encourage risk-taking. We cross-train and have job shadowing. We also build on unity through employee-led community-service initiatives."


Denise Bennett-Walls
Denise Bennett-Walls
Founder / managing partner - Vaco Orlando - Maitland - No. 8 / Small Company - Staffing
[Photo: Brook Pifer]

"At the end of the day, we do something great: We help people get jobs and help clients develop top teams. If you know you're coming into an office where you enjoy your peers and you trust them and you trust your upper management, it's a feel-good every day."


Doug Irmscher
Doug Irmscher
Senior vice president / central Florida - Duke Realty -Orlando / Tampa - No. 3 / Large Company - Real estate [Photo: Gregg Matthews]

"Good communication with all the employees — that's No. 1. No. 2 is that you offer a lot of services to them in terms of health plan, wellness plan, things such as that. We also do team-building projects during the year. We went to a facility earlier this year where we as a team did rope-climbing events."


Florida's Best Companies to Work For 2011
Section Lists and Features

Best Large Companies
(250 or more employees)
Executive Sounding Board
What makes your company a Best Company to Work For?
Best Midsized Companies
(50 to 249 employees)
Domestic Partner Benefits
Catching On
Best Small Companies
(15 to 49 employees)
Engineering a Best Company
Employee Retention
Long-Term Relationships
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Making the Cut
Why I Work Here