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Trendsetters: Best Companies

Joyce Chastain got her start in HR when it meant little more than payroll and benefits administration and serving as the “rules police” — ensuring that companies complied with federal employment statutes. “I am so trying to move the profession away from that reputation,” she says.

Joyce Chastain
Joyce Chastain [Photo: Scott Wiseman]

Indeed, the 55-year-old Florida native is a leader in making HR a means to meeting a company’s strategic goals, whether that means ramping up hiring or creating an incentive plan for workers to reach a company objective. The state Society for Human Resources Management chose her as its Florida Human Resources Professional of the Year in 2008. Aside from her service to the society, Chastain also is a mentor to HR professionals at other companies and a specialist in internal investigations and affirmative action plans.

Chastain spent nearly 30 years with consulting firm MGT of America in Tallahassee before meeting with executives of Mainline Information Systems, hoping to land the IBM reseller of server, software and storage as a client. “I absolutely loved the company,” she says. “Their enthusiasm for this company and what it had accomplished in a short period of time was contagious.” She joined it five years ago, and its 600-member workforce shares her enthusiasm. Mainline, 39th by revenue on our Top 200 Private Companies list, is also on our Best Companies To Work For midsized company list. “The word is out,” she says. “It’s a great place to work.”

Joyce Chastain
Mainline Information Systems
Human resources director, Tallahassee

All in the family: Chastain’s parents graduated from Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Ga. Chastain earned her bachelor’s in business administration there. Her daughter now attends the school.

Industry: Board member, HR Florida Council and FSU’s Center for Human Resource Management; former president of the Big Bend Society for Human Resource Management

Community: A past-president of Extra Point Club, a Seminole Booster group, and a Leon County Schools Adult Volunteer of the Year

Changing the Rules

Douglas Marcille
Douglas Marcille
U.S. Gas & Electric
CEO, Miami

Douglas Marcille, a lawyer and CPA by training, spent some years under bosses he liked and some under bosses he “wasn’t so fond of.” He told himself, “if I was ever good enough and lucky enough to be in charge, I would do things differently.” His list of things numbered about 100. “Now that I’m in that position, I’ve probably thrown out 75 of them as ridiculous.”

But the rest — including free lunch on Fridays — helped his U.S. Gas & Electric, a natural gas reseller, make our Best Companies list. Last year’s revenue reached $106 million, and he expects employment to more than double this year to over 200. “We’re very fortunate we’re in the energy business,” says Marcille, 52. “People care about saving their money.”

» Go to Special Section: Florida's Best Companies to Work For 2009