Best Companies to Work for in Fort Worth 2017
By: Scott Nishimura
FW Inc. takes its second annual look at the Best Companies to Work For in the Fort Worth region and finds employers spending a lot of effort trying to figure out what motivates their employees.
Brett Hobson, president of the 55-year-old Comfort Experts air conditioning and heating company based in Weatherford, has a succinct way of looking at his role. “As business owners, we’re glorified recruiters,” he says.
The Hobson family – founder Philip Hobson and wife Linda are still involved in the business, although their four children run it – has spent a lot of time looking at ways to create value for employees without sacrificing customer service. Members of the accounting department set their own schedules, because theirs is task-oriented work that needs to be done, but not necessarily in an 8 a.m.-5 p.m. window. Some employees bring their toddlers to work. HVAC technicians can choose a four-day work week with long days, or five.
“Employees are internal customers,” Hobson says. “It’s not easy. How can we be as flexible as we can without sacrificing the customer?”
FW Inc.’s 2017 Best Companies to Work For, the magazine’s second annual top employers contest, offers a look at what a number of area businesses – large and small – are doing to try to keep employees happy. Many of the companies are trying to meet employees’ complicated work and personal lives head on by allowing flexible hours where possible. Ways to keep fit, having fun while at work, and developing professionally are at the top of the list. So is two-way communication with the bosses.
One of our employers – it’s a scavenger hunt; see if you can find it! – offers unlimited paid time off. “It’s based on mutual respect,” the employer says. A number of our employers report they pay 100 percent of employees’ health premium, which can either be a strength or something for employees to complain about, depending on what the plan offers.
How do we assemble this report? First, it’s independently run and judged by The Best Companies Group, a global independent workplace excellence research firm. Best Companies managed the registration process, conducted the two-part survey process, evaluated the data, and chose the companies that made the list. Deadline for registration was in the spring.
The contest is open to all publicly or privately held organizations, for-profit or not-for-profit. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must have at least 15 employees working in the Fort Worth region. Being headquartered here was not a requirement.
Part one of the assessment – three-quarters of each company’s score – involved a confidential 76-question employee engagement and satisfaction survey, used to evaluate the employees’ workplace experience and company culture.
Part two of the assessment – representing the other quarter of each company’s score – consisted of The BCG Employer Questionnaire, used to collect information about each company’s benefits, policies, practices and other general information.
The combined data allowed the experts at BCG to conduct an in-depth analysis of the strengths and challenges that exist in each company.
BCG’s workplace assessment experts determined which companies were good enough to make the final list, and those companies were compared to one another and ranked in large- and small-size categories. Large companies are those with at least 250 employees companywide. This is a shift from the first year of the FW Inc. contest, when 50 employees was the dividing line.
1. Legacy Mutual Mortgage
“The thing I’m most proud of is loyalty,” says Linville, who owned a mortgage firm he sold to Legacy in 2011, marking that company’s entry into Fort Worth. “I can walk you down the hall and tell you the years people have been here. It’s a fun environment. People are friends.”
- Gary Linville, Vice President
2. Century 21 Judge Fite Company, Inc.
"We have the backing of a global brand but the feeling of a family-owned business. The whole leadership team, including Jim Fite, our broker, is just a call away. On more than one occasion, I have had management mail personal notes to my husband, thanking him for his support in my career. They truly care about us both personally and professionally."
- Sarah Lyons, Realtor
3. Origin Bank
“Collaboration drives a culture of success at Origin Bank. Since its founding in 1912, the bank has relied on relationships, not just transactions, to grow from a small community bank in northern Louisiana to a $4 billion bank with locations in four states. Origin Bank retains the community feel that appeals to those folks operating $100 million businesses or those who are simply looking for a loan for their first home. In every scenario, bank employees collaborate, internally and externally, to deliver optimal results.”
- Justin Holt
4. Burns & McDonnell
“As employee-owners, we put our hearts into the success of our clients and our firm, and we see the direct correlation between our client’s success and our own success. This is a place where entrepreneurship and excellence meet. We collaborate on meaningful and impactful ideas alongside industry leaders from DFW, Texas, and across the country. And the work we do matters to our community, creating a huge sense of purpose. We’re passionate about making our world a better place, and we have the drive to make it a reality — all while making our careers as successful as we can imagine.”
- Gustavo Rodriguez, department manager
5. Olympus Property
“Since joining Olympus Property in 2009, I’ve seen the company not only grow in size, but talent. No matter your title, from groundskeeper to corporate team member, the company gives you the tools you need to reach your goals. I left for a short time and came back because the culture was unmatched. The ‘Olympus Culture’ is a consistent theme throughout the organization. The owners and leadership team work diligently to ensure the culture here is second to none. It is important to create an environment that is customer-centered, built on trust, working as a family, and of course working as a team and having fun along the way.”
- Sarah Turner, DFW Regional Manager
6. Bank of Texas
“I love working at Bank of Texas for several reasons, but one of the highlights is that I feel valued. It has been proven to me time and time again that my opinion counts and that I’m an integral part of the team. Our team is always willing to help out when needed, no matter the task or whether it crosses departmental lines. We’re all here to reach the same goal. I’ve also been encouraged to learn more and seek out opportunities for growth. There is a noticeable effort to maintain and groom the existing talent. We are a priority.”
- Stephanie Reyes, Lending Support Specialist
7. Freedom Powersports
“I’ve been working at Freedom Powersports since February of this year, and I have loved every second of it. The thing that sticks out to me is the family atmosphere amongst the employees and management. I know that if I needed help after hours, that I could call any one of them, and they would drop whatever they were doing to help, because that is what being a part of the Freedom family means.”
- Billy Lenard, Salesman
8. Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics
“When I first interviewed at Rodeo, I had no idea of what to expect — and I still don’t! What a crazy, spontaneous, and compassionate culture it is! As a patient advocate, I’m lucky enough to work in the Patient Loyalty team, which tees up the ultimate “wow” experience for our patient arrivals. We’re a virtual extension of each office and actually get to travel to meet the doctors and team in our Fort Worth, South Texas, Laredo, and Houston locations. With leaders that are obsessed with patient experience and a culture that values art, entertainment, individuality, and self-expression — I’m addicted to Rodeo! There — I admit it!”
- Ana Gabriela “Gaby” Silva, Patient Loyalty Advocate
“Koddi gives its employees the ability to shape the direction of their own careers and empowers them to succeed. Every day at Koddi offers a unique challenge to overcome and the opportunity for personal growth. All of your coworkers are fully committed to one another's success and help each other learn. Koddi is a fast-paced, ever-changing and engaging place to work.”
- Zachary Rector, Account Manager
2. Forte Benefits
“Forte Benefits isn’t just comprised of employees, rather a family who loves and respects one another. Built on a foundation of integrity and commitment to supporting each other, Forte’s culture is evident from the inside out. Our partners have worked hard over the years to create an environment where teamwork truly does make the dream work, and it shows in our customer service and service model deliverability. At the end of the day, Forte is committed to its family through a supportive culture and friendly office environment, which in turn allows the team to work comfortably, productively and efficiently.”
- Tabitha Biery, Director of Operations
3. Satori Capital
“No veil – no posturing – just unbridled authenticity. I was tired of accepting a world with two separate lives: Jon Gard the professional and Jon Gard the husband/father/friend. Satori has allowed me to seamlessly merge these into one aligned and purposeful life. I am encouraged to show up as my authentic self, flaws and all, which unlocks my true potential and offers a sense of inner equilibrium, vulnerability, and deep fulfillment that can’t be found at traditional organizations. Our culture is like rocket fuel for the mind, body, and soul! I love my team members and cannot imagine working anywhere else.”
- Jon Gard, director, Investment Team
4. Jim Ross Law Group, P.C.
“This firm has provided professional and personal opportunities that I would not have had at any other firm. This firm isn’t just an office where I spend my time during work hours. To consider it as such would be a slight to the co-workers I consider friends and Jim, who has invested in not only getting to know me and developing my career, but he has also taken time to get to know my family. I am very thankful for his mentorship and the opportunities for growth he has given me.”
- Rustin Brunson, Attorney
5. Pacheco Koch
“Since joining the Pacheco Koch Fort Worth office more than seven years ago, I have witnessed our transition from a small, five-person office to the awesome group of professionals I work with daily. I have seen firsthand the effort that goes into ensuring every new hire first and foremost positively contributes to the office culture. This effort is one of the main reasons our various departments are able to work together and collaborate daily on numerous projects while still having fun. Starting on my first day at Pacheco Koch with an employee lunch, everybody I have met since then has made sure I feel welcome and has assured that I continue to receive the right opportunities for professional development and growth within the company. "
- Jace Motheral, Engineer
6. Patterson Law Group
“There are many reasons that Patterson Law Group is a great place to work. Among them is that every day we see people at their most vulnerable and in pain. We are privileged to take those vulnerabilities and stand up alongside our clients to make sure that their voice is heard and that those who are responsible for their pain are held accountable. I get to do this with co-workers who are as passionate about the good we do in our clients’ lives as I am. That makes coming to work feel less like work, and more like a calling.”
- Tina Joslin
7. Qualbe Marketing Group
“It’s an amazing feeling when a company’s values not only line up with your own, but even challenge you to be a better person. That’s been my experience working at Qualbe. We put others ahead of ourselves, whether customers or co-workers. We have fun with lip-sync competitions, chili cook-offs and pickleball tournaments. We never stop learning through reading competitions and conferences. When employees encounter difficulty, supervisors encourage them and ask, ‘how can I help you succeed?’ Qualbe values and cultivates each employee so that we all have a role in building up businesses and building up people – together.”
- Becky Dobyns, Digital Specialist
“I’m proud to work for FPG because it’s a group of people determined to recognize not only the achievements of our clients and company, but to celebrate the weekly achievements of each other. And the fact that we do it at our ‘I’m Freakin’ Awesome Happy Hour’ every Friday is not just icing on the cake, but a cherry in my Manhattan.”
- Mary Marshall
9. EST Group
“I love working at EST Group because the leadership cares about their teams and those with whom we do business. Our president, Tim Spires, and CFO Patricia Spires are always looking for ways to reward their employees for their hard work and loyalty. EST Group hosts several ‘Date Nights’ throughout the year at movies, Lone Star Park and Rangers’ games. Employees are allowed to expense babysitting. EST Group also throws a lavish Christmas party at which we received an apparel gift, popcorn tins and Christmas bonuses. The company also provides lunch for all of the employees every Friday. EST Group provides community support by giving money to the Legacy Scholarship Program, among others. I was even allowed to take a week to go down to Houston and help with Hurricane Harvey relief. We send cards, flowers or gift cards to employees, partners and customers who have lost loved ones, had babies or have had illnesses so they know EST Group cares about them. We have a casual, but professional working environment, and with all of the talk about sexual harassment in the media recently, it is refreshing to work in an environment that feels like family more than work.”
- Beverly Kellar, Executive Marketing Assistant
10. Trinity Valley School
“Trinity Valley School is my happy place. It has breathtaking landscapes, magnificently well-maintained buildings, and access to all the tools needed for staff and students to accomplish great tasks. Teaching at TVS means having autonomy in the classroom, phenomenal benefits, remarkable opportunities for professional growth, and being supported by the most amazing administrative team that values us. My eyes have been opened to a community of employees, parents, and students who strive to be people of character, every day … no matter what. Everyone is enthusiastic and helpful at our school. Kindness rules at TVS, and there is nowhere else I would rather be!”
- Grace Crumley, First-grade Teacher, Trinity Valley School
11. Worthington National Bank
"Working at Worthington is like joining a family. Everyone works together as a team, supporting each other and cheering each other on. We celebrate accomplishments and band together to get through hard times, both personal and professional. Worthington treats their employees with compassion and understanding. They believe that family comes first, and they prove it by their actions. They expect dedication and diligence, and they live up to it themselves. All of this means that, at Worthington, you are surrounded by people who really love their job and who are really good at it!”
- Laura Jordan
12. Fort Capital
“It is extremely rewarding to know you work with a group of people that really care about each other. That is what we have at Fort Capital. We all trust, support and invest in each other to not only grow this great company but also as individuals. Our leadership team is always eager to listen and receive feedback in order to make this company the best that it can be! Being such a small company, it’s difficult at times to compete with the large companies regarding benefits. Fort goes above and beyond to elevate our benefits year after year. This and so much more make Fort the best place to work!”
- Shana Crawford, Development Manager
13. Comfort Experts
“What makes Comfort Experts a great company to work for? First and foremost, we do what we say we will do for our customers. We stand behind our work 100 percent. Being in the customer service department for a company that is honest and cares about its customers makes my job much easier! Also, it is the people who own and run the company, the Hobsons. They are very family-oriented and will go above and beyond to help an employee deal with a personal situation instead of just turning their backs and wishing the employee well. Last year, one of my sons had a stroke, and Mr. Hobson not only kept my job for me although I had to be out of the office for six weeks, but he also covered my insurance cost while I was out. The day I got back, the entire company had made donations to give me to help me get back on my feet after the long break from earning. I have been with Comfort Experts almost 10 years, and I look forward to the next 10 as well.”
- Lisa Maddux, Customer Service Agent
14. Apex Capital Corp
“Apex gives each employee the ability to find their true passion. Personally, I gained the knowledge I needed through Apex’s tuition reimbursement program, which assisted me in completing my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. From there, I cross-trained within Apex to determine which role was most in line with my interests. Over the years, I have held positions in many departments. This foundation helps me succeed in my current role of account executive, which I absolutely love. I am very thankful to have found Apex and look forward to all that my future holds within this amazing organization!”
- Aeron Lopez, Account Executive
15. Anderson Plastic Surgery & MedSpa
“I have never worked in such a compassionate, collaborative environment. Decisions they make for the business, the future of the company, the daily culture, are all built on the foundation of our family. They value our input and encourage groupthink. I can recall sitting across from Dr. Anderson in a team meeting four years ago, and I noticed his eyes were focused on my right forearm. After a few moments, he asked if I have always had that brown spot. I said ‘yes,’ but I think it has gotten bigger over the years. His response was, ‘before you leave today, I want to remove that and get a biopsy, just in case.’ He always has our best interests in mind, like a concerned father. At Anderson Plastic Surgery & MedSpa, we invest in our team, our culture, our skills, and our future through training and development, team building, events and group celebrations. The goal is to grow a team of individuals who care as much about our patients as Dr. Anderson does. The result is this incredible group of men and women who have a deep-rooted pride knowing we work for the best and deliver the best care to every patient we see. If we can’t help them, we set them up with someone who can.”
- Lauren Duke, Business Director
16. The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
“The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is a large, close-knit family. From the first day that I stepped into The Center’s doors, I felt at home. There is a warmth that exudes from the pores of the building and every member of our staff. The Center is a comprehensive cancer center that enables us to streamline health care so that every patient receives the best medical treatment available, while providing the compassion of a trusted friend or family member. I truly enjoy coming to work every day, and this allows me to provide care that is second to none.”
- Albert Parra, M.D.
17. Muckleroy & Falls
“Muckleroy & Falls is a uniquely blended company that was built on, and is still true to, its experienced leaderships’ values and trustworthy reputation, combined with an ambitious team that brings diverse backgrounds and skillsets together, exercising innovative technology and best practices to build a company that is committed to seeing the continued success of our community. We provide training and guidance, empowering our team members to serve in a leadership capacity while creating an environment, that from top to bottom, is passionate about their work and takes immense pride in providing products and service that exceed industry standards.”
- Matthew McDonald, Pre-construction Manager