(Winners are listed by size category and then alphabetically by company name.)
More than 1,000 employees
How the winners were chosen
PDF of Best Places to Work special SectionBKF EngineersThree-time winner
SANTA ROSA -- BKF has been a leading California civil engineering firm since 1915.
"Everyone takes their job seriously and proudly. We who work directly with clients always feel like we're on their side -- which makes working hard and late on their projects easier," a consultant said.
"When you put together highly trained technical advisors with high passion for their work, you have ingredients for a good company," said Greg Hurd, principal and vice president. "When they also care deeply about the community and clients, you have the recipe for a great company."
Employees say, "Our company culture is free of trivial politics and office drama. Young employees aren't held back and receive progressively responsible assignments."
BFK has been selected for many top projects like SMART, Highway 101 improvements, BART, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Queen of the Valley Hospital and the newly reconstructed Santa Rosa Auto Mall.
"I worked at two other Bay Area engineering companies and BKF is the best by far. I wish I had come here sooner. We have a professional environment, cool employee events, extra curricular team bonding activities and clean, high-tech office spaces."
Staff members enjoy an annual holiday party, a picnic at Six Flags, and a casino day at corporate headquarters in Redwood City with raffle prizes to be won.Coldwell Banker Brokers of the ValleyThree-time winner
NAPA -- Coldwell Banker is a national real estate brokerage comprised locally of friendly, knowledgeable and professional people working together to meet and exceed client needs by creatively overcoming any challenges.
"We have an outstanding company that continually strives to make employees successful," an associate said.
In the North Bay, Coldwell Banker has 155 employees -- with an average longevity of seven years service among staff and assistants.
"Our team is what makes us a fantastic company," said Carolyn Roberts, broker owner. More than 65 percent (some 86 agents) have been with us more than 10 years."
Employees say the people involved and honest communication is what makes the company a Best Place to Work. "It is always on the cutting edge of industry developments and prepared to invest in the company's growth," a staff member added.
In the economic slide, an agent said "The firm carefully monitored and reduced expenses (such as scanning files rather than paper storage) without cutting support service to agents. It also enhanced in-service education for sales associates to enable them to be the best in a challenging market."
Coldwell Banker's people work hard and have fun at holiday parties, Taco Tuesdays, fun Fridays, and Giants games, along with bowling, bocce ball and golf outings.Embassy Suites Hotel - San RafaelFive-time winner
SAN RAFAEL -- "With the economy getting stronger, Embassy Suites has an opportunity to hire more people and ensure that all of our team members are getting their hours," General Manager Pat Sorber said.
"The team I work with is what makes this property and brand great. They are the reason I come to work every day."