Welcome to the Business Journal’s eighth Best Places to Work in the North Bay.

This is a year with a record number of winners, 75 and more than 6,000 employees participated in the anonymous online work satisfaction survey.

The winners selected this year and featured on these pages are inspirational and instructional, providing the North Bay with key benchmarks for what makes a company a great place to work, especially in these challenging and fast-changing times.

15--50 employees

51--100 employees

101--250 employees

251--500 employees

501--1,000 employees

More than 1,000 employees

How the winners were chosen

Photos

PDF of Best Places to Work special Section

We are especially pleased to welcome an impressive group of 13 new winners. And eight truly exceptional companies out of 24 winners at the start of the awards in 2006 have returned as honorees for the eighth consecutive year.

The winners, representing a broad range of industries, including banking, engineering, technology, health care, insurance, accounting, consulting, entertainment, food manufacturing, automotive, wine, landscaping and building, were feted at an awards reception last week.

People frequently ask how organizations are selected as among the Best Places to Work in the North Bay. The simple answer is that their employees choose them.

When a company is a great place to work it comes through loud and clear on the employee measurements of the organization’s credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie. We also ask for written responses to what makes your company great and how it could improve. Every survey is reviewed and re-reviewed.

For many companies, the Best Places to Work competition has become an annual measurement of where their organization stands with employees, what they are doing right and areas for improvement. Many companies use the recognition to build morale, improve retention and to attract talent who want to be part of a great place to work.

Yes, we have grown from 24 winners in 2006 to 75 in 2013. But it is not because we have made it any easier. In fact, the average company score over those seven years to date has varied by just about one-tenth of one-point. We haven’t made it any easier. Rather, our recipients – both newcomers and repeat winners – have stepped up and met the challenge.

Next year we are planning to hand companies an additional challenge. That is, in cooperation with the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, the Journal is planning to add a family-friendly practices category that honors companies with exceptional performance in this important arena.

Once again, congratulations to our winners. They have shown exceptional character over a long and challenging period for business. We hope you gain insight from reading these company stories as much as we did finding and telling them.---Brad Bollinger, Editor in Chief, Publisher