Subscribe

Discover why these 100 North Bay companies are Best Places to Work in 2022

Welcome to our special section honoring this year’s winners of the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work awards. It’s always a wonderful honor for me to call attention to the 100 employers receiving this award, because it’s a recognition which is largely the result of how their employees view them.

But as an additional point of pride this year, we at the Journal are celebrating for another reason. This is the 35th year that the North Bay Business Journal has had the privilege of serving the region’s business community. Yes, first with our weekly publication and then later by offering a vital, informative website, we’ve been committed to serving businesses in the primary counties we report on: Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma.

As we do that each day, underlying the effort is our mission to provide relevant business

news on the trends, events and people in the area. We work so you can: stay informed, get connected and celebrate success.

That “celebrate success” idea is exactly what we do with this issue of the North Bay Business Journal.

To determine our company winners this year, we were pleased that more than 4,700 employee surveys were completed for the nominated companies. Our business world continues to be a changing one for sure – working remote, working back in the office or hybrid – so it’s heartening that so many employees took the time to complete the survey and provide their views of their workplace.

And out of a possible five, the average score on the survey of workers was 4.8. Several of the companies had 100% employee-survey participation, and others were very close to that figure.

Preparation for the 17th annual Best Places to Work awards began in early summer, followed by a mandatory anonymous survey period.. The final selections were made in August.

Those selections by the editorial staff of the Journal were based on the employee survey results and participation, comments and employer application.

And a point of history in this, the 17th annual Best Places to Work awards. In our first year, we chose 24 winners. And while the numbers have gone up, our vision remains about what’s at the core of this program. It’s the need to recognize exceptional employees and highlight exceptional workplace practices.

While it has been great to get the responses, we have gotten for the Best Places to Work awards, we’ve always felt the award is only part of the impact of the effort.

The larger, longer-term value is the anonymous feedback of employees. Used expertly,

this feedback can tell an organization where it is doing well and where it might improve. And the designation continues to be an invaluable tool for employee attraction and retention.

I have been honored in the year since becoming Journal publisher to meet many of you in the business community, individually or at our events. The Best Places to Work celebration was held on Sept. 14, sponsored by Exchange Bank and Trope Group. It was a great way to congratulate this year’s winners.

—Lorez Bailey, North Bay Business Journal publisher


Profiles of this year’s Best Places to Work

By Gary Quackenbush, for North Bay Business Journal

2022 winners

  1. Adobe Associates, Inc
  2. Akili Interactive
  3. All Weather Architectural Aluminum
  4. Anova Education
  5. Arrow Benefits Group
  6. Becoming Independent
  7. Beyers Costin Simon PC
  8. BKF Engineers
  9. Boisset Collection
  10. BPM, LLP
  11. Central Valley Builders Supply
  12. Centric General Contractor
  13. Charles Schwab
  14. Chop’s Teen Club
  15. Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
  16. Committee on the Shelterless
  17. Community First Credit Union
  18. Community Support Network
  19. Corcoran Global Living
  20. Cornerstone
  21. Costeaux French Bakery
  22. Dal Poggetto & Company LLP
  23. DH Wine Compliance
  24. Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty
  25. Dillwood Burkel & Millar, LLP
  26. Don Sebastiani & Sons
  27. Earthtone Construction, Inc.
  28. Eleven Engineering, Inc.
  29. Emeritus Vineyards
  30. Exchange Bank
  31. Fairweather & Associates, Inc.
  32. Food For Thought
  33. Friedemann Goldberg Wargo Hess, LLP
  34. GC Micro Corporation
  35. George Petersen Insurance Agency
  36. Ghilotti Bros., Inc.
  37. Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire
  38. Gusmer Enterprises, Inc.
  39. Harv 81 Group Usa, Inc.
  40. Healdsburg Lumber Company
  41. Hennessy Advisors, Inc.
  42. Hilton Garden Inn – Sonoma County Airport
  43. Hogan Land Service
  44. Idex Health & Science
  45. Intelisys, a Scansource Company
  46. Intervine, Inc.
  47. Interwest Insurance Services, LLC
  48. Jackson Family Wines
  49. Kiosk Creative, LLC
  50. KLH Consulting
  51. Ledson Winery & Vineyards
  52. M.A. Silva USA
  53. Macias Gini & O’Connell
  54. Mengali Accountancy
  55. Mike’s Bikes
  56. MKM & Associates Structural Engineering
  57. Moss Adams, LLP
  58. Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County
  59. Napa Valley Fumé
  60. North Coast Title Company
  61. North Marin Community Services
  62. Nova Group, Inc.
  63. Ole Health
  64. Oliver’s Market
  65. Parkpoint Health Club
  66. Peju Winery
  67. Peterson Mechanical, Inc.
  68. Pisenti & Brinker, LLP
  69. Poppy Bank
  70. Psychstrategies, Inc.
  71. Redwood Credit Union
  72. RESIG (Redwood Empire Schools’ Insurance Group
  73. Russian River Brewing Company
  74. Scott Laboratories
  75. Scott Technology Group
  76. Simply Solar
  77. Siyan Clinical Corporation
  78. Smith Dollar PC
  79. Snoopy’s Home Ice Redwood Empire Ice Arena
  80. Soiland Co., Inc.
  81. Sonoma Clean Power Authority
  82. Sonoma Jet Center
  83. Sonoma Technology, Inc.
  84. Spaulding Mccullough & Tansil
  85. St. Francis Winery and Vineyard
  86. Star Staffing
  87. Summit Engineering
  88. Summit State Bank
  89. Summit Technology Group
  90. TLCD Architecture
  91. Traditional Medicinals
  92. Vivalon (Formerly Whistlestop
  93. W. Bradley Electric, Inc.
  94. Wealthspire Advisors, LLC
  95. West Coast Fire & Water (Bridges Restoration, LLC)
  96. Willow Creek Wealth Management
  97. WRA, Inc.
  98. Wright Residential
  99. WX Brands
  100. YWCA Sonoma County

ADOBE ASSOCIATES, INC.

ten-time winner

Company profile: Since 1982, Santa Rosa-based Adobe Associates has provided civil engineering, land surveying, wastewater engineering and stormwater management services as well as offering land planning, permit processing and project guidance.

What the CFO says: “We’ve created a culture of overcoming distractions to achieve what matters most to our clients, our teams and our organization,” said CFO David Brown. “We all feel part of something bigger than ourselves and have a say in how we best meet our clients’ needs.

He said the best results come from people who love what they do.

“We put significant effort into making Adobe Associates a great place to work with a strong belief in team cohesion and a culture of respect that enhances each person’s professional development. By maintaining a polite, positive, drama-free workplace, we can focus on collaboration and results rather than office politics.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Adobe offers Friday breakfasts, summer lunches and outings, birthday celebrations, flex schedules, company SWAG, logo ’ed attire, and personal field clothing reimbursement. Benefits include education, professional license exam communication device and wellness reimbursements; dependent scholarships and care contributions; employee referral bonuses, and quarterly profit-sharing bonuses

Average tenure of the firm’s 43 employees is almost 10 years, and 20% of upper management is women and minorities, the company reports.

What employees have to say: “Adobe has maintained openness and flexibility to change…. They provide a great environment…. Good supervision, communications and benefits…. With a focus on and support for employees’ careers and client success.” [back to the top]

AKILI INTERACTIVE

two-time winner

Company profile: Akili brings together neuroscience combined with the latest technology and video game entertainment in the field of medicine.

Akili developed EndeavorRx, an FDA-approved digital therapeutic video game designed to help children with ADHD improve attention deficit issues and hyperactivity in adolescent patients.

The company also developed digital therapeutic AKL-T01 to improve cognitive dysfunction in patients diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Studies show this therapy significantly improves motor speed and executive functions

What the CCO has to say: “Alkili is a wonderful place to work offering great benefits and perks,” said Chief Creative Officer Matt Omernick. “There are stock options, a flex-work environment, fun and engaging company events and other activities that make Akili one of the best places to work while also offering a exceptional work/life balance.”

He said there are several employee-driven committees that address various company needs called “Engage” (internal events) “Thrive” (employee wellness); “Connect” (volunteerism); and “Include” (diversity/inclusion).

What makes it a “Best Place to Work’: There are virtual pie baking classes, trivia nights, painting classes and group hiking trips sponsored by Aliki. In 2022, there was a Volunteer Day of Service supporting communities with food insecurity.

What employees have to say: “A warm, inviting and friendly culture…. Employees are empowered…. Full transparency from leadership…. A strong focus on employee wellbeing.” [back to the top]

ALL WEATHER ARCHITECTURAL ALUMINUM

three-time winner

Company profile: All Weather Architectural Aluminum, headquartered in Vacaville, has been providing hand-crafted custom windows and doors for residential and commercial structures for more than half a century. It is a family-owned and operated business with 128 employees.

What the president says: “We don’t just build windows, we enhance how people experience the world around them,” according to President Bertram DiMauro. “We foster a culture of mutual support that promotes trust, rewards employee efforts, and ensures that they know their work is meaningful. We provide a challenging work environment that expects employees to rise to challenges and be completely engaged.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The firm states it lives by its values of Empowerment, Respect, Integrity, Accountability, Customer Service and Excellence in everything it does – from showing gratitude for employee efforts and results through personal and public communication as well as through generous benefits, gifts and bonuses.

The company promotes professional growth through training and development. “We ask employees what interest they have in career development and then design a plan to help them reach their goals, while offering flexible work schedules to accommodate their personal needs.”

All Weather has quarterly LOOP meetings – Linking Our Outstanding People – where lunch is provided, employees are recognized, games are played, and company news and updates are provided.

The company’s CARES Committee participated in “Rise Against Hunger” when 10,000 meals were created in a single event to be shipped to 3rd-world countries, and “End 68 Hours of Hunger“ with employees stuffing 125 bags weekly with nine items children could take home for weekend meals during the 2021-2022 school year.

What employees have to say: “We enjoy a balanced and fair work environment…. Lots of opportunities to grow…. We’re committed to live the firm’s values…. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere…. everyone gives you respect.” [back to the top]

ANOVA EDUCATION

three-time winner

Company profile: Anova offers a treatment program encompassing educational, behavioral and therapy services for children and adults with learning disabilities. autism spectrum disorders and neurodevelopmental impairments in Northern California.

This nonprofit organization operates K-12 Anova Centers for Education schools in Santa Rosa and Concord providing education and therapy, after-school programs, services in public schools and in-home environments.

What the CEO says: “Established in 2000, Anova was founded on the belief that all children deserve the opportunity to learn and will succeed when provided with the proper learning environment,” said CEO and Founder Andrew Bailey.

“Actions speak louder than words and together with our 116 employees in the North Bay we can create a world of strong communities where every family is supported, and all children achieve their full potential. Our staff is incredibly dedicated to changing lives for the better,” he said.

The team is part of the Sonoma County Human Race and participates in Autism Night at Giant’s Stadium.

Staff members enjoy a summer BBQ at the end of the school year, happy hour events throughout the year and a catered feast before Thanksgiving.

Anova promotes from within based on a belief that current employees are closest to the culture and understand the mission. Average employee tenure is 12 years.

What employees have to say: “Anova is a close community with a big heart working for our students…. My fellow employees provide incredible services and care…. I’ve never felt so welcomed at a job before…. It’s not a job, it’s a mission…. We change lives.” [back to the top]

ARROW BENEFITS GROUP

eight-time winner

Company profile: Arrow Benefits Group of Petaluma has been managing the complexities of employee benefits since 1986 by offering expert advice, customized programs and personalized HR solutions.

What the CEO says: “Arrow’s greatness lies in our 25 dedicated team members in Petaluma who are fierce client advocates,” said CEO and Managing Principal Joe Genovese. “We pride ourselves in being strategic partners. Our commitment to innovative solutions and compassionate service is the direct result of our amazing team who are thoughtful about the people and communities we serve.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The company supports a well-balanced personal lifestyle where employees manage their own time off and work responsibilities. Each person is given the opportunity to take time off as needed instead of accruing, or being granted, a specific number of PTO hours.

Arrow also offers 20 hours per year for employees to perform community service or participate in community events or philanthropic efforts.

Arrow offers ID Shield and Legal Shield (for legal advice and consultation), Health Joy (an all-in-one benefits wallet giving employees access to their plans in the palm of their hands) including the Employee Assistance Program and a concierge to assist with access to a doctor, mental health support or pharmacy savings.

Employees donated over $25,000 personally at the annual gala of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Arrow staff members have also been involved with the North Bay Children Center along with 11 other charitable organizations.

What employees have to say: “I feel supported by the management team and validated on a daily basis…. There’s large emphasis on personal and professional development…. Strong leadership and a common shared vision…. We have the freedom to be ourselves.” [back to the top]

BECOMING INDEPENDENT

thirteen-time winner

Company profile: Santa Rosa-based nonprofit Becoming Independent (BI) prides itself on being a leading innovator in the field of human services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

What the CEO says: “The talent, creativity, compassion and education our staff possess have allowed BI to set the standard of quality and service expectation for people with disabilities in California and beyond,” said Luana Vaetoe.

She said the culture is diverse, inclusive and supportive of all people. BI’s 131 North Bay employees and those they support come from a variety of backgrounds, and the organization embraces those differences.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Most employees spend a portion of their workday taking those served out into the community to participate in paid employment, volunteer and service opportunities with other nonprofits or other recreational activities.

“Staff members are encouraged to share their input and to come up with innovative solutions and future plans. The voices of direct support professionals (DSP) are heard. They are our biggest asset,” said Vaetoe.

Jobs are posted internally before announcing them to the public. Any employee in good standing with the company is eligible to apply for other open positions after six months of employment. Eightysix percent of upper management is minorities and women, the organization stated.

Benefits include tuition, mileage and cell phone reimbursement, referral bonuses and a professional training program. Company events include an annual employee recognition event, holiday party and a direct support professional recognition week.

What employees have to say: “Everyone works as a team to achieve our goals…. People here are exceptional and thoughtful…. The work we do is amazing…. It is culture of professionalism, excellent service and great employee relations.” [back to the top]

BEYERS COSTIN SIMON PC

seven-time winner

Company  profile: With more than four decades in business, Beyers Costin Simon (BCS) is a real estate and business focused law firm.

What the managing partner says: “The firm has always put the needs of our clients first, but that hasn’t meant that our employees have been neglected,” said James Beyers of the Santa Rosa firm.

“Instead, we recognize that producing the best results for our clients depends on the best efforts of a skilled and motivated staff. BCS continuously encourages excellence while providing a relaxed and comfortable workplace. The best possible work product for our clients starts with employees who are encouraged to be active and healthy.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: BCS also has a small office gym for employees to use during the workday or after hours for a light workout. The firm offers fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks.

BCS has a culture characterized by mutual respect and is always open for suggestions, company officials stated. Some employees serve on boards of directors of  various  community  organizations.

Average employee tenure is 16 years.

The firm celebrates employees with a week-long appreciation event every April, and everyone enjoys a day at the Sonoma County Fair as a company event. During the holidays, a dine out lunch is company sponsored for all employees, and there is an annual BLT lunch with a lot of fresh local tomatoes and BACON – of course!

What employees have to say: “Top management cares about our personal lives…. No one is micromanaged…. The collegiality is wonderful…. Managers are thoughtful and open to new ideas.” [back to the top]

BKF ENGINEERS

eleven-time winner

Company  profile: BFK provides civil engineering, land surveying, and land planning services for government agencies, institutions,   developers,

design professionals, contractors, school districts and corporations through its network of 16 offices in California, including those in Santa Rosa and San Rafael.

What the CEO says: “For more than 107 years, generations of BKF Engineers have earned a reputation for the ability to successfully plan, design, survey, and implement complex projects,” said President and CEO Greg Hurd. “We draw upon our experience guiding projects from initial due diligence and feasibility stages, progressing project designs, permitting approvals, through to construction and implementation.”

He said the firm emphasizes focused team collaboration, mitigating physical constraints and potential risks, and balancing design goals with value engineering solutions.

“The stability and growth of our firm can be attributed to consistent hard work and wise planning of generations of BFK employees. Today this team numbers more than 500+ experienced staff members dedicated to successfully delivering sustainable and dynamic projects for communities and its partners,” Hurd added.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: To help support healthy lifestyles, employees  have  access  to  TenSpot (a wellness platform); fitness club dues reimbursement, an EAP, natural disaster and bereavement leave, Farm Fresh to You 10% discounts on produce shipped to the home, and the ability to reserve and rent BFK’s 3-bedroom condo at Incline Village in Tahoe.

There is an annual company picnic, office events, group outings, holiday parties, an all-employee luncheon and a company mini-golf event.

Community involvement includes employee participation in Rebuilding Together, with the American Heart Association, the Breast Cancer Walk and Light the Night Walk.

What employee have to say: “BFK’s people and atmosphere make it a great place to come every day; we are constantly presented with new challenges, and as a team we work together to solve them; I enjoy BFK’s entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to go after projects that allow you to stretch beyond your comfort level and be creative; At a prior company I was always put into a certain role, but at BFK new ideas are welcome and encouraged, and I’m given the flexibility to run with them. [back to the top]

BOISSET COLLECTION

five-time winner

Company  profile: Napa Valley-based The Boisset Collection is an assemblage of  wineries

and properties owned by a family with deep roots in Burgundy and the South of France, as well as in comparable California terroirs in the Napa and Russian River Valleys, producing wines with a commitment to sustainable, organic and Biodynamic farming.

What the president says: “We have built an employee-driven culture of dreams that has created initiatives of diversity and inclusion in the wine world, where the audacity to pursue our dreams as an organization translates to all of our 377 North Bay employees,” said Proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset, president of Boisset Family Estates in St. Helena. “Our core values include passion for history, sustainability, community and conviviality. Some 56% of our employees are women.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Employees receive medical benefits, Wellness Wish funds for healthy activities, Boisset Bucks (points for employees who embody core values), a referral program ($500/$250 Boisset Bucks for a full/parttime hires), plus discounts for wine, non-wine merchandise and lunches at tasting rooms and retail outlets such as Oakville Grocery and Calistoga Depot.

They also receive commuter subsidies in some locations, paid events and free tickets for parties throughout the year. A job swap option is offered to experience work at different departments for a day, and LifeMart coupon discount codes are given for hotels, rental cars, etc., along with a ten-week English classes, and education grants.

Hybrid or remote work options and schedules are also available as mutually beneficial for the employee and the company. There is an annual employee appreciation celebration and a company picnic. Each year eight hours and four hours of paid time off are provided to full/parttime employees respectively to volunteer in the community.

What employees have to say: “Wonderful benefits and great wine…. We know we are appreciated…. The inspired vision and energy of the proprietor is awesome, along with the passionate people driving Boisset forward…. Clear communication between employees and management…. An environment that encourages innovation and creativity…. The diversity, support systems and opportunities to grow.” [back to the top]

BPM, LLP

seventeen-time winner

Company profile: BPM is one of the 40 largest accounting and business consulting firms in the U.S. with 900+ professionals on the West Coast (57 in the North Bay) that takes an industry approach to serving clients. The firm recently expanded its footprint by adding Santa Rosa based Elliott CPA Group Inc. in July and a Sacramento office through a combination with Avaunt Ltd. CPAs and consultants in August.

What the partner-in-charge says: “We believe in supporting others to be successful in work and life – no matter how big we grow, people will always be at the heart of what we do,” said North Bay Partner in Charge Michelle Ausburn. “We can’t bring extraordinary service to our clients without first taking care of our own people. We empower our people to reach for their dreams and help them accomplish their personal and professional goals while taking diversity, equity and inclusion seriously.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: With a culture centered on the value of people and their unique talents as a guiding principle, BPM focuses on teamwork and collaboration and believes in promoting from within.

Company-sponsored events include firmwide meetings, Colleague Resource Groups (CRG): Black Colleague CRG, LGBTQIA+CRG, AAPI CRG and Women’s Initiative Now! BMP also launches colleague virtual events, all-hands meetings, and virtual wellness sessions such as Mental Health Week and parent/caregiver events.

BMP’s North Bay office is involved with 20 charitable organizations, and company leaders and colleagues are actively engaged with 14 professional and industry organizations.

What employees have to say: “The genuineness of people makes us great…. The constant chance to learn something new…. We have smart colleagues and a wonderful leadership team…. People do matter for this company…. I have amazing coworkers.” [back to the top]

CENTRAL VALLEY BUILDERS SUPPLY

four-time winner

Company profile: As a top 100 U.S. building supply company, family-owned and operated Central Valley has been in business for over 67 years from its five locations in Napa, St. Helena, Healdsburg, Woodland and American Canyon. The company has five warehouses, 41 acres of inventory, 55 delivery vehicles and two fully stocked production yards that sell more than 100 million board feet of lumber each year.

What the CEO says: “We continue to grow Central Valley’s talent and business results with our focus on hiring and retaining great people,” said President and CEO Stephen Patterson. “Our ongoing emphasis on ‘empathy’ along with our other values shapes our workplace and interactions with customers, vendors and the community.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Central Valley offers cafeteria-style benefits providing employees with an opportunity to select from four medical plans, two dental plans, a vision plan, 401K and Roth retirement plans, a discounted service plan, voluntary insurance options along with EAP services.

Additional benefits include an employee store discount (purchase price+10% for material handling), a gym subsidy program, stop smoking incentive program, tuition assistance and volunteer day pay.

The company gives back 2% of profits annually to local community projects focused on providing affordable housing or tied to strong family values, such as Habitat for Humanity or donating beehives to a local school.

What employees have to say: “Flexibility with work schedules and personal life is honored by management…. The owner listens, cares and always says ‘Hi’ when visiting each work section – you can’t beat that! The company makes it clear that my work is appreciated, and an integral part of day-to-day operations…. Everyone is treated equally…. This is the best company I’ve worked for.” [back to the top]

CENTRIC GENERAL CONTRACTORS

five-time winner

Company profile: Established in 2005, Centric General Contractors is a construction management and building company with offices in the San Francisco area (Brisbane), St. Helena and New Orleans. Over the last 17 years in business Centric has built structures in eight categories, including custom homes, luxury resorts and hotels, wineries, restaurants, community buildings, offices and warehouses, historical restorations as well as industrial and utility projects.

What the owner says: “We love building< projects big and small and getting the job done on schedule and within budget. Our company has an uncommonly friendly and considerate high-powered team that work collectively as one with the intension of achieving a healthy balance between our goals and our clients’ needs,” said Tim McDonald

“We assume good intentions and learn from each experience to better our service and products. I believe a majority of our 55 North Bay employees (130 at all locations) enjoy working together as a team as well as the work we do. We also believe that trust builds our clients’ vision and knowledge builds that trust.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Centric trains and promotes from within whenever possible, it states. The average employee tenure is 10 years.

What employees have to say: “We have a small family atmosphere…. I get trust from management to do my job…. It’s our leadership, clarity and attention to detail that makes us great…. Our clientele make every day exciting…. We all care and love the work that we do.” [back to the top]

CHARLES SCHWAB

first-time winner

Company  profile: Publicly traded Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is an American multinational financial services  company.

It offers banking, commercial banking, investing and related services including consulting, and wealth management advisory services to both retail and institutional clients. Schwab has 45 employees in Santa Rosa with an average tenure of 18 years.

What the CEO says: “For almost 50 years Charles Schwab has stood as a beacon of inclusion, opportunity and respect to all,” said Walt Bettinger. “This commitment has never been more important than right now, as we continue fulfilling our long-standing strategy of seeing ‘Through Clients’ Eyes.’ That spirit of inclusiveness has been a guiding principle ever since.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Schwab is dedicated to building and maintaining a culture that values and reflects the individual strengths of every employee, knowing that through diversity the company gains a range of perspectives and experiences. In addition, the company focuses on financial literacy to empower diverse communities.

Benefits include a company match retirement savings plan, discounts on consumer items, an employee match on donations to nonprofits, and a paid sabbatical every five years for full-time employees.

Schwab offers employees PTO for volunteering each year. Employees participate in Schwab Volunteer Month that began in 2004, with about 1,000 employee volunteers serving 37 U.S. nonprofits. Today this program has over 6,000 employees serving more than 130 nonprofits nationwide.

Since 2011, Charles Schwab Bank has funded financial education programs for under-resourced youth across the West Coast. Through $340,000 in grants to the San Francisco–based nonprofit MyPath, this fund has helped expand the organization’s work to new cities and broaden its impact online.

What employees have to say: “I have all the tools necessary to succeed and grow…. Genuine ethical care for clients and employees…. Schwab is fair to everyone…. A group of highly educated, highly skilled workers…. We all work together to ensure we all excel together…. It is a strong culture of integrity…. We put clients first.” [back to the top]

CHOP’S TEEN CLUB

six-time winner

Company profile: Nonprofit Chop’s Teen Club in Santa Rosa provides a safe, fun and productive recreation and enrichment club established in 2001 where Sonoma County teens in grades 7-12 engage, connect and discover their true potential. Programs take place in a 21,000 square foot facility that include art, technology, sports, music, culinary skills and workforce development.

What the executive director says: “Chop’s is not only a fun place for teens, it’s a fun place to work where 15 staff members whole-heartedly believe in our mission,” said Melissa Stewart. “The environment is welcoming and inclusive, and staff mentors are eager to partner and collaborate between departments and other organizations to create new and exciting opportunities for young people.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Chop’s created a “Youth Convening” that brings several youth-serving agencies and youth development professionals together quarterly to share resources, network and support each other’s efforts and find ways to collaborate.

Through these meetings Chop’s has worked with Latino Service Providers, the City of Santa Rosa, regional parks, One Love, the Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership, Boys & Girls Clubs, 4C’s, Santa Rosa city libraries, Catholic Charities, and other organizations to also provide wraparound services that support both teens and families.

Teens are encouraged to give back through the “Teens Helping Kids” program. Before school starts, Chop’s teens shop and prepare bags of school supplies for 50 local youth in need. During the holidays, teens shop for youth who get overlooked during the season of giving.

What employees have to say: “It’s a great space overall…. Everyone is committed to our mission…. We provide a safe place for teens to hang out…. We provide support at many levels for our members…. Working with teens and seeing them grow is very rewarding—we are all here for each other.” [back to the top]

COLDWELL BANKER BROKERS OF THE VALLEY

eleven-time winner

Company  profile: Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley is celebrating its 28th anniversary. With offices in Napa, St. Helena and Sonoma, this North Bay brokerage has 125 licensed real estate professionals and 30 support staff.

What the general manager says: “One of our founding principles is the belief that we can accomplish more together than we can do apart,” said Logan Songer. “I’m proud of our team that consistently ranks in the top 50 of more than 2,900 Coldwell Banker offices worldwide.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Team members are kept up to date with weekly business meetings with more than 100 associates on Zoom calls and in person to promote listings and buyer needs.

They also enjoy hanging out together on bowling nights, at family bocce events, picnic outings, golf tournaments, holiday parties, wine and cheese socials, casino nights, at variety shows, Zoom dress up events, and Tahoe trips.

Coldwell Banker co-hosts Napa Valley Community Housing Golf Tournaments. Team members support the local food bank, along with paper, shoe and toy drives.

More than 50% of associates and staff have been with the company for 10 years or longer.

What employees have to say: “Ongoing training is hands down the best in the business…. Co-workers are appreciative, always supportive and ready to share information….

“High standards…. Company leaders listen, help, and try to alleviate as much stress as possible…. Team loyalty among agents and staff is consistent, going the extra mile.” [back to the top]

COMMITTEE ON THE SHELTERLESS

three-time winner

Company profile: The nonprofit Committee On The Shelterless (COTS) in Petaluma assists those experiencing homelessness in finding and keeping housing while also increasing self-sufficiency and improving well-being.

What the CEO says: “What makes COTS such a unique work environment is that not only do we provide a safe space for our team members to show up every day to do what they do best and be their best selves, we also really like each other, trust each other and enjoy being with one another,” said Chuck Fernandez.

“Comradery makes work fun and professionally stimulating as together we have the honor to make a positive impact on our community for the homeless. Because we trust each other, that allows us to work through the many challenges faced easier, faster and with better results.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: COTS has two permanent supportive housing programs and provides hot nutritional meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner (to go only) each weekday to those in need regardless of age at its Mary’s Table at 900 Hopper Street in Petaluma.

Sponsored events include wiffle-ball tournaments, parade participation, a cornhole picnic, raffles at wine tasting venues, a holiday party, an annual COTS Hour, fundraising events, and COVID testing “probe” parties with snacks and beverages.

What employees have to say: “We provide and deliver results our donors and community sees…. Our dedication and compassion are exceptional…. It’s a warm environment of big-hearted folks…. The support we receive is something that can’t be compared with…. My coworkers are incredible…. We have a truly astonishing benefits package!” [back to the top]

COMMUNITY FIRST CREDIT UNION

two-time winner

Company profile: Community First Credit Union (CFCU), established in 1959, is a Community Development Financial Institution certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. As such, the Santa Rosa-based organization specializes in providing credit and financial services to underserved.

What the CEO says: “CFCU is a unique organization that truly cares about and values its employees,” said Scott Johnson. “We understand that people spend most of their time on the job and we want to make it a fun place for our 170 employees at branches in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Lake and Mendocino Counties. Employees know the credit union is here for them and they appreciate it.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Things done to make CFCU fun, include Wine Fridays at 4 p.m. at the corporate office; an annual Discovery Day for employees from all branches to get to know each other and go bowling, have a BBQ or take part in a volunteer opportunity; an annual Staff Appreciation Party in January; monthly Mission Moment awards for employees who go above and beyond.

There are contests and prizes (for best Halloween costumes, ugly sweater day, etc.), and a web-based recognition system employees use to give “coins” to their peers to show appreciation, or to say goodbye, that go into their virtual “Bonusly bank” to be used to buy gift cards, etc.

Bonuses are announced quarterly. Employees receive $50/month gym reimbursements, tuition reimbursement and employee loan discounts. Open positions are almost always posted internally first. Employee average tenure is eight years.

What employees have to say: “Management shows how much they care by their actions…. They help me grow in my position…. It’s a very progressive and inclusive culture…. Managers make themselves available for us…. Employees are celebrated and acknowledged.” [back to the top]

COMMUNITY SUPPORT NETWORK

three-time winner

Company profile: Known in Sonoma County as a provider of care for homeless adults with behavioral health challenges for half a century, Santa Rosa-based Community Support Network’s goal in 2022 is to support at least 200 individuals in need by providing hope, wellness, empowerment and high-quality supportive housing.

What the executive director says: “What makes CSN great is the incredible commitment the staff has in helping our residents reach their potential,” said Tom Bieri. “CSN creates a rewarding environment for staff by channeling a shared passion for helping others, which is reflected in staff retention with some having worked with us over 20 years. The team spirit expressed in everything we do is extraordinary as our 47 employees make a meaningful difference in the world.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: CSN’s culture is nurturing and collab orative with organizational values that include safety, dignity, client-centered, integrated compassion and accountability and strength-based growth. Employees are encouraged to engage in ongoing professional development through growth mindset and frequent training opportunities.

Permanent supportive housing is provided at several locations including Grand Avenue, at Sanctuary Villas, Sanctuary House and Stony Point Commons for residents sustaining a higher level of independence. Social rehabilitation for clients takes place at A Step Up in Cotati, Bridges and A Step Up in Santa Rosa. Board and care is provided at Brown Street and Hope House. A homeless shelter, called Opportunity House, is also operated by CSN.

What employees have to say: “We work together to model how we teach our clients to work-through conflict or differing opinions…. I feel like we are helping people improve their lives every day…. We have the flexibility to find solutions to problems…. The work environment is comfortable…. I look forward to coming to work. It’s a fun environment to be in.” [back to the top]

CORCORAN GLOBAL LIVING

two-time winner

Company profile: Global Living (CGL), is an independently owned and operated real estate affiliate of The Corcoran Group. It serves California, Reno-Tahoe/ southern Nevada and central Ohio. CGL has more than 80 offices and 2,800 agents in this region -including Napa, Santa Rosa and Sebastopol --with 130 employees.

What the regional VP says: “We live, work and play here as part of a collaborative team of supporters and partners,” said Betsy Serafini, regional VP & partner for the North Coast of California. “When we focus on helping our agents and teams build their success, we all succeed together. It’s a unique vision and approach in real estate, and it is what led so many top associates and teams to join us.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: CGL leaders stated it is a company built around a culture of trust, innovation and communication that strives to make real estate a team sport, rather than an individual one, and that associates will be most successful when they develop a healthy work-life balance.

Team members jump in to help host an open house for another agent or share valuable advice. They volunteer at local events and attend ball games. Associates serve their communities by supporting local schools, sports and churches.

Many associates donate a portion of their commission each quarter and the team as a whole decide which local nonprofits will benefit, such as the LIME Foundation, Chop’s Teen Club, MENTIS, Positive Images, Sebastopol Area Senior Center, Rotary Santa Rosa and Jameson Humane.

What employees have to say: “The team feeling, support and communication are the best I’ve ever experienced…. It’s a genuine place to work with high standards balanced with humor, hard work and perseverance…. Managers build trust and transparency…. Agents share ideas and pitch in to cover for each other…. We put collaboration above competition…. Resources are first class.” [back to the top]

CORNERSTONE

five-time winner

Company profile: Cornerstone is a North Bay commercial property owner and developer.

What the principal says: “Cornerstone is also a company that values employee’s lives first, over anything else,” according to Alon Adani. “We provide a relaxed and flexible work environment allowing each of our 15 employees to work a schedule best for them. This helps to increase the overall efficiency of our office staff, enabling them to maximize their skills. We also allow them creative freedom to adjust their workspace in ways that are inspiring to them. I’m proud of the work they do.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Beyond standard benefits with many health package choices, including a high deductible option, there are monthly employer sponsored Flexible Spending Plan (FSP) dollars, a 401K employer match plan, plus vision and dental benefits.

Cornerstone  offers  weekly  paid team  lunches,  gym  and  childcare reimbursement, paid time off, a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and the ability to have a hybrid office/work-fromhome schedule, the company notes.

What employees have to say: “Cornerstone is extremely fair to employees…. We feel that we all are taken care of…. Importance is placed on family and life outside the workplace…. A sense of comradery…. There are no egos in our office, including among ownership…. I like our mission and the innovation shown through this company.” [back to the top]

COSTEAUX FRENCH BAKERY

eleven-time winner

Company profile: Costeaux French Bakery was founded in 1923 by a family and has been family owned and operated ever since. Currently owned by the Seppi family, the Healdsburg-based company says the Costeaux team is a diverse mix of 122 “foodies” who treat each other as family, regardless of where each member was born or the cultural values they embrace – everyone is welcome.

What the CEO says: “At Costeaux, we focus on four core values and guiding principles: family, community, service and quality,” said Will Seppi. “We are truly blessed to have people who care about serving one another, our guests and accounts. Our team likes to have fun, too – a testament to our work is our tenure as we have grown over the years – averaging 7.5 years of service.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: In March a fun night BBQ was held. There were games for children and adults and the festivities ended with a movie for the kids. Another team event was in July.

The company works closely with the Redwood Empire Food Bank, Sonoma Family Meal, Windsor Food Alliance and the Healdsburg Food Pantry. It also supports numerous Sonoma County nonprofits and is closely aligned with Los Cien, the Career Technical Education Foundation and the annual Secret Santa Program along with the Naturally North Bay food industry organization.

Every year the team hosts interns from Healdsburg High School and the CTE Foundation giving students an opportunity to shadow staff in departments of interest and gain hands-on experience.

What employees have to say: “Great teamwork, flexibility and respect for others…. Positive attitudes are expressed by everyone…. We are hardworking and produce fine products…. We value authenticity and put our core values first – family, community, service and quality.” [back to the top]

DAL POGGETTO & COMPANY LLP

sixteen-time winner

Company profile: Dal Poggetto & Company LLP, founded in 1992, is a Certified Public Accounting firm located in Santa Rosa.

What the managing partner says: “We are deeply committed to providing the best training, technical resources and work environment for each of our 18 team members to support their professional growth and development so they will continue to be world class providers of accounting, tax and consulting services for privately-held businesses and their owners,” said Jon Dal Poggetto.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Dal Poggetto’s compensation and benefits program includes bonuses, health/dental insurance, paid time off, Section 125 401K plan with employer matching contributions, and life insurance. The firm provides educational assistance, and all staff members receive at least 80 hours of formal technical training per year.

The firm said it offers an ergonomic work environment, has flex work schedules and remote work options. Dal Poggetto promotes from within. Some 50% of upper management is women/minorities. The average employee tenure is 14 years.

Managers and staff participate in the Human Race and help support several nonprofits, including Canine Companions, Redwood Empire Food Bank, and the Salvation Army as well as by providing pro bono professional services to community-based 501c3 organizations. The firm also offers scholarships for SSU accounting students.

“We have an enjoyable, healthy environment based on open communications that encourages initiative, teamwork and innovation…. We are deeply committed to each other with connections that extend beyond daily work assignments…. Our firm has a strong reputation for quality work and responsive service…. Many employees volunteer in the community and some serve as board members and advisors for civic, charitable and cultural organizations,” said Dal Poggetto.

What employees have to say: “We have an enjoyable, healthy work environment

…. Management encourages our professional development…. Everyone is easy to talk to…. I appreciate the willingness of others to help…. It is a positive atmosphere inspiring us to learn, grow and excel.” [back to the top]

DH WINE COMPLIANCE

nine-time winner

Company profile: With over 198 years of combined experience, the DH Wine Compliance 25-member staffs’ expertise extends to all areas of alcohol compliance. The company assists organizations in obtaining and maintaining the permits and licenses needed to produce, sell, market and distribute their products.

What the president says: “While our workspaces have shifted, our customer service always remains our top priority. Our team is what got us where we are today,” said Drea Helfer. “In a post-COVID world, DHWC continues to pivot to accommodate our staff working in a hybrid environment. Team building and connecting has risen to the top of our list to ensure that all staff are aware of clients’ needs. Our team brings 110% every day, and it’s my duty to give them back 300%. We also recognize that people have lives outside of the workplace and we encourage everyone to unplug and enjoy their lives.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: While jobs can be stressful and demanding year-round, the company states DHWC tries to “lighten things up” as often as possible by finding ways for all team members to spend time together at an in-office potluck, a celebration or a company outing.

DHWC  hosts  the  Sonoma  County Backpack Project, which donates backpacks and school supplies to underprivileged youth. Time volunteering is paid for by the company for their support of the YWCA Sonoma County Safe ‘n’ Warm holiday coat drive, Adopt a Family, and by donations to the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

What employees have to say: “DH Wine is a flexible, honest, fun and hard-working place, and my coworkers are fantastic…. As a team, we are highly productive and efficient…. The owner creates a wonderful work environment and supports each of us…. Management is always open to hear our feedback and continuously improving the way things are done.” [back to the top]

DICKENSON PEATMAN & FOGARTY

six-time winner

Company profile: Rooted in the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma, major practice areas for the Napa-based firm include alcohol beverage law, business and corporate dealings, land use matters, labor and employment, civil litigation, intellectual property, geographical indications, real property transactions, water law as well as wine law.

What managing partners say: “We are a full-service law firm in business since 1964 providing legal representation to clients all over the world in the alcohol and hospitality industries,” said Jennifer Douglas and David Balter, co-managing partners.

“We truly value our staff, embrace our employees’ talents, and provide a supportive and educational setting for personal and professional growth. We also strive to provide a balanced work environment giving them a combination of big-firm opportunities and real-world experience, enabling them to provide a level of representation normally associated with legal practices in major metropolitan centers.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The firm’s sponsored events include summer and holiday parties, happy hours, cooking classes, birthday and anniversary celebrations and retirement parties. Complimentary snacks and beverages are provided at work, there is a Bevi machine, wine tastings along with regular company parties and happy hours.

Attorneys volunteer, perform pro bono work or serve on nonprofit boards at Legal Aid and for other charitable groups. DP&F makes monetary donations to numerous community organizations and matches employee contributions.

What employees have to say: “Managers are understanding when it comes to furthering our education and training…. It is a forward-looking firm, and I’m looking forward to the opening of our new offices…. It is a group of awesome people, a great environment and good support…. We take our clients and our work very seriously – but not always ourselves.” [back to the top]

DILLWOOD BURKEL & MILLAR, LLP

two-time winner

Company profile: Founded in 2000 with offices in Santa Rosa, DBM offers certified public accounting and tax preparation services to a list of industries including wine, real estate, manufacturing, professional service organizations, retail and nonprofits.

What the CPA and partner says: “We recognize, our firm’s success depends on the success of our people. We strive to cultivate a culture that encourages teamwork, learning, collaboration and excellent client service,” said David Dillwood. “We have an open-door policy for all levels, including owners, and make sure team members know they are appreciated and that their individual career growth is also part of the firm’s growth.”

Partners promote one-on-one mentor training. Staff members are encouraged to obtain their CPA licenses and other professional credentials. DBM team members speak eight languages and come from many ethnic backgrounds.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Company benefits include flex work schedules to study for CPA exams, a

$5,000 bonus for passing all CPA exams, paid professional education, and paid license renewal and professional membership dues, along with cell phone reimbursement and up to $500 yearly donation match to nonprofits, its leaders stated.

Fringes include free tickets to nonprofit fundraisers, and a fully stocked snack bar during tax season. There are dog friendly days every week and “Wine Time” on Friday afternoons.

Staff members volunteer with the Active 20/30 Club, Rotary, Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, REFB, Salvation Army, Kiwanis, the Community Foundation Sonoma County and the Human Race. Employees receive 12 hours per year as paid time for any volunteer work.

What employees have to say: “Everyone’s opinions and suggestions are respected and heard…. There is inclusiveness at all team levels…. We cheer each other on when it comes to individual and professional growth…. We are encouraged to take time off to be with our families and enjoy life together outside of work…. We all consistently work to produce quality products for our clients.” [back to the top]

DON SEBASTIANI & SONS

ten-time winner

Company profile: With roots in Sonoma County dating back to 1904, Don Sebastiani & Sons is among the nation’s leading producers of a portfolio of fine wines, spirits and sparkling water.

What the president says: “Family is at the core of who we are and what we do,” said Donny Sebastiani. “We take that seriously and embrace our challenges as families do. We work together to find solutions, and our employees are empowered to make the right decisions as if this was their own family winery. We are fortunate to have employees who communicate and work together as a team.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Company events are themed to include trivia games and prizes. Zoom meetings are held Monday mornings to recap recent activities and preview what’s happening in the company. These events include tastings of new products. There are celebrations around birthdays and new babies, along with Fiestas, potlucks and BBQ’s put together by diverse employees on the Boost Employee Engagement team.

The Napa-based company donates wine for nonprofit events. Proceeds from an annual “Giving Tree” are used to buy gifts for the needy at Christmas. In exchange for gifts employees receive raffle tickets for end-of-month cash prizes, and they also receive raffle tickets for every item donated during the annual food drive.

What employees have to say: “It’s a people-based company…. Employees are self-motivated and have innovative spirits…. We prioritize getting the job done right and treat the company as if it were their own…. Employee suggestions are welcome, evaluated, and where appropriate they become part of our SOP…. I feel like I was hired to contribute to growth of the company and feel valued – something I’ve been looking for in a job for a long time.” [back to the top]

EARTHTONE CONSTRUCTION, INC.

five-time winner

Company profile: Earthtone, based in Sebastopol, is a local construction company known for building homes, and multifamily units, wineries, retail facilities, offices, and farms with a team of 55 North Bay employees since 1997.

What the CEO says: “While we happen to be great builders with an amazing, robust operating system, ‘Why’ we do what we do is critically important to our success,” said Andy Bannister.

“We see ourselves as a people-company first and believe in helping them build a better future. Some companies worry about helping people grow because they fear they will leave. All that matters is that anyone who interacts with Earthtone is better for it – whether that’s an employee, trade partner or client, local nonprofits that we help or even someone walking down the street.”

What Makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Earthtone employees have volunteered at area food banks to pack food boxes for the needy, and by entering a Turkey Trot with the company donating a dollar for every mile walked or run to the food bank. There is an annual summer BBQ, holiday party, frequent team building events (such as Saturday workouts in spring, summer and fall). The company matches employee charitable and athletic contribution and offers a cell phone stipend.

A mentorship program partners employees with an executive to help them reach career goals, officials said. Scholarships for continuous education (employees & immediate family) are provided along with Calm mental health app. The Earthtone theme for 2020 is “Building a Better Version of Yourself.”

What employees have to say: “It’s a culture that makes family and our personal lives come first…. My colleagues are willing to teach…. I haven’t seen any kind of racism or favoritism even though mixed ethnic races work together…. I feel like my co-workers are friends that would help me outside of work if needed…. The compensation and benefit package is the best I’ve ever received after working in the trades for 30 years.” [back to the top]

ELEVEN ENGINEERING, INC.

four-time winner

Company  profile: Eleven Engineering offers environmental remediation (decontamination and hazardous waste removal, etc.), existing project decommissioning and demolition, as well as gener

al construction services, including mass grading and slope stabilization, stormwater management, concrete and asphalt construction, wet and dry utility installation, and habitat restoration.

What the vice president says: “Our clients recognize the effort and planning our employees put into each project, large or small, to make it a success for all of us,” said Ryan Harding.

“Eleven Engineering operates on a foundation of trust that we believe is what makes us great – trust that employees will try their best, represent the company respectfully, and always put in an honest day’s work. In return, our employees trust us to support them, provide a safe work environment and to offer them opportunities for growth.”

Harding said this foundation of trust was critical for the company to thrive over the past two-year economic roller-coaster ride caused by the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its widespread impact.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Sponsored events are held twice a year.

There is an annual picnic and BBQ along with a holiday party.

The Petaluma-based company stated it promotion policy is based on the two most important attributes employees can demonstrate – integrity and accountability, its officials said. Available jobs are posted internally before being announced to the public.

What employees have to say: “The company owner rewards success…. We are all proud to work here and it shows in our craftsmanship, quality of delivery, customer service and employee relationships…. They brought me in with open arms and make me feel part of the crew…. We are acknowledged…. I love the people I work with, and we have ‘good vibe’ bosses who really care about us.” [back to the top]

EMERITUS VINEYARDS

first-time winner

Company profile: Founded in Sebastopol at the turn of the 21st century, Emeritus Vineyards is dedicated to the mission of producing some of the world’s finest wines – a goal all 37 employees embrace and achieve collectively and collaboratively, its officials said. Eight team members have been with the company 20+ years, 24 for more than five years. Average employee tenure is 10+ years.

What the president says: “Here at Emeritus Vineyards we believe it is not only possible to sustainably grow and craft fine pinot noir, we believe this can be achieved while being down to earth by focusing on the wellbeing of our employees, being a positive part of the community and having fun doing it,” said Mari Jones. “The knowledge, wisdom and skill of our team is an invaluable asset to our winery and what makes us who we are as a business, which is why we encourage our employees to take on new leadership roles and pursue educational opportunities.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Approaching business as fun, team members have creative titles, like “President of Fun, Director of Magic” and “Pinot Ph.D.” Emeritus developed a program that provides team members an opportunity to become business partners. The

company has five employee partners today and others who have retired.

There is an employee garden program where Emeritus provides the land, seeds and tools for employees to cultivate their own food to share with their crops. The company hosts team BBQs, and Thanksgiving team lunch and provides contestants for the Sonoma County Pruning Championships to ensure employees have an opportunity to socialize together beyond work and celebrate team accomplishments, its officials stated.

What employees have to say: “We are encouraged to try out new things…. The owners care about the environment, preserving vineyard land, and carbon sequestration…. Our team is always enthusiastic and kind…. We help produce amazing wine at an amazing location and get to share both with visitors…. Everyone respects each other and feels like part of a family.” [back to the top]

EXCHANGE BANK

seventeen-time winner

Company profile: Since 1890, Exchange Bank has continued to expand its mission to make a difference in the communities it serves by helping to create a better future for generations to come -including its 382 employees at headquarters and 17 branches in Sonoma County, a commercial branch in Roseville, and trust and investment offices in Santa Rosa, Roseville and Silicon Valley.

What the CEO says: “Our responsibility and commitment to our customers and communities is what drives us at Exchange Bank,” said President/CEO Troy Sanderson. “We have had a legacy of service and giving back to our communities for over 132 years. and our employees demonstrate that every day. It comes down to caring deeply about the success of our customers, our employees, and the communities where we live and work.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: In 2021, 56% of openings were filled internally, 19% (74) received promotions or became officers and minorities represented 45% of new hires. Management skills building courses include management

essentials, leading change, extraordinary coach and power of feedback and leadership career development.

Sixty (42%) branch employees are bilingual and earn 10% on top of their regular hourly rate for serving Spanish-speaking customers in their own language.

Community involvement in 2021 included giving over 1,000 hours of volunteer service with nonprofits, serving on board and in leadership positions. Exchange Bank donated over $700,000 to 195 local nonprofits in 2021, and collectively bank employees raised over $1 million for charities.

Bank employees participate in the Human Race, Relay for Life, Light the Night Walk, Day of Caring and Heart Walk fundraisers. Some 50.44% of its cash dividends go toward the Doyle Trust to fund SRJC scholarships (over $93 million for 139,000+ students since 1948).

What employees have to say: “EB has as strong, longstanding involvement and commitment to our community…. Leadership is good from top to bottom…. The support system in place provides a great foundation for us to work together…. Supervisors are accessible and help us solve problems…. My manager is humble, patient and never misses an opportunity to tell us how grateful he is for all our hard work.” [back to the top]

FAIRWEATHER & ASSOCIATES, INC.

first-time winner

Company profile: Based in Santa Rosa since 1989, Fairweather & Associates focuses on constructing sustainable custom modern homes in keeping with Green Building practices.

What the finance director says: “Our company offers a unique opportunity to acquire and improve construction skills while working alongside industry veterans and master crafts persons,” said Simonetta “Sam” Baldwin.

“Many employees started their construction careers here, and now lead a carpentry team. Others have joined our 85-member team as trained carpenters and now lead projects as superintendents. Everyone is offered an opportunity to grow their careers and increase their earning potential.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The culture is respectful, supportive and collaborative in a high-performance environment combined with above average pay and benefits, creating a workplace where team members thrive. It is also a culture of psychological safety with an overall emphasis on work-life balance and professional growth that fosters genuine human connections and real-time feedback in a comfortable and healthy setting. Some have been with Fairweather for 30+ years. Average retention is between 8-10 years.

Fairweather has a campus with a custom wood shop, architectural metal shop, customer service department, along with administrative offices for design, administrative and management. Within this facility, teams perform 80% of labor needed to assemble components in a controlled production center unaffected by weather.

What employees have to say: “Mastering the art of precision and building the seemingly impossible seems to bond us for complex and unique projects…. Everyone is treated as a valuable partner…. There is a lot of internal pride and dedication to each other and clients…. Communication lines are open…. Everyone always says ‘Hello’ and there is lots of laughter…. Everyone puts 100% effort on every worksite. [back to the top]

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

first-time winner

Company  profile: Nonprofit Food For Thought is a grassroots organization providing nutrition services to thousands of Sonoma County residents and their dependent children – some

6,500 in 2021 – who are affected by HIV, COVID-19, cancer and other serious medical conditions. These services are confidential and are provided weekly at no cost to clients.

What the executive director says: “Our 24 employees have provided healthy food for individuals with serious medical conditions since 1988,” said Ron Karp. “The feedback we get from our clients is the treatment, service and support they receive from Food For Thought is one of the highlights of their day – and sometimes the most social interaction they will have all week.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: This organization was launched in Forestville by neighbors who saw a need in their community to provide food for those dying from AIDS and other debilitating illnesses. Over the years, Food For Thought has grown larger and expanded its mission, but the sense of community among its staff, volunteers and clients has remained constant.

Other client services are also provided, including nutritional counseling, healthy cooking classes, a congregate lunch program three times a week, and an organic gardening project.

Employees receive employer paid benefits and time off as well as competitive living wages. Birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated with cards as well as times when employees are under the weather or are experiencing a personal loss.

What employees have to say: “We have an incredible crew who support each other…. There is a strong sense of purpose and mission here…. Everyone is nice and strives to improve the health of our most vulnerable community members…. The people here are truly the kindest and most compassionate I’ve ever met…. I feel safe and understood by supervisors.” [back to the top]

FRIEDEMANN GOLDBERG WARGO HESS, LLP

twelve-time winner

Company profile: Friedemann Goldberg Wargo Hess has been in business since 1999. The Santa Rosa firm’s team of trial practitioners and attorneys has experience in cases involving real estate, intellectual property, entertainment law, tax law, creditor’s rights, insurance and fraud matters as well as business and commercial litigation.

One specialized practice group has expertise in estate planning, trust administration and probate litigation. Another group focuses on the legal aspects of lending, banking, along with corporate operations and organization.

What the managing partner says: “Each person in our firm is valued, and we embrace individual competencies and skills as together we celebrate teamwork,” said Stephanie Hess. “Our professional cohesiveness enables us to provide the best possible representation for our clients. We also genuinely enjoy each other’s company – which is the best fringe imaginable. “

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Company officials describe the environment in three words: professionalism (doing the job right), camaraderie (support and cooperation in the workplace) and success (a feeling of pride when hard work is appreciated by clients).

Beyond the workplace, attorneys and staff have seen nearly 100% participation at holiday and family summer parties, at monthly firmwide gatherings as well as at events when co-workers received appreciation bonuses and recognition. Employees participate in food box packaging projects with the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

The firm promotes from within, and the average tenure of employees is seven years. Fifty-five percent of upper management is minorities/women.

What employees have to say: “The work environment is top notch…. There are opportunities for promotion and advancement…. The office atmosphere is always friendly and inviting …. Employees feel like every voice in the company is equally heard…. The quality of each person, the firm’s culture and the fact that people enjoy each other professionally and personally are excellent.” [back to the top]

GC MICRO CORPORATION

eight-time winner

Company profile: GC Micro is a 100% small, minority and woman-owned technology procurement company in Petaluma with 36 years of experience providing IT hardware, software and related products to government and corporate accounts. The company has authorized dealer partnerships with more than 15 of the largest companies in the U.S. including Apple, Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and Microsoft, etc.

What the owner says: “We are a team of 30 dedicated individuals striving to consistently exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Belinda Guadarrama. “We believe in our people and encourage our teams to be collaborative. We challenge ourselves to think outside the box to reach our goals. It’s an exciting experience!”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: In addition to 100% company paid medical/dental insurance, a 401K plan, PTO and bonuses, GC Micro offers employees professional and personal career development and training programs, an on-site gym/exercise facility, company lunches, picnics, BBQs, potlucks, a Thanksgiving feast and an annual awards dinner celebration.

GC Micro employees are also active in their support of community and nonprofit organizations, such as Christmas Cheer, Boys & Girls Club golf tournament, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Marin/Sonoma County), high school scholarship programs, Sonoma-Marin Petting Zoo, The Salvation Army, K-9 Dog Bowl fundraiser, St. Vincent De Paul Society and Sonoma Wildlife Rescue.

What employees have to say: “This company believes in its people and creates a positive workspace where strong relationships are built between employees and customers…. I am able to make my own decisions and do what I need to do to achieve my goals – and that is encouraged…. The environment is cooperative, and employees are recognized for contributing to GC Micro’s success…. The flexibility to work around my personal life is key.” [back to the top]

GEORGE PETERSEN INSURANCE AGENCY

fourteen-time winner

Company profile: Eighty-seven years after George Petersen Insurance was founded, the agency has offices in 10 Northern California cities and 180 employees providing services in the areas of business, personal, and life coverage as well as employee benefit programs.

What the chief operating officer says: “Behind each loyal client are extraordinary long-term employees,” said Robb Daer. “We believe employees make our company great. Our dedication is to create a workspace that respects and values people from diverse backgrounds and one that enables all employees to do their best work.”

He said George Petersen always has a eye toward developing mutually rewarding relationships with employees and offers them every chance to succeed and advance by keeping employees engaged and knowing that the agency cares about them. By investing in educational advancement and skill development helps the agency provide the highest level of expertise to clients while giving employees chances to further their careers.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: With the goal of promoting from within whenever possible, employee tenure averages 16 years.

Community involvement also bonds the George Petersen team together. Employees pack food at area food banks, support Challenger Little League, the Human Race, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, United Way, YWCA, Toys for Tots, Council on Aging, Social Advocates for Youth, Children’s Village, the Memorial Hospital Foundation. Employees make monetary contributions through the agency’s Community Outreach Committee.

What employees have to say: “Leadership is inspiring…. We’re trusted to do our jobs and have the freedom to do so…. The company promotes from within and established road maps with future goals…. Management is constantly thinking of new ways to reward employees…. Everyone pitches in when needed…. Everyone is a pleasure to work with.” [back to the top]

GHILOTTI BROS., INC.

thirteen-time winner

Company profile: Ghilotti Bros. construction company boasts a legacy dating back 108 years to a master stonecutter from Italy. James Ghilotti came to San Rafael and started both a company and family that continues to expand the business of building.

Today, many projects completed by the company’s 298 employees are in the public works arena building roads, bridges, airport runways, etc. In addition, Ghilotti Bros. does residential and commercial jobs involving site preparation, concrete, excavation, undergrounding, demolition, and recycling in addition to heavy highway work and emergency repairs when floods or other disasters occur.

What the president says: “At Ghilotti Bros, employees are very determined and motivated by success to accomplish their tasks daily, both individually and collaboratively,” said Mike Ghilotti. “They are given many options to improve their skills at work through training and opportunities for advancement -and are encouraged to do so.

“Our team is dedicated, loyal and continually impresses clients and the general public with their work ethic, value engineering efforts, an “can do” attitude, kind gestures and service attitude,” Ghilotti said.” We strive to see that our employees have a good work-life balance.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Company events are designed to bring employees together, and to just have fun. There are BBQs, sporting events, team building activities, holiday parties and more. Employees are involved in the community in many ways, through support for Giving Marin, area food banks, Toucha-Truck, College of Marin and Marin Catholic High School.

What employees have to say: “Workers are loyal and have each other’s backs as a team in a ‘world-class’ culture…. It’s a workplace where all ideas are taken seriously…. The owner is ‘hands-on’, and values and supports employees…. While most companies have values that just describe it, GBI lives by its 31 fundamentals that are talked about everyday…. No one is just a number.” [back to the top]

GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF THE REDWOOD EMPIRE

ten-time winner

Company profile: Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire is more than a thrift store. It also serves individuals with disadvantaging barriers in the search for, and retention of, employees, said its officials.

What the CEO says: “What makes Goodwill great is our commitment to supporting our 169 employees and clients to be the best versions of themselves through our ‘hand-up, ‘not ‘hand-out’ approach,” said Brandy Evans, president and CEO. “Providing work-readiness and upskill training has a positive impact on both the deliverer and the recipient. We provide a safe, comfortable environment and are proud to serve the North Bay through our mission.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: To help combat food insecurity and inflation, food boxes are delivered to team members twice a month at no cost. Employees are eligible to participate in the free Goodwill Guide program offering grants and opportunities, such as education in basic life skills (obtaining a bank account, learning about food banks, finding living quarters, etc.) and providing catch up financial support for missed payments of auto insurance premiums or replacing tires on a car for their safety and that of their families.

What employees have to say: “Our motto ‘We Are One’ can be seen every day…. What we do gives people the confidence to succeed…. We have an opportunity to work with dignity and pride…. What we do makes a valuable contribution directly to those in our community…. We are well led and organized while developing work skills and having a positive impact.” [back to the top]

GUSMER ENTERPRISES, INC.

first-time winner

Company profile: Specializing in liquid filtration products, fermentation technology and beverage processing aids, Gusmer Enterprises has technical experts focusing on winemaking, brewing, distilling, juice processing, flavors and fragrances. The company also supplies laboratory tools along with consultations and technical support.

Founded in 1924, the family-owned company has 556 employees (16 in the North Bay) with seven U.S. locations including four in California: Santa Rosa, Windsor, Napa and Fresno.

What the tech support director says: “What makes Gusmer a great is that it is 3rd generation enterprise that has achieved growth and success by putting its people first,” said Ivonne Dresser.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Employees of the 98-year-old company celebrate company milestones, business wins and meeting goals. Each year Gusmer offers an “employee choose” charitable donation. The company donates $100 per employee on their behalf to local nonprofits of their choice.

Many locations also host blood drives and fundraisers for various nonprofits. In the past, North Bay employees have selected the Redwood Empire Food Bank and The Roots Fund. Employees are also offered four paid hours of volunteer time per year for community service.

What employees have to say: “We know our leadership and they know who we are…. Decisions are made and communicated with us in mind…. We benefit from continuous support, care and are recognized for our contributions leading to the company’s success…. It’s a people-friendly work environment…. Management is accommodating to our needs.” [back to the top]

HARV 81 GROUP USA, INC.

six-time winner

Company profile: Founded in 1981 by Jochen Michalski in Northern California’s wine region, this global wholesaler and distributor has a presence in nine countries. The Benicia-based company specializes in beverage closures and labels.

What the CEO says: “We are one team with a dream! The success of Harv 81 North America is because of our employees. For four decades our firm has been a leader in research, development, and innovation,” said Peter Hladun.

He said every day Harv 81 teams are driven to develop new ways of improving company products and services to guarantee customer satisfaction – a process only made possible because of our passionate, motivated and dedicated teams, according to Hladun.

“Harv 81 is home to many of the most talented, collaborative people in the industry. No matter which of us customers work with, rest assured you are always speaking with a concerned and committed stakeholder.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Jobs are posted internally first, and positions are evaluated annually. The company offers training and educational opportunities in a safe, fair, honest, and protected work environment.

Employees come together for a company picnic at a local park and for an annual holiday party. They participate in and support Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, food, backpack and toiletry article drives and donations, fire victim support and Coastal Cleanup.

What employees have to say: “I’ve only been here 90 days and am blown away by the supportive nature of my team…. It’s a ‘One Team, One Dream’ work family environment….

“We have a passion for delivering consistently great results for our customers…. Everyone works hard, and we get nice perks…. There is total support and respect from ownership and management.” [back to the top]

HEALDSBURG LUMBER COMPANY

seven-time winner

Company profile: The company has been in business for 147 years and is expanding by building a much larger retail location and warehouse, just off Highway 101 near the first northbound Healdsburg exit.

What its president says: “Healdsburg Lumber is first and foremost a family company that includes 92 amazing employees,” said Jill Gaylor. “I see the value in investing in them because the result is a dedicated and tight-knit team. We trust them and encourage everyone to take ownership and leadership roles. They go out of their way to support and learn from each other and serve our customers.”

She said 26% of employees have been with HLC for 10 years, many over 20 years, and 50% have 5+ years of service.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The company regularly conducts an allhands poll to find ways to improve.

HLC publishes an Employee Spotlight profile on a different team member every fortnight. The all-employee newsletter contains trivia questions, company info, local happenings, employee profiles, birthdays, work anniversaries and a section where employees give kudos to each other.

HLC has its own golf team, and recently hosted a baby shower luncheon. It contributes to local schools and sports teams, along with nonprofits and their events, along with the Healdsburg Food Pantry, and in May entered a float full of employees for the return of the Healdsburg FFA Twilight Parade.

What employees have to say: “What’s great about HLC is the team, our history and the potential for what is coming in the future…. We have many different resources to supply our customers with what they need…. Everyone believes in a shared goal of giving great service….

“Employees have a positive, supportive and enthusiastic spirit that permeates the organization…. I feel accepted for who I am.” [back to the top]

HENNESSY ADVISORS, INC.

nine-time winner

Company profile: With more than 30 years in business, Hennessy Advisors is a publicly traded (NASDAQ:

HNNA) investment management firm based in No-

vato offering a range of 16 mutual funds and $3.3 billion in assets under management with a 15.29% 5-year dividend growth rate.

What the president says: “At Hennessy, we pride ourselves in creating and maintaining a healthy, supportive and positive work environment for our 19 employees,” said Teresa Nilsen.

“We support them by providing competitive compensation, flexible work schedules, and the ability to take paid personal time off for personal charitable causes as we also make financial contributions to nonprofit organizations. We also plan career paths for our employees and forge relationships with each one based on mutual respect and common values. The average tenure of our team members is 12 years.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Several company-sponsored events take place throughout the year, including hikes, baby and wedding showers, wine tastings, golf outings and attendance at sporting events as well as wreath making and a very popular and anticipated winter holiday party.

The culture revolves around ethical behavior, providing stellar customer service and the running of high-conviction investment strategies. Employees are encouraged to prioritize their families – a belief that has remained constant since the firm was founded in 1989 that also remains true when it comes to community involvement.

Hennessy contributes to hundreds of nonprofit organizations in Marin and Sonoma Counties and is now planning its 7th annual Okizu Shindig event to support a free summer camp experience for children with cancer and their families.

What employees have to say: “We are united working together towards a common purpose…. Employees receive excellent compensation, a great location and interesting work….

“There is consistency when it comes to communication, career pathing, management accessibility and work product…. We have a lot of young adults with families and the company understands that family comes first.” [back to the top]

HILTON GARDEN INN – SONOMA COUNTY AIRPORT

four-time winner

Company profile: Located near vineyards, the Kendall Jackson wine center and the Burbank Center for the Arts, Hilton Garden Inn is a winner of the 2021 Hilton Award of Excellence given to only 5% of this global brand’s hotels that have the highest commitment to brand standards, guest satisfaction and loyalty.

What the general manager says: “All of us are dedicated to having a positive impact on our community through our attractive and welcoming facility, the services we provide and the employment opportunities we offer,” according to Andrea Griffin.

“Our 40 team members work together to deliver meaningful and heartfelt connections with a goal to provide the best overall experience for guests as well as mutual support for each other.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The Hilton Garden Inn participates in the recycled soap project with the Clean the World Foundation. There are donations of linen and terry towels to local nonprofits and support for Toys for Tots. Guestrooms are donated to local schools, veterans, hospitals, and businesses. Local wineries showcase their varietals to guests during weekly tastings. Environmental health programs are offered at the Inn, such as composting, energy efficient practices, electronic/oil recycling, etc.

What employees have to say: “Ownership shows integrity and high moral standards when dealing with employees…. Managers care, and we can talk with them about anything…. We have the ability to work with flex schedules…. My team is always friendly…. We focus on teamwork to better serve our guests.” [back to the top]

HOGAN LAND SERVICES

eight-time winner

Company profile: As a development company since 2003, Hogan Land Services specializes in civil and structural engineering, planning, surveying, septic services, permit assistance and violation resolution throughout California from its headquarters in Santa Rosa.

What the CEO says: “Every year I cite our people as the source of our greatness, and it’s true now as it has ever been,” said Michael Hogan. “As we venture into a new era of technology and societal evolution, we continue to count on our team of 35 employees to teach us, guide us and carry us forward into the changing future where our purpose is to help turn our client’s plans and dreams into a tangible reality.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Employees manage their own tasks and have an opportunity to work both in the field and in the office to gain experience at all levels. Educational reimbursement is provided for classes benefiting development goals.

Community involvement includes participation with CPAC, Santa Rosa East/West Rotary, Tomorrows Leaders Today and Nation’s Finest (supporting veterans).

The company sponsors a client appreciation BBQ, team building activities, a softball team, holiday parties and career fairs.

What employees have to say: “My coworkers are amazing, and our CEO is readily accessible…. I feel comfortable about going to my manager about work-related problems and finding a solution the same day…. Employees are empowered at all levels of experience to have control and impact on outcomes…. There are clear metrics for advancement…. The company puts together activities allowing us to come together and have fun.” [back to the top]

IDEX HEALTH & SCIENCE

nine-time winner

Company profile: IDEX Health & Science, LLC, with a Rohnert Park location, is the global leader in life science fluidics, microfluidics, and optics. The company’s 250 North Bay employees (over 1,200 worldwide) design and manufacture products in the fight against COVID-19 that test and analyze virus DNA.

What the operations director says: “People, products and location are three reasons why IDEX in Rohnert Park is a great place to work. Our employees apply their skills, knowledge and life energy to grow, teach and learn. They also help each other in our mission of providing trusted solutions that save lives,” said Jon Wambold, site leader and director of operations.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: There are quarterly half-day volunteer events with paid PTO time for working at a beach, cleaning a park or garden, animal shelter, maintenance at a Boy’s & Girl’s Club or participating in fundraisers for Dogwood Animal Rescue and providing Redwood Empire Food Bank donations.

IDEX provides clear expectations and detailed plans for advancement, said company officials. Managers have 1-on-1’s with direct reports that include career pathing and feedback. There is an annual performance management cycle and a talent development process designed to meet IDEX needs and aspirations of employees.

Fun events include a summer picnic/ party at Scandia or Epicenter. There is a Halloween luncheon with costumes and pumpkin carving, a Thanksgiving lunch and holiday party with food, games and a raffle plus IDEX branded gift jackets or Yeti. Hosted breakfasts are held for town hall meetings, lunches for celebrating achievements as well as Asian Pacific Islander and Hispanic Heritage months.

What employees have to say: “We celebrate a lot! – Women’s Day, Pride Month, etc…. The culture is defined as everyone belonging…. The company walks the talk of diversity in the workplace and acceptance of all people…. IDEX invests in employees and includes everyone in decision-making…. We have great cross-functional collaboration between teams…. The company keeps everyone in the loop.” [back to the top]

INTELISYS, A SCANSOURCE COMPANY

six-time winner

Company profile: Intelisys, a ScanSource company based in Petaluma with

110 employees, provides access to the hardware, software, connectivity and cloud services businesses.

What the president says: “Our people make Intelisys great. They are the best in business and make the difference,” said John DeLozier. “People equal relationships, and relationships equal culture.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: All employees are encouraged to grow internally and explore advancement opportunities of interest to them, company officials said. Average employee tenure is 5+ years.

Related programs include the Intelisys employee engagement group (FISH), various Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and Employee Resource Groups (ERG) such as Mental Health Matters, Women in the Workforce, the Intelisys DE&I book, the ScanSource Management Academy and Inspire, a company training program for future leaders.

Intelisys has donated $3,700 to CTE Foundation’s Community Wise program in Sonoma County, and its employees have provided educational support to 23 students through hands-on STEM activities.

What employees have to say: “Everyone is always willing to help out…. I know I can reach out, ask questions or obtain the training I need…. Employees are treated with respect and fairness…. We are able to adapt to varying situations…. Colleagues are friendly and helpful…. I feel that my opinions matter…. Even when on maternity leave, they made the process so easy and welcomed me back as seamlessly as possible.” [back to the top]

INTERVINE, INC.

five-time winner

Company profile: Intervine has served the travel industry for 32 years with standing relationships with airline and cruise line buyers served by sales teams in Napa, Chicago and Miami. Intervine manages the full wine programs by providing wine sourcing, planning, forecasting logistics and distribution, marketing and menu copy and promotion support and flight training.

What the CEO says: “Our employees make Intervine great by driving our success. They make coming to work each day rewarding,” said Jonjie Lockman. “As an ESOP with 100% employee ownership of Intervine, team commitment to the organization and each other is very strong with a collaborative team spirit that is DNA ingrained and evident in every business touchpoint.”

She said senior employees are quick to help and mentor new hires. If one person gets overloaded, colleagues are ready to jump in.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: All hands meetings are held twice a week, along with six lunch potlucks a year, family picnics, happy hours and social get-togethers plus a December holiday party. Employees work with nonprofits to buy Christmas gifts for foster children or families in need and support Napa Food Bank drives.

Benefits include 100% paid Kaiser HMO Gold medical coverage and HSA accounts, employer paid $50,000 life insurance, 401K, 16-26 days PTO for varying years of service and levels, closure from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day in addition to PTO and vacation time, a flex spending plan and EAP, and ZayZoom service allowing employees to get 50% of pay in advance of payday for a $5 flat fee.

What employees have to say: “This is a place where I feel I am not alone…. Each employee is motivated to innovate and contribute…. Everyone has been helpful to get me up and running when I was hired…. Our culture is open and interactive…. We’re a fantastic group of people, no egos and all rowing in the same direction…. I’m happy to be part of such a talented and caring team.” [back to the top]

INTERWEST INSURANCE SERVICES, LLC

ten-time winner

Company profile: As a full-service insurance brokerage providing commercial, employee benefits, surety and personal insurance solutions for three decades, Interwest also provides claims advocacy and stewardship as well as risk management tools to protect assets and reduce costs.

What the practice leader says: “Our local employee teams are like an extended family. Most of us have worked together for years and have become friends. Petaluma and Santa Rosa Interwest teams frequently interact. They are among the finest insurance professionals around. Every member is a dedicated and hardworking, doing everything possible to provide the best service and resources for our clients,” said Mike Ryan.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Off duty, employees can be found playing golf, enjoying local wineries and restaurants and participating with each other in community events with their spouses and children and celebrating births, birthdays, weddings and anniversaries as a group. There is an annual all-employee event when the office is closed for a day of fun.

Every year each office selects four organizations to support as part of Interwest Gives Back, an employee-driven philanthropy program that in 2022 supported Redwood Empire Food Bank , the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of Sonoma-Marin, Human Race, COTS, Dogwood Animal Rescue, Okizu and Food for Thought. Company-wide initiatives also benefit Sutter Children’s Hospital and American Heart Association.

Interwest provides training and leadership development programs to promote professional growth and encourages employees to become involved in self-improvement activities, company officials said. Its Big Day of Giving matched employee donations dollar for dollar for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

What employees have to say: “We are a forward-looking team of like-minded individuals….

IWI builds trusted partnerships with clients providing strong advocacy when needed and uses innovative solutions for their businesses…. We get satisfaction knowing we help our clients protect their companies with our services and partner with them to give back to our great community, while enjoying great fellowship and camaraderie in the office.” [back to the top]

JACKSON FAMILY WINES

eight-time winner

Company profile: As a family business with a family’s passion, Jackson Family Wines is a collection of wineries and vineyards in the North Bay, Monterey and Santa Barbara in California and others in Oregon, along with those in Australia, Chile, France, Italy and South Africa.

What the CEO says: “Throughout the past two years of challenges and tremendous changes, Jackson Family wines teams have worked incredibly hard to adapt and innovate,” said Rick Tigner. “Thanks to their efforts, our ability to quickly shift sales strategies and retain consumer trust in our signature wines keeps our off-premises retail business strong.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: With help from the firm’s 1,082 North Bay employees, JFW redirected its smaller-production and high-end wineries to online retail sales by launching YourWineStore.com. By successfully expanding direct-to-consumer sales with  an online retail channel saved jobs while continuing to engage consumers through virtual experiences, Tigner added.

JFW partner Kendall Jackson recently launched the Grocery Worker’s Relief Fund to support those that have supported the company for 40 years. In partnership with United Way, the fund offers emergency relief to grocery workers. JFW pledged an initial $200,000 and is committing to $2 million by 2030.

Company events include a statewide employee rally in summer, regular town halls, monthly wine tastings and wine education seminars and bi-monthly new employee orientation

The company has provided financial contributions and in-kind donations to over 250 organizations. A year ago, employees volunteered nearly 6,000 hours to make a difference in local communities. They receive two paid days off annually to volunteer.

What employees have to say: “JFW is a people-first organization that gives its workers priority…. Leadership has a great vision and keeps it real…. Management goes to great lengths, and often a second mile, to ensure we have a voice and treated with respect and equality…. We receive fantastic benefits and are dedicated to continuous improvement and sustainability…. Employees strive to do their best and our contributions are appreciated.” [back to the top]

KIOSK CREATIVE, LLC

ten -time winner

Company profile: With U.S. incorporation in 2011, Kiosk has offices in Novato, Los Angeles and Liverpool (UK). The company is an award-winning creative agency developing innovative strategies with outstanding results. The agency has experts in performance marketing blending creative, data and technology to drive return on investment.

What the CEO says: “Our 49 Bay Area employees (“Kioskers” to us) make Kiosk great. We work to unlock human potential by doing amazing things for our employees, clients and our community,” said Founder and CEO Munir Haddad. “Our culture of support was highlighted when we moved to 100% virtual work in early 2020 and late 2021 offering a choice to staff of working remotely or on a hybrid basis. Kiosk has had a “Work-From-Home Fridays” policy for all employees for years to combat traffic on 101 to improve air and make our employee’s lives better.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The company equips provides sit/stand desks, chairs, laptop risers and other equipment. Kiosk frequently polls workers to see how they are doing. Staff at home are reimbursed for their Internet-related expenses. Staff socials and company activities have continued virtually and in-person.

Employees donate 10% of billable hours to charitable projects and has a close relationship with Homeward Bound of Marin. Kiosk provides multiple websites for this nonprofit, their event space and social enterprise business, volunteer in the kitchen, garden and provides financial support. Kiosk also participates in The Human Race and has supported the Novato Street Festival “Rock the Block”.

What employees have to say: “Working here is all about our people, a great team makes for a great environment…. Kiosk is honestly the best company I’ve worked for…. I love being part of all the great projects and producing the best value for our clients with pride…. Kiosk management just gets it when it comes to life, business, work, fun, attitude and actions…. What we do is not just about profit, it’s about doing good work for good causes with good people.” [back to the top]

KLH CONSULTING

three-time winner

Company profile: Providing outsourced managed IT consulting services and cyber security in Santa Rosa for 42 years. KHL’s has a team of 33 North Bay employees

What the CEO says: “The knowledge, dedication and resilience of our team, is a cornerstone of our company,” said Soni Lampert. “We are always striving to help our customers improve their businesses, assure the security of their data and continuity of business operations when fires, floods and power outages occur. In the past year, this has meant pivoting from office to remote work and hybrid environments for our employees.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Company events have included cookies delivered to employee doorsteps, team gatherings online, and KLH’s own “elf stocking” delivery.

Community involvement includes volunteering with nonprofits and providing board leadership with mental health and homeless services organizations and groups focused on local business development and community assistance.

What employees have to say: “We are flexible, capable, talented and able to handle the very demanding and diverse needs of the industries we support…. Everyone will help you regardless of what the issue is…. Employees have interesting work, great co-workers and hardworking management committed to delivering high quality to our customers…. During the pandemic we worked from multiple locations and still felt like a team and were given the tools to keep in touch with each other and our clients” [back to the top]

LEDSON WINERY & VINEYARDS

four-time winner

Company profile: Ledson Winery and Vineyards includes a 16,000-square foot estate house with a gourmet marketplace. It produces more than 70 wines annually.

What the owner says: “The winery’s 28 North Bay employees view themselves as part of the team by contributing to creating extraordinary wines our customers can enjoy in a exquisite atmosphere with impeccable hospitality,” said Steve Ledson, owner and winemaker. “We put our employees at the center of everything we do, and in response they are energized, motivated and driven to go the extra mile and help to foster a positive work environment where everyone treats each other with respect and kindness.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Ledson holds company-sponsored events such as festive holiday event, employee BBQ parties, as well as oysters and wine get-togethers at local restaurants. Staff members receive 50% discounts on all Ledson products, tickets to events, participate in contests to win prizes, have access to company vacation destinations and employee housing.

The company supports donates and provides fundraising opportunities for local organizations in addition to supporting the Harmony House for Children, a nonprofit established by Ledson providing help to underprivileged children.

What employees have to say: “We have the freedom and ability to shape our work environment into a beneficial and prosperous one…. Everyone is understanding and helpful when it comes to improving work processes…. I feel like I’m heard when voicing my concerns…. It is an exciting environment and a beautiful place to work.” [back to the top]

M. A. SILVA USA

twelve-time winner

Company profile: M.A. Silva produces cork stoppers, glass and packaging for the North American market. It is also a provider of high-quality glass. The company imports over 30

million bottles from multiple manufacturing sources and has 32 North Bay employees in Santa Rosa.

What the president says: “It has always been my goal to build a company where people enjoy coming to work,” said Neil Foster, president and co-founder. “The remarkable growth we have experienced over the past years is a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication to M.A. Silva’s success. Every employee knows that their family and mental health come first. The positive environment we offer provides a safe place even in stressful times in or outside work.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Most holidays are celebrated with a party organized by the Fun Committee and employees get off early to attend the events that feature food, drinks, games and prizes, and a receive a note from the president. Party themes change annually from a Murder Mystery 1920’s motif to attending a Giants game. Offsite lunches are also held that often result in storytelling, new memories and laughter.

M.A. Silva always donates to an employee’s requested cause, and as a company supports Boys & Girls Clubs, “Must!” Charities, wildfire victims, local schools and after-hours programs.

What employees have to say: “We have opportunities to succeed…. Employees are understood as individuals and our contributions are appreciated…. From ownership down, management cares about us…. The well-being of employees is more important than the work…. It is a positive and solution-oriented environment.” [back to the top]

MACIAS GINI & O’CONNELL

first-time winner

Company profile: Founded in 1987, Macias Gini & O’Connell (MGO) is an accounting firm offering assurance, tax, consulting, staffing, outsourcing and advisory services to clients in industries ranging from aerospace, technology and state/local government to biotech and life sciences, cannabis, and the gaming/hospitality and tribal services sectors.

What a managing partner says: “MGO is one of the fastest growing business advisory and CPA firms in the country with more than 41 partners and 550 team members – including 26 in San Rafael – we also have offices in 15 U.S. cities and 4 in India,” said Michele Hassid. “MGO is passionate about giving its team members the chance to enhance their professional skills.”

Detailed career paths are customized to each person and service line. There is an adviser program, CPA exam reimbursement, a track-to-testing plan, training resources guide, a library, tuition assistance, as well as technical to “soft” skills training. Every employee is encouraged to be the best he or she can be for themselves to enhance their development, confidence and future.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: MGO offers an incentive compensation plan, rewards and recognition programs and referral bonuses.

The firm supports employees through internal and virtual events: Wellness Warriors competitions such as WalkA-Thons, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team and the MGO Foundation. Several wellness webinars and events are held annually.

What employees have to say: “We are involved in the community…. Even when working 100% remote, I always feel attached to the team…. The work environment and management are great…. It’s definitely a group of good people…. MGO helps us reach our goals…. There are clear paths to promotions.” [back to the top]

MENGALI ACCOUNTANCY

eight-time winner

Company profile: Since 2003 Mengali has been a boutique CPA accountancy with offices in Healdsburg and San Francisco specializing in advisory, tax and outsourced accounting services. On August 1, 2022, Mengali and Moss Adams combined and today provide services for a diverse group of clients including hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate investment firms, wineries, small-to-medium-sized businesses and high net worth individuals.

What the CEO says: “Mengali is the greatest place to work for many incredible reasons. We are a cutting-edge accounting firm that is a leader in its industry,” said Renee Mengali, president and CEO. “The firm is completely paperless enabling us to function at the highest level of efficiency. These factors bring satisfaction to our 49 employees (34 in Healdsburg) knowing that their efforts are being utilized for the highest and best use.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The company offers educational assistance, employee Lunch & Learns, annual retreats, team building events, and special day recognitions. CPAs receive a $1,000 annual spending allowance for CPE, dues, etc. There are employee referral bonuses and data usage reimbursements. Promotions are usually from within. One person who started in a clerical position is now a senior accountant.

Many Mengali employees serve the community on local boards, including the Healdsburg Forever Grants Committee, Sonoma County YWCA, and Rainbow Housing Assistance Corp., and the firm provides financial support for the Council on Aging, Humane Society, Boys & Girls Club and other nonprofits.

What employees have to say: “We have an emotionally and culturally intelligent work environment that sets a standard for excellence…. Mengali takes such good care of employees in all areas…. .The entire team steps up when needed…. The firm’s policies are innovative and flexible…. It is a highly supportive and friendly culture of positivity…. Management excels in making employees feel appreciated and valued…. The partners respect us…. Our workspace is comfortable and welcoming.” [back to the top]

MIKE’S BIKES

seven-time winner

Company profile: Mike’s Bikes has grown from its original base in San Rafael in 1964 to a total of 14 stores today throughout the North Bay, East Bay, Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Los Gatos, San Jose and San Francisco. The company has 330 employees in California, 75 in the North Bay.

What the CEO says: “At Mike’s Bikes, our very simple mission is to get more people on bikes, and we accomplish that through the awesomeness of our people,” said Ken Martin. ‘Working at Mike’s Bikes isn’t just a job, it is a career in the bicycle industry.”

He added, “Our fun and competitive culture makes every day interesting. Our passion for providing a great experience to every rider is what grew Mike’s Biles to be the best bike shop in America.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Company officials said employees are committed to five key values: continuous improvement, competition, the greater good, awesomeness, and teamwork; we are stronger together.

The company gives back through the nonprofit Mike’s Bikes Foundation and its Africa Drive Program, repurposing used bikes and distributing them to African communities, as well as by sponsoring the Norcal High School Mountain Bike League (with a $10,000 annual donation) and by staffing its events. The company also sponsors other local rides and teams, bike rodeos, school events and by engaging with community groups.

Mike’s Bikes shuts its stores for a day for a companywide picnic and BBQ at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland for riding, lawn games and a pie-eating contest. Employee benefits include reimbursement for participation in cycling races, an employee purchase program, employee ride-pay ($.10/mile for riding their bikes), use of company vehicles and trucks, use of demo bike fleet, free professional bike fits, free passes and other perks.

What employees have to say: “We all share clear, actionable goals…. Working at Mike’s Bikes is exceptional, and the experience is unmatched…. It’s a team atmosphere where community and staff come together…. They care about employees and benefits are great…. They encourage us to share creative ideas…. It’s an inclusive environment that discourages a hierarchy mindset.” [back to the top]

MKM & ASSOCIATES STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING

four-time winner

Company profile: MKM’s staff of 43 experienced professionals understands architectural requirements and performs value engineering in keeping with the current building standards. The firm has developed professional relationships throughout the design community and within building departments.

What the senior principal says: “MKM has outstanding employees dedicated to providing well-executed construction documents and support. We make every attempt to provide designs that are constructable and cost-effective,” said John Cook. “Our people enjoy the work they do and the challenging nature of structural design – especially when circumstances require extra effort to meet deadlines and when wildfires require quick action to evaluate damaged structures and working with architects to produce quality construction documents.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: In addition to basic and supplemental medical insurance and pre-tax healthcare plans, MKM provides monetary bonuses, PTO, a 401K, paid holidays, flex-time schedules and paid membership fees for industry-related organizations. Average employee tenure is 10 years.

MKM conducts monthly staff meetings, Lunch & Learns events with industry guest speakers, off-site training courses and a summer picnic, trips to Giants games, Sonoma County Fair Day and a holiday dinner. There are bowling nights, sporting events and participation with community service groups that help form relationships outside of the office.

The company helps sponsor Redwood Empire AIA Chapter events, is a North Bay ASCE scholarship banquet sponsor, a Polytechnic State University SEAOC Chapter’s Structural Forum sponsor, and hosts the annual MKM & Associates Client Appreciation Open House.

What employees have to say: “It is a great environment. Everyone here is very helpful, friendly and fun as a group…. We do wonderful work…. People willingly give advice and direction…. There is a mutual desire to excel and improve…. It is an open-door environment…. What we do is integral to the community…. Our principals are easy going and supportive.” [back to the top]

MOSS ADAMS, LLP

fourteen-time winner

Company profile: Moss Adams is an accounting, tax, consulting and wealth management firm with fully-integrated services dedicated to assisting clients with growing, managing and protecting prosperity since 1913. As one of the 15 largest accounting firms in the U.S., with more than 3,817 employees (91 in the North Bay) and 33 locations nationwide, the firm provides services to public and private middle-market enterprises in many different industries.

What the partner-in-charge says: “We have an amazing team that supports each other and our clients. This remarkable team adapted and worked together to make our culture and business stronger when we were faced with pandemic challenges,” said Santa Rosa Partner-in-Charge Michael Ricioli. “I’m proud to be part of such an amazing group and look forward to continually innovating in an effort to propel our business and the experience of our people to the next level.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: All medical plans cover preventive care 100%. Also covered are massage therapy, chiropractic care, infertility treatment, sensory integration and neurodevelopment therapy, acupuncture and naturopathic services – along with counseling and mental health support.

Gym memberships are reimbursed, healthy snacks are provided during the busy season, and there are organized running/walking clubs and a Health Risk Assessment program. Office parties are held throughout the year. There are summer BBQs, baseball games, happy hours and holiday events.

Employees are encouraged to give back to the community and Moss Adams matches their donations up to $500/year. The company supports employee-coordinated “helping hands” volunteer involvement with charitable organizations.

What employees have to say: “It’s all about the people...It’s a team environment with flexibility, open communications…. The culture and tone at the top make Moss Adams great…. Tons of growth opportunities…. Everyone is willing to help…. Leadership is progressive and honest…. We have strong connections with co-workers…. Everyone is treated fairly and enjoys a good work-life balance.” [back to the top]

MR. ROOTER OF SONOMA COUNTY

fourteen-time winner

Company profile: Locally owned and operated in Santa Rosa since 2000, Mr. Rooter provides residential and commercial plumbing service with a staff of 29 professionals.

What the owner says: “PEOPLE make my company great. I’m proud of our dynamic, servant’s-heart culture. It’s my job to take care of our rock-star team members and then get out of the way while they take incredible care of our valued customers,” said Saunda McDaniel. “As a leader navigating the pandemic’s uncertainty and economic threats beyond our control, I constantly turn to my people as my greatest resource of courage and purpose.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Employees have a wide range of health benefits and perks. There is PTO, holiday pay, cell phone stipends, a tool fund, gift cards and cash prizes, plus BBQs, food and drinks in the shop and office. Training is provided weekly along with team breakfasts, gifts at holiday celebrations and hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Employees have a variety of company sponsored activities: a co-ed softball team, trash pickup day at Spring Lake and a beach campout/cleanup at Lawson’s Landing, canoeing at Burkes, bowling nights, quarterly game nights, home shows, Mud Runs, a murder mystery dinner night, career fairs, and “One Team, One Dream Give Back to Get Back” community events. The team also volunteers at Redwood Empire Food Bank with lunch to follow, and has regular food truck visits where Mr. Rooter picks up the tab.

What employees have to say: “The owner encourages us to be our best selves…. We help people in their time of need…. I care about our team wholeheartedly…. We are always looking out for each other…. Everyone is involved in setting targets for the company…. Employees get the knowledge and tools to be successful…. We have fun, get fed well and paid well.” [back to the top]

NAPA VALLEY FUMÉ

two-time winner

Company profile: With three gardens nestled in the hills of Lake County, Napa Valley Fumé grows cannabis from proprietary strains.

What the CEO says: “The hard-working, dedicated human beings that work at Napa Valley Fumé make our company great,” said CEO and co-founder Eric Sklar. “We have clearly defined goals. The team understands their priorities, and they have the skill sets and determination to achieve them. We communicate openly and each person knows he or she matters. We listen, look out for each other – and when needed – pitch in so together we keep moving forward.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: NVF hosts dinner parties, open mic nights and garden parties, all great chances to get to know each other.

The company supports the Last Prisoner’s Project to get all non-violent cannabis prisoners released, and cannabis criminalization reform. Employees write letters to those still, donate monthly and sponsor those who been freed. NVF partnered with One Tree Planted to plant one tree for every product sold with 6,000 trees planted to date. For the Weed for Warriors and Veterans Cannabis Coalition, NVF participated in over 30 SB-34 Supply Drops supporting U.S. Veterans who view cannabis as medicine.

What employees have to say: “We’re like-minded people that share the same vision and values for the company’s future …. There’s a great sense of teamwork and purpose…. Management is sincere, authentic and lead by example…. We have freedom and direction to improve our skills…. There is deep concern for the wellbeing of the team, our customers and the planet.” [back to the top]

NORTH COAST TITLE COMPANY

four-time winner

Company profile: North Coast Title Company in Santa Rosa has combined the flexibility of a local business with the strength of the country’s top-rated underwriters since it was founded in 2009. The firm’s 13 employees handle all aspects of the escrow and title process.

What the CEO says: “Without hesitation, it’s our employees that make us great. I have been in this industry over 45 years and never have I seen such a commitment to provide excellent service combined with integrity,” said President and CEO Catherine Cramer. “The team truly works together to encourage one another. During the pandemic, they always found a way to keep a positive attitude and smiles on their faces.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Office parties include breakfast and lunches. There are fun theme days, BBQs, birthday celebrations and holiday events. Time for family is honored. And community spirit is evidenced with support for the Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma County.

What employees have to say: “I have worked in title/escrow 38 years and have never worked in such an incredible, nurturing environment…. Errors are turned into learning lessons…. The outpouring of generosity from management is unparalleled…. It’s a fun, productive and challenging work environment…. I never knew work could be this good…. We support each other, remain positive and laugh a lot.” [back to the top]

NORTH MARIN COMMUNITY SERVICES

two-time winner

Company profile: Novato-based North Marin Community Services addresses health disparities for families, seniors and immigrants by helping to correct extreme income, racial, gender and economic injustice as well as educational inequities through the provision of trauma informed, integrated and culturally appropriate services to 11,000 people in need annually.

What the CEO says: “We are so proud of our team of 379 people (64 staff and 315 volunteers) who are committed to our mission of service that helps vulnerable people access services and succeed,” said Cheryl Paddack. “We are celebrating our 50th anniversary and know that reaching this milestone was only possible with our exemplary staff and the organizational values that drive our daily work by the most diverse team we’ve had in half a century.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: All employees have access to an EAP that includes five free mental health counseling sessions annually. For staff working 20 hours or more per week, NMCS offers

medical, dental and vision insurance, flex spending accounts for health and childcare, discounts for on-site childcare, a retirement account with employer match, employer-paid life insurance, PTO, bonuses for sign-on. referrals and employment anniversaries.

There are two company events this year, town hall meetings with special topic speakers monthly. For Employee Appreciation Day Crumbl Cookies were delivered to homes, and daily activities were held during Teacher Appreciation Week.

What employees have to say: “Our leadership is approachable and encouraging…. We share the same vision and purpose, with wiggle room to voice our opinions and come together to improve…. We are very diverse in race, gender and culture…. Our team environment is “we” versus “I”…. We are always informed and kept up to date…. The organization emphasizes direct communication, respectful disagreement and collaboration…. Our staff is fully connected to our mission and the people and communities we serve.” [back to the top]

NOVA GROUP, INC.

fourteen-time winner

Company profile: Nova Group, part of the Quanta Services Company, is a general engineering contractor with home offices and a fabrication facility in Napa with 81 employees in the North Bay. It has a project portfolio that includes projects in 29 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. Over its 46 years in business Nova has worked for the U.S. Navy on the West Coast and at military bases overseas specializing in hydrant fueling, waterfront and utility construction. The company has engaged in international projects in Canada, Japan, Israel, Qatar, Australia and Diego Garcia.

What the president says: “Nova Group is a giant family from laborers to senior-level management,” said Scott Victor. “Nova’s culture of caring for employees and balancing work and life is key to our success. This ties into our deep commitment to safety and training.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: In addition to a basic benefits package, Nova has a wellness program with cash incentives rewarded for healthy activities including gym memberships, weight loss, smoking cessation, volunteering, Lunch & Learns, group challenges, and 5K’s -all 100% company paid. Professional membership dues are also paid, there is a donation matching program, tuition reimbursement, safety incentives as well as an annual Christmas party, years of service rewards, employee of the year honors and eight other fun social committee events.

What employees have to say: “It’s like a second home…. You get to come to work and do what you enjoy…. Training is always available and opportunities to better yourself…. We have some of the best people in the industry…. It’s a great culture and management understands the need for flexibility at work when life happens…. The company puts employees and their feelings first.” [back to the top]

OLE HEALTH

first time winner

Company profile: Nonprofit OLE Health has been providing high-quality         care since 1972. Beginning in Rutherford, the OLE Health network has grown to seven

locations in Napa County and the Fairfield-Suisun region.

A total of 333 employees at all sites provide medical, dental, behavioral health, nutrition and optometry services that help patients live well. Some employees have 41 years tenure of the 50 years OLE Health has been in business. Many staff members are the first in their families to attend college.

OLE Health is the only nonprofit health center in Napa County and the only non-governmental federally qualified health center in Solano County.

What the CEO says: “OLE Health’s reason for existing is to make a positive social impact. Our employees are passionate and driven about serving their patients, know that each day their work makes a difference,” said Alicia Hardy. “We provide exceptional care to 40,000 individuals each year, regardless of their insurance, ability to pay or immigration status. I began my career at OLE Health as a behavioral health provider and steadily advanced to CEO.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Free behavioral health services are offered through Flourish, there is an EAP and a wellness benefit through Navigate Wellbeing Solutions.

Up to $2,000 annually is offered for each full-time employee for tuition reimbursement for courses and workshops that spur professional development, and $500 a year toward the cost of seminars or professional certifications. Subsidized furnished housing is available to medical service providers moving to OLE Health’s

service areas to become its employees. There are many sponsored events each year.

What employees have to say: “We are mission drive with a great work atmosphere, good pay and comradery…. Everyone is friendly and understanding…. Resources are available to help us advance toward our goals…. We provide amazing services to the underserved and most vulnerable…. We put patients first and make communities healthier.” [back to the top]

OLIVER’S MARKET

six-time winner

Company profile: Founded in 1988, Oliver’s Market is a local, independent, employee-owned grocery store with four locations in Sonoma County – Cotati and Windsor along with two stores in the Montecito and Stony Point areas of Santa Rosa. Company roots go back over 40 years when founder and President Steve Maass made his living selling produce from a roadside truck stand in San Francisco.

What the general manager says: “We work to offer or employees fair wages and the best benefits that we can, and in 2017 we became employee-owned (43%) through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), providing our employee owners with a new layer of compensation in addition to their current package,” said Scott Gross. ”We offer flex scheduling to support family and educational needs and create many opportunities to grow and gain new experiences and also promoting from within whenever possible.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Oliver’s hosts an Employee Appreciation Month in October that includes dress-up days, a raffle with over $10,000 in prizes, the release of the annual ESOP Account Statements and more. Employees receive free tickets for sponsored events, employee Double Discount Days and smaller perks throughout the year. The company supports Little League teams in Windsor and Santa Rosa along with 14 other local nonprofits.

To reward employee owners who stayed with the company during the pandemic, Maass developed a special bonus pool of over $2 million allocated not as salary, but on average days worked from March 2020 to December 2021.

What employees have to say: “We all share a commitment to quality, support for local producers, transparency, our fellow employees and community…. Management is empathetic and kind…. Just like our logo says ‘Real Food, Real People’ that’s 100% accurate…. We are extremely diverse and inclusive…. There are awesome perks and excellent insurance…. Employees can get a plethora of hours when we need them…. Managers are hands-on when we are short-handed.” [back to the top]

PARKPOINT HEALTH CLUBS

eight-time winner

Company   profile: With three Sonoma County locations in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and Sonoma, family owned and operated Parkpoint Health  Clubs  have

been helping local residents stay fit, healthy and achieve their personal goals for almost 40 years. Parkpoint offers a range of services such as indoor and outdoor group exercise classes (cycling and yoga), workout videos and online group classes, pool lap swims and aquatic aerobics, plus Pilates, Bootcamp, Zumba, and Kickboxing routines.

What the owner says: “Our loyal, longstanding staff is what makes Parkpoint Health Clubs outstanding,” said Bill Buchanan. “I’m proud of the hard work, dedication and innovative spirit of our staff – especially through the past few challenging years.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Employees receive complimentary club memberships, service discounts on massage, personal training and café/food items, and the opportunity to have a portion of a Habitat for Humanity trip paid by the company as well as the ability to bring family or guests to enjoy the club. Parkpoint supports the Transcendence Theater Company as well as the Healdsburg Prune Packers and each summer employees get free tickets.

Sponsorships are given for local events and races, and silent auction items are given to schools and other nonprofits. Internships are also given to local students so they can experience the fitness industry. Trail restoration work at Annadel State Park was performed by Parkpoint and development while cultivating team work and community across departments .

There is a monthly appreciation system to reward and acknowledge stellar performance and an annual appreciation party.

What employees have to say: “We are allowed to increase our level of customer service and go above and beyond…. This is a listening, caring and supportive environment…. Everyone is professional, courteous and friendly here…. The energy is upbeat, nonjudgmental, welcoming and encouraging…. We all worked hard during COVID to stay open…. Management decision-making is flexible, fair and balanced.” [back to the top]

PEJU WINERY

four-time winner

Company profile: Peju Winery has six vineyard estates in four different sub-AVAs of the Napa Valley. It began in 1983 when Tony and Herta Peju and their young daughters, Lisa and Ariana, moved from Los Angeles. Today Peju has properties totaling 558 acres, 232 of which are currently planted with 11 varietals.

What the CEO says: “At Peju, we place our guests at the center of everything we do whether it is the wines we make or the hospitality we offer. Our team of 72 employees is united in wanting guests to love wines and have an unforgettable and fun experiences when they visit,” said Ariana Peju. Our team is part of our extended family, and we value and appreciate all that they do.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Time is taken to acknowledge successes, big or small. Peju hosts monthly family-style meals, quarterly all-hands meetings, a summer solstice celebration and holiday party.

They honor milestones and birthdays and hold harvest celebrations, believing in the adage that when you build up people, those people will build the business, company officials state. This is the reason Peju offers ongoing education, training. Fringe benefits include anniversary wine, birthday flower delivery, a parents and caregivers program, vineyard experiences for employees, discounts on wine and merchandise, tuition reimbursement and an annual on-site flu shot clinic.

What employees have to say: “It is a positive team-led atmosphere and a friendly place to work…. We’re given opportunities to thrive and prosper…. The company offers great benefits and a good work environment…. We make great products with consistent quality…. Management helps expand our knowledge so we can grow…. The owners stay true to their values and care about their team.” [back to the top]

PETERSON MECHANICAL, INC.

two-time winner

Company profile: Peterson Mechanical has been a Sonoma-based, locally owned HVAC contractor for 107 years. The firm uses the latest 3-D drafting (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) techniques to ensure that the company delivers the most effective solutions to meet customer challenges.

What the president says: “We truly value our employees and take care of them both personally and professionally,” said Les Peterson. “In return, there is longterm loyalty and dedication to making our business successful.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The “feel” of Peterson is very family oriented and everyone supports each other. When employees lost homes in the wildfires, Peterson was right there to help them all. The company goes out of its way in times of illness as well. If any employee asks for help, team members are happy to do so.

Everyone celebrates successes. The company’s onboarding process makes newcomers comfortable. With 82 employees, Peterson is still small enough for everyone to know each other. Employees share personal accomplishments and experiences by email and on a public bulletin board. There are summer BBQs and employees are allowed to bring dogs to work.

What employees have to say: “This is a place you can encourage your friends and family to work for...We share pride of success…. It is a relaxed work atmosphere…. Employees are well compensated…. I have a lot of good friends here…. There is fair treatment for all…. Peterson offers the latest technology and tools that make performing tasks more enjoyable…. They understand that a happy employee is a productive one.” [back to the top]

PISENTI & BRINKER, LLP

eleven-time winner

Company profile: For more than 57 years Pisenti & Brinker has provided comprehensive CPA, tax, estate, audit and accounting services to businesses throughout Sonoma County and the North Bay from its offices on Round Barn Circle in Santa Rosa. P&B does this with the help of 88 experienced employees who offer solutions that build client relationships and support business goals.

What the managing partner says: “P&B has a cohesive professional staff that strives to be the best for our clients,” said Brett Bradford. “We hold ourselves to the highest standards for customer service, leadership and current industry-specific knowledge needed to guide our clients securely toward the future. From the tax department to the assurance and audit team and the Central Books division, staff members enjoy their jobs and strive for the best for our clients.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The firm provides career and professional development opportunities, as well as the most up-to-date technology tools required by experienced and well-respected business advisers. Training programs are highly regarded, and the work environment is among the best in the county.

The company supports groups like the Redwood Empire Food Bank and others. Employees are encouraged to join a nonprofit board of their choice with the firm’s support. P&B promotes from within whenever new positions open up.

What employees have to say: “The environment is amazing, love the culture…. We’re serious about achieving excellence…. Great company-organized events…. The partners lead by example…. They invest in employees and make a concerted effort to show appreciation…. We adapted well to a hybrid workforce…. We have pleasant people to work with.” [back to the top]

POPPY BANK

seventeen-time winner

Company profile: Poppy Bank was recognized by Bauer Financial with its 5-star rating. It was established in 2005 and with branches throughout the North Bay and California.

What the CEO says: “Starting at the top with the board of directors and executives, we care about our staff,” said Khalid Acheckzal, president and CEO. “Our sincere, heart-felt concern resonates with our 178 employees and inspires everyone to work closely together and ultimately translates into the success Poppy Bank has achieved.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Poppy Bank frequently offers catered lunches for staff and provides gift cards and event tickets for them and their families to enjoy ball games, community fairs, live music performances, and ice skating. During COVID, full wages were paid to employees whose hours were reduced for safety measures and a relaxed dress code was introduced along with flexible hours and locations for those who needed them.

Poppy bank supports nonprofits including the American Heart Association, YWCA, Legal Aid, and the Sonoma County Children’s Museum. It partners with Epicenter by providing financing to ensure doors remain open after a two-year shutdown so it can continue to be a safe and healthy place for families to gather. When the bank heard there was a need for affordable childcare in an underprivileged neighborhood, Poppy Bank made a donation and provided low-cost funding to build a Boys & Girls Club for low/moderate income families.

What employees have to say: “I work with fantastic people…. We trust each other and are empowered to succeed…. Team support is tangible…. We do great work for the community …. Management is willing to accommodate our schedules…. I enjoy participating in volunteer opportunities that come through our sponsorships.” [back to the top]

PSYCHSTRATEGIES, INC.

seven-time winner

Company profile: The Santa Rosa/ Petaluma-based psychotherapy group provides a wide range of mental health services to individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents. Psychstrategies has over 35 mental health professionals.

What the general manager says: “Psychstrategies is truly one of the best places to work. Every employee is valued and appreciated for their contribution to our continued success,” said Sara Mitchell. “With a majority of our employees being with the company more than 10 years, we have a very collegial, supportive and welcoming work environment.”

Mitchell began her career as an administrative assistant and was promoted to GM. Two other members of the administrative staff were promoted to intake coordinator and payroll/bookkeeping administrator.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The team has summer and Christmas parties as well as special lunches provided for employees throughout the year. Company official said it strives to retain staff for the long-term by offering comprehensive benefits and a Seniority Advancement Plan. Employees also receive a yearly summer bonus and a year-end bonus.

What employees have to say: “We all have a great sense of comradery with each other…. Our administrative staff volunteers with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention…. The allowance for individual needs is excellent…. Everyone is happy to be here and there is a true sense of community…. It is truly the best job I’ve ever had – and I’m not the only one with that opinion.” [back to the top]

REDWOOD CREDIT UNION

seventeen-time winner

Company profile: Redwood Credit Union has been serving the needs of its members for 72 years with 732 employees at located branches throughout the North Bay, including a new campus in Napa.

What the CEO says: “The most important decision we make is who we hire,” said President and CEO Brett Martinez. “One of the core values we look for is a desire to build meaningful relationships, and people tell us they can feel the difference when they walk through our doors. The difference is that our team members share the same passion for doing the right thing. Employees play a huge role in our success.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Staff members have a wellness program, discounts on loans and products, tuition reimbursement, geographical pay differentials, and semi-annual potential for merit increases and bonuses. Other benefits include flex spending accounts, EAP, Talkspace (mental health assistance) and traveler’s insurance.

RCU sponsors a Day of Inspiration, team building events, and members perform Random Acts of Kindness to bring a smile to someone’s day. There is a Team Member Appreciation Day and a five-years+ service longevity celebration. Nonprofit support is given to local high schools, REFB, Napa Food Bank, Human Race and annual shred-a-thons.

What employees have to say: “We have endless opportunities…. There is a strong team building ethic…. A lot of support and understanding…. I love working for a company that is loved, it makes me proud of what I do…. They treat everyone respectfully, and always make sure we are OK…. We focus on doing the right thing…. We care about communities we serve, and this is shown though our actions…. We are encouraged to express our ideas – which are always welcome.” [back to the top]

RESIG (REDWOOD EMPIRE SCHOOLS’ INSURANCE GROUP)

seven-time winner

Company profile: RESIG has provided risk management programs and services to Sonoma County’s public school districts for 43 years.

What the executive director says: “RESIG is great because of our multi-generational, dedicated and talented team of 25 employees,” said Rose Burcina. “We moved our work to home offices in spare bedrooms and on kitchen counters to continue our high-level of service to our school district members. This is a testament to the resiliency of our team.”

RESIG formed a COVID Response Team to quickly understand the changing protocols and requirements on local, state and federal levels while guiding its team to remain as safe as possible to protect staff as well as loved ones at home with an emphasis on mental wellbeing and confidentiality.

RESIG expanded training to include relevant courses virtually and holds board meetings in a hybrid format to allow and encourage participation, while also providing participation in industry conferences and workshop in-person and online.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Employees receive competitive salaries and health benefits plus EAP, short and long-term life coverage, pension and additional retirement funds, along with longevity raises at 10, 15, and 20 years. There is a Wellness Program, flex schedules, tuition reimbursement and paid sick days, vacation and holidays. Average employee tenure is 11.5 years. Company support is given to REFB and Toys for Tots.

What employees have to say: “The work we do is important to all…. Management keeps employees involved and informed…. Successes are recognized and regularly rewarded…. Employee safety and wellbeing is a priority…. Benefits and pay are excellent…. We have opportunities to grow at a fast pace…. Our executive director walks-the-talk.” [back to the top]

RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING COMPANY

four-time winner

Company profile: Originally founded in 2003, Russian River Brewing Company’s 85,000 square foot production facility and brew pub in Windsor will be four

years old this October. This site produces both clean & sour barrel-aged beers and has administrative offices, a spacious outdoor beer garden, tasting room, growler refills, a gift shop and two acres of free parking.

What the president says: “Not only do we strive to make the best beer, we love to support and give back to our 170 employees and the local community,” said Co-owner and President Natalie Cilurzo. “Russian River’s culture is welcoming, inclusive and fun. Everyone who joins our team is joining our brewery family. Our commitment to quality, community and safety always comes first. We value loyalty and are proud to have 13 employees who have been with us 10 years or more.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Benefits include a health package, life and pet insurance, 401K and flex spending. Employees receive ”brewbucks” (credit to spend on anything in the gift shop and pub) with discounts at all times on beer, food and merchandise, and a fun holiday party. Team members also a floating personal anniversary holiday and paid time off to volunteer for the day.

Nonprofit support can include event sponsorships, cash and beer donations as well as board seats among the following organizations: Canine Companions, Humane Society, Sonoma Family Meal, World Central Kitchen, SSU, Food for Thought, Positive Images and the Santa Rosa and Windsor Chambers of Commerce.

What employees have to say: “Owners are just the best…. I am proud of everything we have built together and the direction our company is moving…. Most down-to-earth company I’ve ever worked for – they are RAD…. It’s a wonderful work atmosphere…. They treat you like a genuine human being…. We produce wonderful products and owners give us trust and independence – there is zero judgment.” [back to the top]

SCOTT LABORATORIES

two-time winner

Company profile: Founded in 1963, Petaluma-based Scott Laboratories – with satellite offices in Healdsburg and Paso Robles – is a growing, 3rd generation family-managed distributor of products and services for the North American wine and specialty beverage industry. The company has a portfolio of leading manufacturers of fermentation, filtration, packaging and other equipment. It also offers technical resources, such as specialists in winemaking and production, and collaborates with university and industrywide R&D programs supporting wine industry advancement.

What the general manager says: “Scott Labs is building a workplace that values, invites, supports, celebrates and embraces our differences,” said Cara Babcock. “We believe that the measure of our success includes our impact on both people and the Earth. Sustainability includes supporting a healthy planet and offering economic and cultural benefits to our people and community.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Beyond Kaiser/Blue Shield plans, 401K, FSA, EAP, AD&D, life insurance and paid sick/vacation time off and 10 paid holidays, there are company bonuses, a wellness reimbursement program, cancer insurance, adult and pediatric hearing aids, an employee referral program and vehicle discounts.

Scott Labs sponsored events include Angel Island Day, Work Together Wednesdays, Paint and Game Nights and a Harvest Party.

The company supports Tour du Cure, Relay for Life, UNICEF (Ukraine support), Fresno State, CalPoly and Washington State University Viticulture Equipment donations, Make A Wish, North Bay Animal Services, Napa Valley Farm Workers and Women of the Vine.

What employees have to say: “Management goes beyond the expected for employees…. They value us and our opinions…. People here are super to work with, always helpful and get things done…. Products we offer customers are awesome and support is second to none…. There is fairness, equality and diversity at work…. I’m fortunate to be part of the team and plan to retire from here.” [back to the top]

SCOTT TECHNOLOGY GROUP

eleven-time winner

Company   profile: STG is one of the largest independently owned and family-operated office equipment dealerships in Northern California for Canon, Ricoh/Savin and HP. The com-

pany sells and services copiers, printers, scanners, fax machines and multi-function printers. STG works with clients to reduce print costs, streamline document-intensive processes and implement systems to handle documents electronically to increase productivity.

What the CEO says: “We have embraced the remote work business culture and it has created an incredibly flexible environment for our 33 employees and their families,” said David Scott. “We now have a culture where it is acceptable to work from anywhere. We’ve had employees move, travel and live overseas for an extended period while still providing great customer service. Our focus will continue to be on ways to improve how we work with a decentralized team for our organization and our customers.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: STG has a close-knit culture where everyone works together to get the job done. Every other week the CEO hosts an optional breakfast for those who would like to meet in-person before work, and it’s always well attended, company officials state.

Prior to holiday weekends, BBQs or some other social event is planned at lunchtime. Following fun, food and awards, the office is closed early to give employees an early getaway. Staff members use Teams chat on weekends to share photos of pets, hikes or family activities.

Employees also receive one week of charity time per year to volunteer at a nonprofit of their choice. Past volunteer and fund-raising efforts have benefited local schools, environmental groups and underserved children.

What employees have to say: “Management’s top priority is taking care of employees, and we put customer’s needs first…. It is a supportive team environment…. There is schedule flexibility to accommodate personal issues that may arise…. We are all treated with great appreciation for what we do…. STG makes it possible to have a life outside of work and enjoy it.” [back to the top]

SIMPLY SOLAR

first-time winner

Company profile: Simply Solar is a people-first, customer-focused solar installation company in Petaluma with 20 years of experience.

What the COO says: “Every day our employees come to work excited at the prospect of making the world a better place by having a profound impact on our environment – and with each installation we do just that,” according to Jake Hassid. “We are dedicated to building things that last, from our systems to customer relationships and with our over 100 employees. This goal is reflected in three company values: thoughtfulness, empathy and drive.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Part of staff enjoyment comes from having the space to take time away for rest and relaxation, which is why the company encourages taking PTO, company officials state. Animals also help reduce stress, and the office is very pet friendly. There is an in-office gym, massage chair and a well-stocked break room.

The Simply Solar internal community likes to come together for all kinds of events, from beach trips to office BBQs and service opportunities, such as working with One Tree Planted, REFB, Voices of Children, the Sonoma Ecology Center, the Orinda Education network and more.

What employees have to say: “What we do benefits our clients and the world…. I can be myself here, more so than at any other place I’ve worked…. We all feel we are making a difference…. The work we do is improved by our diversity…. Owners align company success with the success of employees and customers…. I feel supported…. Supervisors are easy to talk to and work with.” [back to the top]

SIYAN CLINICAL CORPORATION

two-time winner

Company   profile: Siyan Clinical provides patients with psychiatric care. through tailored individualized treatment, professional  patient  education

and standard-setting clinical care at its newly renovated Santa Rosa office, the company stated.

What the Community Liaison Officer says: “At Siyan, we establish a solid foundation for both our 40 employee’s and our patient’s success by believing in four guidelines – quality teamwork, accountability with patients, empathy for all and respect. We achieve this by treating everyone in our diverse community, including patients, their families and our colleagues, with dignity,” said Amanda Anello. “We strive to imagine what people are going through, work to alleviate stress and suffering and create joy whenever possible.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Siyan invites all employees to an annual company party (plus new jackets with names embroidered on them). There are raffles with prizes such as a sound bar, Apple ear pods and gift baskets. Employee birthdays are recognized with a gift card and potluck. Pharmaceutical companies are invited to come in for Lunch & Learns with catered meals. Employees have access to Continuing Education (CE) and Continuing Medical Education (CME), trauma informed care, and staff development through daily consultation and training. Benefits include profit sharing and bonuses, generous time off, vacations and floating holidays.

What employees have to say: “The CEO is generous and attends to employee needs…. We have many opportunities to learn new things and move up…. We improve the lives of our clients and have a positive community impact…. The people here are kind, compassionate and truly caring…. Managers listen when you have concerns.” [back to the top]

SMITH DOLLAR PC

thirteen-time winner

Company Profile: Smith Dollar, with 13 employees, represents individuals and businesses in litigation and transactional matters in the areas of real estate, business, finance, construction, labor and employment as well as wills, trusts, probate and personal injury.

What the managing partner says: “Each individual who works at Smith Dollar is valued for his or her personal contribution to the firm and its clients,” said Managing Partner Glenn M. Smith. “Attorneys could not do their jobs well without the first-class assistance they receive from our brilliant and committed support staff. Likewise, our staff could not perform to their fullest without the understanding, support and respect of their attorneys.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Smith Dollar wants everyone to thrive and creates an environment where people can develop in their own ways and achieve their goals, its officials said.

The Santa Rosa firm hosts an annual party for employees and spouses, and an annual summer BBQ/pool party for employees and their families. A luncheon is hosed on Administrative Professionals Day, along with impromptu lunches and annual events. Smith Dollar’s community involvement includes support for Legal Aid, The 6 Group, North Coast Builders Exchange, Disability and Legal Service Center, The Engineering Contractor’s Association and REFB.

What employees have to say: “We’re valued…. We do our best to complete the best work products possible…. Wonderful people…. The firm is dedicated to employees and clients…. Management is easily accessible…. If we need time off, we can take it…. Great compensation, benefits and environment.” [back to the top]

SNOOPY’S HOME ICE REDWOOD EMPIRE ICE ARENA

first-time winner

Company Profile: Snoopy’s Home Ice was built in 1969 by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. The indoor ice rink in Santa Rosa offers skating sessions daily, a professional coaching staff, a warming fireplace, the Warm Puppy Café and skate rental center.

What the general manager says: “Snoopy’s Home Ice is a special place to work. Our history of wonderful events that have been held here and continue to occur makes our 50 team members proud,” said Tamara Stanley. “Our skating community calls Snoopy’s home as they train and perform their skills in figure skating and ice hockey.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Snoopy’s is a high energy, inclusive environment, with a goal to make every guest, athlete and team member feel good and welcome, according to the company.

Beyond basic benefits, employees and immediate family members take group sessions at no charge and enjoy complimentary public sessions, discounts at the Warm Puppy Café, Snoopy birthday parties, the Snoppy’s Gallery and gift shop, plus free admission to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center.

Company sponsored events include skate parties, BBQs, hockey games, skating lessons and holiday gatherings. Donations are made to local hospitals, events hosted at the arena are supported by employee volunteers, skating and hockey clinics also engage Snoopy’s volunteers. Use of the facility is also donated for nonprofit fundraisers.

What employees have to say”: “Our focus is on providing a positive customer experience and having a kind and talented team…. We all strive to improve our culture...Everyone works through challenges as a team…. I never feel uncomfortable and always feel safe.” [back to the top]

SOILAND CO., INC.

five-tme winner

Company   Profile: Soiland Company is a 2nd-generation family business based in Sonoma County. The company has three operating units, Stony Point Rock Quarry in

Cotati; Soils Plus – producing loam and custom soils for commercial landscaping, construction and homeowners; and Grab N’Grow soil products, including mulch and compost.

What the CEO says: “Our company was founded by my father, Marv Soiland, in 1962. He always believed that a career and a person’s place of work has to embody a sense of opportunity and family values. We do our very best each day to live this tradition by creating a place where our 42 employees feel valued and supported,” said Mark Soiland. “This helps everyone take pride in their work and deliver remarkable customer service. Each employee is a member of our extended work family.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: “From Our Yard to Your Yard is the company credo. According to the company, that means taking the firm’s reputation seriously, by being good stewards of the earth.

Soiland has an annual holiday party for employees and spouses with raffle prizes from vacation trips to big screen TVs. It also hosts a summer event where the company distributes anniversary gifts including Yeti coolers and Traeger grills. The company donates thousands of cubic yards of materials to local schools for gardening and sports program, community gardens and programs like the Ceres Community Project that grows food for the terminally ill.

What employees have to say: “Employees are committed to the ethos of the company…. We literally help build our community…. Management frequently checks in with everyone to see if we need anything…. They send us to continuing education seminars, training, and schooling…. We receive great rewards…. They give us respect and gratitude for working hard…. There is plenty of overtime and good pay.” [back to the top]

SONOMA CLEAN POWER AUTHORITY

four-time winner

Company Profile: Sonoma Clean Power is a customer-owned public agency operating under a joint powers authority agreement providing electricity for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, with the exception of Ukiah and Healdsburg. Company officials report its power mix is 93% carbon free and 49% renewable.

What the CEO says: “Eight years into serving customers, we continue to offer renewable power from local sources and programs that provide opportunities for customers to conserve energy and go all electric,” said Geof Syphers. “We have worked in all areas of our territory to expand electric vehicle charging options and continue to provide innovative programs that fit the needs of our customers, including those in multi-family units and rentals. We encourage growth for SCP’s 40 employees at all levels and provide learning and advancement opportunities.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The company culture mirrors the three pillars of its brand: Innovative, practical, and inclusive.

Cultural goals include employees encouraging each other to reach higher, improving the world, helping others in need, bringing others along as SCP rises, celebrating differences and cherishing similarities, according to its officials.

What employees have to say: “Staff and management are intelligent and caring…. People care about SCP’s mission…. We are encouraged to explore and pursue our own professional and personal development…. Middle management is all-around amazing and they advocate on our behalf…. My compensation is very fair for my job title, and raises are awarded regularly…. They are open to new ideas from everyone…. We support one another and value our community.” [back to the top]

SONOMA JET CENTER

three-time winner

Company Profile: Established in 2005 and purchased by the Hochberg family in 2010, Sonoma Jet Center at the Charles

M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport provides an array of aviation fueling, ground and maintenance services along with a 65,000-square foot hangar for overnight or long-term lease for jet, turbo prop and piston aircraft.

What its president says: “This is a great place to work because we are a team of people collaborating to achieve a common purpose,” said Josh Hochberg. “We respect our individuality and contributions and hold each other accountable to be or best. We value every member of our team and know that if we are happy, fulfilled and challenged professional, our company will continue to do great things.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Company officials said the culture puts its 74 employees first and foremost, and everyone adheres to company values including safety, teamwork, innovation, sustainability and community. It is an environment where team members find joy and purpose in their work and service to customers, their friends and each other.

It is a place where employees can grow and develop through promotional opportunities (including opportunities to purse their pilot’s license) and where internal talent is considered first when openings occur.

What employees have to say: “Management is flexible and always has our backs…. Great and friendly leadership…. They allow and empower employees to successfully navigate their career paths…. There is room for advancement…. We always want the best for each other…. Inclusion and encouragement are two things that make me love coming to work every day…. It’s fun environment and an amazing culture…. Both employees and customers are well taken care of.” [back to the top]

SONOMA TECHNOLOGY, INC.

sixteen-time winner

Company Profile: Sonoma Technology Inc. is a private consulting firm in Petaluma working in the university, government, industry, medical, legal and tribal sectors. Services include air quality data analysis; climate and atmospheric measurement; industrial monitoring; health and environmental justice, litigation support and applied research.

What its president says: “STI is a terrific place to work with a true spirit of collaboration demonstrated throughout the organization,” said Clinton MacDonald. “Our employees work on environmentally friendly projects that make a difference in the lives of our clients and the public.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: STI is supportive of its employees, and team members work to promote good health and strength in their communities by bringing environmental science to schools through educational projects like “Kids Making Sense”.

STI scientists and software engineers conduct research to improve understanding of wildfire risks, fuels treatment and smoke impacts by developing software and decision support tools addressing the impacts of wildland and prescribed burns.

The company and employees collaborate to promote strong communities through a matching donation program for charitable organizations and an annual grant program.

What employees have to say: “We are on the cutting edge of innovative science that serves communities and helps improve human health…. There are lots of smart, creative, friendly, and kind individuals here who are awesome to work with…. We contribute to a common goal of solving air quality problems...Staff members encourage each other’s successes…. Clear expectations are set, and we get support from everyone.” [back to the top]

SPAULDING MCCULLOUGH & TANSIL

five-time winner

Company Profile: Spaulding McCullough & Tansil is a law firm in Santa Rosa and Petaluma with 46 attorneys and staff offering legal  services  since

1996 including business, litigation, labor and employment law, trusts and estates, real property, intellectual property and technology, and alternative dispute resolution.

What the partner says: “Having a great place to work arises from a business that values its employees,” said Carmen Sinigiani. “SMT allows for individuality. Much balance goes into creating a great place to work, while recognizing the interests of the business.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: SMT’s culture promotes solution-oriented creativity and empowers employees to have a sustainable and successful work life balance in a fun, warm welcoming environment, according to the company.

Fringes include EAP, emergency travel assistance, continuing education course, collegiate course reimbursement, paid vacation, paid sick leave (beyond state legal requirements) along with bereavement and volunteer leave and loans.

Creative events like “Celebrate Success” events are held offering employees sweet treats and a bottle of wine while discussing the prior month’s successes. There is Zoom trivia, outdoor picnics, and socials, Thanksgiving baskets, Halloween Zoom and social events. Beer on the Balcony is back and there are annual staff and attorney retreats.

SMT community involvement is seen in support for the Sonoma County Bar Association and its Mentorship Program, Chefs Cycle and REFB. Many attorneys serve on multiple non-profit boards.

What employees have to say: “Employees have a voice and are heard when sharing opinions …. I love how SMT focuses on helping people be successful personally and professionally…. Everyone gets along and willing to help …. We value each other’s skills, humanity and take pride in our work.” [back to the top]

ST. FRANCIS WINERY AND VINEYARDS

twelve-time winner

Company Profile: Celebrating 50 years of excellence during 2022, St. Francis Winery and Vineyards offers visitors and guests a mission-style tasting  room  and

guests can take part in a pedal trolley tour of the grounds nestled beneath mountain and vineyard views.

What the CEO says: “We would not be where we are today without the dedication, work ethic and commitment to excellence of our 120 employees,” said Rick Bonitati. “We value their contributions and provide the training and resources necessary to enable them to achieve the highest level of performance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion and are a certified sustainable winery.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Employees enjoy wine discounts, employee appreciation lunches, free lunches every Wednesday during harvest, a holiday party and company sponsored community volunteering.

On a Tuesday in June, the team gathers at a local nonprofit, school, park, or group home to donate labor, equipment and goods to make a positive impact. A new project is selected annually to benefit local children, families, or the environment. SFW supports local nonprofits and schools with donations for fundraising events and holds an annual Blessing of the Animals with proceeds going to the Humane Society.

What employees have to say: “We are frequently acknowledged how our functionality as a team propels us to succeed…. Our complete well-being comes first…. They care about my physical and mental health…. I can bring my pets to work…. Our wines are farmed sustainably…. Our culture in inclusive and fun…. Policies in place support us…. Training and development opportunities are provided.” [back to the top]

STAR STAFFING

ten-time winner

Company   Profile: Star Staffing is an employment and recruitment agency with North Bay offices in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Napa, and Fairfield. The agency specializ-

es in office and administrative positions; wine and food production; assembly, operation, and production; warehouse and distribution; hospitality and events; marketing and sales; accounting and finance, as well as executive positions.

What the CEO says: “Our team is committed to excellence in all aspects and communicates so effectively that each person understands how important their role is, and how it ties to team and company goals,” said Lisa Lichty. “We are driven to move forward as a team, and always take time to cheer each other on and help each other succeed. We encourage, empower, and celebrate our employees and their continued development within our company.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: It’s a place where a person can thrive, reach their goals, and be supported in a dynamic team environment with support of leadership, proper training and development, company officials said.

Anniversaries and birthdays are celebrated. There is a Star of the Month program, staff appreciation as well as a yearend award celebration and top producer’s lunches. Fringes include a referral bonus plan, tuition reimbursement and volunteer time off.

Star employees support their communities by participating in Sacramento’s More Than Pink Walk, Sonoma County Heart Walk, Petaluma’s Education Foundation, Westside Little League, Catwalk for a Cure, Lime Foundation, American Cancer Society, Rohnert Park Cal Ripken Baseball, local schools, Cali Calmecac Language Academy, Windsor Christian Academy and St. Vincent de Paul High School.

What employees have to say: “Great coworkers and employees are motivated…. Everyone is easy to talk to, and I get a reply…. They do an excellent job providing security and stability…. Our work is rewarding, finding people jobs…. It’s a supportive culture where personal and professional growth is encouraged…. I love how they care for employees as we work together for common goals.” [back to the top]

SUMMIT ENGINEERING

sixteen-time winner

Company Profile: As a consulting civil, structural, electrical and water/wastewater engineering firm since 1978, Summit officials point to expertise in six strategic areas: facility planning, due diligence investigations, permitting assistance, design services, construction support and project management.

What the managing principal says: “We have a team of 36 dedicated professionals who share our collective optimism and belief in a better future,” said Yi Yang. “Everyone genuinely cares about each other’s well-being and finds fulfillment in helping others.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: There is a positive buzz around the office as plans are made to move to a new office with a new website. For staff, monthly meetings are called “Wine Downs,” and there are parties for major life events, such as weddings, babies and milestone anniversaries.

Employees engage in internal committees, the Green Team, Fun Committee and DEI Committee. All three play significant roles in the company’s development. The average staff tenure is more than eight years.

Summit supports the Sonoma County Alliance golf tournament, Cal Poly concrete canoe and steel bridge competitions, the Sonoma County Career Technical Education Foundation and hosted its first annual Summer Internship Program for college students with field and classroom time learning about the engineering business.

What employees have to say: “Everyone who works here brags about this company. We advocate for each other and the company’s best interests. It’s a team with super smart and savvy employees. We get weekly breakfasts, event food, monthly meetings, and clear communications. Everyone cares, is eager to help and welcoming. We work on amazing and exciting projects. It feels good to be here every day.” [back to the top]

SUMMIT STATE BANK

thirteen-time winner

Company Profile: Summit State Bank has been a local community bank for 38 years with branches conveniently located in Healdsburg, Rohnert Park and two Santa Rosa offices in Montgomery Village and on Bicentennial Way.

What the CEO says: “Our 101 great employees and strong culture are what make Summit Bank great,” said President and CEO Brian Reed. “We promote an environment where caring, belonging and participation are paramount. Our mission statement reinforces our commitment to hiring and investing in exceptional people and giving them opportunities to deliver superior services for our customers and ways to enrich the communities we serve.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Summit has individualized Action Plans for personal development, and an internal mentorship program. Employees are encouraged to apply for higher level positions. Its benefits package includes medical, dental, vision and chiropractic and acupuncture, insurance coverage and HAS, FSA and 401K accounts.

It hosts special days for employees to celebrate and connect with each other. A seven-member Employee Activities Committee plans all events, including sports day and take your dog to work day. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with games, music, and a food truck appearance.

Through the Summit Day of Service, employees get one paid day off annually to volunteer with a charity of their choice. The bank gives back by supporting The Boys and Girls Club, COTS, Verity, Unsheltered Friends, LifeWorks, Burbank Housing and the 4Cs.

What employees have to say: “Everyone at the bank is super friendly…. The CEO always has his door open if we need anything…. Benefits and pay are good, and community involvement is encouraged…. We take time to get to know our customers…. It’s a highly harmonious atmosphere…. Summit recognizes employees as the most valuable resource it has, and they treat us with the respect we deserve.” [back to the top]

SUMMIT TECHNOLOGY GROUP

two-time winner

Company Profile: Summit Technology Group provides advanced technical solutions, software products and engineering services. Engineering services cover routine maintenance to studio design build services, FCC regulatory filings and inspections, transmission systems and A/V systems design.

What its vice president says: “Our 64-member team understands our mission, conducts themselves based on our core values and knows what direction the company is headed, making STG great,” said Vice President and Partner Kenny Cotton. “We had some interesting times together during the pandemic, but they stuck with us, and we are grateful. Our values include integrity, being supportive, a sense of urgency and driven to succeed.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Zoom happy hours were hosted during COVID, gift cards were provided to local restaurants and everyone received a Yeti coffee tumbler. There are employee of the month and employee of the year programs. There are quarterly BBQs, family picnics, team building offsite, and hosted events for general contractors, architects and designers.

Volunteering opportunities include food drives for the area food bank, building bathroom facilities for Homes 4 the Homeless, and teaching and mentoring youth from Boys & Girls Club. STG also sponsors North Coast Builders Exchange interns and provides training for students and young adults interested in the trades.

What employees have to say: “The culture fit at Summit is just right…. It’s the first I’ve felt part of a team…. STG has a skilled workforce I can learn from…. They recognize great work when they see it by offering praise and promotions…. There is clear room for advancement…. They ensure we are safe and protected…. Everyone produces quality workmanship with a willingness to strive for more.” [back to the top]

TLCD ARCHITECTURE

six-time winner

Company Profile: TLCD Architecture is an architectural and interior design practice in Santa Rosa with 33 professionals. The firm has been in business 57 years.

What it president says: “TLCD has been faced with many pandemic-related challenges in recent years, but our staff has remained connected, collaborative and engaged with our clients,” said Don Tomasi. “Not only have we retained staff, but we’ve also been fortunate enough to hire several new employees to support our robust workload.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: TLCD offers a unique open loft style workplace environment on Old Courthouse Square. The company promotes creativity and fosters friendships and collegiality while allowing access to downtown amenities.

TLCD staffers can attend summer picnics, holiday parties, weekly Wine Wednesday staff events, regular professional development presentations and group volunteer opportunities.

The firm’s focus on community includes supporting the area food bank, the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, Center for Volunteer and Leadership (Sonoma County Secret Santa), The Human Race, Habitat for Humanity, National Organization of Minority Architects, Hip Hop Architecture. and the Mike Hauser Academy. Time off is granted for Juneteenth volunteer activity. Staff members sit on various boards, volunteer their time, and are active in professional organizations.

New employees receive mentoring, inhouse and external professional development opportunities paid by the firm and receive support including financial incentives to pursue their professional exams and become licensed.

What employees have to say: “Our project work is at a very high level and is rewarding…. Management is encouraging and uplifting…. Community commitment is real, and admirable…. TLCD is a super welcoming and diverse group…. It is a strong, supportive culture…. We have high ethical standards and always strive to do the right thing…. This is a top down lead-by-example organization.” [back to the top]

TRADITIONAL MEDICINALS

five-time winner

Company  Profile: Since 1974, Traditional Medicinals, with locations in Rohnert Park and Sebastopol, has created over 50 high quality all natural,

organic herbal teas sourced responsibly by sustainability experts.

What the CEO says: “We have been a privately held, purpose driven Sonoma County-based business for nearly half a century,” said Gary Gatton. “TM is a certified B-Corporation which means we always put key stakeholders first. Our 210 employees are our most valuable stakeholders and we strive to always provide the best work environment possible.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The company said it fosters a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging, and equally committed to strengthening a culture of inclusion, empowerment and respect, including the importance of diversity across the organization.

Company-sponsored events include Volunteer Day, a yearly holiday party, Womenserve Events and Mental Health Months seminars. The TM Foundation supports employee community contributions through volunteer grant matching (up to $1,000/year) and Bucks for Grades (report card program),

The company partners with five Sonoma County-based organizations providing economic, social and food security services and have increased product donations to nonprofits and herbal schools. A new colleague nonprofit Board Service grant program provides a $1,000 donation/year.

What employees have to say: “I’ve never worked anywhere that lives its values more each day…. I find purpose working with my tea …. It is an open, accepting and innovative culture…. I love our mission and commitment to biodiversity, empowerment and creativity…. My company goes well above and beyond …. They take extra care to ensure fair treatment of employees, and employees of all suppliers around the world.” [back to the top]

VIVALON (FORMERLY WHISTLESTOP)

six-time winner

Company  Profile: Vivalon helps Marin County’s older adults, disabled and vulnerable residents thrive

through the power of human connection with a comprehensive, integrated program of active aging services including: accessible, specialized transportation, nutritious meals, classes, care, advice and more. Vivalon’s annual report shows 56,351 rides given, 226,765 meals served and 711 classes and events held for seniors plus Eden Housing on its Healthy Aging Campus.

What the CEO says: “The past year required a great deal of resilience, teamwork, and adaptability. I continue to be proud of or 88 employees as we respond to change, embrace new opportunities, and provide much needed programs and services. Everyday I’m touched by the dedication and compassion of or team members for those we serve,” said Anne Grey.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Beginning July 1, Vivalon increased employer paid funding for health benefits from 88% to 95% for all staff working 20 or more hours per week. The basic package includes 17 days of PTO, 10 paid holidays and additional time off for bereavement. There is a retirement plan with a discretionary match of 3% in addition to medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage. There are HRA & FSA accounts and insurance options for cancer, accidents and disability.

Summer picnic and in-person events are back with an increase in the number of gatherings – meals for staff, lunches with the CEO for milestone anniversaries, pumpkin carving and costumes, along with monthly recognitions and rewards, birthday celebrations and weekly drawings for gift cards.

What employees have to say: “Vivalon has been a tremendous asset to the Marin community for 68 years…. We care about our community and conduct ourselves with compassion, empathy and integrity…. The community experiences our values firsthand, and know it is genuine…. We provide a safe place and activities giving them a feeling of purpose and longevity.” [back to the top]

W. BRADLEY ELECTRIC, INC.

fifteen-time winner

Company Profile: W. Bradley Electric is a certified women’s business enterprise offering a comprehensive range of services through the company’s seven divisions -electrical, telecom, security, audio visual, traffic signal and IT.

In business for 47 years, WBE has 275 employees and has donated $1.748M to charities over the past five years.

What the CEO says: “People are our greatest asset. Without their continued hard work, dedication and collaboration, our company would not be what it is today,” said Leslie Murphy. “Despite pandemic challenges, we have come together stronger than ever. We’re fortunate to have such a talented team, and because of them, we can achieve great things.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Internal promotions and lateral moves are common due to growth and the addition of divisions and services. Turnover is low. Average tenure is 9.4 years. The culture is described as family oriented, creative, playful, friendly, supportive, encouraging, kind, giving and welcoming. WBE hosts trivia nights, happy hours, online poker tourneys, family picnics, holiday parties, celebrations for big wins, birthdays, sports teams, monthly frozen yogurt, pets at work, retreats, etc.

Sponsored events include: the North Bay Science Discovery Day, Marin color 5K, food drives (End Summer Hunger), Earth Day, and Novato’s Rock the Block. WBE’s Giving and Random Acts of Kindness Committee hosts luncheons and volunteer opportunities on company time by sending teams to COTS and the North Bay Children’s Center. In total, WBE provides support for 37 nonprofits.

What employees have to say: “There is a strong sense of comradery…. We support each other and give back to the community…. It is a diverse company in practice, not just name …. We are able to bring new ideas to the table…. Everyone shares a positive growth mindset…. There is recognition for jobs well done…. Group activities are encouraged…. It’s a great work environment.” [back to the top]

WEALTHSPIRE ADVISORS, LLC

first-time winner

Company Profile: Established in 2019, Wealthspire is an independent registered investment advisory firm offering wealth management and financial planning services with more than 270 associates serving clients from 19 offices in 10 states (42 employees in San Rafael).

What the Chief Strategy Officer says: “In an industry that is consolidating through mergers and acquisitions, Wealthspire gets it right from the beginning,” said Greg Friedman. “By focusing first on our real differentiator – our people – this gives us an edge in elevating the client experience, driving intentional growth, and creating a culture that is authentic and leads with the heart.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Believing in the value of a unified culture, the firm hosts an annual nationwide Summit and twice a year regional office retreats to help build better relationships and brainstorm how to best serve clients. As positions become available, existing teams are notified before they are posted externally. Average employee tenure is 12+ years.

Wealthspire has partnered with The Marin Mammal Center in Sausalito by helping sponsor events, promoting fundraising activities and encouraging employee volunteerism. CSO Friedman is a board member of TMMC. The firm has created a network of West Coast organizations focusing on marine life preservation and rehabilitation. Wealthspire is also a founding member of Advisors Give Back scaling pro bono financial planning services to close the racial and gender wealth gap.

What employees have to say: “We want to exceed clients’ expectations…. Leadership cares about creating a great work environment…. Best place I’ve ever worked…. It’s a wonderful team committed to delivering excellent service…. In a stressful industry, we watch the markets and ensure our clients are well taken care of…. We lean heavily on each other for moral support and resources…. Colleagues are fun to work with.” [back to the top]

WEST COAST FIRE & WATER (BRIDGES RESTORATION, LLC)

two-time winner

Company Profile: West Coast Fire & Water provides restoration and remediation services for large commercial and residential customers. The company specializes in emergency mitigations after a building is flooded or burned. Related services include storm and water damage repair, mold remediation, air purification, COVID decontamination and biohazard cleanup.

What the CEO says: “We honor people at every level. We aspire for our staff to feel valued, important and see how their roles ae vital to our organization’s success,” said Douglas Bridges. “We see people as more than a dollar and strive to let them know they are not expendable. We always want our staff to know that we appreciate them.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The company said it encourages staff members to grow, charts pathways for career advancement, and provides Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) classes leading to certification.

Community involvement includes hosting disaster prevention events to raise awareness and providing scholarships for high school students. Each month West Coast Fire & Water makes contributions to local, national and global organizations.

What employees have to say: “The company makes everyone feel welcome…. We have a caring, positive work environment…. Advancement is easy for those that want to learn and improve…. The people we look up to are awesome…. Overall support and appreciation is outstanding…. They want to see everybody succeed…. We get to help members of the community get back to normal after disasters.” [back to the top]

WILLOW CREEK WEALTH MANAGEMENT

two-time winner

Company  Profile: Willow Creek is an investment advisory firm providing financial, tax, and retirement planning along with sustainable investing and charitable giving strategies custom-tailored to its clients and their long-term goals. The Sebastopol firm also specializes in real estate consulting, business planning, stock option analysis, college and estate planning and assisting with elder care considerations.

What the COO says: “We value and respect our 19 employees,” said Kelly Noonan. “We stick together when times are tough and were able to immediately pivot at the start of the pandemic to a work-from-home model with no layoffs or reductions in pay.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Willow Creek organized monthly virtual parties and sent gift cards to cover food delivery costs. There was a virtual “Trip to Paris” with wine and cheese sent ahead to the team for the celebration. The firm is now offering flex work schedules to accommodate the team’s needs for their return to the office. The company shares profits through a generous sharing plan contribution and provides profit-based bonuses for all employees.

Willow Creek gives back to the community by supporting local nonprofits with sponsorships and donations and sponsors volunteer days doing projects like helping to move the Ceres Community Garden to a new location, weeding the Humane Society grounds and sorting fruits and veggies for the area food bank.

The firm donated a matching pledge to send young musicians to China through the Santa Rosa Symphony and also sponsors the Green Music Center and several live concerts. The CEO is a volunteer coordinator for Sonoma County Search and Rescue.

Sponsored employee events include a holiday luncheon and dinner, Giant’s baseball game, Warriors basketball and an all-expense paid weekend at the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe to celebrate a big milestone.

What employees have to say: “Management is open minded…. Employee ideas and contributions are valued…. Everyone is pleasant and a joy to work with…. We treat clients with respect, resulting in 98% retention…. There is a very tight-knit culture…. Managers listen and are willing to train us…. We have a philanthropic presence in the community.” [back to the top]

WRA, INC.

twelve-time winner

Company Profile: WRA provides professional consulting services in plant, wildlife, and wetland ecology, regulatory compliance, cultural resources, mitigation banking, CEQA/NEPA, GIS, and landscape architecture. Project work spans sectors including local infrastructure, residential and commercial development, public park planning and habitat restoration design.

Recently added are services related to community resilience and topics such as sea level rise and wildfire mitigation planning. Now in its 41st year, WRA has grown to a company of over 100 staff with four offices in California, two in the North Bay.

What the CEO says: “WRA is a great place to work because our staff are able to work on projects they are passionate about,” said Geoff Smick. “These projects are typically multi-benefit because they support local communities our staff calls home while benefiting the environment. Employees get to work alongside great colleagues that are brilliant but also fun.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: WRA offers profit sharing and referral bonuses including extra pay during the busy field season. An innovation program funds staff to develop new tools and techniques. Flex schedules are provided. One-third of WRA’s staff are owners of the company. Employees have EAP, AAA memberships, cell phone reimbursements, and internet allowances. Company events have included office happy hours and parties. WRA covers 100% of employee only insurance premiums.

What employees have to say: “Our work is very meaningful and gives me a sense of purpose…. Everyone is committed to excellence…. The company has a well-earned reputation…. The work environment s positive encouraging employees to happily and efficiently do their best each day…. Our coworkers are supportive and very generous with their time…. We are known for collaboration, our diverse expertise and adaptability…. ,What we do has a positive effect on the future of our communities.” [back to the top]

WRIGHT RESIDENTIAL

first-time winner

Company Profile: Windsor-based Wright Residential specializes in building custom homes, high-end renovations, additions and multi-family  developments in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties.

What its president says: ”Our team has never succumbed to the challenges we have faced since our founding in 2017, including fires, pandemic stresses, lockdowns, quarantines and ever-changing mandates,” said Matt Van Heusen. “During it all, we watched our team rise to the occasion and work harder than ever. Our people’s care, dedication, creativity

-and comic relief -make the company great and allow us to take clients where they want to be: Home.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The company has three core values: care, partnership and excellence.

Employees receive competitive compensation and benefits, providing scope for growth, a hybrid environment and a reward-effort focus with access to health care and a retirement plan, along with sabbatical leaves, alternate work responsibilities and staggered schedules. Staff nominate peers for Employee of the Quarter awards, announced in Wright’s bilingual newsletter Builders Brief. For breaks, here is a practice putting green, golf simulator, basketball hoop and cornhole.

An employee engagement app allows them to stay connected with each other and earn virtual coins to recognize colleagues or cash in at the Swag Shop.

The company has an in-house BBQ pit-master to help celebrate milestones, all-team “Little Builder” baby showers, National Waffle Day, and picnics with lawn games, child-friendly activities and raffle with prizes of tools, machinery, big screen TVs, etc.. Chief Happiness Officers (office pups), provide boisterous barking and playful paw shakes, the company stated..

What employees have to say: “It’s a friendly, inclusive place to work…. Employees are encouraged to take time off…. Keeping employees safe during COVID was a top priority…. There are very few layers of supervision…. Life events are rewarded and recognized by management…. Leadership goes above and beyond to make sure everything is in place to for the team to succeed…. I love the people I work with.” [back to the top]

WX BRANDS

two-time winner

Company Profile: WX Brands in Novato offers sources wine products from

14 countries and sells in 20 countries.

What the CEO says: “WX Brands would not be celebrating 23 years in business without our creative and resourceful team,” said Founder and CEO Peter Byck. “We have family values that make us a top 15 U.S. wine company and home to internationally recognized wine brands. We have a people-first approach to forging continued strong growth and great success.

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: Fringes include giving two bottles of the wine of the month to its 160 employees, 63 in the North Bay. They can also join various wine clubs at a discount. Staff receives bonuses, vacations starting at 19 days plus three more paid days for nonprofit volunteer work. Each has a dual workstation setup at home and in the office. There are also subsidies for WiFi and cell phone costs.

Employees have quarterly all-hands meetings, a summer picnic, attend SF Giants games, a year-end holiday party and drive-in movie events, trivia contests and wine tastings. WX hosts an adopt-a-family drive supporting children at a local school along with Thanksgiving meals and presents under the tree. Backpacks have been donated along with direct cash payments to needy families.

WX has implemented composting practices, organizes global cleanup efforts, supports Earth Day, and contributes to Outdoor Alliance.

What employees have to say: “We have a grit about us that defines our culture…. Everyone interacts in a positive work atmosphere…. People are hired with a good match to WX values…. C-suite leadership is approachable and more than fair…. We have wonderful, intelligent, and amazing employees…. II love the flexibility of working remote.” [back to the top]

YWCA SONOMA COUNTY

six-time winner

Company  Profile: YWCA Sonoma County is the only domestic violence service provider in California providing

a 24/7 hotline, counseling support, a safe house shelter for families seeking refuge and childcare services that include a therapeutic pre-school.

What the CEO says: “YWCA’s team of 34 employees is unwavering in their commitment to our community’s most vulnerable citizens,’ said Madeleine Keegan O’Connell. “Our vision is to ensure everyone is free from violence in their own homes. We are fortunate to be able to offer full and part-time employment opportunities for employees and flexible hours.”

What makes it a “Best Place to Work”: The nonprofit said its culture can be summarized in five values: Community, empowerment, inclusion, integrity and sustainability. Employees are encouraged to respond to internal job postings. After two years of service employees are automatically enrolled in the retirement plan that offers company-paid double digit retirement savings contributions.

The YWCA sought and received a grant for employee wellness. Each employee was given an amount to spend on self-care and on an extra “mental health” day off.

Beyond medical, dental, vision and life insurance, fringes include cell phone stipends, mileage reimbursement and tuition assistance. Professional development dollars are allocated by department.

First Friday Gatherings are hosted monthly 4-5 p.m. giving employees from various programs time to socialize and connect. Two employee appreciation events are hosted each year along with a summer retreat and year-end holiday party.

What employees have to say: “We appreciate the care and kindness shown towards personal issues…. Women are empowered and there is opportunity for growth…. A strong sense of comfort and belonging is felt here…. We get to select training we are interested in taking and paid to complete it…. Everyone here gives more than 100%...When my childcare fell through, the CEO set up a little desk for my daughter at work.”

How many times have they won?

FIRST-TIME WINNERS

Charles Schwab

Emeritus Vineyards

Fairweather & Associates Inc.

Food For Thought

Gusmer Enterprises Inc.

Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP

OLE Health

Simply Solar

Snoopy’s Home Ice (Redwood Empire Ice Arena)

Wealthspire Advisors

Wright Residential

TWO-TIME WINNERS

Akili Interactive

Community First Credit Union

Corcoran Global Living

Dillwood Burkel & Millar LLP

Napa Valley Fumé

North Marin Community Services

Peterson Mechanical Inc.

Scott Laboratories

Siyan Clinical Corporation

Summit Technology Group

West Coast Fire & Water

Willow Creek Wealth Management

WX Brands

THREE-TIME WINNERS

All Weather Architectural Aluminum

Anova Education

Committee on the Shelterless

Community Support Network

KLH Consulting

Sonoma Jet Center

FOUR-TIME WINNERS

Central Valley Builders Supply

Eleven Engineering, Inc.

Hilton Garden Inn-Sonoma County Airport

Ledson Winery & Vineyards

MKM & Associates Structural Engineering

North Coast Title Company

Peju Winery

Russian River Brewing Company

Sonoma Clean Power Authority

FIVE-TIME WINNERS

Boisset Collection

Centric General Contractors

Cornerstone

Earthtone Construction Inc.

Intervine Inc.

Soiland Co. Inc.

Spaulding McCullough & Tansil

Traditional Medicinals

SIX-TIME WINNERS

Chop’s Teen Club

Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty

Harv 81 USA Inc.

Intelisys, a ScanSource company

Oliver’s Market

TLCD Architecture

Vivalon

YWCA Sonoma County

SEVEN-TIME WINNERS

Beyers Costin Simon PC

Healdsburg Lumber Company

Mike’s Bikes

PsychStrategies Inc.

RESIG (Redwood Empire Schools’ Insurance Group)

EIGHT-TIME WINNERS

Arrow Benefits Group

GC Micro Corporation

Hogan Land Services

Jackson Family Wines

Mengali Accountancy

Parkpoint Health Clubs

NINE-TIME WINNERS

DH Wine Compliance

Hennessy Advisors Inc.

IDEX Health & Science

TEN-TIME WINNERS

Adobe Associates Inc.

Don Sebastiani & Sons

Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire

InterWest Insurance Services LLC

Kiosk Creative LLC

Star Staffing

ELEVEN-TIME WINNERS

BKF Engineers

Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley

Costeaux French Bakery

Pisenti & Brinker LLP

Scott Technology Group

TWELVE-TIME WINNERS

Friedemann Goldberg Wargo Hess LLP

M.A. Silva USA

St. Francis Winery and Vineyards

WRA Inc.

THIRTEEN-TIME WINNERS

Becoming Independent

Ghilotti Bros. Inc.

Smith Dollar PC

Summit State Bank

FOURTEEN-TIME WINNERS

George Petersen Insurance Agency

Moss Adams LLP

Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County

Nova Group Inc.

FIFTEEN-TIME WINNER

W. Bradley Electric Inc.

SIXTEEN-TIME WINNERS

Dal Poggetto & Company LLP

Sonoma Technology Inc.

Summit Engineering

SEVENTEEN-TIME WINNERS

BPM LLP

Exchange Bank

Poppy Bank

Redwood Credit Union

How the winners were selected

Companies selected as Best Places to Work in the North Bay were analyzed by the editorial staff of the North Bay Business Journal based on several criteria, including the company profile, the survey ratings by employees, the number of responses, size of the company, the breakdown of responses from management and non-management as well as written comments by employees.

In all, 100 winners emerged from the North Bay. More than 12,000 employees were invited to participate. Nominations for Best Places to Work were sought starting in March. Anyone within a company can nominate their business by completing a simple form.

A minimum of 10 employees was required. Nominated companies were then contacted by the Business Journal and invited to submit a company profile and to ask employees to complete an online anonymous survey.

The survey was set up though Qualtrics, which is used by many national retailers due to the program’s ability to sift through and present the data in a variety of views. Companies had about six weeks in June and July to complete the profile and survey, for which a minimum number of responses was required, depending on company size.

After an analysis of the company profile and online responses, the winners were notified the first week of August. Those winners will be honored at a Sept. 14 reception.

Best Places to Work employee survey

Employees were asked the following questions in an anonymous online survey:

Please rate the following statements on a scale of 1-5:

1 = Never – Strongly disagree

2 = Sometimes – Disagree

3 = Regularly – I neither agree nor disagree

4 = Frequently – Agree

5 = Always – Strong agree

CREDIBILITY

•Management always keeps me informed about important issues and changes.

•Actions are taken consistent with the vision and promises of the company.

•Management involves people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment.

•Communications are open and accessible, and suggestions are taken seriously.

RESPECT

•Management involves people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment.

•I am offered training and development to further myself professionally.

•Individuals’ differences and personal lives are acknowledged and respected.

•I understand the company’s plans for future success.

FAIRNESS

•There is a fair system for hiring, promotions and assignment of projects.

•Employees are rewarded equally for their work.

•My rate of pay and benefits compensation are fair for my position in my industry.

•A process exists for complaints/ suggestions to be addressed without retaliation.

PRIDE

•I take pride in my individual contribution to my company.

•I take pride in the work produced by my team/work group.

•I take pride in my company’s products/ services and standing in the community.

•The workplace culture encourages innovation and contribution.

•I would like to be working at this organization one year from today.

CAMARADERIE

•I feel I am able to be myself at work.

•There is a socially friendly and welcoming atmosphere in the office.

•My immediate coworkers consistently go the extra mile to achieve great results.

•I experience a sense of “family” or “team” with my coworkers.

COVID

•I feel my company did a good job adapting to the work environment through COVID.

•As an essential business, we were not shutdown, but even so, there was good flexibility in my work life to allow me

to deal with the stress of the COVID pandemic.

MENTAL HEALTH

•I feel the company or business offers a good program of help in dealing with my emotional well-being.

•The company has a mental health program and they make workers aware of it and encourage them to use it.

•I feel emotionally supported by my supervisor and/or company.

•It’s clear from all we are told that the company is one in which mental health and the well-being of workers is valued.

.

Show Comment

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette