Best Places to Work in Vermont Company Profiles

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Best Places to Work in Vermont Company Profiles

Fri, 04/06/2012 - 11:00am -- admin

The employee interviews, company rankings and profiles for the 2012 Best Places to Work in Vermont awards. 

2012 Winners
Small/Medium Companies
1. Resource Systems Group Inc. â ¢ 2. Instrumart â ¢ 3. Fuse â ¢ 4. Heritage Aviation â ¢ 5. Hickok & Boardman Financial Planning & Group Benefits, Inc. â ¢ 6. ASIC North, Inc. â ¢ 7. Wells River Savings Bank â ¢ 8. Wild Apple Graphics â ¢ 9. Liquid Measurement Systems, Inc. â ¢ 10. Gallagher, Flynn & Company, LLP â ¢ 11. Seventh Generation â ¢ 12. Farm & Wilderness Foundation â ¢ 13. Sonnax Industries, Inc.
Large Companies
1. Edward Jones â ¢ 2. BioTek Instruments, Inc. â ¢ 3. Entergy Vermont Yankee â ¢ 4. King Arthur Flour
â ¢ 5. Merchants Bank â ¢ 6. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. â ¢ 7. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation â ¢ 8. Comcast Cable â ¢ 9. Country Home Products


1. Resource Systems Group Inc.
Small/Medium Companies

55 Railroad Road
White River Junction, VT 05001
Phone: 802-295-1006
Industry: Consulting
Full-time Employees in the US: 89

RSG is thrilled to be chosen again as a Best Places to Work. "Insights & Solutions for a Better World" is still our approach to the work we do, the environment we create and our understanding of the impact and responsibility we share for the future. When asked, RSG staff points to three consistent themes about why they love the RSG professional work environment.
For most of us, finding a healthy work/life balance can be a challenge. At RSG, we consider it a necessity. Whether it's the family-first mentality, a comfortable office environment that welcomes pets and casual dress, telecommuting options or the flexible work schedule-the elements are all there to make RSG a professional home.
Another thing that our employees value is RSG's culture of social responsibility. The company itself strives to be a good corporate citizen and staff is encouraged to be active in their local and professional communities through volunteerism and leadership roles.
And of course, the reason we all have professional lives-the work itself. RSG staff characterizes their work as intellectually stimulating, rewarding and meaningful. Many have been able to develop their own unique specialties within the core practice areas which allows RSG to diversify its service offering and provide additional platforms for revenue growth.

Belief in work that is intellectually stimulating, rewarding and meaningful, exemplified by our vision statement, "Insights & Solutions for a Better World".
Healthy work/life balance. As one employee put it, "Family first. Flex work schedule when needed, employee-owned business: employees are individuals,and the single most important priority." RSG anniversaries, educational and personal milestones recognized.
Socially responsible culture. Employees are confident that RSG is a good corporate citizen in the workplace, social & natural environments.
RSG is the founding member of the Climate Registry, encouraging low-impact commuting & alternative work schedules, making high-efficiency purchase decisions, recycle whatever possible, $10,000 first time home buyer for staff who purchase within 5 miles of the office.
Thursday Afternoon Get-Togethers (TAG), events have included a "Egg Drop Contest" from our 3rd floor balcony, Gear Swaps, Pumpkin Carving Contests, Pot Luck Oktoberfest, etc. Associates Night Out: Once a month, to encourage comraderie and team building across practice areas. Company Ski day.
Community Service: Prouty - Corporate sponsorship and employee participation in a walk/bike event to support the Norris Cotton Cancer Clinic; Holiday Basket Helpers; large group volunteering at Vermont Foodbank.
The "RSG Institute" is a continuous in-house training program. the "Technical School" offers classes & workshop series to advance the state of our analytic and quantitative capabilities. Also, each Wednesday a company-wide seminar is presented.

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2. Instrumart
Small/Medium Companies

35 Green Mountain Drive
S. Burlington, VT 05403
Phone: 802-863-0085
Industry: Distribution
Full-time Employees: 52

Instrumart is a leading supplier of industrial instruments with headquarters in Vermont and a regional office in southern California. Instrumart is the operating name for Total Temperature Instrumentation, Inc. ("TTI").
At a time when most companies are cutting back on employee perks, Instrumart continues to offer industry-leading benefits packages. All employees and their families receive full health and dental benefits with no payroll deductions, no deductibles and no co-pays. Free gym membership, 401k and profit-sharing are also standard at Instrumart. The result: a 5-year employee retention rate that tops 96%. This kind of stability fuels a family-style atmosphere that is as fun as it is productive. Instrumart believes that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of business.
Management welcomes conversation & dialogue and encourages employee communication with an open-door management style. Instrumart expresses recognition & appreciation through generous and competitive salary, and through our 100% employer-paid benefits.
Sales commission is based on overall company sales, not based upon individual sales. We feel this is a huge motivator towards teamwork. Our Applications Engineers (approx. 40% of employees) are eligible for this commission. All employees receive annual raises/annual bonus, and a yearly holiday bonus. Hard work is recognized through individual bonuses. In March 2011, as we were wrapping up one our biggest months of sales to date, the President handed out $100 bills to all employees.
We try to show employees we care in numerous ways- one example is through the use of our company car. If an employee needs to use it as their personal vehicle for a time (ie if their primary vehicle is in the shop), they can use the company car! Instrumart likes to provide random treats for the office - such as McFlurries for everyone! Instrumart's work atmosphere regularly allows for fun.

100% employer-paid health care for employees and families. Healthy work-life balance. Long hours are not expected. Flexible schedules are accommodated.
Employer-reimbursed tuition for employees who continue education.
Pizza lunches, monthly birthday cake parties, other surprise office treats. Ice cream Fridays in the summer. Free treats from Mr. Ding-a-ling for all employees.

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3. Fuse
Small/Medium Companies

P.O. Box 4509
Burlington, VT 05406
Phone: 802-864-7123
Industry: Advertising/Marketing
Full-time Employees: 27

Great health benefits including fitness reimbursement, Cool perks like free ski passes, dog-friendly office, skate ramp in rec space, Half-day Fridays during the summer, Standup paddle-boards available for staff use on nearby Lake Champlain or Winooski River, Fun company events like summer lobster/clambake, ice cream socials, holiday party, bowling night Donation match program, paid time off to volunteer Fuse has an intranet that allows staff to post, share and read information posted by others. The goal is to inform and inspire each other -- about our client work, as well as about new and interesting trends and practices relevant to our business.

We recognize staff at their 5 & 10 year anniversaries with bonuses, an extra week of vacation and a special gift picked just for them such as surf trips, snowboarding trips, a Vespa motor scooter, and a new mac laptop.
To commemorate our 15th anniversary, we gave away an ipad to each employee during our Annual Meeting.
Staff are able to take time during lunch or a short break during the day to take a walk along the river, shoot a basketball in our Rec Space or do another activity.
Fuse allows dogs in our office. On any given day, we may have 5 to 10 4-legged 'stress relievers' in our office! We have a 'dog policy' and committee in place to be sure Fuse's dogs are a positive for everyone.
Comp Days. To ensure staff maintain work / life balance and to prevent burn-out, we have a Comp Day program, which allows staff to earn a day off for each full day worked on a weekend.

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4. Heritage Aviation
Small/Medium Companies

265 Aviation Avenue
S. Burlington, VT 05403
Phone: 802-863-3626
Industry: Aviation
Full-time Employees: 135

Heritage Aviation is a Burlington, VT based diversified aviation services company that provides Maintenance, Avionics, FBO, Charter and Aircraft Management. For twenty-five years our Diamond Award winning FAA-certified repair station has provided aircraft maintenance and avionics services to the general aviation community. The FBO division provides 24/7 ground handling, fueling, deicing and related aviation support capabilities. We are ideally situated as an international (transitioning point or technical stop) with US Customs on site. The charter division, Heritage Flight, operates aircraft globally and is one of the nation's premier aircraft charter and management companies. Heritage Aviation's LEED Gold certified general aviation facility utilizes wind, solar, green roof, and rain water harvesting technologies as part of our commitment to environmental sustainability.
Heritage Aviation is recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Vermont because of the commitment and dedication to attracting, retaining, and rewarding key talent. From the moment you enter our lobby, you're greeted by a warm atmosphere with welcoming, friendly smiles. Our employees take great pride in their work. We do our best to research all ideas from employees- regardless of how far-fetched or impossible they may seem to implement. In the past year we've added on-site massage, chiropractic, and on-site haircuts. We're currently doing a "Biggest Loser" weight loss challenge and an Art contest which is asking employees to describe their role at Heritage Aviation. We strive to make Heritage Aviation a fun place to work and we treat our employees with respect.

$500 annual fitness benefit, On-site chair massages and chiropractic, ice cream socials, holiday party, company barbecues, on-site haircuts
Safety Award Program. We honor employees with a plaque and $100 gift card if they successfully have a "safety save" within the organization.
An employer-sponsored Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which may provide counseling for marital, parental or financial problems, and/or assistance for specific conditions such as substance abuse, smoking and gambling.
Productivity or time management workshops, seminars or classes
On-site personal development and/or stress management workshops, seminars, or classes

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5. Hickok and Boardman
Small/Medium Companies

P.O. Box 1064
Burlington, VT 05402-1064
Phone: 802-488-8730
Industry: Financial Services
Full-time Employees in the US: 29

Hickok & Boardman Financial Planning & Group Benefits is a great place to work because the company has been built on a culture of caring. We care for our families, our clients, our teammates and our community.
At Hickok & Boardman Financial Planning & Group Benefits we strive to create a workplace that is welcoming, fun, and supportive. We have an active wellness committee that offers a variety of activities. Some examples of our group activities include lunchtime walks to Oakledge Park, participation in the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge, a team triathlon, and various walking challenges. In addition to having fun, these activities are also a great way to get to know each other on a personal level.
We have a very strong sense of community. We allow our employees flexibility so that they can use their strengths to help others in the community. The majority of employees volunteer in a variety of non-profit organizations. We are proud to run a very strong United Way of Chittenden County Community Campaign each year. The United Way Community Campaign is hard work; however, it is a time we all get together to pool resources (i.e. time and money) for the benefit of this great community.
At Hickok & Boardman Financial Planning & Group Benefits we believe happier employees lead to happier families, which in turn leads to a better experience for our clients.
Our company provides individual and corporate financial services solutions in the areas of benefits, investments, retirement, life insurance, and human capital management. We are also a Raymond James Financial Services branch brokerage through which we offer investment services to our clients.

Friday morning breakfast at work.
Ongoing wellness initiatives for entire staff.
Support of the United Way of Chittenden County both fund raising and volunteering.
Encourage and support of staff community involvement
Inviting motivational speakers to our staff meeting; sending employees to annual conferences that apply to their area of work (ie Annual Vermont HR Conference and Raymond James annual conference. Monthly all staff meetings that provide both company wide information and division reporting. A web based, self-service HRIS system that provides for a company document library, performance feedback, RSS news feeds, announcements, and custom employee surveys. A wellness bulletin board in a high traffic area of our general office space with periodic postings
Annual holiday party for employees and guest, annual appreciation luncheons for teams, fair weather noon time group walks to a nearby park with "brown bag" lunch.
Space provided for employee scheduled massages during working hours onsite

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6. ASIC North
Small/Medium Companies

310 Hurricane Lane, Unit 4
Williston, VT 05495
Phone: 802-863-0001
Industry: Engineering
Full-time Employees in the US: 48

ASIC North, Inc. is extremely proud to again be named as one of the Best Places to Work in Vermont. We could not be what we are without our employees. We took our employees' feedback from last year's survey results, and tried to improve beyond what we were already providing. We know we will continually have to work at being "the best", but we try to always do what's right for our employees. We believe that ASIC North is a great place to be, and we want to keep it that way.
ASIC North, Inc. provides design services for companies with semi-conductor based needs. Our employees are on the front line with our customers every day, and our philosophy of empowerment is critical to our success. Employees who are part of a team, who have the support to do their job well, and who believe in our organization are what make us who we are.
ASIC North, Inc. was founded upon the fundamental belief that providing for the needs of employees enables employees to be productive and successful, thus strengthening the company as well. We feel very strongly about hiring and retaining the best talent, and we do that by providing a generous compensation package, including an excellent suite of benefits - fully paid health and dental insurance for employees and their dependents, disability insurance, generous paid time off, flex time, and contributions to retirement accounts. We also provide an annual incentive program based on the growth of the company. ASIC North's management team has an open door policy, and we hold quarterly review meetings for all employees to discuss the results of the most recent quarter as well as review our forecast for the foreseeable future. We believe all of these factors make ASIC North a great place to work. We clearly value our employees' opinions and will strive to do our best!

Flexible working hours
Business decisions are based on people first
Friday BBQs in the summer
Publishes a periodic internal employee newsletter, which includes industry trends, business updates, and company specific news. It also includes features on human resources and IT topics.
Periodically we invite employees to a bowling party during the afternoon, to enjoy a few frames with co-workers before the work day ends.

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7. Wells River Savings Bank
Small/Medium Companies

P.O. Box 645
Wells Rivers, VT 05081-0645
Phone: 802-757-7971
Industry: Banking
Full-time Employees in the US: 30

Wells River Savings is a locally owned mutual savings bank founded in 1892. We are headquartered in Wells River with six offices-East Thetford north to Wells River-along the Connecticut River. As "Your Good Neighbor Bank" we are dedicated to honoring our tradition of friendly, personal service and our strong commitment to the community.
Our employees have created an organization that is more than just a place to work-it's more like a family, full of caring and understanding people who support each other in times of need and in times of celebration. Various programs allow employees to integrate their personal, family, and community commitments with their work, including our paid short-term family leave and our "Day of Service" for volunteering at a non-profit of our choosing.
While our wages are competitive and our benefits generous, it just might be the fact that we sweat the small stuff that makes us a great place to work. Through our frequent "Jeans Days" we support worthy causes. Our kitchens are stocked with snacks and beverages. Once a year Senior Management spoils us with lunch at a terrific local restaurant. At other times our CEO performs random acts of kindness with lunch, ice cream or chocolates. We have exercise rooms where we can work it all off. We bring our families to our summer picnic and a guest to our holiday party.
Opportunities for extra paid time off abound-from our Valentine's Day gift where everyone receives coupon for a half-day off to a baby photo contest where prizes are paid time off.
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8. Wild Apple Graphics
Small/Medium Companies

2513 West Woodstock Road
Woodstock, VT 05091
Phone: 802-457-3003
Industry: Publishing/Printing
Full-time Employees in the US: 31

At Wild Apple we find, create and deliver great art for the world. We license artwork to manufacturers of a wide variety of home and gift products. They need artwork to make their plates, rugs, stationery, etc. (the list is long) stand out, and we are a primary source to find it. We also produce art posters for framers supplying ready-to-hang wall decor to "big box", furniture and other retailers who need a constant stream of innovative, affordable and on-trend artwork.
We practice Open Book financial management, meaning that employees know how we are doing at any time and can see the impact of their efforts on the company's financial performance - and profit sharing. We try to keep everyone up to date through biweekly all company staff meetings, daily "huddles", newsletters, and frequent departmental meetings. We have an intentionally un-corporate feeling and emphasize a human, fun, "golden rule" approach to business. Chocolate is included in our core values. The art business is intrinsically a creative, fun business, and it is great to be doing business in Vermont.

We have an intentionally un-corporate feeling in the company, and we stress a human, fun, "golden rule" approach to business. Employees take their work seriously, but they don't take themselves too seriously.
Wild Apple offers a Health Savings Account and covers 100% of medical insurance premiums once the employee hits the deductible.
While it is not formal policy, for over 10 years the company has given days between Christmas and - New Years off with full pay and without affecting vacation days.
Wild Apple creates a casual work environment with its family-first philosophy: Flexible hours to accommodate school events, taking a family member to the doctors, etc.
Give employees up to 8 hours of community service time per year to support an organization of their choice.
Weekly donations to the local food shelf.
The company president is a member of Vistage (continuing business education group meeting monthly) and frequently brings employees to see speakers in their related specialty.
Promote outside activities in the summer, such as walks, gardening or holding departmental meetings outside, as well as holiday celebrations and surprise ice cream treats.

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9. Liquid Measurement Systems

P.O. Box 2070
Georgia VT 05468
Phone: 802-528-8100
Industry: Manufacturing - Aerospace
Full-time Employees in the US: 26

LMS is a family-owned business where our employees come first. Founded in 1989, the company has grown to become a leader in the design and manufacture of custom fuel gauging systems for the aerospace industry.
LMS owes its success to its employees - the LMS team - and to their skill, creativity, experience and integrity. We know that our employees are our most valuable asset.
So we offer an excellent benefits package with personal time off, and are committed to paying our employees at or slightly above market average. We emphasize the importance of a healthy balance between work and personal life with a Vacation Stipend that encourages our employees and their families to get away on vacation by helping with expenses.
Teamwork is part of the fabric of both work and play at LMS. Barbecue Wednesday comes every other week all summer long, when a different team of four employees puts on a company-wide lunchtime barbecue. Last summer, teams competed to see who could build the spaghetti bridge that held the most weight. We've had airplane contests to see which team's plane flew the farthest and who had the most team spirit, lunchtime chili cook-offs, and more. LMS also work together to give back to our community, putting together 1000 Hero Packs for the Military Families that had loved ones oversees and adopting a family at holiday time -- just two of many examples.
LMS is also dedicated to protecting our environment, the health and safety of our employees, and the community in which we do business. We are continually looking for new ways to lighten our environmental footprint. These are values that the entire LMS team shares.
Some of our employees have told us that what they like most about working at LMS are the people they work with, and the feeling of community and team spirit they find at LMS. As a company, we do our best to nurture and grow those qualities with employee benefits and programs that reward and invest in our greatest asset, our employees.

BBQ Wednesday's, during the summer months; Annual Summer & Winter Company Party. Fall Harvest Luncheon, Ground Hog Day-Chili Cook-off Contest, Surprise Pizza Days. Four (4) reserved seats for UVM Hockey Tickets; Lake Monster Baseball Tickets.
LMS Subsidizes 80% of all medical premiums & deductible plans.
Annually, during the holiday season; LMS adopts a family from Howard Center, Burlington or Milton Family Community Center, LMS supports Georgia Early Childhood PTA's Santa Pancake breakfast, and LMS donates to Vermont National Guard Charitable foundation in support of Vermont's National Guard soldiers, airmen and families.
LMS has a new management staff and offers and currently is utilizing external mentoring and/or coaching professionals to assist them in their professional development, Manufacturing employees are all cross-trained with all products. LMS encourages its employees to grow in their careers. Annually, the management team develops a matrix for training needs for their departments for that year.
LMS holds Quarterly Town Meetings; where the management staff presents current state of projects and new projects coming. There are also team-building exercises.

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10. Gallagher, Flynn & Company, LLP
Small/Medium Companies

55 Community Drive Suite 501
S. Burlington, VT 05403
Phone: 802-651-7218
Industry: Accounting
Full-time Employees in the US: 65

We feel that Gallagher, Flynn and Company, LLP has won this award because in recent years we have placed much more of a concentrated effort on culture, flexibility and building camaraderie.
The accounting industry is traditionally known for strong analytical and technical skills but lately more emphasis has been placed on the soft-skill side of the equation. Gallagher, Flynn & Company, LLP recognizes the importance that these skills have on corporate culture and communications, relationships, training and development, and overall engagement. We do everything we can to make work-life balance better and our staff more engaged."

Gallagher, Flynn & Company, LLP, is an independently owned, widely respected CPA and consulting firm headquartered in South Burlington, Vermont.
The firm, one of the largest in Northern New England, provides tax, audit and business consulting services to a diverse group of businesses.
We pride ourselves on being "flex-friendly", Tax Season Dinners/Events, Summer Fridays - the office closes at 2:00 pm on Fridays during the summer, Community Service event one afternoon during the summer, Monthly Birthday/Firm Successes Celebration.
Quarterly "Star Award" for an employee who goes above and beyond.We send appropriate employees to a Leadership Development program sponsored by McGladrey Pullen
We provide non-CPA accountants with the resources to sit for the CPA exam (Becker CPA Review) at a significantly reduced rate.
Semi-annual communication meetings delivered by the co-managing partners.
Open Door Policy
Partner Pesos - on the job spot recognition (fake money to be used for reimbursement on items of an employee's choice)
Paul A Toomey Star Award given on a quarterly basis to an employee who has gone above and beyond. Service awards for length of time at the firm are awarded at the annual holiday party. Monetary incentives or extra paid time off when overnight travel is required

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11. Seventh Generation
Small/Medium Companies

60 Lake Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: 802-540-3846
Industry: Creating & Selling Green Household Products
Full-time Employees in the US: 108

Though we've long been the country's number one brand of non-toxic and recycled household goods, Seventh Generation was founded on more than a belief in the fundamental need for a safe and healthy environment. We also believe that we all have the right to do fulfilling work in a nurturing workplace. For 23 years, we've been creating that place to work and supporting our co-workers with tangible manifestations of this philosophy. Some have called ours the road less traveled, and while it's true that much of what we've done has never been done before, we see the empowering, authentic, values-driven organization we've established not as an anomaly in the business world but as the future of business itself.
That future starts with better compensation practices. We offer an annual bonus incentive program based on company results and individual contributions which provides additional financial support for our staff, and stock option awards and new-hire stock grants make each employee an equity stakeholder in our company regardless of their position. In addition, we reimburse our co-workers up to $5,000 for tuition expenses in pursuit of further education and offer in-house personal and professional development courses throughout the year.
To enhance the health and wellness of our coworkers and their families, each employee receives up to $700 in annual fitness reimbursements, and all enjoy comprehensive health insurance that draws no distinctions between married, unmarried, and same-sex life partners.
Helping our staff achieve a positive work-life balance is another key focus of our effort to build one of Vermont's best places to work. We don't believe that our personal lives can or should be suspended from nine to five nor do we think that work is more important than our families or ourselves. To support both, we encourage the use of flex-time and telecommuting technologies that help each of us successfully juggle the many personal and professional demands of daily life without sacrificing one for the other.
Yet creating a kind and giving workplace based on fairness and respect is only half of the story. We also strongly believe in carrying our philosophies out into the world around us and doing all we can to build a healthy and sustainable community in which to live. To encourage this vision, we offer each staff member financial aid for energy-saving home improvements and the purchase of fuel-efficient cars as well as 16 hours of paid time-off per year to do volunteer work of their choosing. (Last year, we exceeded our goal of providing 1,000 collective hours of community service!) These personal efforts are coupled with company-sponsored projects like an annual food drive, diaper donations, flood relief, and a giving program that dedicates 10% of our pre-tax profits to non-profit neighborhood, environmental, health, and responsible business organizations working for positive change. Seventh Generation also sponsors the yearly participation of up to four employees in national and international volunteer programs.
Lastly, at our headquarters in Burlington Vermont, we've gone the extra mile to forge an office environment that is both a fun and rewarding place to spend each weekday. In addition to providing stunning Lake Champlain waterfront views of New England's most spectacular sunsets, our LEED Gold-certified facility ensures a high level of sustainable design and a safe non-toxic environment in which to work. Our long-established Vibe Team, a group of employee volunteers, promotes laughter and smiles (two essential things often missing in traditional business settings) by organizing informal workday social events and after-hours gatherings like a night at the ballpark, company parties, and participation in external community events.
In these and countless other smaller ways, we've built one of the best companies to work for in Vermont and the world. It's a purposeful achievement based on one very simple idea: that work can and should be a joyful and personally fulfilling experience that adds value to our community and meaning to our days. At Seventh Generation, our job is to make sure it always does.
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12. Farm and Wilderness
Small/Medium Companies

263 Farm & Wilderness Road
Plymouth, VT 05056
Phone: 802-422-3761
Industry: Non-Profit - Summer Camp
Full-time Employees in the US: 21

The Farm & Wilderness Foundation is a Quaker-based nonprofit that operates six summer camps in Plymouth, VT, as well as year-round educational retreats and workshops, and internship programs in farming, facilities maintenance and retreat program management.
The camps offer youngsters challenging wilderness trips, a connection with nature in our organic farm and gardens, home-grown entertainment, community service and time for quiet reflection.
Farm & Wilderness has 20 year-round employees and is the largest employer in Plymouth during the summer, hiring an additional 240 seasonal staff.
Flextime, summer camp discounts and a fall and winter supply of fresh, organic produce are some of the ways Farm & Wilderness has contributed to employee satisfaction beyond the usual salary and benefits.

Flex time and flexible schedule, Generous leave (vacation, holiday, sick, comp), Management supports inter-department collaboration.
Tuition discount for staff (camper tuition significantly discounted at our camps).
CSA: organic, fresh produce, milk, eggs, meat produced at F&W (at cost)
Trainings, financial support and encouragement for continued education and professional development.
Open Door policy! Office doors are always open & it is understood that each member is available and approachable regardless of position.
Transparency! Management Team meeting notes are distributed to all year round employees, comments are encouraged.
Teams! In addition to our Management Team, we have 3 teams at F&W. Each employee serves on 1 of these teams based on job function. Each team is led by one member of Team. This facilitates cross departmental communication & collaboration
Staff Meetings! We hold weekly, required meetings where each employee is asked to give updates on projects, any issues or current topics of interest. The open dialogue assist in employee engagement and involvement.
When reviewing "dense" materials such as our quarterly reports, annual policy or other lengthy readings we toss chocolate treats during the question and answer phase of the review meetings. This keeps employees engaged and helps to lighten the mood.
We have two parties each year; held off site and often more formal than our typical casual nature. The first is to kick of the summer session and the second is to celebrate the holidays & year's end. Employees are encouraged to bring their families.

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12. Sonnax Industries, Inc.
Small/Medium Companies

P.O. Box 440
Bellows Falls, VT 05101
Phone: 802-463-2039
Industry: Manufacturing
Full-time Employees in the US: 45

Sonnax Industries, Inc. is a leading supplier to the automotive aftermarket. We are recognized for designing, manufacturing and distributing transmission, torque converter, drive train, and high performance parts worldwide. Sonnax is recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the state of Vermont. Our name has become synonymous with excellent service, innovative designs and customer dedication. Nearly 150 employees take great pride in the Sonnax name, and strive to further the company's reputation for excellent service, technical knowledge, customer dedication, and now, to be one of the best places to work in Vermont.
We consider ourselves to be a cutting-edge team focused on developing and delivering the best product in the industry, a team whose imagination, hard work and results are rewarded. Sonnax offers outstanding benefits to all employees including medical and dental insurance, generous paid vacation and personal time packages, tuition reimbursement, 401(K) and much more.
In 2011, Sonnax announced the formation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for its employees. In an ESOP, the company sets up a trust fund which owns shares of the company stock. In the case of Sonnax, the trust owns 100% of the company stock. Shares in the trust are allocated to individual employee accounts. As employees accumulate seniority with the company, they acquire increased vesting in those shares. The ESOP is the ultimate way to reward our employees for their contributions to the success of Sonnax. The overriding benefit of the ESOP is that it allows employees to participate in the growth and success of the company. Additionally, the ESOP should be instrumental to Sonnax in attracting and retaining the best talent in our industry. The company is committed to remaining in Vermont, where it will continue as a significant employer in the area.
At Sonnax, we strive to foster a culture of openness, fairness, pride and respect. We encourage employees to find balance in their lives and strongly believe that prioritizing family, heath and faith before work is important to be successful in both their personal and professional lives. Employees are encouraged to address those priorities outside the work environment, for example attending their childrens' school and athletic events and taking time off for personal appointments.
In 2011 we partnered with Marathon Health to roll out our newest benefit, Driving Wellness, a wellness program available to all employees and their spouses. We have a registered nurse on site twenty hours per week to assist employees with biometric screenings, health risk assessments, wellness coaching, goal setting, etc. Employees are also encouraged to take breaks during their day to walk outside and to use our onsite gym facilities with locker rooms and showers.
We also interject fun into the workplace with things like a Halloween party, chili cook-offs, annual summer picnics and holiday gatherings.
Employees can also feel a sense of pride in our commitment to take care of the company, community, and world. We support community organizations on a regular basis and have supported relief efforts on a local, national and global scale as the need has risen. We have also made great efforts to care for the environment, incorporating green practices wherever possible.
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1. Edward Jones
Large Companies

322 North Main Street Suite 4
Barre, VT 05641
Phone: 802-476-6200
Industry: Financial Services
Full-time Employees in the US: 36,522

Edward Jones is the nation's largest financial-services firm in terms of branch offices, has branches in all 50 states and through its affiliate, 600 branches in Canada. To conveniently provide financial services to individual investors, the Edward Jones business model is one financial advisor and one or two branch office administrators operating branches located in neighborhoods where potential clients live and work.
Every associate has an opportunity to own part of the company. Any associate in good standing with three years of service can be offered partnership. About 40% of all associates are owners. When associates face personal or professional difficulties, the firm stands by them. This can mean quick assistance in a natural disaster, paid leave or medical exceptions, cards and e-mails, or dozens of associates showing up at a funeral.
Financial advisors can run their own business, like an entrepreneur, without any financial investment but with extensive home-office support. They work in partnership with their BOA to achieve goals they set together, even determine office hours. Each year, thousands of financial advisors earn all-expense paid diversification trips to exotic destinations across the globe. In 2010, 6,600 associates qualified. There's no limit to the number of trips awarded.
The branch business model encourages associates to volunteer in the local community openly and proudly during office hours. For example, when BOAs are waiting for branches-in-transition to reopen, the firm pays them to volunteer full-time. Volunteerism is a fundamental part of the culture. In 2010, the firm formalized this by creating a Day of Caring, one paid day off annually for home-office associates. In branches, volunteerism during the workday is common and expected.
Despite far-flung branches, face-to-face communication is common. Leaders listen at region events and during every diversification trip. Area leaders are visible and Firm honors include being named a top training company for 12 years in a row by Training magazine. Edward Jones ranked No. 15 on Training magazine's 2012 Training Top 125 list and won special recognition for its financial advisor training program.
When new financial advisors begin their careers at Edward Jones, they're often surprised at the overwhelming support they receive, both locally and from the home office in St. Louis, Mo. The Edward Jones training program is built on a foundation of successful financial advisors helping the newest recruits. Veterans help the rookies figure out how to maximize their talent, focus their efforts and make the most of the opportunities Edward Jones shares its success with the associates who are the firm's greatest strength. When times are good, associates earn three-times-a-year bonuses, annual profit sharing and solid partnership returns for the 15,000 associates who are limited partners. Partnership is perhaps the greatest recognition a firm can bestow on a valued associate. Limited partners include branch office administrators, financial advisors and home-office associates. About 40% of all associates are owners and share in annual earnings.
Edward Jones prides itself on a caring, supportive and family-friendly culture. Financial advisors set their own schedules and choose their branch locations. Because they usually live where they work, it's easy to duck out of the office to coach your children's sports team or catch their dance performance.
As Vermont Regional Leader Hans Asoera says, "No other company I know of so perfectly balances entrepreneurship, values and potential. It's the best of all worlds if you're a person who believes you can write your own destiny."
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2. BioTek Instruments, INC.
Large Companies

100 Tigan Street
Winooski, VT 05404
Phone: 802-861-8548
Industry: Manufacturing
Full-time Employees in the US: 273

BioTek Instruments, Inc. is a global leader in the development, manufacture and sale of micro-plate instrumentation and software. Dedication, Integrity, Honesty, Mutual Respect, Excellence, Family and Fun are core attributes that have developed and sustained the Company and continue to serve as a rudder for guiding decision making. BioTek's Mission Statement notes the "welfare of our employees" as one of the five principles that guide our actions. The average tenure of a BioTek employee is 11+ years, with 20% of our workforce averaging 20+ years with the company. We believe that this can be attributed to the unique corporate culture that the founder's sons (Briar and Adam Alpert) have maintained over the years. They believe that every employee is critical to the success of the company and have built a culture of mutual respect, teamwork and dedication. Biotek is the kind of culture that people want to be a part of; and that this culture has played a significant role in BioTek's winning the Best Places to Work in Vermont award.
What the employees are saying:
"Provides a stable and friendly work environment with long term growth potential."
"We're not just a workforce, we're a community. BioTek is my second family."

Company wide performance quarterly bonus program pays employees equally and that is distributed at a celebratory event - i.e. a cookout, a pancake breakfast,
Employee recognition program not just for years of service, but for milestones in life such as sending a VT Teddy Bear at the birth of a child or a Dakin package if an employee has a death in the family.
We have a formal "open door" policy whereby any employee at any time is encouraged to provide feedback to the President. Each month the President takes employees whose birthday fall in the month out to lunch as an informal way of soliciting feedback.
We stress the open, non-punitive nature of our culture so that all employees feel free and able to share their ideas and thoughts with management up to and including the President. The President is visible and easily accessible on a daily basis.

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3. Entergy Vermont Yankee
Large Companies

P.O. Box 250
Vernon, VT 05354
Phone: 802-451-3368
Industry: Power Generation
Full-time Employees in the US: 619

Entergy Vermont Yankee is proud to be named as one of the Best Places to Work in Vermont for a third year. There are many reasons why Vermont Yankee is consistently recognized as an excellent place to work and the dedicated employees who so strongly stand by their company say it best.
Here are some of their remarks from the Employee Comments Report:

"Entergy Vermont Yankee promotes family and community building as part of being a good employee. Time off for family and health are granted when needed. My responsibilities outside of work have always been embraced by my supervision as part of the balance to maintain quality of life."
"The people make the difference. We are always ready to help each other at work, home and in the community."
"There is a family atmosphere here where people care about each other. I enjoy coming to work knowing that I am surrounded by competent professionals who work well both independently and as a team."
"The most impressive thing, to me, is the safety culture. Each and every employee is empowered to stop a job if they have a safety concern and a questioning attitude is widely encouraged."
"Entergy Vermont Yankee cares for the individual person. I can approach any manager and they are willing to take time to listen to what I have to say."
"I am a long term employee and have stayed for many years because of the quality of the management and employees. I have had many different positions and have always been challenged to improve myself. I can't think of a place I would have rather worked."

Everyone at Vermont Yankee would like to express their appreciation for being honored as one of the Best Places to work in Vermont. They look forward to continuing to live up to the standards that allowed them to earn this esteemed award.

Company sponsored events like BBQ's and luncheons, open door policy, Four day work week, Paid time off for volunteer work, Safety Day- day set aside for employees to engage in safety related activities, Gym membership reimbursement and Wellness sponsored programs
VY issues a weekly electronic newsletter discussing plant events and employees. In addition, a weekly stakeholder newsletter is distributed highlighting all external activities and communications on plant issues.
On a weekly basis management is briefed on plant performance and other important information which they then pass on to employees. All Hands/Station Update meetings with employees are held every six weeks to update employees on plant activities and community events, including a video that is entirely
Parties - Annual Employee and Family summer picnic that is geared to provide an experience for the whole family; Holiday Party weekend event and dinner for employees and significant others; VY Kids Holiday Party catered to VY families.

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4. King Arthur Flour
Large Companies

135 US Roue 5
Norwich, VT 05055
Phone: 800-827-6836
Industry: Manufacturing
Full-time Employees in the US: 264

Here at The King Arthur Flour Company in Norwich, Vermont, we enjoy our jobs. As America's premier baking resource, we sell flour and baking products to bread bakers and cookie lovers all over the country. We feel good taking care of our customers, our community, and the beautiful environment around us - all part of our mission. And as a 100% employee-owned company each person working here has a real stake in the company's success - or failure - which further drives us to be exceptional in all areas of our business.
We take pride in our efforts to make King Arthur Flour a great place to work, and we're deeply honored to be recognized as a leader in workplace practices. It's all the more incentive to continue doing our best for our employees.

Knighting names for employees with an official sword knighting from CEO.
Free flour each month and free bread each pay period. Each employee receives a local Vermont turkey the week of Thanksgiving.
Our employer asks for our opinions, insights and ideas for improvement- that's what makes an ESOP strong. Monthly town meetings are held where employee-owners gather in one room to review financials and update each other on company activities. As an employee-owned company, it is a major milestone when an employee becomes 100% vested in our Employee Stock Ownership Program(ESOP) at 7 years tenure. Each year we hold a "vesting" ceremony whereby they each received a KAF fleece vest.
Full-time Employees in the US can take up to 40 hours of paid time to volunteer at a non-profit organization.
King Arthur Flour reimburses employees up to $200/year to sign up for gym membership, ski passes or other wellness opportunities. Employees are encouraged to step away from their work areas for a break - whether a walk outside, taking a spin on our bikes, playing cribbage, knitting or participating in our daily 10-minute stretch breaks from 2-2:10 in our exercise room.
Another very popular activity is potluck lunches. All it takes is for someone to merely mention the word and people jump on board. This has an amazing effect on employees' morale during our crunch time.
Another very popular activity is potluck lunches. All it takes is for someone to merely mention the word and people jump on board. This has an amazing effect on employees' morale during our crunch time.
Our Strategy Team holds at least two off-site meetings each year with mid-level leaders. These discussions focus on strategic planning and are intended to create robust dialogue and information sharing among various levels of the organization.
Each year we hold an annual company meeting/apple-picking during which we end normal operations early and take time to celebrate the accomplishments of the entire company, including revealing our new stock price and handing out profit-sharing checks

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5. Merchants Bank
Large Companies

275 Kennedy Drive
S. Burlington, VT 05403
Phone: 802-865-1698
Industry: Banking
Full-time Employees in the US: 326

Merchants Bank prides itself on exceptional customer service. We believe that happy employees make happy customers. We treat our employees like family; every employee is important. Employee opinions are encouraged and input is given honest consideration and respect. Management clearly communicates the goals of the organization and employees understand the importance they play in reaching these goals. We are a TEAM. We are dedicated to keeping our staff happy and in turn making customers happy!

Our upper management team is accessible to all employees at all times. They have offices within our operations building and are seen in the same areas as all other employees. They are very visible. All are on a first name basis.
Annually our president puts on a meeting to review the year's achievements and discuss the upcoming year's goals with all employees. Employees can ask questions impromptu or send in questions ahead of time.
Each year a member of the senior management team visits each branch market and asks what the Bank can do better. That information is captured, summarized and circulated to the middle managers to consider.
Our managers recognize families are important and do their best to accommodate employee needs while balancing the needs of the department, i.e, flexible schedules, time for appointments, etc.
MB supports the United Way and is consistently recognized for our successful campaigns. MB Foundation provides financial support towards education programs and human services organizations. Managers are given an annual budget to responds to local needs in their markets.
We have a spirit committee that meets monthly and plans events with staff to keep our workplace fun. Examples are holiday breakfast served by Senior Management, chocolates mailed to employees for Valentine's Day, Hat Day, Wear Green Day, etc.

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6. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Large Companies

33 Coffee Lane
Waterbury, VT 05676
Phone: 802-882-2125
Industry: Coffee Roasting & Packaging
Full-time Employees in the US: 3,578

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is on a deliberate journey to create and sustain a values-driven company that is both profitable and transforming the way the world views business. We have an enduring commitment to social and environmental responsibility that is shared by our employees. Programs such as 52-hours of paid volunteerism annually, matching donations, company-paid trips to coffee-growing communities and employee teams focused on local grant-making are some of the ways we encourage employees to participate in our mutual commitment to improve human conditions and our planet. As one of our employees wrote in their survey response, "GMCR is truly an organization that balances people, profit, and planet. I am very proud to say I work here."
A key component of our success as an employer in Vermont is our culture of appreciation, collaboration, and respect for our employees. We support employees with outstanding benefits, a wealth of professional and personal development programs, employee recognition and appreciation events, open communication, and by sharing the company's success through profit sharing. Above all else, GMCR's #1 priority is to provide a safe and healthy work environment.
In employees' own words:

Employees are treated with respect and everyone works with you to help you succeed.
This company truly cares about their employees. Safety is very important to them as well as quality.
(GMCR) Lives and supports its corporate mission and values from top to bottom.

People want to work here because they believe in the product, our social responsibility philosophy and overall company culture. This organization has a vision and a mission to use the power of business to make the world a better place. They invest in their employees and supply chain, bringing everyone together to achieve this common goal. No one is a cog in the wheel and employees appreciate the influence they have on our overall success.
The company cares deeply for all of the people it touches: its employees, its customers, its partners, its suppliers, its investors, and the communities in which it operates. This sense of responsibility to elevate the human experience in everything it does creates a positive work environment that draws exceptional people to it.
The company does a great job of making everyone feel like a valued member of the team. I have never worked anywhere before where my opinion on something matters so much. And, to top it all off, they have great benefits programs!
GMCR stands above the rest and it's always fun to come to work here.
This is a fantastic company that makes wonderful products, takes excellent care of its employees, and is a model corporate citizen. Just one of those things would make it a great place to work --- but all 3 make it an INCREDIBLE place to work.
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7. Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Large Companies

128 Lakeside Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: 802-658-6060
Industry: Non-Profit - Energy
Full-time Employees in the US: 240

Employees of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) have once again ranked their company as one of Vermont's Best Places to Work, citing work/life balance, generous benefits including yearly sustainability incentives, and the chance to put tangible effort toward a shared goal.
VEIC was founded in 1986 as a nonprofit energy services organization dedicated to reducing the economic, social, and environmental costs of energy consumption. As one employee put it "I get to spend each day working toward a goal I truly believe in."
Their most significant project thus far has been the delivery of Efficiency Vermont services for the past eleven years, saving Vermonters a cumulative $727 million in reduced energy costs. In the last two years, VEIC secured similar contracts in Ohio and Washington, DC, and recently opened additional Vermont offices in Barre and Rutland, setting in place a larger framework to help achieve their ambitious goals.
In 2011, the Burlington-based company finally outgrew its South Champlain Street location and now occupies the upper portion of an old textile mill on Lakeside Avenue. The new space was retrofitted using energy-efficient technologies and an open concept design. Everyone - including the Executive Director -works at open-air desks flooded by sunlight from expansive windows arranged around a large kitchen/community area where people gather for meetings and staff parties (like the highly-competitive annual chili cook-off). The building combines airy design with vivid bursts of color and a large collection of art, and unique touches like cozy chairs and modern lighting fixtures.
At the heart of VEIC's success are its two visionary founders, Beth Sachs and Blair Hamilton, whose incredible altruism and drive have created and sustained a business model that respects its employees as well as its successes, while striving to make a real difference in the future of our planet. Sadly, in 2011 Blair Hamilton passed away. Although this was a huge loss for the staff of VEIC-and the energy sustainability community at large-his contributions continue. As Blair's partner and co-founder Beth Sachs put it, "We have come out the other side of this an even stronger, more cohesive organization, and Blair's legacy will continue to be honored."
Plans for VEIC in 2012 - the company's 25th year - include maintaining their socially-responsible business practices and continuing to be one of Vermont's Best Places to Work.
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8. Comcast Cable
Large Companies

222 New Park Drive
Berlin, CT 06037
Phone: 860-505-2015
Full-time Employees in the US in the US: 87475

As a company, Comcast believes in the power of engaged and empowered employees. In order to be successful, we know we need to create a culture of employee pride and ownership. In a 24x7 industry where Vermont residents rely on our cutting-edge residential and business communications products and services, our 300 employees across Vermont really make the difference when it comes to providing our customers with a local, superior customer experience. Therefore, we focus on not only providing a generous compensation and benefits package, but also offering training and tools that allow our employees to progress, develop and grow their career within the company. We operate at a very local level and our organization is based on a culture of teamwork, collaboration and also giving back to help better the communities where our employees and customers live and work. For example, during the 2011 Comcast Cares Day, our nationwide day of employee volunteerism, 250 Vermont employees and their friends and families donated their time on a Saturday morning to help clean up and beautify five sites across the state. Additionally, we helped support our customers and employees in Vermont affected by the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene by delivering 100 generators, gasoline and bottled water to the local Red Cross in Clarendon. Our Vermont employees also donated nearly 700 pounds of food, including over a dozen turkeys and canned and non-perishable items, to the Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf this Thanksgiving. At Comcast, it really is the best of both worlds - working for a nationwide, cutting-edge technology and communications leader that has exciting products and services and a great benefits package while enjoying the family feel of a small business.

Comcast offers a generous company contribution to benefits, a 100% employer match up to 4.5% on 401k contributions, an employee stock purchase plan and our annual and quarterly bonus programs.
Employee-directed Community Investment fund that employees can apply for to get Comcast funding to support organizations / causes they're personally involved in
We created a disaster relief fund this year that allowed employees that were impacted by natural disasters (including flooding in VT & Hurricane Irene) to apply for funds from Comcast.
Education Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance for eligible employees to pursue their educational interests.

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9. Country Home Products
Large Companies

24 Meigs Road
Vergennes, VT 05491
Phone: 802-877-1200
Industry: Manufacturing
Full-time Employees: 191

Walk the hallways of our buildings and you'll know right away that we have a unique and special place here. From the person who answers the phone and takes an order to the team of craftsman building each machine we sell, we are a company of hard working and conscientious individuals.
Driven by a shared commitment to quality - in everything we do - we take great pride in the products we sell and the service we provide to our customers and each other, striving to treat our customers, vendors and one another with fairness, respect and appreciation.
That's how we've created such a sought-after work environment - one that continually attracts the very best people. The kind of people who care about the company they work for, the job they do and the customers they serve. We have fun while working hard, and we love the work that we do! We are proud to be a three-time winner of this award, but hopefully still humble enough to know that we can continually improve and make our workplace even better.

Company parties with great giveaways, A culture that is short on politics and long on mutual trust, integrity and respect, terrific benefits package Company-wide chili cook-off Thanksgiving dinner for the whole company. Wellness programs that work.
Informal quarterly meetings with the President/CEO. Employees interact with comments and questions. True open door policy of all supervisors and managers.

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