It is the purpose of BestCompaniesAZ and our calling – and has been for 15 years. We knew that better workplaces would create better lives, better communities, and more profitable businesses.
Although it wasn’t about the money, the financial success was proven to be a benefit for best companies. Ten years ago, we were excited about that. Now, we’re more excited about how this movement has become viral, and the overall effects beyond what we could see 15 years ago. The entire state has benefited as hundreds of employers have decided to build awesome cultures. Fifteen years ago, it was a vision and passion that wasn’t shared by the mainstream. Wow, how far we’ve come. Now, organizations in general recognize the value of company culture, community involvement, and employer branding.
In 2002, we were pursuing different ways to make our calling a reality. Denise was just starting the visionary business that created the first-ever “best companies” list to recognize top employers in the Phoenix area. Lee was the VP of Tremendous People for a content marketing agency and was paving the way to become No. 1 on the list. Both of us were deeply committed to the cause of creating best companies for the benefit of the local economy, community, and workforce.
Fifteen years later, the passion continues to grow. Since our visionary 2003 inaugural “best list”, we’ve seen impressive evidence that creating stronger, trust-based workplace cultures leads to business results. Despite the devastating Great Recession, almost all of the original list winners are still going strong, reaping the financial and intangible benefits of their efforts. These companies are committed to building awesome cultures, including projects that better the community and promote the Arizona economy.
BestCompaniesAZ has been involved in the development of the top four award programs in Arizona over the past 15 years:
• The prestigious “Arizona’s Most Admired Companies” award, in partnership with AZ Business magazine
• The inaugural “Best Places to Work in the Valley”, with the Phoenix Business Journal
• “Top Companies to Work for in Arizona” with azcentral.com and Republic Media
• 100 Best Arizona Companies”, BestCompaniesAZ 10th Anniversary Issue
Besides these awards, BestCompaniesAZ has helped hundreds of companies develop great cultures. Through the efforts of our passionate people, the Best Companies movement has indeed become viral. Our purpose and calling has transformed Arizona by getting hundreds of employers involved in creating cultures and communities worthy of being called “the best”.
As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, we’re honored to recognize the 100 Best Arizona Companies. We chose this year’s winners using our research on award-winning companies that spans back to 2002. To highlight the outstanding characteristics of these companies, we’ve divided them into six categories designed through research of behavioral scientist, Dr. William Glasser. We hope you are inspired by these companies and learn from them.
Best of Trailblazers – Visionary companies that have pioneered and sustained their exceptional performance by all metrics over 15 years, representing the best of the best.
Best of Cool – Top organizations with strong, unique workplace cultures, where they know how fun can help create the best work ever.
Best of Wings – Innovation, empowerment, freedom, creativity, and sometimes disruption, shine at the forefront of these companies.
Best of Heart – Through building relationships with employees, customers, and in the community, these companies show how much they care.
Best of Stars – At the height of their powerful success, these companies are masters of their fields, inspiring confidence in customers and employees alike.
Best of Future – With great potential for growth and representing a new era of business in Arizona, these are the organizations we want to watch for the future.
In the past 15 years, Arizona’s business climate has experienced massive changes, but BestCompaniesAZ’s movement has grown and proven true over time. Now, as we look to the future, the explosion of the Silicon Desert is creating new opportunities and greater challenges. Now more than ever, the best organizations need to maintain great workplaces, and tell their stories well. May you be inspired by their success and learn from them.
BestCompaniesAZ pioneered the intersection of recruiting, HR, marketing, and PR. We didn’t even have a name for it in 2002, but now employer branding is a major component of business strategy. There will likely be exciting growth in our own future, since as our clients grow, we’ll go where they need us. We’ve been honored to work alongside the best companies in Arizona – small and large, startup and established – for the past 15 years. Join us this year as we share the stories of the 100 Best Arizona Companies – BestCompaniesAZ.com/100Best.
100 Best Companies in Arizona
Discover Financial Services
Goodmans Interior Structures
Homeowners Financial Group
Quarles & Brady, LLP
DriveTime Automotive Group
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort
International Cruise & Excursions
The Lavidge Company
Henry & Horne LLP
Laser Spine Institute
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.
Arizona Charter Academy
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Grand Canyon University
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
Lovitt & Touché
National Bank of Arizona
Orchard Medical Consulting
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
Better Business Bureau serving Greater Arizona
Camden Property Trust
CopperPoint Insurance Companies
General Motors Company
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak
& Stewart, P.C.
The Plaza Companies
Sonora Quest Laboratories
Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions
TASER | Axon
Endurance International Group
Longboard Asset Management
Pinnacle Transplant Technologies
Tuft & Needle
Denise Gredler is founder and CEO of BestCompaniesAZ. Lee Vikre is managing partner of BestCompaniesAZ.