The Best Arizona Companies 2017: Meet The Trailblazers


In researching and identifying the 100 Best Arizona Companies for our 15th Anniversary, we have divided them into six categories. Our first group to showcase are the Trailblazers, which are identified as:

“Companies that have pioneered and sustained their exceptional performance by all metrics over fifteen years, representing the best of the best.”

The 15 Trailblazers have had a significant impact over many years on our Arizona community, their employees and the economy.

Get to know a few of the 2017 winning Trailblazers:

Charles Schwab 

Charles Schwab is a trailblazer because they stay true to their culture of service, teamwork and seeing challenges “through clients’ eyes.”

They also remain bonded by a simple quote from Chuck Schwab:

“Always put the client first. No matter what.”

At Schwab, it’s not all just about stocks and bonds — it’s about improving people’s lives. To be able to change people’s lives for the better is a powerful purpose that Schwab has embraced throughout the years, making them both influential and progressive. It’s what being a Trailblazer is all about.

On the cutting edge of both financial services and culture development, Charles Schwab proved one of the first companies to demonstrate that consumer brand and employer brand should end up blended, without segmentation, and provide transparency. It’s easy to see what Charles Schwab is like, whether referring to customer experience or employee experience.

Dignity Health

With a long history of compassionate care, Dignity Health had its Arizona beginning with the establishment of St. Joseph’s sanitarium in 1895. As a fifteen-year Trailblazer, Dignity Health was among the first healthcare institutions to measure the positive, tangible effect of a healthy work culture on patient satisfaction. Since then, Dignity has become well known for the approach of Hello Humankindness. It developed from the proven idea that human connection also leads to better health.

Values illustrate what makes Dignity Health a Trailblazer.

“Our values are the core principles that enable and inspire us to deliver humankindness. We keep our purpose simple yet powerful, and our goals ambitious yet attainable. Our values speak to the fundamental belief that every individual deserves to stay treated with humanity and compassion.”

Those beliefs, when put into action, create best companies.

Goodmans Interior Structures  

Goodmans Interior Structures is a Trailblazer. They’ve innovated for the past 60 years, making a difference in the community as well as the lives of employees. From inventive but humble beginnings three generations ago, to today’s innovative Living Office that balances purpose against profits, Goodmans continues to provide an example through an inspiring mission, vision and values.

At Goodmans, you’ll hear phrases like ‘Aha! Epiphany.’

That’s because Adam Goodman has been guided by a creative thought process that allows him to bring disruptive new ideas into the workplace culturally, on the community level, and with clients. Just as Adam Goodman took a deep dive into the purpose, character and mode of work of his own company, Goodmans guides clients and employees to do the same.


USAA gained the #1 place on the inaugural 2003 Best Companies list. That was when the company was so new in Arizona that their facilities weren’t yet finished. Now, they remain at the top of the game and a proven Trailblazer. How? In 15 years, while circumstances have changed, the mission of USAA remains the same. Furthermore, employees still have a passion for it. USAA employees remain immersed in a culture that profoundly embraces the service and sacrifices made by the U.S. military and their families.

As a Trailblazer, USAA had always been at the forefront of diversity. Since the military community is one of America’s most diverse, maintaining a workforce reflective of the membership proves vital to the mission. USAA’s diversity and inclusion credo is “Many Faces. One Mission.” This philosophy describes who USAA is, where all employees count and contribute to the overall success.

Quarles & Brady

As the only law firm to be recognized as a Trailblazer, Quarles & Brady earned that designation in 2003, 2007, and 2017. Why do people love working there? Their three secrets are diversity, community involvement, and open communication.

Quarles & Brady is a leader in mentoring and developing outstanding, diverse attorneys, with percentages of women and diverse partners exceeding national averages. Through Quarles Cares volunteer initiatives, attorneys as well as staff have opportunities to commit themselves personally and hands-on to civic and charitable efforts. Open communication helps employees feel connected to the bigger vision of the organization they are helping to grow. A multifaceted communication program includes updates, blog posts from leadership, newsletters, and Town Hall meetings. These all reinforce the rallying cry of “one long hallway.”


The Vanguard culture remains rooted in the core values of integrity, focus, as well as stewardship. Vanguard has for many years been recognized for career development, diversity and commitment to growth for women.

Vanguard is proud of their long tenured crew. They serve clients in order to give them the best chance for investment success. Always known as a benefits-rich firm, Vanguard introduced new programs in 2017 that support crew during four pivotal times of life: education, welcoming children, acting as a caregiver, and transitioning after a career at Vanguard. Vanguard has demonstrated how listening to crew members can support positive change that makes a company a true Trailblazer. Student loan assistance, paid parental leave, and family care leave mark only a few of the advantages of working there.

These companies round out the Best of Trailblazers:

American Express, Cox Communications, Deloitte, Discover Financial Services, Edward Jones, GoDaddy, Homeowners Financial Group, Mayo Clinic, and Medtronic.

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