5 Foundations of a Destination Workplace: Charles Schwab

Everyone wants to work for a company who values them, offers opportunities for advancement, creates an engaging culture and gives back to their communities. So how can you identify a destination employer, or turn your company into a talent magnet? Charles Schwab was just named one of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies for the 5th consecutive year. And this year they were honored with the Spotlight Award for Workplace Culture. We found several great qualities that make Charles Schwab a destination workplace and worthy of their many awards!

5 Foundations of a Destination Workplace

Employee Engagement

Schwab fosters employee engagement through a strengths-based approach. All employees complete a Gallup assessment to identify their top strengths. Focusing on strengths creates a positive, empowering work environment. As the second-largest Charles Schwab location, Arizona is home to 21% of its employees. Schwab is proud of the fact that the Arizona workforce experiences a very low single digit voluntary turnover rate that outperforms the industry average of 14.4% and regional average of 25.8%.  

What influences this low turnover rate here in Arizona is Schwab’s attractive workplace culture.  As a five-time winner of the azcentral Top Companies to Work for in Arizona program (2013-17), Schwab is most proud of the strong employee engagement score, which is multiples higher than the national average as reported by Gallup.

Work-Life Balance

Schwab encourages employees to improve their physical health and well-being, offering financial rewards for completing healthy actions, like a fitness class or undergoing a physical.  Schwab also offers Lifestyle and Health rewards for all employees across the country reimbursing them up to $300 for individuals who are in good health or for making health improvements. Employees are eligible for an additional $250 for participating in Weight Watchers or nutritional classes, 5k-type running events, gym memberships, etc.  

And perhaps the most unique and coveted employee benefit, eligible employees have the ability to take paid sabbaticals (28 calendar days) after every five years of service. This important time off promotes personal and professional development, community service, and higher levels of future performance and engagement.

Diversity & Inclusion

Schwab has created an inclusive work environment, encouraging employees to celebrate their diversity through a network of Employee Resource Groups. ERGs foster employee growth and development, offering opportunities to network internally, participate in community events, volunteer with nonprofit organizations, build business knowledge, and connect with clients and consumers from diverse communities at investor education events.

Employee Resource Groups are formed by employees who share characteristics or life experiences and are committed to enhancing diversity and inclusion at Schwab.  More than 25% of Schwab employees belong to at least one ERG. More than 60 ERG chapters have been created to date. Schwab ERGs include groups for Women, Veterans, Latinos, Blacks, Asian Pacific Islanders, LGBT and more!

Leadership Development

Employees benefit from the same visionary leadership that Schwab clients and shareholders have come to expect and value from Schwab. Leadership qualities include trustworthiness, transparency, integrity, innovation and a willingness to question convention.

Leadership initiatives are plentiful at Schwab. One example is the Aspiring Leader Program for individual contributors who demonstrate high potential and a strong desire to grow their leadership skills. The purpose is to build a talent pipeline of equipped candidates for future leadership positions. This increases the breadth of leadership who champion our clients’ goals with passion and integrity.    

Community Service

As a past recipient of the Arizona Most Admired Companies Spotlight Award for Corporate and Social Responsibility, community service is more than just an idea at Schwab. It’s an ingrained part of their culture. “Schwab Volunteer Week” is a long-standing tradition celebrating Schwab’s culture of service, when thousands of Schwab employees and executives (“Schwabbies”) across 170 cities participate in their annual week-long volunteer event held every May for the past 14 years. During Schwab Volunteer Week, thousands of employees coast to coast donate their intellectual capital as well as sweat equity for the benefit of local nonprofits. In May 2017, nearly 1,000 AZ employees contributed 4,000 volunteer hours to 51 projects for 20 nonprofits.

Schwab has created an enviable workplace and is deserving of their fifth Arizona’s Most Admired Companies recognition. So what’s stopping you from taking a look at their current career opportunities? You may just find a new “home” at Charles Schwab!

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies: Spotlight On The 2017 Winners

Last week, BestCompaniesAZ and Az Business Magazine celebrated 46 companies at the 2017 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies award reception in Scottsdale.

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies are chosen based on how an organization has performed in the following categories: Workplace Culture, Leadership Excellence, Corporate & Social Responsibility, Customer Opinion and Innovation. This year, a special spotlight award for Healthy Workplace also received recognition. Meet some of the Most Admired Companies in Arizona below.

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies 2017

SPOTLIGHT WINNER: Workplace Culture — Charles Schwab

most admired companiesFor the fifth consecutive year, Charles Schwab has not only been an Arizona’s Most Admired Company, but they also have been recognized by Gallup Great Workplace for having one of the top 40 most engaged workforces in the world. They consistently win state and national “best place to work” awards, including Top Companies to Work for in Arizona, Best Places to Work for LGBT equality, and multiple awards for fostering a military-friendly work environment. As the second-largest Charles Schwab location, Arizona has a single-digit voluntary turnover rate compared to the industry average of 14.4%; driven by a strong workplace culture and high employee engagement.  Schwab supports employees through a variety of ways; including several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for veterans, women, LGBTQ, and parents, to name a few.

SPOTLIGHT WINNER: Healthy Workplace – USAA

most admired companiesEvery day, USAA inspires employees to live their core values of Service, Loyalty, Honesty and Integrity. And USAA believes in taking care of the people who take care of their members. USAA employees enjoy access to an onsite health services clinic, a fitness center with a covered basketball court, volleyball quad and jogging/walking trails, wellness programs, a recharge zone, and an onsite cafeteria. By tracking their fitness activities as well as healthy eating habits, employees can receive a reduction in health insurance premiums. These efforts earned the organization the inaugural “Healthy Workplace” spotlight award among the Most Admired Companies in 2017; their third time being recognized as an #AZMostAdmired. USAA also was named one of the Valley’s Healthiest Employers in 2017.

Direct Energy

most admired companiesDirect Energy’s office environment and floor plan both encourage and foster approachable leadership. While formal meetings take place in conference rooms, there are no individual offices. This creates an open atmosphere, from the CEO to entry-level. Direct Energy’s appreciation for approachability, comfort and sharing prove highly valued — making them one of Arizona’s 2017 Most Admired Companies.

GoDaddy

most admired companiesGoDaddy has earned a spot on the Most Admired Companies in Arizona for the sixth time — and it’s evident why. Just this year, GoDaddy launched GoCommunities, a social impact program to empower entrepreneurs in low-income areas. GoDaddy also works with local nonprofit partners in each of their locations to provide skill-building experiences using a crew of coaches and a support network. That way, small business owners can develop the confidence needed to pursue their ventures.

Hyatt Regency Phoenix

most admired companiesNow a five-time winner of a Most Admired Companies in Arizona award, Hyatt participates in Hyatt Thrive, a global program that impacts the property’s local community. Through Jeans Day Fridays last year, colleagues raised more than $7,000 for 12 different organizations. Additionally, their Culinary team remains involved in Chefs to End Hunger. Many employees have donated their time to various charity walks as well as Junior Achievement.

Vanguard

most admired companiesVanguard, a five-time recipient of Most Admired Companies in Arizona recognition, offers employee benefits that support its crew at all stages of their life and careers. They focus on continuing education, welcoming children, acting as a caregiver and also transitioning after a career at Vanguard. They see their work as being caretakers of their clients’ investments, a responsibility they take to heart.

Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona

most admired companiesA second-time Most Admired Companies winner, Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona is more than just home building. Habitat of Central Arizona has expanded on that, designing an innovative program for Neighborhood Revitalization. While new home construction continues to play a key role, a broader range of offerings (including repairs and other services) allows Habitat to serve more families in central Arizona.

Arizona has much to be proud of in the organizations that employ our residents, who positively impact the economy and give back to our communities. And most of them are hiring, so if you’re considering a new career, start your search with the companies above, or any of the 2017 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies!

Az Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ Selects Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona as One of Arizona’s 2017 Most Admired Companies

Phoenix, September 15, 2017 — Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona Chapter (Habitat) is one of the 2017 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies, according to Az Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ, the second consecutive year it has been named to the prestigious list.

habitat for humanity logoThe 2017 winners were recognized at an awards reception in Scottsdale and are featured in the September/October issue of Az Business Magazine.

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies are selected based on how a company or organization has performed in the following areas: Workplace Culture, Leadership Excellence, Corporate and Social Responsibility, Customer Opinion, and Innovation.

“This is one of the most comprehensive corporate awards programs in Arizona. Organizations who are selected join an elite group of employers that represent the best of the best. The Most Admired Companies program was created to recognize the wonderful contributions and impact these most admired organizations bring to the state,” says Denise Gredler, founder & CEO of BestCompaniesAZ and co-founder of the MAC program.

Jason Barlow, CEO of Habitat, stated, “We are very honored to be recognized as one of Arizona’s 2017 Most Admired Companies for the second consecutive year.  Our greatest assets are the hardworking and passionate staff who deeply care about our mission, a dedicated group of volunteers and corporate backers, and the outstanding men, women, and families that we serve. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has supported our organization this year, and plan to continue serving Valley communities long into the future.”

Other Habitat accomplishments at a glance FY 16/17:

  1. Served 345 Arizona families including 37 newly homes built – This puts Habitat Central Arizona as the top producing affiliate in the country.
  2. Engaged 12,343 local volunteers and remained a Guide Star Gold Participant and Charity Navigator 4 Star Charity.
  3. Habitat won the Judge’s Choice Award for their “commitment to LEED® certification and bringing healthier, more energy efficient homes to all,” according to USGBC Arizona.
  4. Neighborhood revitalization project in Phoenix named a Mutual of America 2016 Community Partnership Award Winner.

About Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the renowned humanitarian organization based in Atlanta. Each affiliate operates as a separate 501c3 nonprofit, and is responsible for leading its own fundraising and operations management, while adhering to the Habitat for Humanity mission of serving communities within its area.  Habitat also promotes volunteer programs with corporations, groups, churches and individuals. Their services include new home construction, re-constructions, renovations, repairs (even emergency repairs) and most recently, entire neighborhood revitalization projects.  Consistently ranked among the Top 10 of 1,400 affiliates nationally, Habitat has built more than 1,100 homes in the metro Phoenix area since 1985. To learn more, please visit habitatcaz.org or find us on Twitter @habitatcaz.

About BestCompaniesAZ – Arizona’s Employer Branding Partner 
BestCompaniesAZ specializes in helping corporate clients develop, strengthen and market their unique employer brands through a variety of events, awards and communications programs. Specialized services include employee opinion surveys, benchmarking, employment branding, recruitment strategies, award consultation and promotional services. BestCompaniesAZ is proud to be chosen as the Consulting Partner for the Top Companies program, serving five consecutive years, and Founding Partner for Arizona Most Admired Companies. For more information, visit BestCompaniesAZ.com or call 480-545-5151.

About AZ Business Magazine
Az Business magazine is one of eight publications produced by AZ BIG Media. With circulation of 25,000 and readership of more than 122,500, Az Business is the authoritative voice of business news, trends, issues and successes in Arizona.  In every issue of Az Business, readers find the business news on finance, healthcare, law, technology and tourism.  Publishing bi-monthly, each issue of Az Business carries an overarching theme.  Az BIG Media also includes AzBIGmedia.com, which BUZZFEED lists as a website that everyone in Phoenix needs to know, five weekly digital newsletters and 11 signature events.

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Habitat Media Contact:

Dusty Parsons
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
602-448-5758
dusty@habitatcaz.org
habitatcaz.org

46 Companies Honored as Arizona’s Most Admired Companies for 2017

PHOENIX, AZ  (September 15, 2017) – BestCompaniesAZ and Az Business magazine honored 46 companies at the 2017 “Arizona’s Most Admired Companies” award reception last night in Scottsdale, and are featured in the September/October issue of Az Business Magazine and online at BestCompaniesAZ.com.

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies are selected based on how a company has performed in the following areas: Workplace Culture, Leadership Excellence, Corporate and Social Responsibility, Customer Opinion and Innovation. This year we included a special spotlight award for Healthy Workplace.

In addition to honoring all 46 winners, five companies were recognized with Spotlight Awards:

  • Customer opinion:  UnitedHealthcare
  • Leadership excellence:  American Express
  • Social responsibility: CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
  • Workplace culture: Charles Schwab
  • Healthy Workplace:  USAA

“Arizona’s Most Admired Companies is the most comprehensive corporate awards program in the state because winners must demonstrate excellence in all six areas. It identifies the vast contributions and impact the Most Admired Companies bring to our state,” says Denise Gredler, co-founder of the Most Admired Companies program.

Cheryl Green, publisher at AZ Big Media, which publishes Az Business magazine, adds, “The qualities recognized by Arizona’s Most Admired Companies program are the characteristics that build great companies. The companies honored with this award truly represent the best of the best in Arizona.”

To see the complete list of winners, click here.

About BestCompaniesAZ – Arizona’s Employer Branding Partner 
BestCompaniesAZ specializes in helping corporate clients develop, strengthen and market their unique employer brands through a variety of events, awards and communications programs. Specialized services include employee opinion surveys, benchmarking, employment branding, recruitment strategies, award consultation and promotional services. BestCompaniesAZ is proud to be chosen as the Consulting Partner for the Top Companies program, serving five consecutive years, and Founding Partner for Arizona Most Admired Companies. For more information, visit BestCompaniesAZ.com or call 480-545-5151.

About Az Business Magazine
Az Business magazine is one of eight publications produced by AZ BIG Media. With circulation of 25,000 and readership of more than 122,500, Az Business is the authoritative voice of business news, trends, issues and successes in Arizona.  In every issue of Az Business, readers find the business news on finance, healthcare, law, technology and tourism.  Publishing bi-monthly, each issue of Az Business carries an overarching theme.  AZ BIG Media also includes AZBIGmedia.com, which BUZZFEED lists as a website that everyone in Phoenix needs to know, five weekly digital newsletters and 11 signature events.

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BestCompaniesAZ Media Contact:
Stephanie Burchfield
Burchfield & Wolin Public Relations, Inc.
sburchfield@bwprinc.com
Office: 480-460-4111
Mobile: 602-418-2501

Serving the Valley: USAA Director Chosen for Valley Leadership Institute

Each year, Valley Leadership chooses the best and brightest leaders in the Phoenix community for inclusion in its annual class.  The class is comprised of community members, business leaders, elected officials and government workers. This year Latasha Causey of USAA is joining the class of 53 members and is the first employee of USAA to participate in the training program.

usaaLatasha serves as Director, Regional Operations, Regional Site Management at USAA’s Phoenix Campus. She is also co-chair of the USAA Diversity Business Group “Elevate,” designed to create opportunities for education and awareness for gender diversity issues in the workplace. Serving as role models is an important part of Elevate’s mission and extends her engagement into the community.  Her interest in diversity & inclusion has propelled her to become a popular guest speaker at corporate events throughout the Valley.

“I am honored and extremely grateful to be chosen for this privilege,” says Latasha.  “Among the things the training is known for is providing unique leadership training, introducing class members to key business and government leaders within the Valley, and also participation on annual projects that benefit Valley communities. With 4,500 people at USAA’s Phoenix Campus, this will also provide an excellent opportunity to network and share information about our organization and workforce.”

Latasha has a long-standing commitment to community engagement and is looking forward to taking this important step in receiving top-notch networking and training. A West Valley Phoenix native, Latasha was raised to be passionate about giving back, a tradition which she not only embraces today but shares with her husband and children. “I was raised to work hard, get an education, and then give something back.  I am still passionate about making a difference and believe the work we do must benefit others beyond ourselves,” Causey states. Ms. Causey holds Phoenix board positions with Teach for America, the Ronald McDonald House Charities, Children’s Museum of Phoenix and is Co-Chair of the Women’s United group for the Valley of the Sun, United Way.  

The Valley Leadership Institute features an annual nine-month program, October to June, of education and involvement, with each class developing projects to better the region.  The Valley Leadership Institute has offered leadership training since 1978, and has graduated more than 3,000 people.

Congratulations to Latasha on this incredible opportunity to have an impact on our community, while gaining valuable experience to utilize at USAA and beyond!

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The Best Companies For LGBT Employees

Inclusivity is paramount in workplaces these days. And some companies place it at the top of the priority list when it comes to making their team members feel comfortable to be themselves. More and more organizations are not only eliminating discrimination but creating places where all people are valued and can thrive. (Enter, the best companies for LGBT inclusion.)

As part of our ongoing 100 Best Arizona Companies, these employers are strong examples of how companies can provide more inclusion and supportive working environments to their LGBT employees: Aetna, CBRE, Charles Schwab, JPMorgan Chase, GoDaddy, Hyatt, PayPal, Synchrony Financial, Vanguard and Yelp. So, get to know a few of them below.

The Best Companies For LGBT Employees

Aetna

best companies for lgbt

Aetna LGBT and Allies Employee Resource Group

As an American healthcare company specializing in selling traditional and consumer-directed health care insurance plans and related services, Aetna understands the importance and benefits of diversity in the workplace. A large nationwide company, about 4% of Aetna’s employees identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Aetna also actively seeks business relationships with diverse suppliers; as they state: “Doing business with diverse suppliers helps us to better understand and serve our multi-cultural markets. We are looking to increase business relationships with certified minority, women, LGBT and small-business suppliers.”

Aetna received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). This has earned them the distinction of a best place to work for LGBTQ people every year since the creation of the index 15 years ago. The organization is the first and only company to have done so in its industry. Read more about Aetna’s supplier diversity program here.

CBRE

best companies for lgbt

CBRE’s Dallas chapter of the LGBT & Allies Networking Group attending Pride

One of CBRE’s main tenets? Respect — and it’s evident in their efforts to create an inclusive, diverse work environment. As a leading full-service real estate services and investment organization, CBRE received a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index 2017, achieving a perfect score for the fourth consecutive year. And earlier this year, CBRE was named a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for the fourth consecutive year. In March 2017, they also received the inaugural LGBTQ Business Equality Excellence Award from the Business Equality Network.

“This recognition reflects our commitment to bringing all perspectives to the table to deliver the best client outcomes. We are tremendously proud of our people and of this achievement,” said Tim Schroeder, managing director of Global Workplace Solutions at CBRE and co-executive sponsor of the LGBT & Allies Network Group.

Charles Schwab

best companies for lgbt

Schwab Phoenix Employees attending recent Pride Event

One positive facet about banking and brokerage firm Charles Schwab? Their utilization of Employee Resource Groups, or ERGs. Schwab has a number of ERGs, all formed by employees who share characteristics or life experiences and who seek support and collaboration. Schwab’s ERGs range from Black Professional Associations to a Military Veterans Network; including the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Pride Network, or the “PRIDE” ERG.

Schwab also holds positive accolades for their LGBT inclusivity for 13 consecutive years. On their website: “Since 2004, Charles Schwab has received a 100-percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. The index rates American workplaces on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.” And CEO Walt Bettinger states, “To execute on our belief that everyone matters, our company must build a workforce that mirrors the diversity of our clients and the communities we serve, and leverage the diversity of our experiences, strengths, culture and thought.” All of these examples demonstrate why Charles Schwab is one of the best companies for LGBT employees!

GoDaddy

best companies for lgbt

Watch GoDaddy employees discuss LGBT inclusion through “It Gets Better”

GoDaddy, the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small businesses, feels extremely proud to not only promote inclusivity, but also to provide their LGBT employees with allies and friends at work. GoDaddy’s online diversity page reminds us: “Our diverse employee population reflects the customers we serve. We support and celebrate everyone on our team through our Employee Resource Groups. Open and inclusive to all employees, these groups are led by an employee president and guided by a member of the leadership team.”

You can also read more about those groups here. Also, check out this inspiring and touching video; LGBT GoDaddy employees have a message they want to share with you, as they remind you that it gets better.

Vanguard

best companies for lgbt

Vanguard Crew Resource Group OPEN on National “Coming Out Day”

One of the world’s leading investment management firms, Vanguard received a rating of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index. Also, one of their Crew Resource Groups (CRGs) is the Out Professionals Engagement Network (OPEN), which works to create and promote a safe, inclusive environment for LGBT crew members to thrive in their Vanguard careers.

To learn more about the efforts made by Arizona employers to better serve their LGBT team members, visit ONE Community. Since its inception in 2008, ONE Community has evolved into a coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations and individuals. These ONE Community members support and promote diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans.

Congratulations to these great employers for leading the way in creating safe, inclusive environments for LGBT team members! And if you’re looking for a place that accepts and values everyone, take a look at the best companies to work for in Arizona. best companies for LGBT

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The Best Networking Tips For College Students

Networking revolves around fostering reciprocity-based relationships. For young professionals getting their feet wet in the working world through internships and part-time jobs, networking is a great way to make career connections. We have some valuable networking tips for college students that will help draw you closer toward your long-term career goals.

Top Networking Tips For College Students

Don’t Neglect LinkedIn

College is the prime time to start connecting with similar professionals. When requesting connections, include a personalized message and highlight a shared interest — clubs, field, place of education, workplace, hometown, college major or hobbies. Once you’ve connected, suggest a coffee meeting or a 15-20 minute informal interview (either on the phone or in person). During the conversation, ask questions like: “What does a typical day look like in your job? What do you most enjoy about working there? Do you face any particular obstacles or challenges? What advice do you have for a college student seeking to pursue a career in this field or at your company?” LinkedIn provides the perfect platform to start growing a relevant network of professionals.

Attend Meetups

Through apps or sites like Meetup, you’re able to join groups that specifically include young professionals or other college students in your city. Whether it’s a chat over coffee or a lunchtime discussion, you can find a group of other like-minded people (or, start your own Meetup!).

Stop By Career Fairs

Even if you are not actively searching for a job, it’s crucial to continue fostering connections. This is one of the best networking tips for college students, as it introduces you to other like-minded professionals. Our BestCompaniesAZ Career Events allow you to meet hiring representatives from the best employers in Arizona. You can even look for career fairs at Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and various local community colleges to learn more and discover job openings. You’ll garner firsthand insight into what it’s like to work someplace through career fairs. Remember to bring multiple resume copies!

Register For A Conference In Your Related Field

A conference in your field of study can open your eyes to prominent industry figures and help you build a reputable network. Maybe you want to meet other professionals and gather industry insight, or garner expertise from leaders in your field. Either way, you will likely leave the conference filled with fresh knowledge and key connections. Bring along plenty of business cards, and try not to be shy — strike up a few conversations at the event.

Join Workshops & Visit Organizations

Rather than attending a group meetup once in a blue moon, consider getting acquainted with an organization that schedules regular meetings to talk about field-related topics. You can also find workshops that offer learning opportunities in your area of interest or college major.

General Networking Tips For College Students

  • Do your best to cast a wide net when forging new professional connections. Besides adding relevant LinkedIn members, test some different ideas. Have you touched base with community leaders, former teachers/college professors, or even parents of friends who have connections? Perhaps you also have extended family who can offer useful networking connections and advice.
  • Be proactive. Don’t wait for the phone to ring. Instead, try phoning new contacts — then, the ball will be in their court. Don’t pester them — but leave a brief voicemail to kick things off.
  • Stay polished. Besides dressing professionally when meeting new people, maintain a positive reputation both online and offline. Check over your social media accounts. Never toss back too many drinks at a networking mixer. Always remain enthusiastic and polite at potentially drawn-out conferences and events. Proofread every single word of every email and LinkedIn message you send.
  • Say “yes” more often, because your networking opportunities can only expand this way. If you’re an introvert, try to fake extroversion at events. It’s important to get accustomed to talking to strangers at business events, and good things come of it!
  • Ask questions. In addition to getting what you want out of someone new in your professional circle, it’s also crucial to create a meaningful, reciprocating relationship. For a more comfortable situation, ask new connections questions about themselves — not just work. Always be inquisitive, as it’ll take you far.
  • Follow any experts you admire relevant to your field — on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, on their blogs, through email digests, and so forth.

What other networking tips for college students would you suggest? Let us know — and be sure to follow BestCompaniesAZ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn!

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona Elects Tim Kelley Board Chairman

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona Elects Tim Kelley Board Chairman

Phoenix – Aug. 17, 2017 – Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) today announced that Tim Kelley has been named board chairman for a two-year term.

Mr. Kelley is COO of the Entrepreneur Opportunity Fund, owner and CFO with his wife of two education-related companies with 45 + employees, and is an assistant professor of Entrepreneurship and Economics at Grand Canyon University.

habitat for humanity central arizona“I am humbled by the dedication of the staff, board, sponsors and more than 12 thousand volunteers that have assisted some 1,100 homeowners across the Valley,” says Kelley.  “We now have the opportunity to provide a hand up to thousands more people with our Neighborhood Revitalization Program and I hope to build a coalition of industry and government to make that happen.  These are exciting times for Habitat and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Mr. Kelley has more than 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur in construction, education, finance and software, working throughout his career in the U.S., Mexico, South America and Africa (Angola).  He served as founder, chairman and CEO of KCA International Construction and Facilities Management for more than 14 years and managed $200M in Mexican projects in addition to overseeing 2 million sq. ft. of office, commercial and residential space throughout Latin America.

He is a recognized expert in the areas of cross-border mortgages, entrepreneurship and international real estate finance and was featured by Entrepreneur Magazine for innovative international entrepreneurship.

From 2010 to 2011, he was contracted by the US Agency for International Development to advise the Central Bank of Angola (BNA) on regulatory structures for residential real estate finance. He raised more than $100M to build a cross-border mortgage bank from 2003 to 2008.

He holds a BA from Gonzaga and an MBA from Thunderbird with additional course work at Oxford University and ASU.  He also serves on The Governor’s Committee on Cross-Border Real Estate at the Arizona-Mexico Commission and is a member of Delta Mu Delta.  He is past chairman of the Thunderbird Angel Network and founder and chairman of the Canyon Angels.

About Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the renowned humanitarian organization based in Atlanta. Each affiliate operates as a separate 501c3 nonprofit, and is responsible for leading its own fundraising and operations management, while adhering to the Habitat for Humanity mission of serving communities within its area. . Habitat also promotes volunteer programs with corporations, groups, churches and individuals. Their services include new home construction, re-constructions, renovations, repairs (even emergency repairs) and most recently, entire neighborhood revitalization projects.  Consistently ranked among the Top 10 of 1,400 affiliates nationally, Habitat has built more than 1,100 homes in the metro Phoenix area. To learn more, please visit habitatcaz.org, or find us on Twitter @habitatcaz.

Media Contact:

Dusty Parsons

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

602-448-5758

dusty@habitatcaz.org

habitatcaz.org

The Best Companies For Work-Life Balance

More and more employees are gravitating toward workplaces that encourage personal wellness, flexibility and overall happiness. A 2016 study by Deloitte showed that many millennials, when looking for a job, value work-life balance more than career progression. So, why not work somewhere that offers both, and more?

Once your job encroaches on your life outside the office, it’s a recipe for stress — including physical stress, from lack of sleep and neglecting positive health habits, and mental stress, leading to strained relationships at home and leaving you dreaming of more free time. Some companies, however, have the notion of work-life balance truly figured out.

Between implementing health and wellness initiatives and building fun cultures that promote flexibility, several stellar organizations among the 100 Best Arizona Companies work extra hard to keep their people happy. Meet some of the best companies for work-life balance — including American Express, Remarkable Health, Henry+Horne, meltmedia, Ryan, Longboard Asset ManagementShutterflyUSAAVanguard, and Workiva.

Best Companies For Work-Life Balance

Ryan

best companies for work-life balanceLargely regarded as the most innovative in the tax services industry, Ryan holds employees accountable for delivering superior results — not for “face time” in the office. Thus, the organization is widely recognized as a beacon for work-life integration. They even allow employees the flexibility to work where, when, and in what manner that best promotes efficiency and effectiveness.

One of the best companies for work-life balance, Ryan’s dynamic myRyan work environment is designed to increase teamwork and collaboration. That way, individuals can continue to advance and strike a healthy balance between work and life outside of work. Overall, myRyan replaces “hours” with “results” when measuring work. That’s why the organization embodies a prominent example of how a culture of flexibility leads to better service for clients as well as happier, cared-for employees. Does part of your career M.O. involve seeing the world? Ryan serves over 14,000 clients in more than 45 countries, including many of the world’s most prominent Global 5000 companies.

USAA

best companies for work-life balanceEarlier this year, USAA announced it was raising minimum pay to $16 per hour, and in July the financial services company began offering a new benefit to provide all eligible new parents with up to 12 weeks of full pay when a child joins the family either by birth or adoption. This is in addition to other leave or wage replacement benefits USAA already offers, like vacation time and short-term disability.

“These great benefits are a critical part of the overall employee experience we provide at USAA. We believe if our employees are having a great experience, they are able to better serve our members and one another,” said Gay Meyer, AVP HR Regional Operations.

USAA already offers a range of incredible benefits, making it one of the best companies for work-life balance and overall culture. These forward-thinking perks include:

  • Reduced premiums for health insurance for engaging in healthy behaviors, like eating well, exercising and taking preventative health care actions
  • Access to free onsite fitness/health centers and fitness premium reimbursement if offsite
  • Up to $10,000 a year in tuition assistance to pursue any degrees, regardless of level or field of study. This benefit begins on day one of employment.
  • Generous time off policy, including 16 hours a year for volunteering with organizations of their choice
  • Flexible work environment – growing number of home-based employees and work from home options when life’s challenges occur

Henry+Horne

best companies for work-life balanceFor more than 60 years, Henry+Horne has provided exemplary tax, audit and accounting tax planning, tax consulting and tax preparation services. The firm places their people first — and it’s evident in their fun-loving, ever-accommodating culture. As a Henry+Horne employee, you’re not there just to churn out tax returns or audit reports as quickly as possible. Success is pinnacle when you’re a team member — and that requires fostering an enjoyable, flexible environment and incredible perks. That leads to exceptional service, satisfied clients and happy employees.

So, how can a tax company CPA Firm be one of the best companies for work-life balance? The proof is in the perks. Just take a look at their nontraditional benefits — including a tuition reimbursement program and firm-sponsored continuing professional education. (Employees appreciate lifelong learning opportunities!) If you’d love a flexible work schedule with the option of telecommuting, Henry+Horne has you covered, too. (Employees love tailored work options!) And, remember that it’s important to physically feel your best. Henry+Horne won’t let you forget to hit the gym, either; as an employee of the firm, you’ll enjoy a discounted membership to LA Fitness and discounted FitBits! If you’re stuck in the hectic tax season, don’t worry — the firm provides catered meals during those long days.

“Working at Henry+Horne gives me the work life balance you wouldn’t expect at a public accounting firm, while still maintaining a healthy, professional career,” says Brian, manager. “Our firm truly invests in their employees with the training, social atmosphere and team building they promote at every level.”

Remarkable Health

best companies for work-life balanceEarning a spot on the “17 Companies That Are As Great As Google,” Remarkable Health is a true innovator in the technology space as well as the employee benefits arena. Their behavioral healthcare supportive services software has provided inpatient, outpatient, and residential organizations with critical clinical, billing, scheduling, and reporting infrastructure. This helps alleviate the administrative burdens of their daily business operations.

A passion for removing obstacles in order to make the world a better place powers this fast-growing technology company. CEO Peter Flick also believes in the value of a strong culture, so employees become the best versions of themselves.

At Remarkable Health, they believe in a strong work-life balance. They understand that in a fast-paced “startup” environment, it can be difficult to find that balance. Knowing that, Remarkable Health offers many benefits to help provide employees with the opportunity to feel like they are in a flexible and supportive environment and are able to balance the stress that comes with work. A casual office culture that includes free snacks and beverages is a major perk for employees. But they also provide other benefits; employees enjoy great medical, dental, and vision insurance, plus a PTO plan that accrues with years of service. In addition, they provide every employee with a laptop so that they have the ability to work remotely if necessary.

As of December 2017, Remarkable Health will be moving to a brand new headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. There, they’ll have access to multiple onsite restaurants, a new lounge/activity space, bike and walking paths, and free access to an onsite gym equipped with showers.

American Express

best companies for work-life balanceAt American Express, they know that great service starts with the people who deliver it. When employees’ work lives meet their personal needs, they are more engaged, committed, creative, and effective in driving results. American Express takes a holistic approach to their employees’ work and personal lives by offering a variety of resources to support their overall wellbeing, whether physical, financial, psychological or social. And they are always working to improve on what they provide.

American Express truly embraces finding the work-life fit that’s right for you. That ranges from caring for employees’ physical and mental health to offering flexibility outside the office. There are onsite fitness classes as well as counseling and wellness centers/nurses on location. AmEx is of course considerate of your finances, too; their perks are complete with commuting reimbursement, deals and discounts exclusive to American Express employees, tuition reimbursement, health saving/flexible spending accounts, programs for employees nearing retirement and paid parental leave. As one of the best companies for work-life balance, American Express also offers flexible work arrangements/hours in some roles. That means you can work how it makes sense for you, without ever compromising quality.

So, what do you want from your employer? If you’re unfulfilled in your current career, take a look at what some of the Best Companies in Arizona have to offer!

Arizona’s Best Companies for Work-Life Balance can help you devote time and energy to the things that matter most to you — and let you enjoy your work life. Take a look at what they have to offer: American Express, Remarkable Health, Henry+Hornemeltmedia, Ryan, Longboard Asset ManagementShutterflyUSAAVanguard, and Workiva. You may snag a rewarding role with a top employer, allowing you to blossom both professionally and personally!

USAA’s Popular Diversity Business Group, ‘Elevate’ Soars High in Phoenix

Launched initially in 2015 in San Antonio, Texas, USAA’s home office, Elevate expanded to Phoenix in 2016.  Since then, Elevate’s enterprise membership has reached over 3,300 employees with over 400 members in the Phoenix campus. Elevate also has a presence in all other USAA offices.

‘Elevate’ Soars High in Phoenix

What makes a leader great? It’s all the little things that combine to form the larger picture. And USAA knows a thing or two about being great. Among the many accolades and honors it has been awarded for creating great workplaces this year, it received another recently that recognizes the outstanding work it does year round in Arizona. USAA was named as one of the Top Companies to Work for in Arizona, sponsored by azcentral.com, ranked No. 2 in the Large Employer category, and they were recognized for their “Exemplary Diversity Practices” out of the 100 winner companies.

In talking to USAA about its Diversity and Inclusion programs earlier in the year, we gained some insights into their culture and support of participation in Employee Resource Groups, which they’ve aptly named Diversity Business Groups. Having recently launched a new group, we found it insightful to learn more about how these groups engage employees and encourage participation.  

Launched just under two years ago, Elevate is a relatively new Diversity Business Group designed to create opportunities for education and awareness for gender diversity issues in the workplace. Elevate’s Phoenix Chapter has an active membership led by a board of 20 members, with meetings and events planned by a steering committee.

Monthly meetings provide networking opportunities as well as a safe place to discuss and navigate complex situations pertaining to gender diversity that arise during the regular course of business. Employees are able to converse freely with individuals from all departments and levels of USAA, exchange ideas with people of different backgrounds, while expanding their knowledge and skills through programs that help build leadership skills while delivering educational and inspirational information.

Serving as role models through community outreach is an important part of Elevate’s mission and extends its reach beyond the workplace. It also helps participants gain leadership skills and visibility by planning and leading activities. This summer Elevate hosted a Career Skills Workshop and Mentoring Event for Girl Scouts, held at the Phoenix Campus. Scouts were treated to office tours, discussions with managers, and shadowed executives to learn about the range of financial careers that USAA offers. They were introduced to opportunities in the Financial Services industry, and could see how USAA serves military members and their families by helping them attain their financial goals. They gained career tips and were taught how to create and manage budgets.

Membership in Elevate is open to all USAA employees. It’s surprising to some, but Elevate’s membership is comprised of both men and women, all of whom share an interest in creating workplaces rich in gender diversity and opportunities for women to embrace empowerment at all levels of the organization.

Latasha Causey, Director, Regional Operations, Regional Site Management and co-founder of Elevate explains, “Diversity and inclusion are essential components of our business strategy that help us remain competitive and improve our ability to serve our service members and their families.”

USAA seeks to attract, develop and retain a diverse pool of talented individuals, and offers a wide range of career opportunities. If you are interested in joining a vibrant, diverse workforce where all employees count and contribute, you can learn more here.