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.  

100 Best Arizona Companies: The Best Places to Work in Healthcare

Healthcare created more jobs than any other sector last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, healthcare spending is expected to increase to encompass a fifth of the economy by 2025.

Since healthcare is such a growing field, ample opportunities exist for medical, technical and administrative professionals to build strong careers. A few standout organizations among the 100 Best Arizona Companies are going the extra mile to be the best places to work in healthcare. Some of them have been in Arizona for more than a century while others are on the cutting edge of what’s new. Check them out: Dignity Health in Arizona, Laser Spine Institute, Mayo Clinic, Orchard Medical Consulting, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Pinnacle Transplant Technologies, Sonora Quest Laboratories, Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions, TGen, Ventana Medical Systems.

The Best Places To Work In Healthcare

Dignity Health in Arizona

Best Places to Work in HealthcareAfter more than a century of experience, Dignity Health has learned that modern medicine is more effective when it’s delivered with compassion. “Hello humankindness starts with the proven idea that human connection leads to better health.” 

Humankindness is powerful medicine.

At Dignity Health, humankindness extends to every member of the team. Through a holistic approach, Dignity lets people know that they truly matter. The name Dignity Health was chosen because the value of dignity remains woven into the fabric of the culture. The mission, vision and values all stemmed from the recognition of the inherent dignity of each person. Dignity Health employees throughout the organization tell the story of how real the concept of humankindness is and how it creates their ideal sense of purpose in work.

A supportive, collegial environment combines with a commitment to facility infrastructure, the latest technology and effective communication. Most of all, employees discover the spirit, idealism and family-friendly environment that comes with a mission driven, not-for-profit healthcare organization.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Best Places to Work in HealthcarePhoenix Children’s Hospital is committed to their employees and the relentless pursuit of their mission to provide hope, healing, and the best healthcare for children and their families. Because of this, the Hospital has a very loyal staff. Phoenix Children’s has a notable amount of nurses, doctors and clinical/non-clinical staff who have worked with the Hospital since its beginning – more than 30 years ago. The Hospital continues to see growth in employment and notable improvement in its employee satisfaction survey, ranking at the 90th percentile this past year. Additionally, the Hospital has invested in its leaders with several skills-based development programs which have improved their leadership skills.

Phoenix Children’s implemented a new and exciting wellness program called Vitality. Whether employees would like to lose weight, become more active, improve their diet or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle, this personalized program rewards employees for making healthy choices. With Vitality, everyone has an opportunity to engage in healthy activities. They can also earn Vitality Points for each completed activity and raise their Vitality Status with an Apple Watch, Garmin or smartphone of the employee’s choice. During Hospital Week, the program offers a special event for employees each day, including Arizona Diamondbacks game tickets, peer recognition, a “Phoenix Children’s Pride” contest, a raffle and a “Celebrate You” outdoor picnic where senior leaders serve a picnic lunch to all employees.

Pinnacle Transplant Technologies

Best Places to Work in HealthcareFounded in 2010, Pinnacle Transplant Technologies (PTT) is a processing and distribution facility providing safe quality allograft tissue to medical professionals for transplant. As a company recognized for rapid growth, PTT provides opportunities for associates to grow at a similar fast pace.

According to CEO Russ Yelton, PTT’s success starts with its culture. The company culture promotes innovation, a uniquely enjoyable environment, and a commitment to advancing the company and industry. Mutual respect is key, for staff as well as donors and their families, since the company is entrusted with taking the greatest gift someone can give and use it to help others. “We have incredible reverence for our donors and their families,” he said. “We make it our mission to positively impact as many lives as we can with their wonderful gifts.”

Yelton adds that the company believes strongly in investing in its associates, and PTT gives associates the tools to be successful.

Rounding out the associate experience is frequent communication with the leadership team. Thus, everyone stays informed about company directions, including leaders seeking input so everyone’s voice is heard. Also important to note: exceptionally well-subsidized medical benefits, and a 401k match that vests immediately.

Stryker Sustainability Solutions

best places to work in healthcareStryker’s commitment to diversity and inclusion drives both company performance and the careers of employees. The constant requirement to innovate on behalf of diverse customers who face unique needs provides great opportunity for creative individuals. Employees have a chance to bring in alternative perspectives and ideas and see dynamic results.

At Stryker, people can develop careers based on their strengths and potential. That includes the possibility to move geographically, functionally, laterally and vertically – all while working toward a greater cause. Employees also remain empowered to create their ideal working environment. Each year, champions make positive changes and implement actions which create a “best places to work in healthcare” environment.

Transparency and communication are built in to the business. Since Stryker is an organization focused on understanding how each role impacts the greater story of the company, employees are engaged in each milestone so they know how they contributed to the final result. Fun perks make every day a little more exciting. For example, a social events committee plans Food Truck Fridays and other unique events. In addition, the committee plans annual fitness challenges and community service events. All of these qualities lend to Stryker’s positioning as one of the best places to work in healthcare.

TGen

Best Places to Work in HealthcareThe Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) biomedical research institute. TGen focuses on helping patients with neurological disorders, infectious diseases and many types of cancer. The institute remains on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases and move new laboratory discoveries as quickly as possible to help patients today.

TGen is populated with world-class researchers and support staff who are highly motivated to work toward improving humanity by solving the genetic-based causes of disease and medical conditions. A sense of urgency, and joy, permeate the halls of TGen toward this noble calling. The caliber of people at TGen starts with Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director, a world-class geneticist and innovator who guides TGen with finesse and a highly cultivated sense of humor. Others gladly follow in his footsteps.

An award-winning wellness program, recognized by the Wellness Council of Arizona, results in healthier and happier employees who benefit through this program not only to improve their work, but also enhance their home lives. The lower insurance premiums are yet another perk. Few businesses can boast Halloween parties like TGen’s, which include valuable prizes for dress, performances and pumpkin carvings. TGen’s Culture Committee also sponsors events year-round that are ways to team-build, and are also fun.

Interviewers treat candidates to a great experience, too. Star Trek or Star Wars? There’s no right answer. The variety of questions, and number of groups, confronted by prospective employees keep them on their toes. It also provides insights for both the interviewee and their potential employers and workmates at TGen. Refreshingly, candidates always know where they stand in the process. That’s what makes them one of the best places to work in healthcare.

Congratulations to the Best Places to Work in Healthcare from the 100 Best Arizona Companies list for 2017. It’s a great time to work in this industry, whether you’re in direct patient care, research or supporting their efforts in other areas to help make these organizations successful!

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Most Influential Women in Arizona: Denise Gredler, BestCompaniesAZ

BestCompaniesAZ Founder & CEO Named One of Most Influential Women in Arizona

Congratulations to our own Denise Gredler, CEO and founder of BestCompaniesAZ, for being honored as one of this year’s Most Influential Women by AZ Business Magazine. She joins a group of accomplished women in our state, profiled in AZ Business’s August issue, and also featured online throughout the coming weeks. We excerpted the following from Denise’s recent spotlight by Editor Michael Gossie.

Most Influential Women in Arizona: Denise Gredler, BestCompaniesAZ

Posted July 21, 2017 by Michael Gossie

“Gredler is a thought leader in employer branding, workplace culture and community improvement, best known for helping to create large-scale workplace awards programs, including Arizona’s Most Admired Companies and Top Companies to Work for in Arizona.

“Best decision: ‘After reaching a vice president role leading the first Arizona company to achieve Fortune’s 100 Best Companies status, I gave up the corporate life to start BestCompaniesAZ to better our community through designing employer award programs and connecting employers and job seekers. As I reflect on the past 15 years, it’s humbling to see the impact we’ve had on hundreds of employers, thousands of employees and countless members of our community who experience the benefits of a great place to work culture.’”

The Most Influential Women in Arizona will be honored at a reception from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on August 23 at Chateau Luxe. For tickets or sponsorship information, click here or call (602) 277-6045.  

A few additional words from the BCAZ team –

Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, BestCompaniesAZ works with a roster of national clients on new ways to enhance their employer brand and continue to attract as well as retain talented employees.

Charitable giving and community partnerships rank exceptionally high on Denise’s list of priorities. As a result, BestCompaniesAZ’s annual Military Career Event has contributed to helping thousands of veterans and their family members find new careers in Arizona.  

Denise is a passionate supporter of The National Celiac Foundation and encourages team members to become involved with causes as well as organizations that are important to them. BestCompaniesAZ has launched a year-long initiative to recognize charities supported by our clients, in addition to making an effort to spread the word about organizations that are successfully helping others.

In the BestCompaniesAZ team’s own words:

“Denise’s tireless efforts have improved the lives and opportunities for countless employees, veterans, jobseekers and community partners. She has identified the most amazing organizations, our clients, with whom we are lucky enough to work each day. They constantly inspire us and also continually raise the bar in achieving workplace excellence. Denise has created an indelible footprint these past 15 years in shaping Arizona workplaces. Being recognized for her influence is an honor that couldn’t go to a more knowledgeable, deserving or compassionate person! Congratulations!!” – Lee, Jocelyn, Stephanie and Lindsay

6 Team Building Activities To Inspire Your Culture

Team building events provide a solid way to energize your team and inject some fun into any conference, event or meeting. If you’re looking to create memories and strengthen relationships between you and your awesome team members, then keep reading to gain ideas. Below, we have six fun, engaging team building activities to help your employees enjoy their time together and inspire your company culture.

Team Building Activities To Inspire Your Culture

Team Strategizing

We all know Phoenix is the Valley of the Sun, which means the weather can make it difficult to do a team obstacle course or play a team sport outdoors. Phoenix has some amazing indoor activities, however, that involve strategizing and problem-solving with others in order to really get your team in a bonded spirit.

Check out Escape the Room Arizona, in which you and your team will be given in an hour and various clues to figure out how to escape a certain room and scenario. If you want to take indoor strategizing to the next level, look into solving a crime with CI: The Crime Investigators | Phoenix, which specifically sets up forensic investigation in an entertaining group format, so you and your team must work together to navigate your way through a series of crime scenes. Both of these are phenomenal, exciting team building activities, and they’re sure to keep you on your toes.

Philanthropy or Charity

Giving back to others while simultaneously working with your team members? It’s a win-win. A philanthropic team building event proves extremely rewarding. These team building activities are a good way to give back to charity, the local community, and other worthwhile causes. Look into volunteering to walk dogs together at a pet shelter or the pound, or sorting toiletries and nonperishable food items at local food banks and shelters.

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona allows Arizona’s best companies to build homes, communities, and hope. Volunteering elevates your company’s employer brand and strengthens your teams. Partnering with Habitat gives corporations an opportunity to give back to the local community. Employees also enjoy a volunteer project with satisfying, tangible results.

For a list of more specific charitable team events to check out in Phoenix, peruse this list. You and your team could spend an afternoon at Feed My Starving Children in Mesa or at St. Mary’s Food Bank, for instance, to facilitate a positive experience all around.

Get Ritzy

Why not have some Gatsby-esque fun with your team? It’s both fun and glamorous! For a fancier spin on the crime scene investigation, look into doing a Murder Mystery Dinner. Want to experience a live version of the game Clue with your team? These dinners are “interactive,” as each table works as a team to collect clues, question suspects and solve the mystery. All the while, actors keep everyone entertained. Look into Arizona-specific Murder Mystery Dinners here.

Get a Laugh

Laughing and joking with coworkers is a great way to inspire togetherness that translates into positivity in the workplace. Improv? More like TeamProv! Working together on improv comedy can force you to step out of your comfort zone, appreciate what others bring to the table, participate fully, and share a fair amount of laughs. Booking a TeamProv night for your team will help you all hone in on a number of valuable skills. It’ll promote focusing, trusting, proactively listening, supporting one another, making one another look good and being present. It’s truly one of the best (and silliest) ways to get your team bonding on.

Art

Even if you’re not artistically gifted, getting your team together for some quality artwork can be fun and beneficial. Look into doing a traditional “wine and paint” night, where you’ll all be challenged to paint the same picture while enjoying a glass of wine. It’s a great way for your team to connect and enjoy themselves while fostering a healthy competitive spirit.

Gone Camping

Lastly, if you don’t want to spend money or worry about pre-registering for a specific event, revert to your summer camp days. You’ll enjoy some flexible team building activities you can do anywhere, with a few inexpensive materials. Design your own scavenger hunt, human knot, or any other number of games or challenges that are versatile and inexpensive. End the evening with a s’mores campfire! Learn more here.

We hope our ideas inspire you and your team to have some fun, make lasting memories, and focus on bonding and togetherness that will also translate to your office well. What other team building activities would you add?

To learn more about the best companies for business majors, then visit BestCompaniesAZ on our social channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Best Companies For Business Majors

If you earned a degree in business, ranging anywhere from marketing to economics, then we may have some promising job opportunities for you to consider! Keep reading to learn about some of the Best Companies in Arizona who are hiring for positions with a diverse range of business majors in mind. Some of the best companies for business majors are currently accepting applications — so get your resume ready!

Best Companies For Business Majors

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab, international bank and brokerage firm, has multiple offices in the greater Phoenix metro area. Schwab employs financial service professionals, for instance, willing to work with customer and client services, requiring simply a BA or BS (no certifications or licenses necessary). Or, you may be better equipped to take on the role of a financial consultant, willing to work in sales and business development, and just as with the previous position, the job description only requires a BA or BS. If you earned a degree in business, finance, economics, or even marketing, check out these listings to see if you and your degree prove fit for either position.

USAA

USAA is a unique financial services organization, specializing their work and outreach in the American military community. Frequently, USAA seeks roles ranging from a financial advisor to a business rules analyst. Peruse these listings for specific information about each position and the requirements. Both are centered around providing relevant financial assistance to clientele. Would you like to conduct research and analysis on existing business systems and applications? This may open a promising door for you! Many of their open positions require a bachelor’s degree, so check out these opportunities to see how you can put that business degree to work at USAA.

Vanguard

Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies, and luckily, they continuously seek employee positions that business majors would likely fill well. Vanguard’s financial advisor associate and human resources specialist positions, for instance, are both targeted toward business students. The roles require financial, management, people, as well as problem-solving skills; all skills you likely developed in business school through a combination of classes, internships and experiences. Browse these Vanguard listings to see if there’s a place for you as well as your business degree.

Direct Energy

Direct Energy is one of America’s largest energy and energy-related service providers. They frequently seek to fill roles such as a sales supervisor and a customer retention representative. These positions are great for business majors — because they’re not too specific in requiring financial or marketing knowledge, for instance. Through these roles, Direct Energy is looking for excellent communicators with people as well as persuasive skills. As a business major, these are your bread and butter! Check out the Direct Energy listings if you want to hone your business skills through a rewarding career.

GoDaddy

As one of the best companies for business majors, GoDaddy routinely offers several positions that welcome business majors. GoDaddy is an Internet domain registrar and web hosting company, typically advertising for technical work. If you think you’d make a great management and leadership learning program manager, or a workforce management specialist, then it may be a great time to apply at GoDaddy. These kinds of positions are intended for employees who will thrive in corporate settings. Are you willing to work with people, and do you have passion for leadership and team-building? Jobs at GoDaddy prove very suitable fits for business majors, assuming you accumulated these skills during your time in school. Check out GoDaddy’s job openings to work in a great environment and also thrive in the presence of like-minded people.

Hopefully these listings help you and your business background search for a job! To learn more about the best companies for business majors, then visit BestCompaniesAZ on our social channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!