Originally posted February 27, 2017
It is our purpose, our calling – and has been for fifteen years. We knew that better workplaces would create better lives, better communities, and more profitable businesses.
In 2002, we were pursuing different ways to make our calling a reality. I was just starting the visionary business that created the first-ever “best companies” list to recognize top employers in the Phoenix area. Lee Vikre was the VP of Tremendous People for a content marketing agency and was paving the way to become #1 on this first list. Both of us were deeply committed to the cause of creating best companies for the benefit of the local economy, community, and workforce.
Although it wasn’t about the money, best companies have experienced financial success. Ten years ago, we were excited about that. Now, we’re more excited about how this movement has gone viral, and the overall effects have surpassed what we could imagine fifteen years ago. The entire state has benefited as hundreds of employers have decided to build awesome cultures. Fifteen years ago, it was a vision and passion that wasn’t shared by the mainstream. Wow, how far we’ve come! Now organizations in general recognize the value of company culture, community involvement, and employer branding.
Fifteen years later, the passion continues to grow. Since our visionary 2003 inaugural “best list”, we’ve seen impressive evidence that creating stronger, trust-based workplace cultures leads to business results. Despite the devastating Great Recession of 2008, almost all of the original list winners are still going strong, reaping the financial and intangible benefits of their efforts. These companies are committed to building awesome cultures, including projects that better the community and promote the Arizona economy.
BestCompaniesAZ developed the top four award programs in Arizona over the last 15 years:
• The inaugural “Best Places to Work in the Valley”, with the Phoenix Business Journal
• The prestigious “Arizona’s Most Admired Companies” award, in partnership with AZ Business Magazine
• “Top Companies to Work for in Arizona” with azcentral.com and Republic Media
• “100 Best Arizona Companies”, BestCompaniesAZ 10th & 15th Anniversary Lists
Besides these awards, BestCompaniesAZ has helped hundreds of companies develop great cultures. Through the efforts of our passionate people, the Best Companies movement has indeed become viral. Our purpose and calling has transformed Arizona by getting hundreds of employers involved in creating cultures and communities worthy of being called “the best”.
As we celebrate our 15th anniversary this year, we’re honored to recognize 100 Best Arizona Companies. The list will be released March 1st and over the coming year, we’ll be sharing their stories – how they have built their companies around a sense of purpose, how they hire, how they lead, how they delight their customers, how they create their employer brands, and how they partner with their communities. Sign up to receive the 100 Best updates twice a month with spotlights on these great companies and what makes them one of the 100 Best Arizona Companies!
As we look to the future, the explosion of the Silicon Desert is creating new opportunities and greater challenges. Now more than ever, the best organizations need to maintain great workplaces, and tell their stories well.
BestCompaniesAZ pioneered the intersection of recruiting, HR, marketing, and PR. We didn’t even have a name for it in 2002, but now employer branding is a major component of business strategy. There will likely be exciting growth in our own future, since as our clients grow, we’ll go where they need us. We’ve been honored to work alongside the best companies in Arizona – small and large, startup and established – for the past fifteen years.
Founder and CEO