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Posted: August 01, 2012

2012 Best Companies, medium: No. 3 Return Path Inc.

Lisa Ryckman

www.returnpath.net

Return Path CEO Matt Blumberg can sum up the secret to his company’s success in two words:

People first.

"It’s easy to say that, and it’s meaningless unless you’re truly committed to it," says Blumberg, recently named a 2012 Top Entrepreneur by Crain’s New York Business.

"We are, and we prove it every day by putting our resources against hiring, developing and retaining the best possible team."

It’s a commitment and a competitive advantage that has paid off for Return Path, a 13-year-old email technology provider that offers an on-demand software application to make sure that email from clients such as Twitter, Groupon and eBay get where they’re going. Revenue has increased fivefold in the last four years to a projected $60 million, and its worldwide work force tops 340.

The company’s vision – "To be the center of the email universe by championing inbox standards for senders and receivers" – might sound a tad lofty, but Blumberg believes they’ve got a winning formula.

"I’ve always believed that talented, passionate, happy people perform better, work harder and more creatively, and build great products and great customer relationships," he says. "Our growth is a testament to that. Our customer satisfaction scores are exceptional and our churn rate is infinitesimal. Our very low employee turnover and very high recruiting referral rate from employees drive stability and excellence in our workforce."

When it comes to attracting talent, it doesn’t hurt that Return Path offers such perks as unlimited vacation days for deserving employees, paid six-week sabbaticals for workers with seven years and flexible work schedules.

That all goes hand-in-hand with creating a work environment that Blumberg can describe in one word: Balanced.

"We’ve worked hard to create an environment that maintains a balance in everything: how we approach problems, how we develop solutions, how we evaluate our work," he says.

The company, which has offices in Broomfield, New York, California and a growing list of foreign countries, takes its position as a global citizen seriously, Blumberg says.

Every Return Path office has a Wellbeing Committee to organize participation in activities and events that employees care deeply about, including MS Walk-a-thon, Habitat for Humanity and a holiday food drive that collected nearly 1,000 pounds.

"We also think bigger: We recently launched our ‘Dream Fund,’ which provides a $10,000 grant four times per year for one internal team to organize a community support initiative," Blumberg says.

Recently, Return Path employees volunteered to help refurbish the Tennyson Center for Children, a treatment center for abused and neglected kids.

"They saw a connection between Return Path’s focus on building a successful environment and the Tennyson Center’s mission to create an environment where children can grow up safe, secure and in a place that lets them succeed," says Blumberg.

2011 rank: No. 4

Lisa Ryckman is the Associate Editor/Online at ColoradoBiz. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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