Posted: June 01, 2014
Colorado’s 20 “perk”-iest companies: The first sevenMaria Martin
Footers // Denver
About the biz: This catering company has specialized in events since 1981. Anthony Lambatos and his wife, April, now lead the family-owned business, which caters more than 600 events each year.
Leadership: Anthony and April Lambatos
The big Perk: An “awesomeness room” provides a place for hard-working employees to kick back and play Ping-Pong or basketball. The space is also used for team events, such as best cocktail or pumpkin carving contests. A “party button” is affixed to the wall for the team to celebrate successes together.
Why so PERKy? “I think we recognize that since you spend most of your day at work, it needs to be a fun place,” says Anthony Lambatos. “Our team loved designing and painting their offices.” It also gives people a chance to really get to know their co-workers, he says. footerscatering.com
The IMA Financial Group Inc. // Denver
About the biz: The IMA Financial Group, which established a Colorado office in 1988, offers diversified financial services. The company, founded in 1974, specializes in risk management, insurance, surety and employee benefit solutions.
Employees: 225 in Denver; 515 nationwide
Leadership: Chairman and CEO Rob Cohen
The big Perk: IMA’s new state-of-the-art headquarters, located just north of Union Station, opened last December. Employees gather for meetings in the Railyard, a café-like setting that offers conference rooms and quiet spaces. Free Starbucks is available for anytime perk-ups along with a Foosball table, fitness center and bike storage.
Why so Perky? Bob Reiter, president of IMA Colorado, says the new space is “a miracle of design, thoughtfulness and preparation. ... It becomes a place with
fantastic drive and a heartbeat all its own.” imafg.com
GroundFloor Media Inc. // Denver
About the biz: GroundFloor Media, founded in 2001, is an integrated public relations agency focusing on strategic communications, digital and social media strategy and crisis communication.
Employees: 15 full-time employees; 19 contractors
Leadership: President Ramonna Robinson
The big perk: Robinson and founder Laura Love are committed to crafting an atmosphere that promotes team members’ professional and personal growth, thus team members are encouraged to decorate their work spaces however they choose. The agency also has an on-site workout room, overnight stays in the mountains, group outings to professional sporting events and “choose your own adventure” days.
Why so PERKy? “When you think about it, you spend a ton of time in your workplace,” says Robinson. “Part of making people feel comfortable is the space itself. It feels more like a home than an office, and even our clients comment on that. We all have partial walls and doors, and we can easily talk to each other.” Alexis Anderson, senior communications manager and social media strategist, says she loves the “play areas” throughout the lower downtown office where employees can decompress. groundfloormedia.com
Vitelity // Englewood
About the biz: Vitelity, which has been in business for 11 years, is an international voice-over IP technology provider. It offers voice, fax and hosting services, along with vMobile.
Leadership: CEO Chris Hall
The big Perk: Every employee at Vitelity has a hard-wall office and all are invited to decorate to their design preferences. Some have Broncos orange and blue décor, others full Star Wars motifs.
Why so PERKy? Says Hall: I love seeing how everyone makes their office into their home -away-from-home. Charla Cummings, a sales assistant, says, “Everyone has [his or her] own flair. And when you have your own space, you have confidence that your company trusts you can do your job without people looking over your shoulder.” vitelity.com
Quick Left Inc. // Boulder
Leadership: CEO Ingrid Alongi
The big Perk: The company recognizes that wellness is the key to a great team, so it supports its employees’ “health habits of choice.” This means that in addition to ample time off and a great insurance plan, Quick Left offers a wellness/fitness stipend, and a fridge stocked with organic snacks.
Why so PERKy? Alongi points out that if people are sick or stressed out, a workplace doesn’t function well. “Our jobs are demanding, and we want to give balance to people’s lives,” she says. “We have group hikes in the evenings, and we live in a place where people with similar interests — like the hiking crew — can get together.” Alex McPherson, senior developer, says he’s loyal to his company because he loves the people he works with. “I race bikes, and we have a mountain bike crew that goes out once a week when the weather is good. It’s great that this company has perks beyond the usual, especially the perk of being able to take advantage of this location.” quickleft.com
Gnip // Boulder
About the biz: Gnip, purchased by Twitter in April, is a social data provider. The company, which has been in business for six years, delivers data to customers, including businesses and government, in more than 40 countries.
Leadership: CEO Chris Moody
The big Perk: Gnip is intent on keeping its talent happy and healthy. Employees enjoy free gym memberships, monthly massages, catered breakfasts, an in-office kegerator and staff whiskey club, meditation sessions and ski passes.
Why so PERKy? CEO Chris Moody stresses that “above and beyond the usual” perks are a function of the work tech people do. “The lines blur from where and when we’re working and not working,” he says. “We’ve made a point of pushing flexibility and fun, because we want to correct for the fact that our work is constantly in front of us. We also want to remind people that we live in Boulder, one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and they need to make time to get out and enjoy.” Project manager Ian Cairns came from Washington, D.C. “We trust the people we hire, so if they want to take a 90 minute bike ride at lunch, that’s OK.” gnip.com
Datalogix Inc. // Westminster
About the biz: Datalogix is a marketing infrastructure company that builds purchase-based audiences and targets them across digital media, then measures the results back to sales.
Leadership: CEO Eric Roza
The big Perk: DLX Fit, funded by the company, offers employees and visiting clients a variety of workouts, from an on-site CrossFit gym to discounted memberships at other fitness facilities. The company also sponsors a “Biggest Loser” competition, and weekly catered lunches feature nutritious, farm-to-table meals.
Why so PERKy? “I believe that our success as a company depends on our employees’ creativity and passion, and these perks help us create an environment that rewards our employees,” says Roza. Daniel McCallum, who works on the retail team, says the emphasis on fitness drew him to the job. There’s no better way to meet people at the company than by joining one of the fitness or philanthropic groups,” he says.
Maria Martin is a freelance writer.