Posted: June 01, 2014

Colorado’s 20 “perk”-iest companies: The last six

Maria Martin

FirstBank Holding Co. // Lakewood

About the biz: FirstBank is Colorado’s largest locally owned bank. It started with one location in 1963 and has grown to 119 locations in Colorado, California and Arizona.

Employees: 2,000

Leadership: CEO John Ikard

The big Perk: The bank has donated more than $5 million to nonprofits in 2013 and surpassed more than $45 million in financial donations to local nonprofits since 2000. Paid time off is offered for employees to volunteer. FirstBank also offers investment in training and education programs for employees and their families.

Why so PERKy? Ikard says he recognizes that FirstBank is only as strong as its community. “We view our philanthropic investments as mutually beneficial,” he says. “If we can help strengthen our local communities, it makes for a better overall economy and better long-term customer base for our bank.” In fact, he says it’s a goal to embed community service at every level of FirstBank. “We think our philanthropic philosophy is a factor that significantly contributes to our above-average employee retention.” Jamie Tafoya, an assistant vice president at FirstBank, was drawn to the company’s strong community support. She’s worked with Junior Achievement, and now works with Colorado Gives Day, a 24-hour online day of giving. “I want to work with a company that makes this a better place to live,” she says.  efirstbank.com

 

Davita // Denver

About the biz: With more than 2,000 centers internationally, DaVita, founded in 1999, provides kidney care to patients across the U.S. and 10 other countries.

Employees: 1,568 in Colorado; 48,000 across the country.

Leadership: Chairman and CEO Kent Thiry of Davita Healthcare Partners

The big Perk: One way DaVita cares for the world is through its Village Service Days. These are community service projects that teammates get involved in within
their own communities across the U.S. Last year, DaVita had teammates who volunteered nearly 16,000 hours through this effort.

Why so PERKy? Jennifer Colosimo, “Vice President of Wisdom,” works with the team to make sure conectively live out the company culture, including community service. “If you’re a community, you do what a community does – and if your neighbor needs help, you reach out. We do that, on a much larger scale. We do cleanups, volunteer in education – we let people decide where to volunteer. It draws us together and it makes this a better place.” 
DaVita.com

 

TrackVia // Denver

About the biz:  In its seventh year, TrackVia is a platform-as-a-service that gives business users the ability to build and deploy applications for their departments with no IT intervention or programming required.

Employees: 44

Leadership: CEO Pete Khanna

The big Perk: Employees manage their time-off policies. A “personal passion” scholarship of up to $500 year allows employees to explore opportunities from skiing to cooking.

Why so PERKy? TrackVia doesn’t offer the perks as a recruiting tool, but as a statement on how the company runs, says Khanna. “We want positive people who can find solutions,” he says. “We want people to act like owners of the business, so when we offer an open vacation policy, we know people realize what they need to get done. They’ll have tough weeks, but they’ll have to fit in dentist appointments and family life. And we want them to be passionate about things outside of work.” Charles Var, vice president of marketing, says it’s enlightening to see how people use their passion scholarships. “I tried golf one summer, but it turned out to be more an aggravation than a passion,” he says with a laugh. This year, Var will donate the money to Arapahoe High School.  trackvia.com

 

Mondo // Denver

About the biz: An information technology and digital marketing resourcing provider, Mondo has a 13-year track record of helping clients drive business.

Employees: 20 in Denver; 188 overall

Leadership: CEO Michael Kirven

The Big Perk: Extras like babysitting and house cleaning reimbursement, unlimited vacation days, 12 paid holidays off, and flexibility to work at home, reveal the value in professional-personal life balance.

Why so PERKy? Vice President of Marketing Laura McGarrity says the key to keeping employees happy is listening. “We ask them what’s important, and we find that yes, they want to make money, but they might also value working from home now and then, or signing up for a class. It’s often the little things that don’t cost much, like happy hour at work or fruit deliveries, that really make people happy.” Drew Palmer, the sales team leader for Denver, was looking for growth and opportunity when he was hired in January 2013, and he’s found it. “When you feel you’re being taken care of, you work harder, because that in turn makes you want to take care of the company.”  mondo.com

 

Renewable Choice Energy // Boulder

About the biz: The 12-year-old company is a leading global provider of products and services that help companies reduce their environmental impacts.

Employees: 25

Leadership: CEO Quayle Hodek

The big Perk: The recognized Boulder Bike Friendly business encourages employees to work hard but also focus on family time. Job sharing is available, as are flexible schedules. The company — which features an in-house cornhole setup — offers generous leave time and benefits.

Why so PERKy?  Hodek believes that creating a flexible environment gives the company an edge in a competitive market. “Our experience is that [it] improved productivity, sales and employee satisfaction,” he says. “I don’t believe this results in our team working less, just more efficiently.” Amy Haddon, vice president of marketing, says she wasn’t sure she wanted to return to work after becoming a mom. “My boss said, ‘I’ll take you in any capacity.’ I started working 10 hours; now I work 30, but I always know I can work my schedule around my kids.”  renewablechoice.com

 

FullContact Inc. // Denver

About the biz: What Dropbox did for files, FullContact is doing for contacts.

Employees: 34

Leadership: CEO Bart Lorang

The big Perk: FullContact is determined to remind its employees that it’s not only OK to unplug, it’s necessary. Once a year, the company gives employees $7,500 for a vacation. The catch: the employee must go completely off the grid.

Why so PERKy? “To win over local talent and attract it from other areas, you must set your company apart,” says Ben Deda, vice president of business development. “Denver has a huge advantage with its combination of active lifestyle, outdoor activities, and a great downtown. FullContact decided to leverage these to the fullest with our ‘paid, paid vacation’ policy. We believe that employees who disconnect and recharge perform better.” Content Director Brad McCarty concurs. “This company knows that life is about more than just a job title,” he says.  fullcontact.com

Maria Martin is a freelance writer.

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