Posted: June 01, 2014
Colorado’s 20 “perk”-iest companies: The next sevenMaria Martin
Moots // Steamboat Springs
About the biz: Moots has been hand-crafting high-performance titanium road, mountain and Cylocross bicycle frames since 1981.
Leadership: President Mike Sanders
The big Perk: It only makes sense that a bike-concocting company would focus on keeping its employees fit for any ride. Among the healthy perks: Free bicycle frames awarded every two years, a “champagne powder clause” (if more than 6 inches fall in a morning, employees ski), and bicycle commuting awards.
Why so PERKy? “The health of our employees is important, and that they use what we make gives us credibility,” Sanders says. “ ‘Build it, ride it,’ is a big thing with us. And flexibility is important, for powder days and extended lunches for bike rides. We hire well, and we know they’ll get the job done.” Building bikes is not just a career, it’s a passion for Moots marketing director Jon Cariveau. He often rides with coworkers, which leads to camaraderie-in the workplace, he says.
Numerica Corp. // Loveland
About the biz: For 18 years, Numerica has combined principled research, systems engineering and integration, data analysis, and algorithm and software development to deliver technology solutions.
Leadership: President Jeff Poore
The big Perk: Even those who first start at Numerica catch on that it’s a work-hard, play-hard environment. Group fun events include summer family picnics and monthly birthday parties, and tense team members look forward to monthly massages. New employees receive MacBook Pros and health club membership reimbursement.
Why so PERKy? Says Dave Morante, vice president of business operations: “Offering perks that go beyond traditional benefits is just one way for us to say thanks to our people for choosing to be on our team.” numerica.us
SendGrid Inc. // Boulder
About the biz: SendGrid, founded in 2009, offers a cloud-based service that solves business’ challenges of email delivery.
Leadership: CEO Jim Franklin
The big Perk: Fostering relationships between team members is key, and it starts with a “kick off” trip to Mexico every year. In-house kegorators and company-sponsored lunches also help cultivate relationships.
Why so PERKy? Josh Ashton says his title, “director of people,” reflects the company culture, and in some ways, the culture of much of the state. “It’s more about the people than the company itself.” SendGrid defines its four guiding H’s: Happy, Hungry, Honest and Humble. sendgrid.com
Match Action // Boulder
About the biz: The 19-year-old marketing firm has created programs for social engagement and entertainment on and offline. Some of the company’s better-known clients include Ford, Pepsi and Progressive Insurance.
Leadership: CEO Rob Schuham
The big Perk: Employees are encouraged to travel to events and attend conferences. Peers nominate each other for “Player of the Month” to win a trip to a sister city. Half days on Fridays in the summer and powder days in the winter allow employees to enjoy the environment and monthly lunch-and-learns keep the staff stimulated.
Why so PERKy? Howard Rubin, managing partner, says work-life balance is essential in Colorado. “When people work hard, we want to be sure they can enjoy the things that charge them back up, right out the window. There’s a lot of room for trust when you have true friendship between employees.” Christian Gani, vice president of development, says “We offer things out of the ordinary. I’m an auto guy, so for me, a perk is that our company is sponsoring a racecar, and I can make the dream of going to the racetrack a reality. In our business, there are peaks and valleys, and these perks help bring you back to the center.” matchmg.com/action
GutCheck // Denver
About the biz: For three years, GutCheck has provided on-demand insights from customer segments, enabling clients to optimize marketing and product innovation.
Leadership: CEO Matt Warta
The big Perk: This business has an “Official Fun Committee” that plans activities like game nights, bowling and other outings like ice skating at lunch and after-hours Ping Pong tournaments.
Why so PERKy? “I’m a social guy, and when I started this, I wanted to work with great people and have fun at work,” said Warta. “So when we hire, we get great
talent, but also those who fit in culturally.” That means people who meet the “Give a .... Index,” he says with a laugh. The phrase was started by Warta’s father, who gave him sage advice when he had a bad year in high school. “He said, ‘Matt, most of life is about giving a ....’ That means whatever you do, just have a passion for it.’ ” Lisa O’Connor, director of client services, says the company has an explicit rule to always assume positive intent from our colleagues and clients,” she says. “If you frame the world like that - everyone is coming from a good place - it makes problem-solving and conflict resolution a piece of cake.” gutcheckit.com
Linhart Public Relations// Denver
About the biz: The largest independent national public relations, digital media and corporate consulting firm in Colorado, in business for 18 years, delivers results for about 25 regional, national and global clients.
Leadership: Managing Partner and Founder Sharon Linhart
The big Perk: The company promotes giving back to the community through charitable contributions, volunteer services and pro-bono activities. Through the Linhart-To-Heart employee giving program, each team member receives paid volunteer time.
Why so PERKy? Giving back makes sense for her team, Linhart says. “It’s our basic belief that this is our home. … Civic involvement gives people an opportunity to get a different perspective, and it’s a way to develop leadership skills.” Account supervisor Amanda Meyer supports Big Brothers Big Sisters, as does another colleague. “It lets you know your co-workers in a different light,” she says.“ linhartpr.com
Blue Star Recyclers // Colorado Springs
About the biz: Blue Star Recyclers, which has been in business for four years, is a social enterprise with a mission of recycling electronics and other materials. It creates employment for people with autism and other disabilities.
Leadership: CEO Bill Morris
The big Perk: Since the organization started, 50 jobs for people with disabilities have been created, and the company has recycled more than 4 million pounds of electronics. Those with autism and other disabilities celebrate personal and shared goals every day.
Why so PERKy? At a previous job, Morris noticed a small group of people with developmental disabities doing repetitive tasks, and saw them thrive. “I did research on people with autism, and this made sense.” He found an investor, and the business took off. Morris says, “This is the best part of their day, and they love what they do. They’re not just good workers. They’re phenomenal.” Julie North, business development director in Denver, says she’s had many jobs in her day, but this is her favorite. “Our team feels like a family. We’re creating community camaraderie and we’re truly making a difference in Colorado.” bluestarrecyclers.com
Maria Martin is a freelance writer.