CityPulse Columbus has recognized “Wonderful Workplaces for Young Professionals” in and around Columbus since 2013. In partnership with the Columbus Young Professionals Club, Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio, and Human Resources Association of Central Ohio (HRACO), local employers are nominated in categories of Coolness (Attraction), Stickiness (Retention), Community Impact, and Growth Opportunities for emerging leaders. We are pleased to celebrate the Top 40 Wonderful Workplaces in Central Ohio for 2020:
A KID AGAIN
Serving more than 900 children right here in central Ohio, A Kid Again is “growing leaps and bounds” with “endless opportunities to find what moves your soul” from business operations to family engagement to education and more. Young professionals here feel “fulfilled,” “engaged,” and “motivated” to spend every day “providing hope, happiness and healing for local children battling life-threatening conditions.” Their executive team “values and regularly engages YPs” as the nonprofit works to grow nationally, having just received declaration to open in ten additional states. “It is the coolest process to see” and “most amazing opportunity to be a part of making it all happen!”
A software company described as a “fantastic and fabulous” place to work,” Acceptd offers “flexible location and hours,” “consistent mentoring and coaching” from senior leadership, and “team fun days.” Employees boast: “At Acceptd you take your growth in your own hands.” The founders are “always open to ideas.” The way they “embrace growth” embodies what is most important to young professionals/emerging leaders, including a “results-driven environment,” “collaboration,” “work/life balance,” and “growth for team members.” Acceptd is “an awesome place for YPs to live, work, and play!”
ADULT ADVOCACY CENTERS
The Adult Advocacy Centers (AACs) are “dedicated to ensuring a trauma-informed and culturally diverse work environment.” The nonprofit is “relatively new, but doing such important work” by “genuinely changing how adult crime victims with disabilities are served.” AACs continue to be invited to present about their model at local, national and international conferences, and employees describe Executive Director, Katherine Yoder, as a “wonderful boss” who “goes above and beyond” to provide “an atmosphere conducive to learning and growing” while providing the best work output possible. To be at an agency that “truly cares about humanity and the notoriously under-served” allows employees to feel “proud to go to work every day.”
ARY ROEPCKE MULCHAEY, P.C.
ARM CPAs continues to offer their staff “accelerated growth and advancement” opportunities along with a workforce devoted to a “diverse client base” and “great organizational culture.” They offer “2 o’clock Fridays” and plenty of team-building experiences such as “ziplining and bowling” all while consistently giving time to local causes like the Salvation Army, local food banks, and coat drives for local churches. 2020 was a unique year, however ARM has continued to be “flexible with employees during the pandemic” to make sure “everyone feels safe and still included in the team.”
AXIA CONSULTING, INC.
AXIA Consulting is described by employees as a “pivotal” and “people-first” organization where “autonomy is encouraged” and “the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well” in recruiting, coaching, business development, and client delivery. Young professionals are “encouraged” to pursue their “path and passions” to grow within the firm “at whatever speed [they] would like.” AXIA also supports employee owners’ philanthropic efforts through a “donation match” while sponsoring “multiple organizations and events” to provide “outreach opportunities” within the community, along with “flexible work schedules” and a “strong emphasis on work/life balance.”
“Employee happiness” and “growth opportunities” are top priorities at BARK, where employees are “consistently given the opportunity to experience new areas of the business” and “develop new skills” by working on “projects outside of their typical role.” Their “strong diversity and inclusion programming” ensures that “all employees are safe and valued” within the company, regardless of gender, sexuality, or ethnicity. BARK is touted as a “great place for those starting out in their careers” as well as “seasoned professionals looking for something new.” BARK Cbus provides a “highly competitive benefits package,” “learning and development stipends,” “weekly catering and unlimited snacks,” and a “culture like no other.”
BARNES & THORNBURG LLP
Barnes & Thornburg team members are especially proud of their “business services support model, where many teammates have come in at an entry level position and advanced to positions that suit their respective passions and excellence.” In addition, Barnes & Thornburg is “the leader on inclusion and diversity in the Columbus legal community,” with a managing partner who “chairs the Columbus Bar Association’s Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative.” They also “founded the Gender Equity in the Legal Industry initiative” which is now a “consortium with multiple firms.” Ultimately, Barnes & Thornburg is a “great place to continue to work at or to consider a future with because they want you to succeed.”
The motto at Bold Penguin is “One Team One Goal” with a community “built to create a supportive staff” and a leadership team that is “genuinely rooting for you.” Bold Penguin focuses on “integrating every team member” and “building a connected community” that re-enforces teamwork. Employees are “empowered to improve” their daily work as they focus on outcomes. Pre-pandemic, the company held “monthly happy hours and weekly lunches,” along with open “tech sessions” to bring together Columbus’ tech community. Post-pandemic, they host “bi-weekly virtual happy hours,” “weekly virtual coffees,” and sends meal kits to team members. Bold Penguin is always finding different ways to give back to the community from “food drives for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank” to “participation in the Columbus Pride Parade” in addition to Kindness Rocks, Furniture with a Heart, The Black Lives Matter Global network, The Ronald McDonald House, and several others.
CapTech is a “people-first company” with a “goal of being the best place for consultants to work.” It’s an “under-the-radar” firm in Columbus that has a “startup feel with big firm support” and plenty of “opportunities to stretch skills” for young professionals across Ohio. “The people and culture are #1” here, and the goal is to “never get bored” since there are “infinite learning opportunities” and “skill development is a priority.” Leadership is always “open to new ideas” and eager to learn about ways to “get involved and give back!” CapTech is actively involved with Pelotonia, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and Black Girls who Code. Team members agree; “CapTech LOVES Columbus.”
When it comes to wonderful places to work, CAS is “one of Columbus’s best kept secrets.” This is a company that is “committed to employees’ professional and personal growth” with an “incredibly intelligent and diverse workforce.” Their campus near OSU has a “walking path, outdoor pavilion and patio for the summer months,” and they host community events such as Wonderbus and Steps for Sarcoma. CAS is “committed to career development opportunities for every level of employee,” offering them “cutting edge leadership development programming.” Oh, and employees gain “access to free parking for OSU games,” too!
The culture at COhatch “provides young employees the opportunity to operate and activate” communities across Central Ohio and beyond. Employees benefit from leadership & career development as well as “learning from all of our COhatch members businesses,” offering some of the “most unique workspaces” including amenities such as “arcade games, breweries, makers markets, a beach house” and more. COhatch offers a Give Scholarship to “over 60 central Ohio non-profits to learn and operate within our communities” and serves as an incubatator for small businesses, providing them with “the tools needed to grow as they need to and when they need to.”
COMMUNITY SHELTER BOARD
Community Shelter Board was created almost 35 years ago as a “collective impact organization” driving the “best outcomes for people facing homelessness,” having served 14,000 people last year and considered a “national model for organizing a community’s response.” CSB offers a “remote work environment” with many “appealing” perks, including “flexible work schedules,” “Summer Fridays,” “Quarterly Cheer lunches to celebrate progress and achievements,” and a “Bring Your Dog to Work program” that welcomes furry visitors on Fridays and helps to boost “good feelings all around.” An Anti-Racist, Inclusion & Diversity Committee is “shaping the culture further” and gives non-leadership staff “authority to create change” to promote “a community of respect that honors the humanity of all.”
Continental Office leadership has a vision “to be an organization where people can’t wait to work with us,” and they’ve worked hard to build a community where young professionals “feel heard, challenged, appreciated, developed and mentored.” “Centered around what they do for their clients,” the office environment at Continental Office is one that allows “maximum flexibility.” Employees can “sit at a desk, stand, get comfy on a couch, collaborate with others or have a private quiet space” in a “collaborative environment that likes to work hard but play harder.”
CoverMyMeds “genuinely cares about their employees” and a lot of those employees are young professionals. Leadership values its workforce by offering time for “honest” and “transparent conversations” with the company to help better address changing needs. “Everyone you meet at the company has a ‘passion project’ and it really speaks to the caliber of employee they hire and the type of people they attract.” CoverMyMeds also offer all the “fun” and “exciting” corporate perks you love like “cold brew & local beers on tap” and “catered lunches,” but add to that “free Apple watches” and a true “sense of community” while investing in “counseling services and building community” to advance employees’ overall well-being. They also “set you up with mentors” who are a level up so “you have someone who can offer advice and support” to “help you reach your full potential within the company.”
CRIMSON DESIGN GROUP
Employees at Crimson Design Group feel theirs is an “amazing” place to work because of the “camaraderie,” “passion,” and “true intent to make sure that we are creating beautiful lives through interior design.” This is an atmosphere where “mimosa breakfasts” are served in the morning while “incorporating everyone into the team” as “a family.” The staff currently counts Millennials as half their workforce who are always “excited” to see the “new ideas and vision” of an “accessible founder.” They are also “inspired” to work for a “woman-owned and operated business” that is “very successful” and “constantly growing.” Crimson supports Habitat for Humanity and “recently built a playhouse for a family in need.” Their charitable work also involves their clients in the donation process with a portion of their fees going to a charity of choice.
Dawson is “passionate in regard to giving back to the community” and this is reflected in their philanthropic efforts. Dawson has a “Community Champions committee that spearheads volunteer efforts” including “volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House” and “participating in race water stops.” With “year-long early release Fridays,” “paid birthdays off,” “volunteer time off,” and “wellness and volunteer programs,” Dawson offers many great work perks. The work environment is “free of micromanagement, making it a great workplace for a self-starter.” Additionally, Dawson recognizes colleague achievements through their annual awards night, the DAWSCARS.
Encova has a lot of “momentum” with “considerable upward mobility available” and “cutting edge technology” that has increased the avenues available to associates, particularly young professionals. The company “values wellness and work life balance” and is “committed to philanthropy” by making the local communities they are involved in better, supporting causes like Ronald McDonald House and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Leadership is “trustworthy,” they like to “promote from within” and they “graciously pay and reward associates” for career-advancement and certain educational endeavors. Encova has recently become a “super regional” insurance company (i.e. bigger than many regional mutual insurance companies), so they have the “cool perks” of working for a bigger company, but they are still “small enough for you to feel like you are person who matters to the organization.”
EVENT MARKETING STRATEGIES
Event Marketing Strategies is a “living case study of what investing in young professionals looks like,” with perks like “flexible work-time policy, a professional development fund and young people in leadership roles.” The flex time program “allows everyone to work at the times they are most productive and engaged,” whether they’re a “night owl or an early bird.” An added bonus? “Office dogs Wesley, Mojito and Shiloh often come in for visits and make their rounds to all our employees.”
“Culture is the driving force behind Fahlgren Mortine” where employees enjoy “several slightly off-the-wall celebrations throughout the year, and create opportunities to interact with our colleagues in a fun and meaningful way” among other things. As for community impact, “the agency has committed over $2 million in agency time to support nonprofits” in the last five years alone.
Feazel is a “quickly growing company” with a “lot of opportunities” for young professionals to grow. While there is availability to “expand your knowledge and responsibilities” at work, Feazel is also “flexible” and “sees the value in a balance” in your life. Benefits are “amazing” with the company paying roughly “95% of health insurance costs for associates. Additionally, leadership is “very approachable” and always “willing to stop and talk” as well as check in on projects and provide “informal mentoring” to all. Feazel also offers various ways to “get involved in the community and connect with other coworkers” through their support of Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, and local food banks.
FrazierHeiby provides “ample opportunities for young professionals to grow throughout their career,” from “professional development stipends” to “prioritized professional development plans” and “ongoing support from managers.” The organization wants all employees to feel like “there’s a place for them to continue to grow and succeed” which makes it “an ideal place to work” when you’re hoping to have “great experiences” advancing professionally. Leadership makes “really smart choices about hiring the right people” to fit the culture which is a testament to their long-term goals for the agency. What could be more wonderful than “a PR agency run by three Millennial women?” The firm has been described as “a bright spot” in their employees’ journey, offering “open arms” and an “enormous amount of encouragement” about what’s to come in their future.
GBQ PARTNERS, LLC
GBQ Partners, LLC is “changing the way people think about accounting” with a workplace made up of “highly-motivated,” “passionate,” “personable,” “responsible,” “savvy” and “sociable” people. The company offers a “flexible work environment” while maintaining a solid “trust in employees” and offering a “sound benefits package.” Leadership inspires a “compassionate,” “supportive,” and “engaged culture” contributing to significant “happiness and vitality” here because, “our associates deserve it.” Young professionals then share this energy, compassion and engagement with all of their clients. GBQ also provides “breakfast and dinner throughout the week,” happy hours and an annual “end of busy season party.” At GBQ, the clear purpose is to “empower growth of people, communities and their clients’ businesses.”
GROUP MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Group Management Services offers a team culture that is “awesome” with “great earning potential” and “appreciation for hard work.” The Columbus office is “staffed full of young professionals” contributing to it being “one of the top producing offices in the company.” GMS also does well “investing in their employees” in addition to their business to help maintain a competitive advantage in a fast-paced industry. Their GMS Cares program “centers around the philanthropic mindset” to help “strengthen the community” while lending support for the next generation, including Buckeye Futures with “internships, business development and mentorship” for student athletes at OSU. Employees realize there is a “clear company vision” due to “effective” communication from leadership and a “very welcoming,” “stable” and “family-oriented” workplace.
HUNTINGTON NATIONAL BANK
Huntington is large enough that it allows young professionals the opportunity to have “real world experience” without being treated as a number. The company is “very strong” in “giving back to the communities,” but “none more than here in Columbus” where it is headquartered. Management “treats its employees with respect” and “gives every employee a voice.” Young professionals will find Huntington a wonderful workplace that allows “professional development” and “continuous improvement.”
JENI’S SPLENDID ICE CREAMS
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams “encourages young professionals to grow with the company” and “motivates” team members to shape the future of the company by “involving them in important conversations” to “impact the environment and communities while we work.” Jeni’s “lives and breathes inclusion and diversity,” which they strongly believe every young person should have a stake in. “Community is the heart” of it all, where “doors are open to people of any race, nationality, gender, age, and political stance” and employees consistently feel “supported,” “acknowledged,” and “rewarded” for the effort they put in every day, whether checking in at their “numerous scoop shops” or their “humble headquarters” in Columbus.
MedVet is a “growing” organization “primarily owned by our doctors” that “enhances the lives of pets, their loving families, and the veterinary community.” Here, “everyone contributes” and “team members have the chance to solve problems” and be part of building a “great company” that is also an “inclusive workplace.” “Everyone at MedVet is a leader” and you’ll get to do work that stretches you while allowing you to “actively engage in events that support pets,” especially service animals. The people are “truly values-based” and “growth is going to continue” since the company “does amazing medicine.”
The theme of 2020 at Moody Nolan is “breakthrough” and it shows. As the “largest Black-owned architecture firm in the U.S.,” Central Ohio residents have seen their “outstanding architectural work” in local structures such as Huntington Park, the Bicentennial Pavilion, the Ohio Union and Schottenstein Center, and the NetJets and OhioHealth headquarters. Additionally, the firm has “rapidly grown beyond Columbus as well,” including Wintrust Arena in Chicago, an expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York and the Music City Center in Nashville. Leadership has “a goal for that growth,” not just in size and in revenue, but in “talent and design capabilities.” Their “emphasis on diversity” has paid off with “more minority firms having come out of our office than out of any other firm in Columbus.” Indeed “growth lies ahead” for Moody Nolan as they “invest in people” with their “feet on the ground” in 11 offices around the country.
The team at Northwoods foster a “multitude of learning opportunities” as the company “continues to push itself and its employees further,” encouraging team members to “take the initiative.” 2020 has been “a test in multiple ways” but employees are “incredibly proud” to work at an organization that “fearlessly stepped up to the challenge,” is “tackling it masterfully,” and “will come out stronger in 2021.” Not every organization has been as “fortunate” to have the “capable leadership” and “vision to see us through this pandemic.” However, young professionals at Northwoods feel “confident” because “we’re positioned as an organization that can adapt, evolve, and grow indefinitely.”
OHIO DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY
“Attention and commitment” to each individual employee is “unparalleled” at Ohio Dominican University. “True to its mission,” ODU was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Peace who are “always expanding opportunities to get staff involved in the community.” Young professionals benefit from “employee fitness programs and challenges,” tuition-free master’s programs, and a work environment filled with “faculty and staff who are devoted to the university, its mission and its students.” And because it is a “more intimate-sized institution,” employees get to “frequently interact with students” leading to a “more personalized work experience.”
PEREZ & MORRIS LLC
As “one of the largest woman-owned law firms in central Ohio,” Perez & Morris has “very intentionally recruited, supported, and empowered minority and female attorneys.” This “committment to diversity, equity, and inclusion” is showcased as the firm supports programming in “women’s leadership,” “salary negotiations,” “breastfeeding in the workplace,” and “#MeToo,” among others. Leadership encourages its young attorneys to “become involved in the community,” particularly with leadership development as the firm “helps cover the cost of these programs” and “promotes their team members’ inclusion” to help “elevate their presence” among other professional groups around town. The firm has a “relaxed and familial” atmosphere that is also “collaborative, fun, and team-oriented.” Young professional voices matter and the firm proves this by “regularly considering and implementing their input” alongside suggestions from attorneys with more years of experience. Being “valued members of the team” from the outset fosters “a desire to continue growing” with the company among its younger staff members.
With “extremely worker-friendly benefits” and a “consistent focus on progressive social issues” from Black Lives Matter to being an ally for the LGBTQ+ community, PNC offers a workplace that “talks the talk and walks the walk.” Their philosophy on work is to be “flexible,” with “generous benefits for new parents, “full benefits for higher education,” and a “robust” mentorship program that seeks to bring together “like-minded employees across the company.” PNC has also contributed $15 million in central Ohio to the coronavirus recovery and has committed $1 billion to racial justice nationwide. Their volunteer work is “impressive,” focused on empowering women business professionals and youth literacy.
Quantum Health serves as “an exemplary role-model of servant leadership” for young professionals, where going to work is described as “joyful,” “edifying,” “engaging,” and “as satisfying a place to work as you can ever imagine.” The company’s culture provides “the three keys to employee engagement: safety, agency, and worthy work” and “people go out of their way to make each other feel special.” “Hard work” and “dedication” are highly valued as the company continues to grow, offering “generous tuition reimbursement” and “higher education partnerships” to associates and to their families. Their philanthropic arm, Quantum Thrives, manages their giving to “staff member families in need” and also works with Meals on Wheels, Pelotonia, and several local food banks. Quantum also gives through their Pep Club and several Diversity and Inclusion ERGs; including Warrior Pride, Quantum Women’s Initiative Network, Quantum Black Voices, Quantum Unidos, and Quantum Military Veterans, each of whom consistently “give to local charities.”
Spacejunk has a “really warm,” “welcoming,” and “friendly” culture. It’s filled with “people who want to do great work,” with a “diverse staff made up of mostly young professionals” including directors, editors, animators, sound designers, producers and illustrators. SJ is constantly “encouraging their employees” to “learn, grow, and seek new skills.” And their nonprofit support allows team members to “follow passion projects” while supporting community fundraising for causes such as CHA Animal Shelter, After School All Stars, The Columbus Book Project, and more.
SPECTRUM NEWS 1
While Spectrum News 1 is a relatively new station serving the Columbus market – and the entire state of Ohio – the focus at is on “community,” “out-of-the-box ideas,” and “serving viewers stories that connect them” to the cities in which they live. A large portion of the station’s reporters, meteorologists and journalists are “young professionals eager and excited to call Columbus home.” The are “frequent training and coaching opportunities” to “help stimulate and develop professional growth” within the company and the broadcasting business. And not only do they report the news that impacts all Ohioans, but Spectrum News 1 “features multiple segments that show Ohioans giving back to the community,” whether through volunteer opportunities or simply “showing model citizens bettering their neighborhoods.” With “an entire channel devoted to Ohio News,” their “attention to detail” and “empathetic regard for employees’ safety during COVID” has been nothing short of “spectacular.”
STATE AUTO INSURANCE
The workplace culture at State Auto Insurance is described as “flexible,” “open,” and “empowering,” and it is clear that “all decisions are made on the basis that associates are trusted to do the right thing.” Employees boast of the “amazing camaraderie” and “at-home” feel, with an on-site cafeteria, workout room, and the ability to work remotely “even before COVID.” There’s a stock plan that “allows all associates to become owners.” Associates are also encouraged to use two “invest-a-days,” where they are free to choose a place to “volunteer for the entire day” and high-potential associates are promoted from within. Stated one enthusiastic associate, “I have worked here for six years and have been promoted three times!”
T. MARZETTI, CO.
T. Marzetti has a “solid history rooted in the Columbus area” matched with an “ever-developing culture” of “increased diversity,” “community involvement” and a “true investment” in becoming and staying ‘The Better Food Company.’ Employees are “amazed” by the “family-like culture” given the company produces some of the top brands around the country! Leadership continues to “invest in its organization” via “new technology implementations” and “professional development for its employees” focused on “success” and “growth.” T. Marzetti is “truly a company that a young professional can develop and excel as they continue to grow each and every year.”
UNION COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The primary goal at the Union County Health Department (UCHD) is “the betterment of community health.” As a public agency, UCDH “prioritizes many social issues that are not required of public health departments.” This includes “access to transportation care,” “access to food,” “traffic and pedestrian safety,” and “overdose prevention” programs. They also offer “flexible” scheduling, along with “very affordable” healthcare and “free dental insurance,” a “quarterly professional development plan” made “cooperatively” with each supervisor, “annual raises,” and more.
Based in Silicon Valley, Upstart opened their second headquarters in Columbus in 2019, hiring many “recent graduates” who have “already been promoted to leadership positions.” Young professionals love the “flexible” schedules, “casual work environment,” “generous PTO,” and many employer resource groups such as a “Superwomen group to promote women leadership.” Associates also have the ability to work with colleagues on the west coast. Locally, Upstart supports many community initiatives, including Columbus Pride Festival, Pelotonia, Women In Analytics, BlackTech, and StirTrek. And during Upstart Community Week, employees (know as ‘Upstarters’) are encouraged to organize “community service projects across the country.”
THE WENDY’S COMPANY
Wendy’s is a brand that “everyone knows” and it’s “cool” to see them as a part of pop culture, whether you’re “seeing a commercial on ESPN” or “hearing buzz about the Twitter account.” The company puts “a lot of effort” into making Wendy’s a “fun place to work.” There are events like “taste panels” and employee lunches to try new products, an Olympics-style competition called the “Fresh Games,” Halloween costume contests “that people go all out for,” and a full week of activities each November to commemorate their founding. Wendy’s is a “big enough company to provide a wide range of career opportunities,” but small enough that “it’s not uncommon for employees to work directly with top leadership.” The company is also incredibly focused on maintaining the “values” of founder, Dave Thomas, including “giving back to the community,” particularly through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Zipline Logistics is a place where “highly successful team members are resourceful, proactive and take accountability for all aspects of serving customers and growing the business.” Their purpose is to improve the lives of transportation professionals, and employees are definitely “serious about customer service, teamwork, and collaboration.” Employees enjoy “work perks” including a relaxed dress code, “PTO for birthdays and work anniversaries, monthly happy hours, and ‘Friday beers,’” among other things.