Sixty-seven Mississippi companies made the final cut for the first-ever Best Places to Work recognition program. At the Mississippi Business and Technology EXPO 2006 kick-off breakfast January 18, three companies in each of the four size categories were recognized as attaining the pinnacle of workplace success.
Trustmark National Bank, Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and SuperTalk Mississippi radio sponsored the event, along with EXPO title sponsor Time Warner Cable Business Class.
“We were awed by the response to the inaugural year for Best Places to Work in Mississippi,” said Robbie L. Bell, vice president of business development for the Mississippi Business Journal and director of the EXPO. “The quality of the participating companies is the most notable observation I can offer. In fact, there was a ‘wow!’ factor to the list of participants, and even more so to the list of finalists and winners.”
The event itself was a sellout, said Bell, “an amazing thing for a 7:30 a.m. breakfast event, with the attendees coming from every corner of the state.”
MDA executive director Leland Speed delivered a rousing message, telling business leaders about opportunities on the horizon for Mississippi post-Katrina, and eyes-wide-open entertainment was provided by The Vernon Brothers, acclaimed throughout the Southeast for their special brand of bluegrass.
Eagle Ridge Conference Center, Gulf Coast Community Federal Credit Union and NetworkStreaming were Best Places to Work winners in the small business category.
“NetworkStreaming is honored to be named one of the Best Places to Work in Mississippi,” said Nathan McNeill, co-founder and vice president of product development for NetworkStreaming. “This award is testimony to God’s faithfulness to us as a company and to the unwavering commitment of our employees to do their work with excellence, while at the same time recognizing that success or failure is ultimately dependent upon God. We truly do offer an incredible environment where it is a thrill to come to work each morning-except, perhaps, on Mondays.”
Adams and Reese, LLP, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and GranthamPoole, CPAs were winners in the medium business category.
“Over the years, Adams and Reese has received numerous distinctions and awards, but being named one of the Best Places to Work in Mississippi is truly a special honor,” said Adams and Reese managing partner Charles P. Adams Jr. “Our employees have created and maintained an atmosphere of commitment and teamwork, which contributes to our high standards of client service and our firm’s success. Their sense of community pride is outstanding, whether coming together in support of each other or in dedicating hours to various community outreach programs.”
Butler Snow O’Mara Stevens and Cannada, PLLC, Coast Electric Power Association and Nucor Steel Jackson Inc. were recognized in the large business category.
“We’re very pleased with this recognition,” said Butler Snow managing partner Don Clark. “Butler Snow promotes a sense of family within the firm, where everyone works together for the good of our clients. We’ve created an environment where hard work is recognized, but we also encourage our people to balance their lives while making a contribution to the firm.”
Clark believed there was “a link between our high marks in a recent client satisfaction survey and the Best Places to Work survey, which rewards a high level of internal satisfaction,” he said. “Our employees make Butler Snow a great place to work, and that translates into outstanding client service. That’s the goal we’re all working toward.”
Mega-large companies selected were BankPlus, Community Bank and Viking Range Corporation.
“Viking Range Corporation is extremely honored to be named one of Mississippi’s top places to work,” said Beth Tackett, corporate human resources manager for Viking Range. “Our workforce is made up of some of the most outstanding people from Mississippi and around the world, and attracting and retaining such high caliber employees is one of our top priorities. The heart and soul of Viking is its employees, and we are extremely gratified that they overwhelmingly supported this nomination.”
Southern Research Group, a program partner, provided a free analysis of the data gathered for the top winners. Other listed winners are able to purchase their results and analysis at a greatly reduced fee. The Mississippi Society for Human Resource Management also partnered with MBJ to encourage participation in the program. The Best Places to Work Web site was designed, hosted and maintained by U.S. NetworX.
“The Best Places to Work idea is national in scale,” explained MBJ publisher Joe Jones. “We’ve admired the program for several years and decided to bring it to Mississippi this year.”
Hurricane Katrina delayed the program launch, and the 2007 program will begin much earlier this year, said Bell.
“We’ll release that information soon,” she said. “In the meantime, we’ve already begun planning the magazine that will profile the top companies in a March special publication. Please stay tuned! It will definitely be a good read and a good venue for our advertisers, as well.”
Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at Lynne.Jeter@gmail.com.
Alexander, Van Loon, Sloan, Levens & Favre, PLLC
Aquaterra Engineering, LLC
Dale and Associates Architects P.A.
Knight-Abbey Commercial Printing & Direct Mail
Lake Terrace Convention Center
Members Exchange Credit Union
Merchants & Planters Bank
Mitchell Signs Inc.
The Ramey Agency
4-County Electric Power Association
AmFed Companies, LLC
Applied Geo Technologies
Business Communications Inc.
Cabot Lodge Hotel
Cash Distributing of Columbus
Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush, P.A.
Dunn Roadbuilders, LLC
First State Bank
The Hattiesburg American
Mississippi Blood Services
Morgan White Group
North MS Medical Center-Iuka
Parkway Properties Inc.
Plymouth Tube Company
Ross & Yerger Insurance Inc.
Smith, Turner & Reeves, P.A.
Stuart C. Irby Company
Superior Manufacturing Group Inc.
Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis, P.A.
Atmos Energy (Mississippi Division)
Pioneer Aerospace Corporation
Rankin Medical Center
State Bank & Trust Company
The Peoples Bank
Baptist Memorial Hospitals Mississippi
Cellular South Inc.
Delta State University
Mississippi Department of Transportation
Mississippi State Hospital
MMC Materials Inc.
North Mississippi Regional Center
Regions Bank of Greater Mississippi
Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company
Sta-home Health Agency