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Monday, Jun 24, 2024

Best Places to Work 2018: The Best Small Companies to Work for in Los Angeles


Structural Focus is a structural engineering consulting firm specializing in the design of complex and innovative buildings. Partnering with architects from project conception through the reality of occupancy, the firm embraces the collaborative process of design through an ongoing, open, creative and clear dialogue between the team and owner. Structural Focus prides itself in being respectful of the need for a work/home balance, different work styles and open and clear communication. Championing individual growth, professional and personal, and the celebration of such achievements are an instrumental part of Structural Focus’ work culture.

Structural Focus employees also enjoy a broad array of all-employee events – including celebrations, a pool tournament, a big family picnic, a fantasy football tournament, a secret Santa holiday party, baby pools, and happy hours. There’s also a flexible work schedule and the management maintains an open door policy at all levels. Structural Focus staff members also attended the SEAOSC Convention where team members enjoy a fun-filled weekend every year. The convention offers technical sessions, exhibits, tours, and social events to enjoy the company of old colleagues and meet new friends. Structural Focus even sponsors the SEAOSC Golf Tournament every year where the firm sponsors a foursome with a passion for golf.


Miracle Mile Advisors in an innovative wealth management platform, which specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and sophisticated investment advice to high net worth families. The firm was founded by former Wall Street advisors with the belief that investment advice should be objective, transparent and customized. To the core, Miracle Mile demonstrates that sophisticated investment strategies and a comprehensive approach to planning deliver better results with the transparency clients are looking for in today’s uncertain environment.

The culture at Miracle Mile Advisors is one of its greatest assets. Many of the firm’s employees and partners came from the larger, more traditional financial services firms for something entirely different. They value collaboration over competition, teamwork over individual gain, and spirit over pretentiousness. The team is like a quirky, close-knit family, regularly engaging in internal events, competitions, happy hours, game nights, and more. Additionally, management fosters a culture of honesty and directness, so that issues and concerns can be addressed directly. Perks enjoyed by the staff include a fully stocked kitchen with whatever snacks the team wants, weekly staff lunches, “Summer Fridays” (where the office closes at 2:30 during the summer season), and year round early Fridays (closing at 4pm on Fridays all year).


Proven Recruiting’s devotion to growing a strong, tight-knit workforce resonates in every aspect of its business. From almost daily trainings, to the family-like dynamic, the company has worked hard to make Proven Recruiting into a place where people actually want to spend their time every day. Since Day One of founding the company, the mission was “to create a place where recruiters liked coming to work and were allowed to focus on the things they were good at.” For Proven Recruiting, it’s always been about supporting, uplifting, and empowering the employees to contribute to a workplace where everyone – from newbies to executives – can flourish.

All of the employee perks and benefits function to fortify Proven Recruiting’s underlying goal – of creating a workplace that allows people to be their best selves and to do their best work. No one perk alone makes us a great place to work; it’s the philosophy behind the perks and the network they build together that makes the culture so special. As strong proponents of servant leadership, the directors establish close working relationships and one-on-one mentorships with each member of their teams. At every level, the company is a true meritocracy; anyone who is willing to put in the work is rewarded for their efforts.


Northwestern Mutual – West Los Angeles enjoys a rich heritage as a provider of financial planning services. Its growing office has worked diligently to help people achieve their goals and dreams for financial growth and security by providing a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, investment services, estate analysis, and employee benefit services. The office is firmly committed to helping create exceptional financial security, personal growth, and business success. The company strives to create a community that fosters personal and intellectual growth by bringing together advisors, specialists, and staff from different backgrounds and perspectives to engage in a mutual exchange of ideas and experiences.


Kardent Design is a firm founded on the principles of establishing relationship with “happy clients”. To accomplish that, the company starts with a focus on “happy staff.” Our team is intimate, trusted and family-oriented. The nature of Kardent’s work is extremely collaborative so the organization places emphasis on building a strong trusted team that is ready to tackle any challenge. A happy work environment is key to the success of the company’s work so Kardent’s leadership constantly strives to collaborate with all staff to make the work environment the best it can be.


In 2017, due to a fairly dramatic change in the country’s leadership, the market was edgy, and BLAZE was forced to stay nimble, focus on conversion and stay focused on targeting and KPIs. Despite these challenges, BLAZE posted one of the best years in its history, both in terms of revenue and client acquisition. Internally strong connections and engagement on the things that truly mattered made the difference to help the BLAZE staff bond and grow as a cohesive unit. BLAZE focuses intently on being exceptionally inclusive. All staffers are treated as valued, equal, and as having a true impact on business success.


Mansour Travel Company has, for 37 years, been recognized as one of the premier providers of travel to an upscale and discerning clientele. The seasoned team of professionals is drawn from varied backgrounds and collectively has many years of experience. In keeping with the upscale creativity of the brand, the staff is a well-traveled, dynamic group of people, knowledgeable and up-to-date in the leisure, corporate and entertainment industry travel markets. The company provides a beautiful work location, decorated with fine works by prominent artists. The result is a unique and inviting office environment for the employees that evokes an eclectic and whimsical but refined style.


Pray.com is a social impact company with a vision to create a world where everyone leaves a legacy of helping others. The company creates technology that serves faith organizations and nonprofits. Pray.com believes that such a mission attracts a certain type of employee. Its team is comprised of talented, passionate people from varied backgrounds; some pray, some meditate, some just want to see more empathy in the world. They are all committed to building something bigger than themselves – which makes pray.com a really exciting place to work. Team members cheer on one another for working toward a common goal and have developed a community together.


As an agency, Konnect has attracted talented people who exude positivity and help to create a collaborative and inviting atmosphere for all others to thrive in and enjoy. The agency supports its team personally and professionally and invests in their development. Konnect even implements growth plans that help employees know what steps they need to take to go to the next level in their careers. The agency also pursues strengths assessments for every new team member so they can be placed on accounts, with colleagues, who will bring out the best of their abilities.


Nelson Hardiman is the second-largest healthcare specialty law firm in California. It has earned a reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking firm at the forefront of an industry growing exponentially. Coupling its healthcare focus with the experience and expertise to attract top hospitals, universities, counties, and cutting-edge providers as clients, has led to substantial, interesting, and challenging work for the team. As such, its attorneys and staff are fully engaged doing meaningful work that is making a difference in the lives of people in our communities and beyond. The firm cares deeply about its attorneys and staff and regularly engages in firm-wide social events and retreats.


Signature Investment Advisors is an independent registered investment advisor headquartered in Los Angeles that provides an investment management platform for advisors across the country. With its small tight knit group of employees, every voice is heard. Monthly “check ins” and quarterly department meetings serve as the platform for every employee to share their insights, questions and to understand the vision. Three levels of target goals are set each quarter and this really brings everyone together. The hardest or stretch goal is designed to give each employee bonuses. At year’s end, the company has a celebration noting each employee’s specific/unique contribution.


Those who work at the environmental services company Citadel, know that one of the best things about the company is its culture. Citadel operates as a team, is family oriented, and puts people before profits. Always striving to be best in class, Citadel also makes sure it rewards its employees for hard work and acknowledges them for accomplishments. It also challenges its workers to help them succeed and reach their individual professional goals. Employee perks also include a flexible work environment and first class benefits, including strong medical and profit sharing programs.


Location technology company and fullservice mobile advertising platform Thinknear is a rewarding, welcoming and diverse place to work. At its LA office, more than 15 different nationalities and languages are represented. The company celebrates and practices a culture of diversity, collaboration and gratitude. Every Wednesday afternoon, staff gathers together in the main kitchen and gives kudos to coworkers – thanking them for anything from bringing treats from around the world to share, or helping with a last minute client need, or accomplishing major work milestones. Other perks include catered lunches, breakfast, happy hours and many other hosted events that bring the team together on a daily basis.


Vaco offers consulting, contract and direct hire solutions in the areas of accounting, finance, and technology. Vaco is dedicated to developing creative client solutions, long-term relationships, and lifelong careers. Among its employees, Vaco encourages an entrepreneurial spirit, flexible work life balance and the freedom to work hard and play hard. Perks include team building outings and events, the freedom to share ideas and be heard flexible schedules and an emphasis on healthy work life balance. Speaking of balance, Vaco even provides regular yoga sessions in the office on a weekly basis.


Mobile gaming company PlayQ is a small business doing big things, which gives each of its team members the opportunity to make a serious impact on its products and company. The perks and benefits PlayQ offers rival those of much larger organizations, and it continually strives to be a best place to work every single day. There is a distinct focus on bolstering interdepartmental communication and collaboration, making for both strong solutions and a tightly connected team, and recent efforts to develop additional opportunities for learning and development speak to PlayQ’s emphasis on constant personal and professional growth.


Murphy Research is a boutique, full service market research firm headquartered in Santa Monica. It was established out of a desire to create a firm that is committed to providing the highest quality research in a creative, accessible manner. Murphy’s team produces groundbreaking qualitative and quantitative research through its focus on creative design, rigorous execution, and enduring insights. Employees love the variety of innovative clients they impact using a range of methodologies across industries. The firm’s rapid pace and quality-first culture creates a critical reliance on open and honest communication to drive the team to success, and fosters a culture where intellectual curiosity, resourcefulness, and entrepreneurial learning thrives.


gish SEIDEN, a full-service CPA firm, has been providing tax, accounting, and consulting services to clients for over 75 years. The public accounting profession can be very demanding at times, and gish SEIDEN recognizes the importance of ensuring that its employees feel supported in both their professional and personal growth and well being. The firm makes a conscious effort to involve staff in many aspects of the firm’s strategic initiatives. The entire firm participates in annual summits that set the organization’s objectives and direction for the following year. In addition, the entire firm participates in monthly meetings to discuss ongoing projects, issues and concerns.


Stone | Dean Law is a premier business law firm located in Woodland Hills. Staff and attorneys exemplify a fantastic place to work through their integrity, dedication, and excellent work quality. Stone | Dean is a small, close-knit organization where the staff regularly create friendships and relationships that last outside the workplace. The attorneys also develop strong relationships with the staff, creating very little separation. There are regular communications and job performance reviews so employees know where they stand and perks include fun events where everyone, including the attorneys, participate, and there is a consistent sense of support and trust across the organization.


Adams Stirling is a small, boutique law firm founded by two best friends, Adrian Adams and Laura Whipple who have sought, for the past 18 years, to promote a company culture of teamwork, collaboration, family values and integrity. Although small, the firm has been able to provide for its employees through insurance benefits programs, flextime, and education. A positive atmosphere is prevalent and perks for staff include monthly lunches, wine nights, parties, retreats, and team building events such as escape rooms, paint ball, baseball and hockey games. Staff members even receive personalized holiday gifts from the firm.


Northwestern Mutual – Downtown Los Angeles enjoys a rich heritage as a provider of financial planning services. Since 1961, when Northwestern Mutual opened this office, the growing firm has worked diligently to help people achieve their goals and dreams for financial growth and security, while helping clients enjoy what they have now and establish security for the future. “Spend Your Life Living” is a theme that extends to the team members as well. Regular public staff recognition, competitive benefits, career coaching, and an entire committee dedicated to team camaraderie are just some of the elements that elevate the staff well above their job titles.


Epic Freight is an entrepreneurial organization that prizes and rewards its employees. The company does not micromanage its team, but rather empowers them to make decisions and satisfy the company’s clients in all situations. The company has many recognition programs to reward and recognize employees – a practice that is done daily, weekly, monthly and annually. The company is founded on a set of core principles that is instilled in each person that is welcomed onto the team. Epic understands that these skills need to be ingrained and reinforced on a constant basis. Plus, there is a strong level of open communication between staff and management.


Fantastic IT Solutions has a philosophy that is committed to finding the best seat on the bus for each of its employees. If employees find something they want to do, they have the freedom to flesh ideas out and bring them to management. Management encourages creativity and thinking outside the box. While many employee-friendly businesses now boast gyms, employee lounges and regular company BBQs, Fantastic IT, while offering those things, also offers a heavily utilized Mario Kart station! The tech team often spends breaks and downtime building camaraderie while duking it out on the racetrack.


Halbert Hargrove Global Advisors is a fiduciary investment management and wealth advisory firm serving quietly wealthy individuals and families. Halbert Hargrove is an employee owned firm and a genuine team that believes in the importance of work/life balance and creating a fun, encouraging environment that helps foster growth in all its associates. The firm’s principles remain deeply rooted: family, loyalty, discipline, patient capital, an entrepreneurial spirit, freedom to excel, joy in work done well—and giving back. Employees appreciate that their firm deeply values its communities, and dedicates meaningful energies and resources to support them.


Infrastructure Factor Consulting, or iFactor as it is best known, was established with the goal of providing its clients with integrated, highly technical, strategic solutions to their critical business needs, including design and consulting services for buildings and campuses across a wide range of markets. iFactor employees enjoy a number of perks, including half-day Fridays year round, a focus on healthy work/life balance, flexible work hours, great wellness programs and company breakfasts every Friday where the company sits around a table for a break over an amazing meal – a tradition that has been in existence since iFactor opened its doors in 2006.


Yepremyan Law Firm specializes in personal injury, business law, and immigration law. The firm has existed for over 20 years and has built itself based on a strong core team. The firm is very close knit and everyone treats each other like family. When there is a new hire, the entire team introduces themselves and has a conversation with the new person to make them feel at home. The team also likes to participate in activities in and out of work. Ideas are constantly shared among departments to create better productivity and efficiency. The environment is very professional, but allows for people to be themselves.

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