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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Best Places to Work 2020: The Best Small Companies to Work for in Los Angeles


Konnect Agency is once again atop the Best Places to Work list first and foremost due to the deeply talented people who make up the Konnect team. As a company, Konnect has been able to attract talented people who exude positivity and help to create a collaborative and inviting atmosphere for all to thrive in and enjoy. It is the agency’s goal to provide all the tools and support needed for its team to thrive and grow. Konnect supports its team personally and professionally, and invests in each member’s development. Konnect implements growth plans that help employees know what steps they need to take to go to the next level in their careers, to discovering opportunities that will allow teams to learn and foster a genuinely happy workplace. Being people-oriented in how Konnect runs the business, which has prompted the company to pursue strengths assessments for every new team member so that it can align them to accounts that are the right fit and colleagues who will complement the best of their abilities. This approach to business has also led Konnect to create entirely new positions for employees the company values who may not have fit precisely into existing roles.

While Konnect Agency is a public relations and marketing firm, the company is really in the business of people. In addition to proudly serving the best consumer brands in the market today, Konnect makes it a priority to serve those who are responsible for its tremendous growth and success: its team. Over the past decade, Konnect has risen to every challenge with creativity, flexibility, and true passion.


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.” The company’s 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. Kardent strives to feel like a home for every one of our team members, where they feel valued, respected, and supported. Kardent invests in the growth and progress of every single team member.

Kardent’s culture is founded upon servant leadership. Kardent is a team of like-minded professionals who are driven to work together to serve our clients. Kardent fosters an environment of collaboration, trust and happiness. No matter what the project requires, Kardent professionals count on each other to come together to get the job done. Due to COVID-19, there has been a need for increased clarity and communication as Kardent’s workforce has transitioned to remote working. With collaboration an essential function of the workflow, project managers have adapted management styles to incorporate the decentralized nature of the current work climate. As Kardent plans for the return for work, the company has reoriented the configuration of its work environment to ensure proper distancing between staff. In addition, cleaning and safety procedures have been developed and communicated so that all team members feel safe.


Miracle Mile Advisors is an innovative wealth management platform that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and sophisticated investment advice to high net worth families. The firm was founded by ex-wall street advisors on 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. In sum, the company’s vision is to take a holistic financial advisory approach that values innovation and collaboration to attract and empower its team and its clients. Many of the employees and partners came from the larger, more traditional financial services firms for something entirely different. Miracle Mile values collaboration over competition, teamwork over individual gain, and spirit over pretentiousness. The team is like a quirky, close-knit family that regularly engages in internal events, competitions, happy hours, game nights, etc. Additionally, management fosters a culture of honesty and directness, so that issues and concerns can be addressed directly.

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 market environment. The founders created a platform with a unique, progressive, team-oriented culture. Employees also benefit from internal events, weekly happy hours, a fully stocked kitchen, the company’s non-profit participation sponsorships, and more.


iFactor Consulting is a boutique MEP engineering firm headquartered in El Segundo where the company’s goal is to have fun while being the best at what they do. A diverse team brings a fresh and unique perspective to each project, ensuring that clients receive the most intelligent design solutions. iFactor understands that the foundation of its success is a happy and healthy team. Work life balance is essential to physical and mental health and to aid in that philosophy, iFactor offers flexible work schedules, telecommuting, dry cleaning service, on-site gym facilities, office biometric screenings, flu shots, and healthy snack and beverage options to all employees.


Startr Co. is a small business made up of big thinkers. A modern public relations partner and champion for startups and emerging businesses, Startr Co. has an unwavering commitment to its team and fosters an intrapreneurial environment. Employees’ professional and personal growth is of the utmost importance and the agency offers perks including internal and external training, strength assessments, access to a company paid therapist, in-house massages, fitness class reimbursement, anonymous feedback tools, and more. In 2019, Startr Co. invested in the build out of a new office downtown, complete with a 365-degree view of the city, an open floor plan, state of the art conference room and video capabilities.


Grobstein Teeple LLP is a public accounting and consulting firm focusing on middle-market business, entrepreneurs, high net-worth individuals, and complex consulting matters. Grobstein Teeple’s mission, values, culture, and ultimately its success all involve one common thread: its people. The firm values entrepreneurial approaches to coaching and management; a dynamic and engaging work environment that encourages collaboration; education and development of our next generation; and volunteerism. These core values have had a profound effect on staff retention, engagement, and happiness. This culture is promoted at all levels, and the firm seeks to enjoy its success as a group.


T2 Tech Group is an industry leader in delivering management, consulting and advisory services that align business strategy with technology solutions to deliver results across a diverse client base. T2 Tech seeks to find the best talent and supports them with the resources, tools and flexibility to perform at the highest level. This includes accommodating a variety of work arrangements, such as telecommuting. T2 Tech has cultivated a familial culture, with a team that is made up of unique, colorful personalities and individuals from different cultures and life experiences.


As a small company HIRECLOUT knows it can’t always provide every shiny toy and perk that some other companies can, but employee experience has always been extremely important to the company, so they have established a highly employee-friendly culture. Everyone is set up for success. The company offers ongoing feedback, training and development and promotion opportunities. Everyone from day one sees the roadmap to success and the career path (both management route and individual contributor route). The company also has weekly, monthly and quarterly awards and incentives and quarterly reviews and raises.


At AdQuick.com, the company’s mission is to make Out-of-Home (OOH) Advertising easy for everyone: from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies (or their agency partners) to the media owners that own the billboards on the platform. There are a number of factors that make AdQuick.com a great place to work too, including the fact that the company goes out of its way to not hire mean people and empowers every teammate, irrespective of tenure or seniority, to be a leader and have ownership over a vital function of the business almost immediately upon starting.


Northwestern Mutual – West Los Angeles is firmly committed to helping create exceptional financial security, personal growth, and business success for its clients and the surrounding communities. The team provide its clients with financial guidance and world-class products and services that help families and businesses alike obtain financial security and success. The organization takes this responsibility very seriously; therefore, it encourages its representatives to achieve the highest possible potential. To this end, the office fosters an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement, and cultivates all representatives through mentoring and training. In short, the company supports ambition, confidence, consistency, andpositive results.


Blaze PR is not only a creative agency, but also truly a place where employees work as a collaborative “team.” The conscious, consistent, and nimble leadership at Blaze PR has been successful yet again in fostering an engaged and dedicated team environment; one that attracts a respected roster of clients and endures economic highs, lows as well as pandemics. Each employee has a passion for the industry and thrives in a team environment where they can all contribute to various campaign objectives and goals. Through research-based practices, Blaze provides not only monetary benefits, but also new opportunities to grow.


Structural Focus is a structural engineering consulting firm specializing in the design of complex and innovative buildings. The greatest strength of Structural Focus is its outstanding staff. Committed to providing superior client service and successfully accomplishing project goals, the team never misses a deadline. It is the staff values, respectful collaboration, and passion for their work that leads to their belief that they have the best team in the industry. Championing individual growth, professional and personal, and the celebration of such achievements are an instrumental part of Structural Focus’ work culture.


Noun Project is building the most extensive and diverse collection of iconography ever. Since launching in 2011, the team behind Noun Project has built two amazing products, Noun Project and Lingo, which currently serve over six million users around the world. Since day one the company has been committed to creating a healthy, happy place for employees to thrive and its average employee tenure is four years or more. Noun Project is dedicated to supporting its 22 employees both at work and at home by providing Fortune 500 level benefits, remote work options, paid family and maternity leave, and other perks.


Be Structured Technology Group provides a fun, casual, high quality environment with competitive pay and benefits. Many may not view IT as a glamorous job, Be Structured, however, make the experience enjoyable. Because most non-IT firms can’t stand IT, and since Be Structured makes IT enjoyable, the company has exceptionally low customer churn and happy customers which are more enjoyable to work with for employees. Couple that with good pay, benefits, fun outings, and an easygoing leadership team and you get a place people want to come to work.


Halbert Hargrove is a dynamic and constantly evolving company that offers its employees unique benefits, challenging opportunities, and their chance at business ownership. Halbert Hargrove is supportive of its staff’s desire for more education and personal achievement and will pay for most education endeavors and give them the time off needed to be successful. Associates also appreciate and understand the importance of work life balance, so the company offers many benefits to support this, including unlimited responsible vacation, a relocation benefit to allow parents to attend children’s events, and flexibility when needed.


PlayQ is a small company accomplishing great things! It has recruited a talented team from around the world to help build and scale its unique product portfolio and company culture. PlayQ fosters a great workplace experience by offering our team exciting challenges and equipping them with the tools they need to do their best work. The company also creates memorable team events, championing employee recognition and encouraging team feedback. And while it knows that perks are just one of the many layers of a remarkable workplace, it still goes out of its way to offer benefits that match those of much larger companies.


Vaco is an employment, consulting agency whose goal is to match the strongest accounting, financial and information technology professionals with the unique projects and permanent employment needs of its clients. Vaco provides its employees with a family friendly environment and shares in family events, birthdays, dinners, social activities and retreats. It is a very tight team – perhaps made even tighter by the fact that Vaco provides a place employees can feel empowered to accomplish a successful career path, tailored with the freedom of flexibility with work life balance which allows employees to be or become “the best you, you can be.”


From Fantastic IT Solutions’ humble beginnings 22 years ago, client satisfaction and keeping its team happy has been at the top of the company’s list of core values. Fantastic IT Solutions is a culture-first company and empowers its employees to positively influence the workplace. From fantasy football leagues and Friday happy hour to the office game room with pool table, foosball table and monthly service awards, Fantastic aims to make work life fantastic. Indeed, the name is a promise to both staff and clients. Every success is celebrated, while the company focuses on creating an atmosphere of collaboration, not competitiveness, within its teams.


Vertebrae’s technology enables consumers to try-on products as well as see them in their environments, directly from their favorite online stores. Vertebrae’s end-to-end solutions empower brands and retailers to create, manage, distribute, and optimize 3D & AR (augmented reality) commerce experiences. The company is driven by a passion to bridge the gap between physical and digital storefronts making products more accessible to everyone. Vertebrae also operates under an environment of empowerment for its employees driving personal and professional growth. Its values speak to focused goals of keeping employees and customers as the highest priority and striving to be innovative leaders in its industry.

20. AD.NET, INC.

With its product summit, unlimited PTO, office happy hours, and fireside chats, Ad.net empowers employees to be self-starters at any level, from entry-level positions to high-ranking executives. The bootstrapped mentality from which the company was founded remains at the core of the workplace culture 20 years later and encourages team members to make a difference and significantly impact new innovations and direction of the organization. From the spacious open space floor plan and lounge area to the communal break room, the workplace is designed to invite collaboration, team building, and creative out-of-the-box thinking that drives a sense of individuality as well as personal and professional growth for staff members.


PayQwick offers its team unlimited opportunity to grow in an emerging industry within an innovative, startup environment. As cannabis banking rapidly evolves and the company’s national network expands, leadership encourages growth from within, development opportunities, and for each team member to push personal boundaries and take ownership of their unique positions. PayQwick’s culture leads to personal and professional relationships in and out of the office (a group of five colleagues even formed a band) and company leaders embrace change and new ideas. Plus, perks such as unlimited vacation policy and flexible hours are great too!


SafeRide Health is a new type of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) broker that leads with technology to improve the health of our nation’s most vulnerable populations by more effectively managing their transportation needs through its platform. The success of SafeRide’s business is directly from the dedication of its people to help those who need it most. Together, the SafeRide team is building a business with real purpose and a place where every person in the organization loves coming together in a safe and healthy work environment dedicated to improving the lives of our poor and elderly populations across America.


The Skylar team may be small (13 people and growing), but it is mighty. In the three years of the company’s existence, it has experienced significant growth (2,500% growth from 2017 to 2019), leading to strategy changes to product optimizations, expansion into retail, and even office moves. Throughout it all, the tight-knit team has adapted and thrived. Even since COVID-19, Skylar has continued to work together as a team and deliver amazing business results, including launch a hand sanitizer within 30 days, achieving new revenue milestones, and launching a new fragrance (Salt Air).


Founded in 2017, Amplus is a fast-growing, recognized leader in the healthcare accounts receivable management space. Employees are offered generous wages and competitive benefits that include health, dental, vision, 401(k) with a matching program and a flexible spending account. The founders meet weekly to discuss business operations and team member happiness is a regular agenda item. Last year, the company also provided a year-end bonus for 100% of its team (even new hires). These were all awarded at a Holiday luncheon. Many team members were quite moved and indicated that they had never received a bonus before in their careers.


Epic Freight Solutions is a domestic and international freight forwarder, focusing on time-important, managed service transportation. The company has always believed that people are the most important asset, so it does everything possible to create an incredible work environment. Monday’s are big at Epic, where they start each week off with a theme ranging anywhere from socks and sandals to full-on Halloween attire. Each month the team votes anonymously to select a monthly MVP who receives $100 and lunch with the leadership team, and there are regular raffles for tickets to sports events, along with gifts from clients and vendors.


Freight Right Global Logistics is a freight-forwarding, transportation, and customs brokerage firm, serving technology-centric eCommerce marketplaces, sellers of international freight, and entrepreneurs of varying industries. Despite being one of the fastest-growing businesses in the L.A. area, Freight Right provides a highly welcoming and encouraging work environment for its team members. From the easy design and amenities in its office, to the daily operations and workflow of each day, working at the office has become a highly positive experience. Plus, diversity and difference are encouraged and highly celebrated within the premise of our company, with team members coming from 16 different countries and speaking over 20 languages.


Since it started, Montage Insurance Solutions has made it a mission to serve others with heart — promoting wellness for clients and employees via health fairs, wellness and safety events, yoga, massages, health screenings, HR Summits, and education. Employees are trusted advisors earning beautiful trophies with heartfelt messages. Celebrating holidays with employee’s families is another perk and ranges from costume parties, contests, healthy snacks, birthdays and anniversaries with champagne and beer, bowling, activities and gifts. Monthly shoutouts with gift cards, “lunch & learns” with great speakers on team building and leadership and other special teambuilding events are all par for the course at Montage.


Despite being part of a 160-year-old financial planning company, Northwestern Mutual Los Angeles is anything but behind the curve. The company enjoys a leading-edge free addressing workspace that has positively impacted employee satisfaction and productivity. The organization also focuses on personal and career growth of employees, co-creating actionable plans for advancement within. Northwestern Mutual also recognizes that happy employees are successful employees. Special events that encourage relationship-building, collaboration, and wellness are frequently scheduled. Regular public recognition, competitive benefits, career coaching, and strong office culture are just some of the elements that elevate the business.


American Lending Center is a private non-bank lender headquartered in Long Beach and is a nationally recognized leader in commercial lending, providing capital to small businesses nationwide. However, ALC is much more than just a company. ALC is a place where all employees are treated like family because that is who ALC is as a corporation. It is a path for dedication and meaningful connections to coincide. Most importantly, ALC is a lifestyle where the team works hard and plays hard to make the future brighter for themselves and those around them.

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