2024 Smart Culture Awards

Cultivating Success: A Redwood Approach

Alliance Solutions Group CEO Aaron Grossman

Congratulations to this year’s Smart Culture honorees! Over the eight years since the inception of the Smart Culture program, we’ve witnessed remarkable growth in culture-focused organizations in Northeast Ohio. We applaud them for not only embracing a positive workplace culture but also leveraging it as a strategic asset.

Companies with exceptional work cultures stand tall and mighty, much like the majestic redwood tree. They become a towering force of innovation and longevity, nurturing an environment where ideas take root and everyone is an essential ring within the redwood’s core.

Like a redwood, this year’s honorees understand that an outstanding work culture is not immune to adversity. Nor is it grown overnight. But with the ongoing nourishment and intentional cultivation, they can withstand adversity time and time again while other organizations cannot.

For the year ahead, I challenge you to grow your business with the strength of a redwood in mind. Let appreciation, open communication and a commitment to employee well-being act as the sunlight that fuels your growth. Invest in your people, recognize their individual contributions and create an environment where they can grow toward the limitless sky.

As part of the TalentLaunch network of independently operated staffing and recruitment firms, culture is the foundation of our success and is rooted in the very concept of the redwood tree. The right ecosystem is necessary for our redwood culture to thrive and fulfill our purpose of inspiring the world to realize its potential. Our Ohio-based ecosystem includes Alliance Solutions Group, Alliance Industrial Solutions, Artemis (IT) and Capstone Search Advisors.

Cheers to another year of excellence through the transformative power of smart work cultures!




2024 Smart Culture Honorees





Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga, Founder and president

The mission of Apex Dermatology is to transform lives through healthy skin, something it has prioritized since it was founded in 2011.

Through every employee, its focus is to ensure each patient receives exceptional care, regardless of race, gender, or economic background. From the front desk to the patient exam room, the team works together to offer the best care to every person, striving to do work with the Apex Core Values: Commitment, collaboration, compassion, integrity, excellence and appreciation.

Founder and President Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga is the leading force behind Apex Dermatology, founded to solve accessibility issues in the dermatology field. It was not uncommon for patients to wait months to see a dermatologist, and months between diagnosis and treatment. From the start, Apex has made it its priority to offer quick access to expert dermatology care, including same-day appointments. 

Over the past five years, it has brought dermatology and skin cancer services to

underserved areas in Northeast Ohio by adding satellite clinics where there is need. Through its work, it has raised awareness of skin cancer by providing free skin checks in honor of Melanoma Monday. It supports organizations including school fundraisers, community events and programs, dedicating its resources to being a part of every community it is in. ●




David Fulton, CFA, Chairman and CEO

Clearstead has created a culture that values collaboration and objectivity when providing financial advisory services to its private and institutional clients, which helps it achieve its mission of building strong futures for clients and its vision of becoming a nationally recognized successful firm.

Led by Chairman and CEO David Fulton, CFA, Clearstead utilizes a team-based approach and encourages the sharing of ideas and solutions across the firm. This collaboration allows employees to have a valued opinion on its processes and success. The firm is committed to objectivity and is held to high fiduciary standards to keep its clients’ best interests in mind.

Other elements that drive employee and, subsequently, firm success are encouraging professional development and obtaining financial designations. The firm offers incentives and flexibility for employees to secure designations relevant to the industry and build expertise that provides value to clients.

Clearstead’s leadership believes that civic involvement, paired with other firm initiatives, results in a positive impact on the communities it serves. By encouraging collaboration, striving for objectivity, fostering employee growth and making an impact in the community, Clearstead has a strong, positive culture that drives success and makes the firm a desirable place of employment. ●




Kelly Hancock, Chief caregiver officer and holder of the Rich Family Chief Caregiver Chair

Cleveland Clinic is a global leader and model of health care for the future, working as a team with the patient at the center of care. As a truly integrated health care system, it takes on the most complex cases and provides collaborative, multidisciplinary care supported with cutting-edge research and technology.

Clinic teams are guided by its mission, vision, care priorities, values, guiding principle and purpose pillars, with Kelly Hancock, chief caregiver officer and holder of the Rich Family Chief Caregiver Chair, at the lead. They are grounded in their mission of caring for life, researching for health and educating those who serve.

In addition, four care priorities sit as the foundation of its mission and vision — care for patients, care for caregivers, care for the organization and care for the communities it serves. Six values are cascaded to its health system and every caregiver — quality and safety, teamwork, empathy, inclusion, integrity and innovation.

A clear set of values and priorities gives guidance to its work and provides security.

It debuted four caregiver purpose pillars in 2022 and believes that if every pillar is attained, it will become the best place to work in health care. ●




Tom Harrison, President & CEO

Sharing the culture of Corrigan Krause on its social media platforms works as a constant cycle of authentic support for staff, giving them public recognition for the hard work they perform every day. This support, in turn, cultivates the culture that the company, led by President and CEO Tom Harrison, is so proud of.

Its followers, who include current, former and future employees, clients and prospects, see the posts, strengthening their understanding of Corrigan Krause’s excellent workforce. It’s the people at Corrigan Krause who make the culture. The focus is on ensuring the health and happiness of employees. Its culture has a direct impact on retention and staff tenure remains high — over 25 percent of employees have been with the firm 10 years or longer.

Corrigan Krause’s core has always been its people, and the pandemic proved how right it was to prioritize its team. Its team stayed focused and upbeat because of the policies and practices the company already had in place.

Its culture not only survived the pandemic, it thrived. Staff made Corrigan Krause a firm clients could count on for guidance through every new piece of legislation and tax change, and the firm has continued to build on its cycle of communication and the development of its team.


Ron Leonhardt Jr., President and CEO

CrossCountry Mortgage is one of the nation’s largest retail mortgage lenders, with more than 7,000 employees operating more than 600 branches. Every day, it focuses on growth for its people, customers and business.

Employees receive unwavering support from all departments and total transparency from the top down. CCM has been recognized for creating an exceptional culture driving employee engagement, exceeding employee expectations and directly impacting company success. People refer those they connect with, building lasting relationships with every customer.

CCM’s culture is driven by five core values — passion, determination, integrity, community and teamwork — that influence the daily work of employees, led by President and CEO Ron Leonhardt Jr. All employees are expected to live and demonstrate these five values daily:

1. Passion. Share your passion. It is infectious. Enthusiasm and hard work go a long way toward building rapport with customers. 2. Determination. Believe in yourself and your abilities. You have what it takes to make someone’s dream home a reality. 3. Integrity. Always do the right thing. 4. Community. Embrace your community, and it will embrace you. People who make an impact where they live are the ones who truly make a difference. 5. Teamwork. Be a good teammate. People win more when they work together. ●


Flo Brett, Founder and executive director

The Effective Leadership Academy equips young people to develop their most valuable asset — themselves. It believes that authentic leaders are made and provides intensive leadership development training that prepares the region’s youth for life-long success.

Authentic leaders have cultivated a deep ethical code that guides their actions, consistently practice those values and lead themselves and others from passionate cores that guide everything they do. Recognizing that this deep self-knowledge must come before young people can truly step up as leaders, the Effective Leadership Academy helps students discover who they are, where they want to go and the steps to get there.

ELA’s core values reflect its fundamental belief that the best way to support people on their journey to becoming strong leaders is to exemplify the qualities that it pushes them to cultivate. ELA aims for excellent, high-quality, research-based approaches to create leaders for today and tomorrow.

Led by Founder and Executive Director Flo Brett, it seeks to understand the individual students it serves and work within its standardized curriculum framework to co-create the right supports for each student’s or group’s development as needed to ensure that all students have the tools they need to be successful, including diversity and tolerance, respect, collaboration, responsibility, financial sustainability and self-improvement. ●





John Hannon, President and CEO

Culture is foundational to Evarts Tremaine, guiding every decision the business makes. It believes a strong, positive culture is critical to fostering a workplace environment where innovation thrives, and each member of the team feels valued and connected. It believes this focus on culture extends beyond its internal workplace and is felt through the experience of clients, partners and the broader community it serves.

Evarts Tremaine, led by President and CEO John Hannon, is committed to building a culture that encourages lifelong learning, and it invests in team members’ education, certifications and ongoing skill development to encourage people to expand their knowledge, advance their skills and align their personal growth to professional milestones.

Each year, the company engages in a simple yet powerful exercise, sending a one-question survey to personal lines clients. This survey is designed to gauge their satisfaction and calculate its Net Promoter Score for its personal lines division, a key indicator of customer loyalty and satisfaction. Evart Tremaine’s current NPS is77, more than double the average in the insurance industry.

Culture plays a critical role in attracting and retaining top talent, and the organization’s culture resonates with top-tier professionals who are seeking a company that values continuous development, exceptional service and a healthy life-work balance.










Elizabeth Robinson, Senior Vice President, HR

GCI Residential LLC and Goldberg Cos. Inc. (GCI) has cultivated a culture by creating and living the organization’s mission, vision and values, making it a place people want to work. The mission of “Create exceptional places to live and work” is how its people live every day, and that mission is incorporated into every decision, surrounding even the most minimal of tasks.

To support the mission, five values push each team member to be the best they can be —  “We are names, not numbers. We learn from each other. We care personally. We are dedicated. We see the big picture.” To further emphasize that, the organization holds GCI Values Awards, with peers nominating team members who exemplify the values and support personal and professional development.

With the support of Senior Vice President, HR, Elizabeth Robinson, the company encourages local association development, national accreditations and education. Team members have access to cost-free programs for legal, mental and financial support, as well as a ThrivePass account, where they accrue company-provided funds on products and services that contribute to mental wellness.

Lastly, it has incorporated philanthropic opportunities that impact the community, as GCI Connects days allow team members take a half day to make charitable contributions.






Bill Finn, President and CEO

Hospice of the Western Reserve has cultivated a resilient company culture that has evolved through the challenges of the pandemic, as it has embraced adaptability, empathy and innovation as core values. Post pandemic, it implemented enhanced safety protocols, expanded virtual services and invested in technology to better support remote work.

Its culture is characterized by providing exceptional care for patients and staff, and employees are valued and encouraged to take care of themselves personally and grow professionally. It instills mutual respect among peers and a sense of purpose for staff. About 1,000 Western Reserve Care Solutions employees and hundreds of volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with patients and families.

Hospice of the Western Reserve is a nonprofit dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive end-of-life care and support. Its mission revolves around delivering exceptional services that focus on enhancing the quality of life for individuals. It values dignity, compassion, integrity and excellence, honoring each person’s journey by respecting their choices and providing comfort, while offering unwavering support to patients and their loved ones.

Alongside medical support, it offers emotional, spiritual and practical assistance to both patients and their loved ones. This holistic support includes counseling, bereavement support, volunteer assistance and education for caregivers.






Chad Barnhill, COO

As an entertainment and hospitality-focused business, JACK Entertainment’s success begins with fostering a culture that attracts dedicated team members and makes the establishment a destination of choice.

This starts with an unwavering commitment to mission, vision and values, encapsulated by the simple yet profound goal of making JACK a great place to work and play. Its values — Join the fun, Amaze Always, Challenge the Norm and Know You Make A Difference — empower team members, emphasizing their role in shaping the business.

Under the guidance of COO Chad Barnhill, the company has a deep commitment to giving back to the communities where it works and team members live. It prides itself on being a local company and believes its success is intrinsically tied to the well-being of the communities it serves.

JACK Entertainment actively supports local charities, community initiatives and philanthropic endeavors, fostering a culture of social responsibility. This commitment enriches the lives of those in need and instills a sense of pride and purpose in team members.

The culture serves as the heartbeat that resonates throughout the operation. The culture is the driving force behind the company’s success, which attracts and retains top-tier talent, creating an environment where team members actively contribute to and embody the essence of the brand.




Gail Joyce, Chief people officer

Preserving culture is the No. 1 priority at Keyfactor, and it is best summed up in two words: We care. We care about the lives and livelihoods of the people that rely on our solutions. We care about the relationships that surround our company. We care about the individuals that make up our team.

The company’s culture is an environment of mutual respect, kindness and aspiration — where people thrive amid challenges and celebrate achievement. Everything it does is done with world-class security, trust and teamwork in mind, says Chief People Officer Gail Joyce. It fosters good citizenship in both industry and the local community, trusting that better people work together to make a better company. Additionally, its commitment to diversity is a proactive step toward a more inclusive and diverse culture.

Keyfactor employees can become culture ambassadors, take part in diversity alliance groups, join hosted webinars with guest speakers addressing diversity topics, like unconscious bias, and participate in events and activities highlighting diversity throughout the year.

Keyfactor’s culture attracts top talent, boosts employee morale, fosters engagement and ensures success. It believes employee engagement is crucial to fostering positive relationships between the organization and employees. Engaged employees are fully dedicated and enthusiastic about their work, actively contributing to the organization’s reputation and goals.









Rick Zimmerman, President and CEO

At KHM Travel Group, creating a welcoming and enjoyable culture is one of the top corporate goals. Its culture helps it succeed because it attracts and retains talented team members who are passionate about helping independent travel agents operate and grow their businesses.

Its vision, mission and core values are at the heart of the host travel agency. It is a main feature on the website, a central topic of monthly company meetings and a prominent focus of daily interactions. President and CEO Rick Zimmerman sits with each new hire and reviews core values to ensure everyone knows the message and how they can put it into action.

KHM’s impact on the community is most visible throughout the KHM Cares program. Giving back to the local community, agent community and travel industry is at the heart of its people-first mindset and allows team members and community to come together to live the core values by sharing resources to help improve lives.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are an essential part of the company. KHM Travel Group is committed to recruiting diverse talent and building a culture that respects and embraces DEI. It encourages these values to be embraced by team members, travel agents and suppliers.




Ethan Karp, President and CEO

MAGNET has six core values that fuel the way it works, forming the backbone of its culture, performance and interactions with partners and neighbors. They are embodied in its work each day and create an environment of collaboration, idea generation and respectful partnerships.

In addition, the organization recently added the value of psychological safety. By fostering empathy, kindness and genuine care, it raises up the dignity of each person so they feel respected and valued, and can reach their full potential.

At MAGNET, the values create the space to grow, adapt and improve as individuals and as an organization. It has integrated these values into its review process, hiring, onboarding, all-staff meetings, professional development and everyday conversations. These values are the common language. 

Led by President and CEO Ethan Karp, all wins begin with a deep appreciation for collaboration and teamwork, because only with diverse and engaged teams can it support manufacturers and job growth to their full potential. It works collaboratively, bringing vast experience and multiple perspectives to the table, to ensure clients are successful.

Inspired by its industry, region and clients, team members strive to make MAGNET an organization grounded in personal and professional fulfillment, ongoing development, fun, passion and purpose. ●







Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer

Creating a workplace culture where people genuinely want to work requires a deliberate and multifaceted approach.

As Chief Life Transformer at MaxStrength Fitness, Jeff Tomaszewski has assisted in orchestrating such a culture, where the company’s mission, vision, values and the client experience are valued highly among the team and prospective team members. An organization’s mission, vision and values are the cornerstone of any successful workplace. At MaxStrength Fitness, the mission, vision and core values are at the center of everything it does, crafted to not only provide a promise to its clients but to inspire its team and convey a sense of impact and community.

Its mission is to provide clients with the most time-efficient and productive high-intensity strength training experience possible. Its vision goes hand-in-hand with the mission, offering a roadmap for the company’s future. This forward-looking perspective inspires team members to work toward common goals and fosters a sense of belonging. MaxStrength Fitness guarantees expertise and personal connection, and that it will always exceed expectations.

The company’s values act as a moral compass, shaping its identity and guiding the behavior of the team. Establishing values that prioritize integrity, innovation and collaboration lays the foundation for a culture built on trust and mutual respect.






Shawn Los, President and COO

At National Interstate (and its wholly owned subsidiary, Vanliner), the growth and development of its people is a top priority. For 10 years, internal candidates have been a top-three source of hire. This quantitative data affirms its investment in its workforce and reinforces the value of the personal and professional growth opportunities afforded to everyone.

It has deployed LinkedIn Learning, and the organization, led by President and COO Shawn Los, has seen immediate returns and engagement. It also enhanced the process in which the team obtains industry-specific designation through The Institutes. Materials are available through its learning management system free of charge, and there are no upfront employee costs.

The company sets the foundation for continuous learning during onboarding. New employees take a comprehensive DiSC training and receive a report that helps them understand their communication style and that of others. This foundational learning opportunity helps set employees up for successful interactions and integration into their teams by providing tools to instill self-awareness and guidance for how they relate to others in the workplace.

In addition, to enhance physical security, National Interstate rolled out a Workplace Survival course, as allowing employees to feel safe and secure in the workplace is an important foundation for their overall development.




Jeremy Sopko, CEO

Nations Lending takes talent acquisition seriously. It wants to hire employees who will best fit with the company’s culture, mission, vision and core values, all focused on where CEO Jeremy Sopko wants to take the company in the future.

The attraction of talent begins on social media with proof of promise. Word-of-mouth through employee networking also plays a significant role. Employees live the culture and work-life balance each day at Nations Lending, making them the best ambassadors for attracting top talent. When it comes to onboarding, Nations Lending took its philosophy to a new level during and post-pandemic. Its process went from two days to a full, five-day week. Nations employees meet with all departments and teams, learning about the various services, benefits, procedures and training they need to become successful.

Retention of talent and outstanding employees take care of themselves. Employees who perform and provide exceptional value are compensated, often above market value, to ensure they stay and continue to grow and contribute to the company’s success.

The strategy is simple: Promote the company with the truth and transparency, show employees you are who you say you are, and help them grow personally and professionally so they want to retire with Nations Lending. ●






Adam Wallenstein, Michael Wallenstein, Co-presidents

Creating a workplace that attracts and retains top talent is an essential part of Neptune Plumbing & Heating’s organizational DNA. Strategically woven into the fabric of its mission, vision and values, Neptune cultivates its workplace culture as a third-generation family business.

Its organizational mission, vision and values serve as the foundation upon which the culture is built. Co-presidents Adam Wallenstein and Michael Wallenstein believe that a strong sense of purpose is essential for fostering employee engagement and satisfaction. The company’s mission statement, “Relationships Lasting the Life of Your Building” is a guiding principle that influences every decision and action taken. It resonates with employees, creating a shared sense of purpose and pride in the work they do.

Neptune’s commitment to an exceptional customer experience creates a workplace where employees feel motivated, supported and aligned with the company’s mission. They, in turn, provide customers with a positive and memorable experience.

Neptune’s approach to creating a culture where people want to work is rooted in a strong organizational mission, vision and values, coupled with effective communication strategies and a dedication to delivering exceptional customer experiences. Its strategies have cultivated a workplace that attracts top talent and retains and nurtures dedicated individuals committed to the success and growth of Neptune. ●




Todd Federman, Managing director

North Coast Ventures is a unique and intentionally architected investment fund. With over 400 individual investors, NCV is the largest single-chapter investor group in the country.

What differentiates NCV from other funds is the culture that motivates and engages individual investors to help identify, evaluate and support high-growth technology ventures. This is a powerful and highly efficient model that leverages member investors’ time, expertise and relationships that could not otherwise be coordinated and focused to benefit the region’s technology ventures.   

Members want to be part of NCV, led by Managing Director Todd Federman, because they see its potential to help create great companies and they want to be part of this active effort, versus simply being a passive investor. Over the past 10 years, NCV’s management team has honed an approach to managing these relationships that generates a unique and powerful level of engagement that helps drive startup success in the region.

Creating awareness and interest in the investor community has been crucial to NCV’s growth over the past 17 years. This requires a culture that embraces the kind of risk-taking necessary to build high-growth startups. A healthy tolerance for failure is a valuable part of the culture and learning environment. ●




Richard Marabito, CEO

A strong culture is one where employees can be their authentic selves, are engaged, feel valued, know what’s expected of them and can have a true impact.

Great leaders create great cultures through their actions, by role modeling the elements of a great culture, empowering employees and creating a safe space to learn, grow and build a career. Olympic Steel offers that.

Its culture is built upon key foundational elements — safety, financial stability, accountability, corporate citizenship, integrity, respect, employee development, teamwork, customer satisfaction and quality. Leaders set the tone and role model these values, which employees use to guide their actions and decision-making.

It offers a clear mission — safe, sustainable and profitable growth — and clear opportunities for every employee to be safe, be profitable and be engaged. And safety is the top priority.

Olympic Steel has embraced new concepts, such as the Human and Organizational Performance methodology to encourage open communication around safety that avoids blame and creates opportunities to learn and work together to build better systems. CEO Richard Marabito meets with employees to discuss ideas and understand how to create the safest possible working environment.

Another important contributor to Olympic’s culture is its DEI Council, focused on building culture, offering education and creating welcoming and inclusive environments.




Culture drives daily operations at Riddell. The company tries to build an environment where all employees can learn, grow and develop, both personally and professionally.   

The organization strives for a work hard, play hard mentality to provide customers with the best products. Being able to see its work on the field is just an added bonus.

Riddell’s ability to succeed is really about its people. From new hires to veterans, it wants people to be the best version of themselves, while the company provides them a safe, enriching and stable environment.

Each year, Riddell strives to make everything better. Whether through innovation, technology, lean practices, celebrations, or navigating challenges, the ability to persevere makes it stronger with every success.

Both the company and its culture have grown stronger since the pandemic. Because there was no manual to survive COVID-19, the organization needed to have all hands on deck, strong leadership and patient employees. It faced hiring challenges and attrition, and creating the new norm resulted in more structure and a successful company. Its hard work and resilience have bonded the company and its employees, allowing them to tackle any challenges that come its way as a result.





John Wargo, Senior vice president

Rocket Mortgage has created a culture of inclusivity and togetherness. In the hardest year in the history of mortgages, it has built an incredible team in Cleveland that focuses on client experience, community service and teamwork. Under the leadership of Senior Vice President John Wargo, the Web Center has flourished, receiving its highest Outlet scores in the history of the center.

Rocket Mortgage has had more than 45 promotions this year and led the company in Cleveland in community service hours per team member and Outlet scores all four quarters. Wargo has consistent open feedback sessions, and the leadership team has made huge impacts on the lives and business of their team members.

Dan Gilbert, founder, chairman and majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, came up with several sayings more than 30 years ago, and the organization still follows them today, such as, “Every client, every time, no exceptions. No excuses,” “Simplicity is genius,” and “Numbers and money follow, they do not lead.”

Following these, Wargo believes that making your team members the top priority will help them make your clients theirs. Treat people with empathy, with care and always give recognition. Most important, don’t be afraid to add a “dash of the ridiculous” in your day, and have some fun. ●




Craig Hassinger, President and CEO

The impact of culture at SeibertKeck Insurance Partners is first seen in its industry-leading employee retention stats of 93 percent across 200 employees. Given the tumultuous nature of the insurance industry, from insurance carriers to independent agencies, this achievement keeps its teams together longer, making them stronger and more efficient across both relationship and process.

Its culture is found both inside and outside its offices. Its employees sit on more than 100 boards of directors and give thousands of hours annually to the communities where the company works and lives. This isn’t a requirement of employment but one that its culture has created and fostered for years.

Post-pandemic, a lot has changed, but a lot is also much the same. SeibertKeck’s hybrid work environment can make culture difficult to maintain, given employees are work-from-home three days a week, but that flexibility has instead strengthened its culture. Led by President and CEO Craig Hassinger, SeibertKeck’s leadership has always believed that if you treat people like adults, they’ll act like adults, and its flexible scheduling is evidence of that.

Post-pandemic hasn’t changed the core of the business or how the company treats people. If anything, it has provided challenges for employees and leadership to come together, work on solutions and become better for it. ●






Mark Corr, CEO

At Signet LLC and its portfolio companies, the business has created a culture where people want to work, including using social media to promote it and its culture, its talent acquisition processes and its impact on the community.

Culture is truly something that is felt at Signet and it could be described as entrepreneurial. However, it’s also family-oriented and encourages creativity, transparency, interaction, collaboration and autonomy. The culture of Signet and its portfolio companies is contagious. It allows portfolio companies to grow on their own individually, while having the support of their parent company to assist where needed.

Social media is a large part of culture at Signet. Employees are involved in the social media process by both providing content and by being able to see everything that is going on throughout their business and the other businesses within the portfolio.

Signet has placed a major focus on acquiring the right talent by attracting the right people and ensuring that they are onboarded appropriately. Retention of employees is a key to its success, and 30-, 60- and 90-day check-ins ensure all employees are spending time with their direct supervisor to discuss their performance and personal and professional development goals, and how they fit in with the company’s culture.




Chris Peer, Owner and CEO

SyncShow is an ROI-driven marketing agency that serves as an extension of its clients’ marketing department or is their marketing department, depending on their structure.

Its 18 employees provide clients in the manufacturing, industrial, transportation and professional services industries with B2B marketing strategies and tactical execution of campaigns designed and proven to get results. Since 2002, SyncShow — led by Owner and CEO Chris Peer — has positively impacted the Northeast Ohio community, countless clients, and individuals and their families.

SyncShow’s vision, mission and core values are the foundation for everything it does. They drive its culture and provide employees with a formula for success. Whether for a client project, how it collaborates as a team, or the passions its people pursue outside of work, its culture drives extraordinary experiences and makes SyncShow a great place to work and company to do business with.

As a result of creating clear pathways to execute the mission, SyncShow provides team members with professional development, including metrics and KPIs for success. Managers consistently check in with their direct reports to ensure they’re in the role that best matches their talents and skills, creating a safe environment for employees to have an open dialogue about their happiness, skill set alignment and struggles in their roles.







Warren Anderson, President and CEO

The Anderson DuBose Co. has created a culture where people want to work through focusing on its mission, vision and values. It does this by providing transparent, timely and accurate communication, hiring stars and rewarding associates, while driving an influential impact on the community.

The Anderson DuBose Co. provides logistics solutions and unparalleled service to the world’s most elite corporations in the quick service industry. Its talented, dedicated team is committed to excellence, quality and customer satisfaction at every stage of the distribution process.

It recognizes varying perspectives without compromising its customer, associate and community promises. It is committed to doing the right thing and delivering excellence. And it operates with compassion and concern to cultivate associate well-being.

Culture is at the heart of every aspect of the company, led by President and CEO Warren Anderson. After creating a culture team, hard work and building a new culture from the ground up, Anderson DuBose is almost three years into its intense focus on culture.

Turnover has decreased by more than 50 percent, morale is at an all-time high and its reputation with other companies, as well as with potential candidates, has improved. The company is only successful if it services its customers well, and since it began focusing on culture, its service rates have increased.





The SpyGlass Group LLC’s primary focus is to create and accelerate careers for ambitious people with its growth, training and constant drive to exceed goals. It strives to enhance the success of the team with a tight-knit culture of fun, entrepreneurial spirit and overall life happiness.

The company believes that if it does these things well, it will provide clients with a unique consulting service that promotes the financial health of their organizations. Employees and clients are the main driving forces behind its successes. 

Its values highlight careers, culture and clients. Careers focuses on the creation and opportunity for employees. Culture plays in its success, while clients allow SpyGlass to continue to maintain a strong relationship and grow the organization. 

SpyGlass’ mission, vision and values are supported through many programs and initiatives, including its Wellbeing Committee, focused on social, physical/mental, community, career and financial. The committee organizes events including corporate challenges, charitable events, financial education classes, athletic/cooking competitions and others, helping ambitious employees develop their careers while promoting healthy mental and physical well-being. ●





Richard Graziano, President and CEO

The Village Network’s mission statement is “to work in partnerships to empower youth and their families to build brighter futures.” The key word is partnerships, as it relies on a connected network of professionals with a wide range of skills to fulfill its role in the communities it serves. Helping its team cultivate strong partnerships is vital to its workplace culture. 

The Village Network, led by President and CEO Richard Graziano, strives to create a workplace where everyone is free to be their authentic self, bringing their diverse backgrounds and experiences to enrich the culture of the company and those it serves. This is evidenced using TVN’s 6 Rs — relationship, relevance, reward, rhythmic, repetition and respect, which are applied to all interactions, including those with clients, communities, peers and among all levels of staff.

People who feel cared about and supported can do great things, even greater than they thought they could. Having a workplace culture in which staff know they are cared about, supported and appreciated gives them the opportunity to do great things with the youth and families in their care. TVN has strong outcomes because it has strong employees who put more than 100 percent effort into their work every day. ●





Taurean Spratt, Vice president and general manager

Creating a culture where people want to work starts with the vision at Turner Construction Co. Turner’s vision is to be the highest-value provider of global construction services and technical expertise, focusing on personal and professional team member development across its diverse team members.

Creating a clear guide for career and performance management is crucial. Personal and professional team member development is a major focus at Turner. Career and performance management is a robust and fluid process. It is more than a form, and the forms involved are merely tools to capture agreed-upon goals, expectations and observed performance for meaningful conversations.

Rewarding employees is a major focus for creating a culture where people want to work. Showing and sharing appreciation for employees furthers Turner’s active caring company culture and builds company morale.

A key component of its culture is its core purpose: To make a difference in the lives of people, clients and community. Creating a positive impact on the community by being an active community partner has been at the forefront of Turner’s purpose since its founding in 1902.

In addition, it creates a positive impact on its community through its diversity, equity and inclusion standard for the construction industry. ●





Bill Cosgrove, CEO

Union Home Mortgage has cultivated a culture of positivity, professionalism and teamwork, and treats workplace culture as a core tenet of its business.

Prioritizing culture not only creates a work environment where its partners want to work but also has a direct positive impact on the success of its business, making this a vital piece of the Union Home Mortgage puzzle. A variety of methods contribute to its culture, including its mission, vision and values, personal and professional team member development, use of internal and external communications, community impact and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

From the top down, culture is a driving force of the business. Its Code of Conduct is a starting point for understanding how Union Home Mortgage operates and includes edicts such as, be engaged and passionate; have fun, but get it done on time; be committed to growth, productivity and execution; and research before you react.

The Code of Conduct illustrates the importance that Union Home Mortgage’s culture-building methods hold, as these principles reference relationships with colleagues and treating each other with respect, tact and professionalism. In addition, the company’s leaders believe in transparency and honesty. Every month, leaders invite partners to a company-wide call, where transparency and honesty are at the forefront of presentations. ●





Kyle Braun, CEO

Waste Dynamics has reinforced its commitment to prioritizing employees by realigning the organization’s values and utilizing them as a benchmark for identifying growth opportunities granted to its workforce.

The company asked employees to complete an employee engagement survey to anonymously identify areas of success and areas of improvement. The team identified areas ripe for improvement, which resulted in one central theme: the adoption of core values to shape the employees’ daily work habits, performance and career ambitions.

After significant thought and discussion, CEO Kyle Braun unveiled 10 new core values carefully adopted as guideposts for the organization and its employees: Outwork, I Got You, I Got This, Let’s Roll, Strive For Simplicity, Adapt, Every Day, Conscious Candor, Perform and Create A Better Way. These values were woven into the framework of the annual employee review template.

Waste Dynamics’ culture, driven by its core values, keeps employees dedicated to the greater mission and impact of the company. Seven of the first 10 employees hired have remained on-staff for more than 10 years, and since 2019, it has an 83 percent retention rate among new hires as the result of an office culture that is led by strong individuals, inspired by strong core values. ●