#BizVoice Extra: ‘Indy Kronite Proud’

When I prepare for an interview for BizVoice®, I try not to formulate my interview questions with specific expectations in mind.

That doesn’t always work, of course. I’m human and sometimes my research leads me to expect people to react a certain way to a story topic or interview question.

When I started researching Kronos, Inc. for a story about the company’s Indianapolis Technology Center being a newcomer to the Best Places to Work in Indiana list, I saw the company has garnered a lot of accolades over the years (including making it on the Forbes Best 100 Companies to Work For a few years running).

My expectations were that my story might be sort of low-hanging fruit for the worldwide company with 5,000 employees and headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Well, I’m woman enough to admit that I was very wrong in my assumptions. In fact, I don’t remember another interview I’ve conducted for the Best Places to Work in Indiana program where the people have been more excited than they were at Kronos.

The four people I interviewed included two practice directors that manage the Indianapolis office, the senior manager of human resources and another manager. And ohmygosh, they could not have been happier about the recognition, a first for the Indianapolis location.

Christopher Hicks, practice manager of enterprise professional services, and Margaret Mitchell, senior vice president of human resources, relate the feeling of the Indianapolis office’s first award to being validated on social media.

“The validation; it’s receiving the little blue check (mark). We are verified here in Indianapolis as a company that provides opportunity for growth, we work on professional development, we have a great leadership team. We’re just excited,” Hicks told me at the time.

It’s the first year the company applied for Indiana’s Best Places to Work program and was championed by Mitchell, who found out about the recognition when she was on vacation. She recalls jumping up and down in excitement next to a swimming pool with her son nearby as she received the news on the phone.

“We’re really excited. It validates for us, the things we work on. It’s again nice to celebrate the success and remember that we do have something special here,” she said.

The Kronites, as they refer to themselves throughout the company, also invited me to attend a celebratory dessert bar. Company CEO Aron Ain was flying in for the occasion and addressed the crowd.

As I listened to Ain congratulate his Indianapolis employees and urge them to continue working on behalf of the clients to provide the best service possible, it was something else Ain said that stuck with me: take care of your family first.

For a CEO of a 5,000-person company to fly in and recognize employees for their efforts is impressive enough, but for his underlying message to be “you are important, and your family and your health are the most important things to me” – wow.

No wonder this company is garnering external awards and internal recognition left and right.

One other tidbit from my interviews with the Kronites (aside from the fact that we operate in the same building in downtown Indianapolis and I bump into them every so often, usually receiving a smile or a hug) is the one part I couldn’t fit into my story: how do they handle the Colts versus the Patriots rivalry, since the company is headquartered near Boston?

Matt Baker, one of the Indianapolis Technology Center practice directors, acknowledges the rivalry.

“The culture in Lowell is very passionate about the Patriots,” he admits. “The last couple of years have been challenging. We had a good run.”

The Indianapolis Technology Center’s focus is more on college sports, offers practice director Doug Ding. (He and Baker attended Purdue University together.) Conference rooms in the center are named after college team mascots, for example.

Hicks, originally from Chicago, doesn’t have much stake in the long-standing NFL rivalry between the Colts and Patriots.

“I’m a Bears guy,” he says. “But I see it all the time. Most of our executives are based out of the Lowell office and they’re huge Patriots fans and there’s a little bit of ribbing back and forth.”

Mitchell doesn’t hesitate: “Always Colts. Always.”

BizVoice Ad BOGO for Small Businesses

Everyone loves a good bargain; and we’ve got one for you, but it’s a limited-time offer and expires after next Friday, May 25.

As part of our Small Business Showcase, organizations with 50 or fewer employees can take advantage of the buy one, get one free quarter-page advertising special for the two BizVoice® summer issues. The quarter-page investment (just $1,020) includes the print and digital versions of both issues.

“While the number of businesses advertising in BizVoice continues to grow each year, we want to make sure companies of all sizes have the ability to reach our influential audiences,” states Tim Brewer, BizVoice Advertising Director. “Helping businesses grow has been at the core of the Indiana Chamber’s mission throughout its history.”

To take advantage of this offer, contact Brewer – tbrewer@indianachamber.com, (317) 496-0704 – by Friday, May 25. The July/August issue ad will be invoiced in July for $1,020, and the September/October issue is free.

Connect your small business with the Indiana Chamber audience!

Tech Talk: Making Their Mark Among the ‘Best’

We shared in late February the growing number of tech and innovation organizations being named among the Best Places to Work in Indiana. While 26 of the 125 winners for 2018 self-identified as being in the tech industry, a true sign of the times is the fact that many others are consultants or service providers in the tech/innovation areas.

At the awards celebration and unveiling of the rankings earlier this month, it was good to hear the names of so many familiar companies (Sharpen and Formstack each placed second in their respective size categories, to name just two; check out the full lists to see many more), as well as quite a few newcomers. The names are familiar due to their business growth and achievements; the Best Places honor signifies strong internal cultures that match and propel the external success.

You can check out the full coverage of all the companies in the current BizVoice® magazine. Some key stories we would suggest:

  • Social media: Discover how four Best Places companies effectively utilize online communications strategies
  • Welcome aboard: A key factor in building a strong workplace culture is doing everything possible to get new team members off to a fast start
  • Getting to Know: Bastian Solutions and Perficient
  • 2018 Newcomer: Kronos
  • Informative infographics: Program results on work-life balance, family-friendly benefits and survey benchmarks

In today’s battle for talent, Best Places to Work recognition can be a differentiator. Can you afford to stay on the sidelines any longer? Learn more about the 2019 program at www.bestplacestoworkIN.com.

BizVoice Web Site Gets a Fresh Coat of Paint

Sometimes, as the ’80s band, Motley Crue, said: “it’s time for change”. Whether out of necessity or desire, there comes a moment where you need to shed the old wardrobe, your clunker car or your outdated web site.

For BizVoice®, the time for a new look to the magazine’s web site is now. If you haven’t visited www.bizvoicemagazine.com lately, you will find that it’s quite a bit different from what you’re used to seeing.

BizVoice, the Indiana Chamber’s premier publication, needed a premier site. It needed to be more interactive and responsive on all mobile devices. The content you’re familiar with is still there and we’re adding new materials for the reader, in addition to what you get in the print version. From time to time we’ll offer exclusive content on the site, so please check back regularly.

We hope you notice a few things right away; first is big, bold colors and images! We want your trip to the site to be an experience. Take your time and dive into the current issue – we will highlight some of the feature content and cover stories on the main page, but the full issue will take you on a broader journey.

Also, down the road we want to continue to add videos – either expanding on stories or highlighting additional content that can’t be found in print.

You can also still explore our archives dating back to 2003. We’ve told thousands of stories in our nearly 20 years of publication and hope you’ve enjoyed reading and will continue to check us out. Share BizVoice with your friend and colleagues – there’s something for everyone.

#BizVoiceExtra: Hanapin Hits No. 1

Hanapin is a happening place!

I discovered that firsthand with an entertaining visit to Hanapin Marketing, a digital marketing agency that specializes in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. The Bloomington-based company earned the top spot on the 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana list (small employer category).

“We love to show off our space!” declared a grinning Jamie Newton, senior communications manager. The work environment is open, with very few closed offices. Walls and décor are colorful, much like employees’ personalities.

Images of a dark-haired superhero adorn desks, bookshelves and walls. His identity is quickly revealed: he’s the mascot for Hero Conf – the world’s largest all-PPC conference. Hosted annually by Hanapin, it consists of events in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

In addition, Hanapin publishes the monthly “PPC Hero” blog, geared toward PPC practitioners.

“I always say we never take ourselves seriously, but we take the work very seriously,” reflects president Jeff Allen. “It’s a very humble culture. You would never guess some of the talented people we have around and the some of the really big, important things they’re doing because they’re having fun, enjoying it and hopefully not stressing out too much about it!”

Hanapin was founded in 2004. When Allen joined the team in 2011, there were 13 employees. Today, there are approximately 70.

Among them is millennial Kass Botts, a paid social account manager.

“There’s a community aspect to Hanapin,” she comments. “I love doing the digital marketing work for sure, but what makes Hanapin special to me especially compared to other companies I’ve worked for is that there are a lot of things to get involved in internally and interdepartmentally.”

Fun activities such as cave exploring and a “Yoga With Goats” session help build rapport.

“Were there literally goats?” I ask Allen.

“Yes!” He replies with a laugh. “And a mini-horse.”

Read more about Hanapin’s winning culture in the May-June BizVoice®.

VIDEO: May-June BizVoice is Live

Capping off the excitement of smashing several records in one night at the Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration last week, the new edition of BizVoice magazine is live with in-depth coverage of many of the honored companies.

Oh, and those records I mentioned? Here they are:

  • A record 125 companies made the list in 2018
  • It was the largest crowd in the 13 years of the program, with nearly 1,400 attendees at the Indiana Convention Center
  • According to Peter Burke, president of the Best Companies Group (which runs the Best Places to Work program in Indiana and 29 other states), Indiana’s Best Places to Work event is the largest in the country

Tom Schuman, senior vice president of communications and operations, takes a two-minute peek into the May-June 2018 edition, which includes another in our yearlong Road Trip Treasures series, this time focusing on Fort Wayne.

Also included is a look at some legislative disappointments from the Indiana General Assembly session, particularly on three policies important to the state’s business and economic future. And find an update on the Attractive Business Climate driver of our long-range economic development plan, Indiana Vision 2025, including a progress report on the commercial court pilot project.

Check it out:

In addition to the new BizVoice web site that debuted last week, we’ve got a special offer for small organizations with fewer than 50 employees as part of our Small Business Showcase. BizVoice is offering a buy one, get one free quarter-page advertising special for its two summer issues. The quarter-page investment (just $1,020) includes the print and digital versions of both issues.

“While the number of businesses advertising in BizVoice continues to grow each year, we want to make sure companies of all sizes have the ability to reach our influential audiences,” states Tim Brewer, BizVoice Advertising Director. “Helping businesses grow has been at the core of the Indiana Chamber’s mission throughout its history.”

To take advantage of this offer, please contact Brewer – tbrewer@indianachamber.com, (317) 496-0704 – by Friday, May 25. The July/August issue ad will be invoiced in July for $1,020, and the September/October issue is free.

Connect your small business with the Indiana Chamber audience!

Indiana Chamber Unveils Rankings for the 125 Best Places to Work in Indiana

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce honored a record 125 companies tonight at the 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration dinner, with rankings announced in four categories.

Taking the top spot:

  • Hanapin Marketing, a Bloomington-based digital marketing company – small category (between 15 and 74 U.S. employees)
  • E-gineering, a technology consulting firm on the northeast side of Indianapolis – medium category (between 75 and 249 U.S. employees)
  • Blue 449, an open source media company from Indianapolis – large category (between 250 and 999 U.S. employees)
  • Edward Jones, an investment firm with branch offices throughout the state – major category (1,000 or more U.S. employees)

It’s Hanapin Marketing’s first-place debut, while Blue 449 is a repeat honoree from last year. E-gineering and Edward Jones are no strangers to No. 1; they last took top honors in 2015 and this marks the third and fifth time, respectively, in leading their category.

“These four companies are the gold standard for creating a successful culture in which employees can thrive. Company leaders particularly understand the importance today of work-life balance, treating workers with respect and offering benefits or perks that really resonate,” states Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar.

“Attracting and keeping a talented workforce is top of mind for all Hoosier employers. Every company on the list made people the priority in its workplace, backing that up with policies and practices geared toward employee success and satisfaction.”

The companies received the Best Places to Work award of excellence at a dinner held at the Indiana Convention Center and sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College.

Winning companies ranged in employee count (at the time of application) from 16 to more than 1,700. Out-of-state parent companies were eligible to participate if at least 15 full-time employees are in Indiana.

Organizations that have displayed sustained excellence during the program’s 13-year history are also awarded Best Places to Work in Indiana Hall of Fame and Pinnacle designations.

Hall of Fame companies are those that have been named a Best Place to Work in Indiana at least 60% of the time in the program’s history; a total of 20 organizations on the 2018 list meet that criteria. Two companies – Edward Jones and Katz, Sapper & Miller – have made the Best Places to Work list all 13 years of the program.

The Pinnacle designation is reserved for those that have finished first in their category three or more times in a five-year period. The four Pinnacle companies in the program’s history are: Edward Jones, Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C., Microsoft and Sikich.

More information about the Best Places to Work companies is available via a special section of the May/June issue of the Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine, a statewide publication released tonight and accessible online at www.bizvoicemagazine.com.

Other program partners are Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, the Best Companies Group, HR Indiana SHRM and the Wellness Council of Indiana.

In addition to Ivy Tech Community College being the event sponsor, Purdue Global is the spirit sponsor and FirstPerson is the opening reception sponsor. Platinum sponsors are CareSource and Moser Consulting. Silver sponsors are Comcast, Eaton Corporation, Formstack, Human Capital Concepts, OurHealth, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and Smithville. Visibility sponsors are Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc., Delta Dental of Indiana and ESCO Communications, Inc.

These top companies in the state were determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. The Best Companies Group, which handled the selection process, oversees similar programs in 25 other states.

All companies participating in the 2018 Best Places to Work program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees, who are surveyed anonymously.

The report is often used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment programs.

For more information on the Indiana Chamber’s Best Places to Work program, go to www.bestplacestoworkIN.com.

The full list of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Indiana companies by ranking:

*Hall of Fame companies
**Pinnacle companies

Small Companies (15-74 U.S. employees) (57)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

  1. Hanapin Marketing / Bloomington
  2. Sharpen Technologies Inc. / Indianapolis
  3. eimagine / Indianapolis
  4. That’s Good HR / Indianapolis
  5. Big City Cars / Fort Wayne
  6. University High School of Indiana / Carmel
  7. Lakeside Wealth Management / Chesterton
  8. * Cripe / Indianapolis
  9. * Indesign, LLC / Indianapolis
  10. Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) / Indianapolis
  11. * Apex Benefits / Indianapolis
  12. Leaf Software Solutions / Carmel
  13. Visit Indy / Indianapolis
  14. Magnum Logistics / Plainfield
  15. mAccounting, LLC / Indianapolis
  16. Wessler Engineering / Indianapolis
  17. Goelzer Investment Management, Inc. / Indianapolis
  18. T&W Corporation / Indianapolis
  19. The Garrett Companies / Greenwood
  20. * FirstPerson / Indianapolis
  21. JA Benefits, LLC / Bedford
  22. Insurance Management Group / Marion
  23. Probo Medical / Fishers
  24. Jackson Systems / Indianapolis
  25. RQAW / Indianapolis
  26. LHD Benefit Advisors / Indianapolis
  27. OfficeWorks / Fishers
  28. Peepers by PeeperSpecs / Michigan City
  29. The Skillman Corporation / Indianapolis
  30. Community First Bank of Indiana / Kokomo
  31. BlueSky Technology Partners / Noblesville
  32. CleanSlate Technology Group / Carmel
  33. Hamilton County Tourism / Carmel
  34. Clinical Architecture / Carmel
  35. Brite Systems / Indianapolis
  36. Greenlight Guru / Indianapolis
  37. DK Pierce and Associates / Zionsville
  38. Guidon Design / Indianapolis
  39. Nix Companies / Poseyville
  40. BLASTmedia / Fishers
  41. Accutech Systems / Muncie
  42. Pondurance / Indianapolis
  43. Sigstr / Indianapolis
  44. Grote Automotive / Fort Wayne
  45. VOSS Automotive / Fort Wayne
  46. Merritt Contracting / Lebanon
  47. netlogx LLC / Indianapolis
  48. General Insurance Services / Michigan City
  49. Bloomerang / Indianapolis
  50. Inovateus Solar LLC / South Bend
  51. Bedel Financial Consulting, Inc. / Indianapolis
  52. Springbuk / Indianapolis
  53. ClearObject, Inc. / Fishers
  54. OrthoPediatrics / Warsaw
  55. CENTURY 21 Scheetz / Multiple locations
  56. Public Safety Medical / Indianapolis
  57. RESOURCE Commercial Real Estate / Indianapolis

Medium Companies (75-249 U.S. employees) (30)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

  1. * E-gineering / Indianapolis
  2. Formstack / Indianapolis
  3. Oak Street Funding LLC / Indianapolis
  4. Moser Consulting / Indianapolis
  5. Blue Horseshoe / Carmel
  6. Gregory & Appel Insurance / Indianapolis
  7. American College of Education / Indianapolis
  8. First Internet Bank / Fishers
  9. Lessonly / Indianapolis
  10. Emarsys North America / Indianapolis
  11. * Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) / Carmel
  12. Weddle Bros. Construction Co., Inc. / Bloomington
  13. J.C. Hart Company, Inc. / Carmel
  14. HWC Engineering, Inc. / Indianapolis
  15. CREA, LLC / Indianapolis
  16. Visiting Nurse and Hospice of the Wabash Valley / Terre Haute
  17. * Schmidt Associates, Inc. / Indianapolis
  18. Parkview Wabash Hospital / Wabash
  19. IDSolutions / Noblesville
  20. * Elements Financial Federal Credit Union / Indianapolis
  21. Midwest Mole / Greenfield
  22. Peoples Bank SB / Munster
  23. Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc. / Indianapolis
  24. Morales Group, Inc. / Indianapolis
  25. * United Consulting Engineers / Indianapolis
  26. United Way of Central Indiana / Indianapolis
  27. ESCO Communications / Indianapolis
  28. Merchants Bank of Indiana and PR Mortgage & Investments / Carmel
  29. Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc (DBA The Rescue Mission) / Fort Wayne
  30. Envelop Group / Indianapolis

Large Companies (250-999 U.S. employees) (25)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

  1. Blue 449 / Indianapolis
  2. Kemper CPA Group LLP / Multiple locations
  3. Onebridge / Indianapolis
  4. ** Sikich / Indianapolis
  5. Hylant / Multiple locations
  6. * FORUM Credit Union / Fishers
  7. The Kendall Group / Fort Wayne
  8. * Katz, Sapper & Miller / Indianapolis
  9. IPMG / West Lafayette
  10. Appirio, A Wipro Company / Indianapolis
  11. * Centier Bank / Merrillville
  12. * WestPoint Financial Group / Indianapolis
  13. Carbonite / Indianapolis
  14. Parkview Whitley Hospital / Columbia City
  15. * Blue & Co., LLC / Carmel
  16. Parkview Noble Hospital / Kendallville
  17. * Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company / Fort Wayne
  18. American Structurepoint, Inc. / Indianapolis
  19. Bastian Solutions / Indianapolis
  20. Parkview Huntington Hospital / Huntington
  21. MutualBank / Muncie
  22. Ontario Systems / Muncie
  23. Aluminum Trailer Company / Nappanee
  24. Pacers Sports & Entertainment / Indianapolis
  25. * Monarch Beverage / Indianapolis

Major Companies (1,000+ U.S. employees) (13)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

  1. * ** Edward Jones / Statewide
  2. * Horseshoe Casino Hammond / Hammond
  3. * Salesforce / Indianapolis
  4. Aerotek / Multiple locations
  5. CareSource / Indianapolis
  6. Ameristar Casino + Hotel East Chicago / East Chicago
  7. Total Quality Logistics / Indianapolis
  8. Perficient / Carmel
  9. Colliers International – Indianapolis / Indianapolis
  10. Kronos Incorporated / Indianapolis
  11. Comcast Corporation / Multiple locations
  12. First Merchants Bank / Muncie
  13. * Capital Group / Carmel

BizVoice Earns Four Awards in State Competition

We don’t do our jobs just to be given a pat on the back, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a little recognition for hard work. The Indiana Chamber’s communications team recently earned accolades, in the form of four awards for work completed in 2017, from the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists.

The staff of the Indiana Chamber’s bimonthly business magazine, BizVoice®, brought home three second-place awards and a third-place award in the annual statewide competition, highlighting the best and brightest of Indiana journalism.

Stories and writers earning awards include:

Congratulations to Tom, Rebecca, Symone, Charlee and Matt, along with BizVoice Creative Director Tony Spataro and all of our other contributors to the Indiana Chamber’s award-winning magazine, which is in its 20th year of publication.

We’re also launching a new look to the BizVoice web site this Thursday evening with the debut of our May-June 2018 edition, following the conclusion of the Best Places to Work in Indiana celebration event. Make sure you check out the great content and our new web site later this week!

Tech Talk: McDonald Lights Economic Fire

John McDonald, CEO of ClearObject and chair of the Indiana Chamber’s Tech Policy Committee, is proficient in many areas – including crafting analogies.

In the current BizVoice® magazine, he authors a thoughtful column titled “Indiana’s Economy: Great for Business, Not Yet for Entrepreneurs.” On the analogy side, consider this excerpt:

“If the spark that ignites an entrepreneurial company is initiative, then what are the other necessary components that fuel the fire of innovation? Like we learned in elementary school, fire requires fuel, oxygen and heat, and if any of these elements is removed, the fire stops.

“Similarly, entrepreneurship requires three elements: ideas, capital and skilled people, with the spark of initiative to light the flame. Take any of these away and the fire of an entrepreneurial company ‘flames out.’ “

Check out John’s full column.

The focus of the March-April issue is on Outstanding Talent. Nearly 20 stories outline programs, initiatives and people making a difference in the worlds of education and workforce development. Among the features:

  • The Excel Center, where adults gain the assistance and pair it with their own motivation to reach new heights in education and career opportunities
  • The Crossing Schools, where high school students in need of direction find it in the form of hands-on learning and work experiences
  • The International School of Indiana, where a challenging curriculum is only part of the mix for high-performing students

The Indiana Chamber is highlighted through the Foundation’s Business Champions Advisory Network, Indiana INTERNnet’s 12th annual IMPACT Award winners and an overview of the organization’s workforce development efforts.

View the full issue.

#BizVoiceExtra: Tuition Support Makes a Difference

Balancing work, family and life is challenging – throwing in a full-time, or even part-time, education on top can seem near impossible.

One thing that can ease the struggle of pursuing a degree as a working adult? Employer tuition support.

Employers that provide tuition support are making a long-term investment in their employees, and employees take that investment to heart. I learned that recently when speaking with several people for the March/April edition of BizVoice® about their experiences with tuition support and the benefits of attaining those advanced degrees through WGU Indiana.

(You can read that story in our new edition here.)

All of those interviewed couldn’t speak more highly of the impact of knowing their employer is actively supporting them. The return on investment for those companies yields people that are devoted to the organization, on top of the more tangible benefits of skilled and educated employees.

Dan Minnick

Dan Minnick

One of the WGU Indiana graduates featured in the story is Dan Minnick, a nursing professional development educator at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. I asked representatives from IU Health to provide more information on their tuition support program.

An abridged Q&A via email with Lauren Zink, vice president of Total Rewards and Shared Services at IU Health, follows:

BV: What is the benefit to IU Health as an employer when its team members have finished their degrees or have completed advanced degrees?

LZ: “Our goal at IU Health is to provide long-term career opportunities for our team members. We have a wide variety of jobs and a continuous need to fill them with dedicated, talented individuals. As our team members obtain the education they need to qualify and apply for new positions, it allows IU Health to retain them as valued team members and provides them with the opportunities to advance their careers. This mutually beneficial partnership leads to stronger employee engagement and retention, and that too is a very important priority at IU Health.”

BV: What would you say to employers who aren’t currently supporting team members with tuition support? How has this been beneficial for your organization?

LZ: “We understand that most organizations have many competing priorities and limited dollars to invest. However, the return on this investment is one that can be tracked and measured, and has a significant positive impact on the culture. When we invest in our most valuable asset, our people, we build a sustainable workforce that can grow with the organization. It also sends a very positive message to job seekers that their ongoing career development will be a priority at IU Health.”

BV: What do you tell your team members who aren’t sure if they want to go back to school?

LZ: “Education requires a time, energy and resource commitment. Only an individual can truly discern if they are ready to embark on this journey, and if they are, we are there to support them.”