Best Places to Work
We work with passion, seek meaning, respect being respected
Heartfelt appreciation for their jobs is what our readers expressed with their votes in Fort Wayne Magazine‘s 2017 Readers Poll when we asked them to tell us the Best Places to Work in Fort Wayne.
And we also heard – so clearly! – how important our jobs are in our lives today.
Our jobs are how we earn our livelihood, of course, and support ourselves and our families, but they are also sources of meaning and purpose and affirmations of our ability to make the world a better place and to help our fellow inhabitants of the world. Not only are we willing to give our all to our jobs, but we ask a lot of them in return.
And when it all comes together – when the sweet spot of a win-win result happens in the employer-employee relationship – Fort Wayne Magazine gets votes like these:
“Assisting to make an incredible product that helps to save the lives of others combined with the respect and benefits it gives to the employees, FWM is not only a great place to work, but a blessing to the Fort Wayne community.” — From a vote for Fort Wayne Metals Research Corporation
“It’s not work but a passion. It’s not coworkers but family.” — From a vote for Asher Agency
“A big part of our culture is our mission statement and core values. These were written by employees and instilled in each of us every day. We take pride in what we do and the customer service we provide to all of our accounts. We also believe in giving back to communities we serve. We partner with St. Jude Children’s Hospital and United Way and numerous local nonprofits to help make a difference where we can.” — From a vote for Five Star Distributing
“Parkview shows their commitment to employees by providing many resources and services to help us remain healthy in body, mind and spirit. The commitment to our communities is something we can be proud of. That commitment reaches beyond Fort Wayne to our outlying facilities and those communities.” — From a vote for Parkview Health
Fort Wayne Magazine thanks the hundreds of readers who voted in this poll and the sizable percentage of them who left comments explaining their votes.
And we congratulate all of the employers who have employees who are so appreciative that they went to the trouble of voting for them. A contest like this one is a “tip of the iceberg” thing, and we believe there’s a lot more good in the companies that received even just a few votes.
Also, we purposefully set up the contest to give small businesses – tiny ones, even – as much of a chance to be recognized as our largest employers.
That’s precisely what happened when the balloting closed at midnight Nov. 15 and we began to tally the votes. Big and small employers are on the list. Big and small employers are doing it right, and their employees stepped forward and said thanks by voting for them in our contest.
A lot is made of Fort Wayne’s work ethic in the economic development world, and a lot of hand-wringing goes on when people worry if we’re going to be good enough in that department in an increasingly competitive future.
Having read every single comment on every single vote, we can say that this city (and region’s) work ethic is doing great and that it is as vibrant and strong in the hearts of people who are new in their jobs and careers as those who have decades of experience. All of those hard-working and committed people appreciate nothing more than the joy of doing meaningful work for an employer who supports and respects them.
That’s a win-win situation that works for all of us.
Meet the Best Places to Work
Four employers rose to the top of the results, and we are proud to present them as Fort Wayne Magazine’s Best Places to Work.
A second group of seven employers (it would have been a Top 10 except for ties at a couple of positions) gathered close to the top four, and we are presenting them with selected comments from their voters. They are Special Honor Workplaces.
Finally, we think it’s important to at least name all the employers who received votes, so we’re listing them all in alphabetical order, for your reading pleasure. And possible job hunting assistance!
Asher was founded in 1974 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Over 40 years later it has grown into an agency network with more than 60 employees and over $55 million in annual sales. Asher serves its clients from nine offices in seven states and the District of Columbia.
Asher is on a select list of agencies that have been named Google preferred partners. And we’re the #1 SUBWAY® franchise agency – handling 63 markets. Currently, we manage the advertising and marketing for over 5,800 restaurants across the United States, as well as on Army, Navy and Air Force bases around the world.
• It’s my first job out of college, and it set the bar so high in so many ways for my future jobs. The people, the atmosphere, the work is amazing. It doesn’t even feel like work.
• Great people doing great things!
• Asher Agency is a place that encourages creativity, fun and genuinely cares about the people they hire. You become part of the family and they never let go!
• They know how to treat their employees. You aren’t micromanaged and help to meet daily expectations which allows you to work in a way that you know is most efficient for yourself. It’s full of hardworking, laid back people.
• I’ve worked for Asher for more than 10 years, and it’s the best job I could ever hope for. Tom Borne is the best boss I’ve ever had, and we have great people on our staff who reflect Tom’s work ethic, sense of humor and commitment to work/life balance.
• Asher provides just the right combination of work hard and play hard. We have great clients, hard-working staff and a culture that puts employees first. In addition, our downtown location gives us access to great venues and restaurants. As an Asher employee for 12 years, I can speak to the fact that there’s no better place to work in the Fort!
• Asher is full of innovative, friendly and hardworking people. I feel very lucky to know these bright-minded individuals, let alone work alongside them.
• It’s the people that are the best part of work. Fun, creative and full of life!
• A very positive place to work.
• Asher Agency has an exceptional company culture that spurs great, uncommon solutions for its clients.
• Great people, flex time, integrity.
• Advertising agencies have the hazard to be stressful environments driven by deadlines. The leadership at Asher find a balance between work and play so the employees can manage. The culture there is very much team driven with many opportunities to interact with different departments. Regular Lunch ‘n Learns give the entire office the opportunity to get together for career enrichment. I’m proud to be on the A-Team!
Five Star Distributing
Five Star Distributing made its first deliveries on June 27, 2005. After acquiring an existing beer wholesaler, the Team at Five Star immediately set out to become the premier beverage distributor in Northeast Indiana and beyond. Five Star and its Team of beer professionals proudly serves 1,100 retail customers and almost 800,000 consumers in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Grant, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties in the Northeast corner of Indiana.
Five Star’s never ending journey of constant improvement is grounded in the nurturing and development of its most valuable resources – its people and its brands. Our people are working together daily to sharpen and improve their skills in Sales, Delivery, Service, and Warehousing to better address our customers’ needs. We are proud and passionate in representing over forty different suppliers and collectively nearly one hundred and fifty different brands of beer with a focused determination on growth and opportunity for us and our retail partners; along with an ever escalating level of innovation, variety, and overall satisfaction for our consumers.
• They reinvest in their employees. Everyone treats each other with respect. Everybody has an equal opportunity to advance. FSD has a pleasant work environment, and they are the best at what they do. They live by their mission statement.
• The people, the commitment to its people and its customers, the passion for excellence and its involvement in community betterment
• Great culture, compensation, values and opportunity. Plus, how could working in the beer business not be a great gig?
• Their first priority is always taking care of their employees and their needs.
• Passion. Family. Commitment to community.
• Great people – great leadership – one big family. Second to none. Best of the best.
• Great leadership, fun atmosphere, fantastic culture.
• Supporting and caring about employees and families. Giving back to the community and creating a team atmosphere!
• Five Star creates an atmosphere that is balanced and creates a bond between the entire company. Our core values are passion, respect, integrity, commitment and excelling. I feel every day that each person not only says that but lives it. We work together to do what we love, and it feels good! Each person in the company is accessible, sincere and willing to help you accomplish whatever the task may be. They encourage training and personal development to improve every experience. They not only understand the importance of balancing career, family and health, but they make you feel like a healthy work family! Love my job and this company!
• Five Star is like a second family to me. They teach leadership, commitment and what it means to work together.
• People who do care about their employees. You’re just not a number.
• Five Star is the Best Place to Work because of the people in the company. Five Star is full of passionate people who are the best at what they do!
Fort Wayne Metals
Fort Wayne Metals (FWM) was founded in 1970 to produce medical grade wire. Today’s products include round wire, shaped wire, strands, cables, bars, coated products, and assemblies of over one hundred different alloys. The majority of the products produced are utilized in the medical device industry with the balance being utilized in aerospace and industrial applications.
The company’s headquarters is located in Fort Wayne, with manufacturing facilities in Fort Wayne, Columbia City, Indiana, and Castlebar, Ireland. The raw material requirements of the Castlebar facility are supplied by the Fort Wayne facilities. Commercial products are shipped from each manufacturing location.
• We have the best owner we could hope for. Scott Glaze is genuinely interested in all 600+ employees, giving us generous benefits and perks throughout the year.
• An amazing company that provides an outstanding quality work environment and really looks out for its employees by providing competitive benefits. Fort Wayne Metals takes pride in quality of the products we produce and recognizes the total company efforts and commitment we have for our customers.
• This company pours resources into its people/family like none other.
• It provided me a place to work with amazing people when I had nothing else going for me. After my first position, they noticed my hard work and dedication, and I was promoted to what I consider to be my career. Also the level of care that goes into making sure employees work in a comfortable, clean environment is astonishing, along with how much FWM does for their employees.
• The company as a whole demonstrates a deep caring for employees and their families. Wellness programs such as onsite gym facilities, weight and blood pressure management seminars, a personal trainer and health insurance incentives encourage employees to create their own healthy lifestyle. Company-sponsored events for holidays, and even seasonal parties, encourage a family atmosphere that is unique to Fort Wayne Metals and is immensely valued by not only the employees but upper management, something that is demonstrated in actions as well as in words.
• You are not a number here. We are really treated like family. I have worked in other factories that say this. Fort Wayne Metals takes this to heart and keeps it at the core of who we are.
• They really respect and appreciate their employees. The culture is different than anywhere else I have worked.
• Great company, serving a vital market, great team.
• Fort Wayne Metals is invested in their employees. They listen to what the employees have to say.
• They really take care of the employees and the things they produce save lives!
• This is a company that has grown into a worldwide manufacturer of precision medical wire. They invest in innovation to continue the growth of the business and involve their employees’ ideas into that needed growth to stay ahead of the market. They treat their employees well with a competitive benefit and compensation package. The owner is heavily involved in the growth of the community as well and encourages employee involvement as well, including programs to kelp get kids to read in school, United Way Day of Caring.
• I’ve worked for Fort Wayne Metals since graduation from Purdue University and would rather be at no other company than Fort Wayne Metals. The people are like family, and we pull together to keep our customers happy. In addition, the owner truly cares about the community.
Parkview Health is a not-for-profit, community-based health system serving a northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio population of more than 820,000. With more than 10,000 employees, we’re the region’s largest employer.
Our mission is to improve your health and inspire you to take steps to improve your well-being. We’ve been serving our communities since our early beginnings as Fort Wayne City Hospital in 1878. The Parkview Health system was formed in 1995, and our heritage of care and compassion continues today with nine hospitals and a network of primary care and specialty physicians.
• They care for staff wellbeing as well as patients.
• Opportunity for employees with growth, training and mentoring
• Parkview Health truly exemplifies their mission every day. Leaders care so much about their employees and want to see them succeed, and coworkers, in turn, provide the best service and care to every person every day. It is so inspiring to work for such a wonderful organization that is so driven to invest in the community. There are not many organizations this large that care so much for others on so many different levels.
• They care about their patients and employees.
• Parkview treats their employees well . . . which says it all in my book.
• Parkview shows their commitment to employees by providing many resources and services to help us remain healthy in body, mind and spirit. The commitment to our communities is something we can be proud of. That commitment reaches beyond Fort Wayne to our outlying facilities and those communities.
• They take good care of their employees, give back to the community and provide excellent service to all their patients!
• Excellent, visionary leadership that values employees and our patients. Community minded and excellent benefits.
• I worked for Parkview for 27 years. I left to pursue other passions. When things did not work out, I am grateful they gave me another opportunity. Thanks. I am blessed.
• I work in the ER at Parkview Regional Medical Center, and I look forward to work every single day! We have amazing management, co-workers and ancillary department staff that allows us to take excellent care of each and every patient. I am proud to say I work for such a philanthropic company as they give back to the community of Fort Wayne consistently. Parkview Health is invested in this community and in the needs of their staff and patients alike. Just recently we had to take a survey, and the nurses spoke stating their desire for more staff nurses. What did Parkview do? They had a massive job fair and hired a plethora of nurses to join the Parkview family. We asked, they listened. Every day I come to work I feel that Parkview has the best interest of the patients and staff in mind. I have worked for Parkview my entire career, and I plan on retiring with them!
• I work there, and they are great to work for because they care, the pay is decent, the benefits are great and the people I work with are wonderful.
• They promote and instill in their employees to provide genuine care to others, not just to patients that come to any of their hospitals or physicians offices but to the entire Fort Wayne community. I’m proud to be an employee of an organization with such an impact, ethics and morals.
Special Honor Workplaces
Allen County Public Library
The Allen County Public Library has been part of the social and cultural fabric of Fort Wayne and surrounding communities since 1895. Then known as the Fort Wayne Public Library it served residents with 3,606 volumes in a room in City Hall. Since then it has grown to consist of the main library in downtown Fort Wayne and 13 branches in the city and outlying communities.
• Working with people who are kind and passionate about their work can’t be beat!
• The people are amazing and the leadership is outstanding!
Aqua Indiana-Fort Wayne
The Fort Wayne region utilities comprise a wastewater system with two wastewater treatment plants.
• Employees are treated well, listened to for ideas and promote a safe work environment. The benefits are incredible.
• I take great satisfaction in making clean water for a living. The support in all aspects of my job – and personal life – I receive from Aqua are tremendous.
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company
Brotherhood Mutual insures America’s churches and related ministries. We have for more than 90 years. But there’s more. From our perspective, insurance is more than a commercial endeavor. It’s a platform to accomplish our mission: to help America’s churches and related ministries build the Kingdom.
• Fantastic family atmosphere. Great benefits. Plus it just feels good coming to work there.
• Extremely well run, in business for 100 years, strong mission, actively gives back to the nonprofit and faith community. Excellent company to be a team member of.
Lincoln Financial Group/Lincoln Life
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower Americans to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses.
• Lincoln gives you a sense of belonging, and it empowers you to grow yourself into your own leadership.
• Opportunities for growth and advancement, good benefits, solid company (110+ years), great people.
Lutheran Life Villages
Lutheran Life Villages – the premier provider of senior residential living, senior healthcare, rehabilitation and other services has been providing compassionate, spiritually connected care to the people of Northeast Indiana since 1931.
• We provide great care, and we work hard for each other every day.
• They practice their mission statement and guiding values. They care deeply about the residents, families and staff. I feel valued and that I make a difference.
Prairie Quest Consulting
PQC is an award-winning professional services firm specializing in program management, IT and training solutions.
• PQC is a woman-owned, Fort Wayne-grown business that serves a variety of industries. It is a great place to work because we feel valued and an integral part of the workplace community. And it is a DOG-friendly workplace.
• Been here a long time. They value their employees and through thick and thin we’ve always moved forward not backwards.
Founded in 1979, Sweetwater is the No. 1 online retailer of music instruments and audio gear in the U. S.
• Caring about employees
• Great people, great facility, great career opportunities and a compelling mission to do the right thing for our customers!
The complete list of votes:
80/20 Inc. • Allen County Government • Allen County Public Library • Allied Payment Network • American Red Cross • Aqua Indiana Fort Wayne • Ash Brokerage • Asher Agency • BAE Systems • Bob Buescher Homes • Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company • Bunn Box Inc. • Canterbury School • Cedar Canyons Elementary School • Challenge Tool & Mfg • City of Fort Wayne • Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber Realtors • Cornerstone Daycare Learning Center • Costco Wholesale • Cottage Flowers • Dancer Concrete Design • Do It Best Corp. • East Noble School Corporation • Federated Media/WOWO/WQHK/WMEE/WBYR/WFWI/WKJG • Five Star Distributing • Fort Wayne Community Schools • Fort Wayne Dental Group • Fort Wayne Metals • General Motors • Granite Ridge Builders • Hall’s Guesthouse Hotel & Catering • Hall’s Restaurants • Heartland Home Health Care & Hospice • Home Nursing Services • iAB Bank • In Touch SalonSpa • Indiana Tech • IPFW • ITI-Fort Wayne (Intellectual Technology Inc.) • The Journal Gazette • Kamaya Inc. • Koehlinger-Kruse Security • Kroger Marketplace • Lake City Bank • Lincoln Financial Group • Lincoln Life • Lowe’s Illinois Road • Lutheran Hospital • Lutheran Life Villages • Midwest America Federal Credit Union • Moose Lake 1800s Christian Craft Village • MSKTD & Associates Inc. • Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream • Northeast Indiana VA Hospital • Nucor Building Systems • Oak Tree Wood Working Supplies • OmniSource • Ophthalmology Consultants • Orthopaedics Northeast • Parkview Health • Parkview Physicians Group • Parkview Regional Medical Center • Partners 1st Federal Credit Union • Phd • Phoenix Associates • Physicians Health Plan • PolyMod Technologies • Prairie Quest Consulting • Preferred Automotive Group-Illinois Road • Pro Resources • Quadrant Engineering Plastic Products • Rea Magnet Wire Company Inc. • Residence Inn • Riegel’s Pipe & Tobacco • Sabert • Sanco Industries Inc. • Sarkes Tarzian Inc./WAJI/WLDE/ALT 99.5 • Shambaugh & Son • Sport Wayne Inc./The Escape Room • Springfield Restoration & Remodeling • St. Joseph Hospital • STAR Financial Bank • STAR Financial Group • Steel Dynamics Inc. • Sunshine Home Health Care • Sweetwater • Swiss Re • Three Rivers Federal Credit Union • U.S. Postal Service • Vera Bradley • Vital Living Well Spa • Walgreens • Wildwood Racquet Club
First appeared in the January 2017 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.