1. NTH GENERATION
Nth Generation can best be described as a people-first company. In addition to delivering its best for its clients, the business puts a lot of effort into its employees.
Company culture is very important, said Jan Baldwin, Nth Generation’s CEO.

That attitude won the business first place honors in the medium-sized category in the San Diego Business Journal Best Places to Work 2021 competition.

Nth Generation, based in Rancho Bernardo, specializes in information technology services and solutions. It has 68 employees.

Nth Generation was founded 30 years ago. “In the beginning when we were very small, we were obviously people first,” Baldwin recalled. “And as we started adding employees and customers and partners, that became more and more important. And in my mind, nothing is more important than a good company culture.”

A company “happiness officer” schedules events from potluck meals to water balloon fights. Holidays are special. One company video shows the lengths that employees will go to when it comes time to create costumes for Halloween.

Don’t get them wrong. They work hard, too.

In addition to salary and benefits, employees say they get a sense of belonging.
“We rally behind team members,” said Brandon Hughey, senior solutions engineer. “Myself, for example, I had cancer two years ago. And during that time, Nth rallied behind me, and team members donated vacation time. Rich and Jan supported me fully through that whole procedure. So I’m very thankful to them.

“And I understand the value that I have here at Nth, and what they do to support me. So there’s no way anybody can compete with what Rich and Jan have done for me.”
“I really get emotional when I think about our company culture and the warm environment we have,” Baldwin said. “People are happy. And happy people spread happiness around.”

“We take great delight in seeing our employees grow and learn and change and transform,” Baldwin continued. “And if they weren’t transforming, the company wouldn’t be transforming, and that’s what Nth is all about.”

The Nth team deserves congratulations for delivering as they have, “especially during the challenges of the last 18 months,” said Rich Baldwin, chief strategy officer and chief information officer.

“Many thanks to the San Diego Business Journal for this honor and recognition,” said Jan Baldwin.

2. HOYLECOHEN LLC 
HoyleCohen LLC is a firm that takes a smart, holistic approach to wealth management. Founded in 2001, the company has grown to over 50 team members serving more than 1,200 client households with roughly $2.7 billion of managed assets.

They work alongside their clients to understand their vision, values and goals for their wealth and figuring out the important details before they execute what it takes to achieve it.

“I think it always comes down to the people, not only the people that I work for but the people I work with,” said Theresa Wolner, marketing & business development manager at HoyleCohen. “I think that HoyleCohen, even though we have grown tremendously over the last several years and really over the last year — we’ve grown by 35% in staff just since the first of January 2020 — we really feel like a family, I think we’ve done a good job of keeping a family feel.”

Wolner said part of this tight-knit environment comes from the company’s leader’s willingness to listen to the feedback of their team, “to help get it right.”

“Our management team is really focused on investing in whatever tools we need to help us enhance our jobs whether those be technology, moving people around to better fit their individual traits or skill sets, or moving people around to help us get done whatever projects we need to get done,” Wolner said.

Despite the challenges of this past year keeping people working from home and with the addition of a new office outside of San Diego, the company has leaned into conscious efforts to keep employee satisfaction and connection top of mind.

“We created a diversity and inclusion committee last year that has really put forth a lot of effort in bringing mindfulness to various diverse groups and ensuring that we are looking at hiring through the lens of diversity and making sure that everyone’s voices are heard,” Wolner said. “We’ve all been able to join together and make sure we support one another and our clients in the best way possible.”

3. CAVIGNAC 
Cavignac is a risk management and insurance brokerage that prides itself on building lasting client relationships with the highest level of integrity. The firm was founded in 1992 and is locally owned.

Over 50 Employees

The Cavignac team has grown to over 50 employees and it is comprised of experts who work to give their clients confidence and clarity in knowledge-based risk management solutions. Cavignac’s experts work across industries on a variety of solutions including commercial insurance, employee benefits, surety, private client, risk control and alternative risk.

“Our top goal as a company in San Diego is to be a great employer,” said the company’s president, Jeff Cavignac. “We have awesome people working for us. They are our most valuable resource, and we need to give them opportunities to prove, get better and enjoy coming to work.”

Jeff Cavignac leads the San Diego firm alongside seven partners. The company website says that its “team of risk advisors are experts who eat, sleep, and breathe insurance.”

Investment in Its People

The firm’s investment in its people is evident as many employees have been with the company for 20+ years or since the beginning. The firm also supports employees advancing their education by covering the cost for course registrations and providing paid time off for education.

“The biggest benefit we get out of the San Diego Business Journal’s Best Places to Work is the insights we get into what our employees think,” Cavignac said. “We may think we’re a great employer but it’s really what our employees think that counts. So, the accolades, the awards are great, but the biggest benefit we get is the insight into how to become a better employer.”

Natallie Rocha contributed to this story.