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Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022

Swinerton Employees Build Up Benefits as They Transform Skyline

1. Swinerton

Top local executive: Mark Payne, Vice President and Division Manager

Address: 16798 W. Bernardo Drive, San Diego 92127

U.S. employees: 3,742

What they do: Commercial construction and renewable energy

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A well-traveled barbecue smoker trailer is a key piece of equipment in the Swinerton Inc. inventory.

It doesn’t serve customers. Rather, Swinerton uses it to serve the company’s other key constituency, its employees.

Swinerton’s work with its employees won the business the top award this year in the Best Places to Work competition, mega category.

“We are very honored to have received this again for the fourth time,” said Mike Berryhill, operations manager. “Each and every one of our employees is very proud of this acknowledgement.”

Swinerton, with 3,742 U.S. employees, is in the commercial construction business. It also has a division focusing on renewable energy. Based in San Francisco, it has offices throughout the West as well as in Dallas, Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina. The company’s San Diego office was established in 1993. By now that office — in Rancho Bernardo — is one of its largest in the company, with more than 300 employees. San Diego County employees are also distributed among job sites throughout the region.

Notable projects for Swinerton in the last year include the Sycuan Casino Resort expansion and the Luma tower in Little Italy.

To make such a mark on the San Diego landscape, Swinerton does work behind the scenes supporting its employees.

First off, the company is employee owned, which motivates employees to do a good job.

The company benefits package includes medical, dental and vision coverage with a majority of the premiums covered for employees and their dependents. It offers retirement savings options (employees may begin contributions 90 days into their tenure) and the company makes a match.

Bonus awards are available annually and on the spot (as immediate recognition of outstanding efforts and demonstration of the company’s core values in action).

Swinerton annually awards stock to individuals who demonstrate a significant contribution to the organization as well as an ownership mentality of accountability and quality.

Employee perks include a catered lunch four days a week.

Swinerton makes time for its workers to recharge. Employees organize Ping-Pong matches and cornhole tournaments. There are happy hours and days to watch the San Diego Padres as well as thoroughbred horseracing at Del Mar.

Then there is the barbecue trailer. It’s a fixture at office get-togethers and job site celebrations involving employees and subcontractors. During an annual stop at the Estimating Department, employees smoke more than 150 pounds of meat.

There is even a sense of fun in charitable giving. The company’s Fall Giving Challenge encourages volunteering and fundraising for philanthropic causes — and pits divisions against each other for bragging rights. Swinerton matches all contributions to all charities involved.

2. GoDaddy

Top local executive: David Kirven, Senior Vice President of Telephony

Address: 5600 Avenida Encinas, Suite 170, Carlsbad 92008

U.S. employees: 6,749

What they do: Technology provider; HQ is in Scottsdale

Technology specialist GoDaddy bills itself as an incredible place to work, committed to diversity and accepting employees in their entirety. The publicly traded company offers employee stock ownership as well as full coverage of medical insurance premiums. Discounts are offered on home, auto, life, renters and pet insurance, and the company contributes to the health savings accounts of employees who select that type of plan. GoDaddy offers a 40% discount on child care and covers the cost of MilkStork, the breast milk shipping service, for new mothers while on business travel.

While many companies frown on employees having side income or interests, GoDaddy encourages employee “side hustles” and offers team members deep discounts on GoDaddy products and services.

Under the WowMe program, employees can recognize one another for demonstrating company values in action and going above and beyond. Recipients receive a cash reward up to $5,000.


Top local executive: Jerry Varga, San Diego office Managing Partner

Address: 3430 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 200, San Diego 92121

U.S. employees: 10,485

What they do: Audit, tax and consulting services

RSM US LLP cares about its talent. The firm invests in new training, tools and resources to ensure its people have a positive and differentiated experience. Recognizing that diversity in the workplace is key, the corporation has 11 employee network groups to promote culture, diversity and inclusion.

In addition to the usual benefits, RSM offers childcare subsidies, for the entire year or just for the busy season. Meals are served Monday-Thursday and Saturday during the busy season. There are also plentiful snacks and an in-office kegerator with nitro cold brew, kombucha and iced tea. The business offers sit-stand desks with therapeutic Wurf Boards and under-desk bicycles.

To add a sense of fun, the San Diego office hosts events such as games and happy hours. The staff follows the World Cup and March Madness, and all can participate in special events such as ice cream Fridays and the rainy day grilled cheese bar.

4. Moss Adams

Top local executive: Carisa Wisniewski, Partner in Charge

Address: 4747 Executive Drive, Suite 1300, San Diego 92121

U.S. employees: 3,125

What they do: Accounting, consulting and wealth management; HQ is in Seattle

This is Moss Adams’ sixth time on the Best Places to Work list. The firm offers a welcoming attitude (the San Diego office pioneered an onboarding program that has been adopted firmwide as a best practice) and provides an extensive menu of benefits. In addition to a robust plan for health, wellness and time off, Moss Adams offers profit-sharing and flexible hours. Extensive family friendly benefits include paid parental leave, adoption expense assistance and back-up childcare.

During peak times, time saving catered lunches and self-selected meals are delivered. Several other concierge services are also available.

Hiking, soccer, volleyball, basketball leagues and access to the gym foster healthy habits. Happy hours, group walks to the campus food truck and free Padres tickets promote camaraderie. As recognition for hard work and dedication, Moss Adams offers employees and their family/guest a team-oriented, all-expense paid, three-day luxury resort getaway. Paid sabbaticals are also offered.

5. Sundt Contrusction

Top local executive: Ryan Nessen, Vice President

Address: 1660 Hotel Circle N., Suite 400, San Diego 92108

U.S. employees: 2,013

What they do: General contractor; HQ is in Tucson

Sundt finds itself on the Best Places to Work list for the ninth year. Established in 1890, the construction firm has had an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, since 1971. If employees participate in the 401(k) plan, they maximize their ESOP through company matching contributions of up to 14 percent of their base salary to their ESOP account each year.

Benefits go beyond the traditional insurance plans. Each year, all employee-owners and their spouses have the option to participate in a health assessment. In return they receive a detailed health analysis with health goals. Sundt employee owners also have the option to eliminate debt by participating in a financial wellness program. Sundt matches charitable contributions dollar-for-dollar.

Lest anyone think the company is all work and no fun, Sundt celebrates holidays and employee birthdays with activities including costume contests, chili cook-offs, dessert competitions and games. The business offers paid sabbaticals.


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