Titans of Tomorrow: Overview

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Mention Seattle around the world and people most likely think of Microsoft. Or Starbucks. Or Amazon. On further reflection, they might come up with Nordstrom or Costco. Who else is there? The list is surprisingly scant. There’s Paccar, the truck maker that most consumers haven’t heard of, but whose Kenworth and Peterbilt brands are known globally. There’s Weyerhaeuser, the timber company. And Boeing? Well, it’s certainly an enormous presence here, but the corporate headquarters is in Chicago.

Despite its prominent technology sector and overall entrepreneurial energy, Washington remains underrepresented in the country’s list of large-cap companies for its population. Only eight firms from Washington occupy the S&P 500 (compared with 19 from Minnesota and 15 from Georgia), and only three make the Fortune 100 list. Clearly, there’s room for more.

No one can predict what scrappy startup will rocket to spectacular success, although in the accompanying story (page 34) we offer a few such “gazelles” with the potential to make it big. There also are some big players whose profiles make their chances of surviving in the long term as independent companies more questionable. That group contains companies like Clearwire, which carries debt and will likely be swallowed up by another carrier, and Seattle Genetics, whose success depends on uncertain clinical trials, and Intellectual Ventures, whose business model is not yet proven. We also left many state banks off the list because, while some have seen incredibly healthy growth recently, few seem likely to emerge beyond a regional presence in the coming years.

We identified 10 companies in our state that seem positioned to break out and eventually become tomorrow’s titans. Old-fashioned fundamentals guided our choices. We selected mid-cap companies with valuations around $2 billion. These firms have been around awhile—thus ruling out some glamorous technology companies—and have demonstrated strong, stable management that can adjust to change. In addition, each appears strongly positioned to benefit from shifting currents in its sector, and to grow someday beyond the $10 billion large-cap threshold. Most have a strong national or international presence already. Collectively, they show what it takes to succeed.

Some of the companies such, as Expedia, the travel site, and Expeditors International, the global logistics company, are well on their way to greatness. Others, including Alaska Air Group, the airline company, Concur Technologies, the travel expense software provider, and Saltchuk Resources, the air, land and sea freight services company, we’ve covered recently in these pages. In this case, we’ve chosen to profile five companies that may be lesser known, yet, through steady growth and strong management, have shown the potential to emerge as new anchors for our state’s economy:

F5 Networks: Expanding into New Growth Markets

Symetra: Keeping the Long View

Esterline Technologies: Customer-driven Growth

Coinstar: Innovating a New Sector

Itron: Rising with the Water Line

Emerging Titans: Apptio, Inrix, Tableau Software, Zulily, Valve Corporation

 

    100 Best Companies to Work For 2016: The Complete List

    100 Best Companies to Work For 2016: The Complete List

    It’s back! The list that every company wants to be on.
     
     

    The results you see here are based on confidential employee surveys as well as a company’s level of employee participation. For example, if a company scores well in the 10 categories described below but has low employee participation, it doesn’t do as well in the rankings as a company with similar scores and a much better participation rate.

    The research firm Fieldwork Webwork compiles and ranks the detailed responses of thousands of employees who rate their firms anonymously in these categories: benefits, communication, corporate culture, hiring/retention, executive leadership, performance standards, responsibility/decision making, rewards/recognition, training/education and workplace environment.

    The list notes the category or categories in which each company has scored highest. 

    Small Companies
    (15 to 40 employees)

    1. Adler Giersch PS
    Top category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 19
    adlergiersch.com
    Personal-injury law firm with offices in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and Kent.

    2. Provisional Recruiting + Staffing
    Top category: Work Environment
    Location: Spokane
    Employees: 15
    provisional.com
    Recruiting and staffing firm specializing in the financial, commercial, health care and technology sectors.

    3. PICR Inc.
    Top category: Work Environment
    Location: Vancouver
    Employees: 18
    picr.com
    On-demand marketplace designed to make finding and booking a professional photographer convenient.

    4. Board & Vellum
    Top category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 20
    boardandvellum.com
    Architecture firm focusing on custom residential, retail, commercial and multifamily projects.
    Read more about Board & Vellum here.

    5. Evergreen Beauty College
    Top category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Everett
    Employees: 35
    evergreenbeauty.edu
    Nationally accredited cosmetology school providing training at campuses in Everett, Bellevue and Renton.

    6. Parker Staffing Services
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 24
    parkerservices.com
    Staffing firm hiring for administrative, customer service and clerical roles in the Puget Sound region.

    7. Kinetic Sports Rehab
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 35
    kineticsportsrehab.com
    Hybrid clinic blending traditional physical therapy, sports chiropractic and sports medicine.
    Read more about Kinetic Sports Rehab here.

    8. Schlemlein Goetz Fick & Scruggs PLLC
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 23
    sgfslaw.com
    Law practice emphasizing resolution of complex business disputes via trial, arbitration and mediation.

    9. Amaxra Inc.
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Redmond
    Employees: 25
    amaxra.com
    Microsoft Gold Certified partner helping businesses with Office 365 solutions, including email and SharePoint. 

    10. Zumobi
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 30
    zumobi.com
    Media company that partners with top brands to publish apps and provide mobile advertising.

    11. Sustainable Interiors
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Fife
    Employees: 20
    sustainableint.com
    Provider of flooring and other interior finishes in seven Western states.

    12. UpTop
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 31
    uptopcorp.com
    User-experience design firm specializing in research for websites, mobile apps and other digital products.

    13. C+C
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 35
    cplusc.com
    Social marketing and public relations firm with offices in Seattle, Portland, Boston and Washington, D.C. 

    14. Level 11
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 24
    level11.com
    Technology services and software product engineering firm developing cloud-based platforms.

    15. Echodyne Corporation
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 23
    echodyne.com
    Startup developing metamaterials-based, high-performance radar for drones, robots and self-driving cars. 

    16. Altriva Solutions
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 15
    altriva.com
    Professional services firm specializing in customer relationship management solutions. 

    17. Spare5
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 16
    spare5.com
    Collector and disseminator of data gleaned through crowdsourced information provided by smartphone users. 

    18. Tri-Digital Inc.
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Redmond
    Employees: 28
    tri-digital.com
    Digital media services firm specializing in capture of content from live events and distribution for later use. 

    19. The Resource Group
    Top Category: Executive Leadership; Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Renton
    Employees: 20
    resgroup.com
    Developer of software for financial management, accounting and enterprise resource planning. 

    20. Prime Team Partners
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 15
    primeteampartners.com
    Staffing firm specializing in placing technology professionals. 

    21. Outreach
    Top Category: Communication; Corporate Culture
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 25
    outreach.io
    Startup providing automation tools that help sales representatives operate more efficiently. 

    22. Fierce Inc.
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 32
    fierceinc.com
    Leadership development and training company.

    23. ClassifiedAds.com
    Top Category: Communication
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 15
    classifiedads.com
    Free classified advertising site serving the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, India, Mexico, the Caribbean and the U.K. 

    24. Humanix Corporation
    Top Category: Executive Leadership; Work Environment
    Location: Spokane Valley
    Employees: 15
    humanix.com
    Largest independent recruiting and staffing firm in the Inland Northwest. 

    25. Atlas Informatics
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 34
    atlas.co
    Maker of Atlas Recall, a personal search engine that makes finding content across multiple devices easier.

    26. Fresh Consulting
    Top Category: Communication
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 39
    freshconsulting.com
    Web design and development agency. 

    27. Full Beaker Inc.
    Top Category: Corporate Culture
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 15
    fullbeaker.com
    Lead-generation and management company specializing in leads driven through internal technology. 

    28. Image Source
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Kirkland
    Employees: 30
    imagesourceteam.com
    Full-service branded merchandise and apparel agency.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Midsize Companies
    (41-100 employees)

    1. RedCloud Consulting
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 45
    redcloudconsulting.com
    Boutique management consulting firm. 

    2. American Income–Altig
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Redmond
    Employees: 93
    altig.com
    Agency representing American Income Life Insurance Co., with affiliate offices in 18 states and seven provinces.

    3. CardTapp
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 48
    cardtapp.com
    Builder of customized apps for salespeople in the mortgage, real estate and insurance sectors. 

    4. Bizible
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 60
    bizible.com
    Software-as-a-service provider helping online marketers determine “what’s working.”

    5. Realself
    Encouraging stories of transformation.
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 100
    realself.com
    Online resource for sharing information about cosmetic surgery, dentistry and other elective treatments. 
    Read more about RealSelf here. 

    6. Pacific Capital Resource Group Inc.
    Top Category: Performance Standards
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 60
    pcrg.com
    Financial services firm serving business owners, professionals and families. 

    7. Prime 8 Consulting
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 99
    prime8consulting.com
    Management consulting firm centered on eight core values. 
    Read more about Prime 8 Consulting here. 

    8. Caiman Consulting
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Redmond
    Employees: 48
    caimanconsulting.com
    Management consulting firm that focuses on solving business and technology problems.

    9. Gravity Payments
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 83
    gravitypayments.com
    Credit card payment processing company. 

    10. AIM Consulting
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 65
    aimconsulting.com
    Consulting company focused on strategizing and executing end-to-end technology solutions. 

    11. Artefact
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 57
    artefactgroup.com
    Technology product design and development consulting firm defining next-generation products and user experiences. 

    12. SkyKick
    Top Category: Corporate Culture
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 80
    skykick.com
    Worldwide provider of cloud management solutions for information-technology clients. 

    13. L4 Digital
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 68
    l4digital.com
    Designer and developer of user-experience products across multiple digital platforms.

    14. OAC Services Inc.
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 60
    oacsvcs.com
    Services firm with expertise in project and construction management and forensic architecture/engineering. 

    15. Tecplot Inc.
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 41
    tecplot.com
    Maker of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) visualization and analysis software for engineers and scientists. 

    16. Guidant Financial
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 89
    guidantfinancial.com
    Creator of innovative financing solutions for people seeking to start businesses with their retirement funds. 

    17. OfferUp
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 70
    offerupnow.com
    Online marketplace where people can buy and sell goods and services locally in a safe environment. 

    18. Aduro Inc.
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Redmond
    Employees: 87
    adurolife.com
    Designer of employee experiences for employers, brokers and health systems. 

    19. The Spur Group
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Redmond
    Employees: 80
    thespurgroup.com
    Consulting firm that works with technology companies and suppliers on sales, marketing and channel innovations. 

    20. Brighton Jones
    Top Category: Corporate Culture; Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 64
    brightonjones.com
    Wealth management and financial planning firm. 

    21. Loft9 Consulting
    Top Category: Training/Education
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 56
    loft9consulting.com
    Management consulting firm offering business analysis, project management and process improvement.

    22. Puget Sound Bank
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 51
    pugetsoundbank.com
    Commercial bank dedicated to meeting the needs of small and midsize businesses. 

    23. Stratos Product Development
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 88
    stratos.com
    Design and strategy consultancy specializing in medical products and consumer electronics.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Large Companies
    (More than 100 employees)

     1. BitTitan
    Making work comfortable.
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Kirkland
    Employees: 105
    bittitan.com
    Provider of cloud solutions that simplify and improve IT functions. 
    Read more about BitTitan here. 

    2. Logic20/20
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 120
    logic2020.com
    Business and technology consulting firm.

    3. Zillow Group
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 965
    zillow.com
    Online database providing estimated home values and other real estate and rental information. 

    4. Qumulo
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 112
    qumulo.com
    Builder of products that store, manage, retrieve and curate data. 

    5. Evergreen Home Loans
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 370
    evergreenhomeloans.com
    Direct lender providing home loans and related services in seven Western states.

    6. Nintex
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 130
    nintex.com
    Maker of workflow automation software, with more than 5,000 customers in 90 countries. 

    7. DataSphere Technologies
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 260
    datasphere.com
    Helps small businesses grow through mobile and online advertising and marketing. 

    8. Whitepages
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 132
    whitepages.com
    The leading provider of personal and business contact information in North America. 

    9. Rational Interaction
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 121
    rationalagency.com
    Strategy-driven, full-service digital advertising/marketing agency. 

    10. Olympia Federal Savings
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Olympia
    Employees: 108
    olyfed.com
    Financial institution for 110 years, with eight offices in Thurston and Mason counties.

    11. Baker Boyer Bank
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Walla Walla
    Employees: 165
    bakerboyer.com
    Washington state’s oldest bank, with offices in Walla Walla, Kennewick, Yakima and Milton-Freewater (Oregon). 

    12. Expedia Inc.
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 3,000
    expediainc.com
    Online travel company featuring brands such as Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity and Trivago. 

    13. Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc.
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Bothell
    Employees: 113
    alderbio.com
    Clinical-stage company developing monoclonal antibody therapeutics. 

    14. Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Enumclaw
    Employees: 387
    mutualofenumclaw.com
    Insurance company providing property/casualty coverage in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Arizona.

    15. Society Consulting
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 178
    societyconsulting.com
    Largest independent analytics consulting company in the United States. 

    16. Rover.com
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 122
    rover.com
    Online community where people can find dog sitters, dog walkers, dog daycare, etc. 

    17. Limeade
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 139
    limeade.com
    Technology company creating platforms to inspire workers to improve their health and performance. 

    18. Inrix
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Kirkland
    Employees: 140
    inrix.com
    Global software-as-a-service business providing services and apps pertaining to road traffic. 

    19. Columbia Hospitality
    Top Category: Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 387
    columbiahospitality.com
    Hospitality consulting company specializing in management of conference centers and boutique hotels. 

    20. PayScale
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 250
    payscale.com
    Compiler of the world’s largest real-time database of salary and compensation profiles 

    21. Family Home Care
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Liberty Lake
    Employees: 115
    fhccares.com
    Provider of in-home health care services to residents of eastern Washington and northern Idaho. 

    22. Possible
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 200
    possible.com
    Digital advertising, marketing and creative design agency with offices around the world. 

    23. Pitchbook
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 220
    pitchbook.com
    Research firm providing data to the private equity and venture capital sector. 
    Read more about Pitchbook here. 

    24. Verity Credit Union
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 130
    veritycu.com
    Credit union founded in 1933 with membership open to anyone who lives or works in Washington state.

    25. Prime Electric
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 300
    primeelectric.com
    Electrical and data-systems contractor founded in 1987.

    26. Schuchart/Dow
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 110
    schuchartdow.com
    Family-run general contracting firm that has helped shape the Seattle skyline for generations. 

    27. Harbor Wholesale Foods
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Lacey
    Employees: 279
    harborwholesale.com
    Family-owned food distributor serving convenience stores, universities, restaurants and other institutions since 1923. 

    28. EagleView Technologies
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Bothell
    Employees: 154
    eagleview.com
    Specialist in automating manual processes such as roof and wall measurements for builders and insurers. 

    29. Tune
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 212
    tune.com
    Software-as-a-service business providing performance analytics to mobile marketers. 

    30. F5 Networks
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 1,300
    f5.com
    Provider of hardware and software products that deliver computer network applications rapidly and securely. 

    31. Blueprint Consulting Services LLC
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Bellevue
    Employees: 180
    bpcs.com
    Consulting firm providing business management and IT solutions that bridge the gap between strategy and delivery. 

    32. Greenpoint Technologies
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Kirkland
    Employees: 192
    greenpnt.com
    A Boeing business jet completion center providing interior completions for private clients and heads of state.

     

    Companies Headquartered Outside Washington
    1. Baird
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 123
    bairdoffices.com/seattle
    Employee-owned international wealth management firm. Home office: Milwaukee, WI. 

    2. GoDaddy
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Kirkland
    Employees: 148
    godaddy.com
    Provider of website domain registry services. Home office: Scottsdale, AZ. 

    3. Navy Federal Credit Union
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: 10 brances in WA
    Employees: 89
    Home office: Vienna, VA.
    navyfederal.org
    Financial cooperative serving members of the military, defense contractors and their families. Home office: Vienna, VA 
    Read more about Navy Federal Credit Union here. 

    4. Edward Jones
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 1,022
    edwardjones.com
    Investment and financial services provider. Home office: St. Louis, MO.

    5. Grand Hyatt Seattle
    /Hyatt Olive 8
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 410
    grandseattle.hyatt.com;
    olive8.hyatt.com
    Luxury hotel properties in downtown Seattle. Home office: Chicago, IL.

    6. DOWL
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Redmond/Seattle
    Employees: 24
    dowl.com
    Planning, surveying and civil engineering firm with 25 offices in eight states. Home office: Anchorage, AK.

    7. Hulu
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 70
    Home office: Santa Monica, CA
    hulu.com
    Subscription-based streaming TV service. Home office: Santa Monica, CA. 
    Read more about Hulu here.

    8. COWI North America Inc.
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 26
    cowi-na.com
    Designer and builder of bridges, tunnels and marine facilities. Home office: North Vancouver, B.C.

    9. Novo Nordisk
    Top Category: Benefits
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 71
    novonordisk-us.com
    Global pharmaceutical and health-care treatment company. Home office: Bagsvaerd, Denmark.

    10. West Monroe Partners
    Top Category: Work Environment; Responsibility/Decision Making
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 70
    westmonroepartners.com
    Business and technology consulting firm. Home office: Chicago, IL.

    11. North Highland
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 25
    northhighland.com
    Global management consulting firm. Home office: Atlanta, GA. 

    12. Andersen Construction
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 90
    andersen-const.com
    General construction contractor. Home office: Portland, OR. 

    13. New American Funding
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Kirkland
    Employees: 95
    newamericanfunding.com
    Residential mortgage lending company with offices nationwide. Home office: Tustin, CA.

    14. Ankrom Moisan Architects
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 98
    ankrommoisan.com
    Architecture firm whose portfolio encompasses housing, offices, hospitality and retail. Home office: Portland, OR.

    15. Astronics AES
    Top Category: Work Environment
    Location: Kirkland
    Employees: 490
    astronics.com
    Designer of electrical power systems for aircraft and missiles. Home office: East Aurora, NY. 

    16. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
    Top Category: Training/Education
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 580
    pwc.com
    Provider of accounting and management consulting services. Home office: London, U.K. 

    17. Pacific Continental Bank
    Top Category: Executive Leadership
    Location: Seattle
    Employees: 34
    therightbank.com
    Provider of banking and financial services. Home office: Eugene, OR.