2012 100 Best Companies best practices

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012

Pacific Continental Bank

0312_100BestFeature_02
From left: CEO Hal Brown, banking assistant Trina Marshall, and Mitch Hagstrom, president of the Greater Eugene market, take a card break.
The company 401(k) match at Pacific Continental Bank is based on the bank’s annual return on investments. So, for example, if the bank realizes a 1% return, it matches contributions with a buck.

In 2009, the now 40-year-old bank actually experienced a small loss, so there was no match that year. But rather than accept an offer of a 50-cent match no matter the annual return, employees opted to be positive about the bank’s future.

“They said, ‘No, we want to be on the upside,’” says Hal Brown, CEO.

Pacific Continental has since rebounded, but Brown says the example typifies the commitment of the bank’s roughly 250 employees. Even more illustrative, he adds, is that 155 of those employees have been with Pacific Continental more than five years.

The bank doesn’t have massage tables for tellers or company beer nights; what it does have, according to Brown, is a culture of respect and appreciation for everyone. When someone asked him recently if he’d had to play his CEO card, Brown had to chuckle.

“I don’t think anybody plays the boss card here,” he says. “There is a mutual respect that just permeates the whole company.”

0312_100BestFeature_03
Above: Daria Luckman tests Vernier's LabQuest Interface, one of the company's data collection units.
Below: The Vernier team gets in a bit of excercise and recreation together. (That's the boss, David Vernier,  in the blue T-shirt, at left.)
// Photos by Matthew D'Annunzio
0312_100BestFeature_04

Vernier Software and Technology

The employee spectrum at this educational technology company spans from Ph.D. scientists to laborers who pack cardboard boxes — and everything in between.

But according to company president David Vernier, such distinctions mean very little, setting the tone for what it’s like to work at Vernier.

“One of our strong suits is that nobody’s better than anybody else,” says Vernier, a former high school science teacher who founded the company in 1981.

At Vernier, that means that everyone works — and plays — together. On top of a slew of traditional benefits, the company, which develops data collection software and sensors for use in classrooms, hosts frequent parties, weekly volleyball, soccer and basketball games, and occasional movie days. Employees also get access to Vernier’s Sunriver condo for three days every year.

The company focuses plenty on sustainability initiatives, from its LEED-certified building to a smattering of fruit trees and blueberry bushes planted out back.

Vernier says creating such a work environment helps foster a workforce that’s healthy, happy and in it for the long haul.

“We don’t lose a lot of people,” he says.

 



 

More Articles

Store Bought

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened its third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; another outpost in Bend broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Fueling Up for the Climb

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY GREGG MORRIS

Rita Hansen aims to scale natural gas vehicle innovation.


Read more...

Loose Talk

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

When gossip crosses the line.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS