100 Best: In the family

100 Best: In the family

Article Index

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Above: Melissa Day, Roxanne Rotticci and Karen Fogg drink coffee by the photo wall of employee faces.
Below: The unique culture at Boly:Welch includes flexibility — and canine friends. Employee Lauren Lofano with dog Winston.
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Above: “We play together, we work together,” says Pat Welch of the team at Boly:Welch, which includes Julia Chan, Cory Mlady and Diane Boly.
Below: Boly:Welch employee Andrew Beeks enjoys a few office chocolates.
// Photos by Eric Naslund
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Boly:Welch

Location: Portland

Rank: 2nd best small company

Years on the list: 9

When Pat Welch and Diane Boly started their recruiting and consulting firm in 1986, Welch was a busy single mother, so she knew from the start how important it was to have time for both family and work. 

Twenty-seven years later, that concept is still alive and well at Boly:Welch. Need to check out early for your son’s soccer game? Go ahead. Babysitter fall through for the day? No worries, bring the kids to work and let them hang out in the loft or take them downstairs for an ice cream on the company’s tab at Baskin-Robbins. 

“We want our people to do a great job, but not at the expense of their families,” Welch says. “It’s not altruistic, it’s just smart.” 

A pet-friendly company with a wide-open door policy — “because there are no doors,” Welch says — Boly:Welch operates less on structure and more on accomplishments. That means employees are given flexibility, including time for power naps or other nonstandard breaks, in getting their work done. 

“We want people to work when the energy is going,” Welch says. “We expect quality work and ethical work, but how you do it is your choice.” 

For that work, employees are rewarded with generous benefits, unique parties including one at Silcox Hut high up on Mount Hood and an employer who lets them be more than just employees. 

“I think the biggest thing,” Welch says, “is that people feel they really have the opportunity to be who they are.”