Sponsored by Oregon Business

Profiles of the 2011 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2011
Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Rachel Shelton (front), Jewel Miller (at right) and other employees at Ruby Receptionists strike a tree pose during a company yoga session, just one of the many perks for those who work at the 8-year-old virtual receptionist company.
When customers give positive feedback, Ruby Receptionists employees add the kudos — and their own personal designs — to company compliment books.
Stacey Thompson plucks a banjo at Ruby Receptionists. One of the things employees appreciate about working at Ruby is that they still have time for creative side projects like playing in bands or making movies.
Jill Nelson, president of Ruby Receptionists, says she and a friend chose the retro name Ruby because it harkens back to a time when friendly, personal service was the norm. // Photos by Eric Näslund
Jill Nelson herself admits it: sitting at a desk, answering phones all day long — being a receptionist — is not traditionally a fun job.

But the founder and president of RUBY RECEPTIONISTS (NO. 2 BEST MEDIUM COMPANY), a virtual answering service in Portland with more than 1,000 business clients across the nation, says that core values like “foster happiness” and “practice wowism” truly permeate her company, leading to satisfied clients and smiling employees.

“People who like making people’s days do a great job here,” says Nelson, who started Ruby in 2003 as one of its three original receptionists.

The receptionists at Ruby — there are 40 now, as well as 20 other employees — pride themselves on their mix of professionalism and good cheer. It’s a blend that helps drive the company and make it a good place to work. The average Ruby receptionist makes about $14 an hour, gets health benefits at 32 hours and, new last year, can participate in the company’s 401(k) plan.

The relatively young staff, many of whom are involved in bands or films or other creative side projects, also have opportunities to grow professionally and personally within Ruby. And three years ago when employee morale seemed to sag, Nelson zeroed in on staffing shortages as the main culprit. The company has since stayed on top of its hiring needs, which has helped drive average employee longevity up from 275 days to 521.

Nelson is also a big believer in celebrating her company’s success with those who help make it happen. For Ruby Receptionists, which doubled its revenues in 2010 to $3.9 million, it means company parties that Nelson herself calls legendary.

“I think you really want to create an environment where employees feel rewarded and treated well,” she says, “one where, if it ever did get hard for us, our staff would be right there with us.”



Gern Blenston
+1 #1 Great Photos!Gern Blenston 2011-03-12 10:23:03
Whoever this Eric Naslund guy is, his work just rocks! The one of Matt Lonsbury is just epic.
Quote | Report to administrator

More Articles

One Tough Mayor

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Betty Roppe steers Prineville into the future.


Downtime with Patrick Criteser

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Live, Work Play with the President and CEO of Tillamook County Creamery Association.


The 5 most/least expensive rental neighborhoods in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, September 24, 2015
092515neighborhoodthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Oregon's population is booming, and so are rental costs.


More Than Meets the Eye

Guest Blog
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

On September 17, the much anticipated Fed decision was delivered and the equity markets haven't liked it.


5 questions for ImpactFlow CEO Tyler Foreman

The Latest
Thursday, August 13, 2015

Portland-based startup ImpactFlow recently announced a $5.7 million funding round. CEO and co-founder Tyler Foreman talks about matching businesses with nonprofits, his time at Intel and the changing face of philanthropy.


Video: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon 2015

The Latest
Monday, October 05, 2015
100-best-NP-logo-2015-video-thumbVIDEO BY JESSE LARSON

Profiling some of the organizations featured in the 2015 list.


Photos: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon awards dinner

The Latest
Thursday, October 01, 2015
100best202thumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the big 2015 celebration of worker-friendly organizations that make a difference.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02