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The Blade Top Workplaces 2017

A look at the best employers in northwest Ohio and what makes them stand out

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    Ahmed Tahir, left, director of strategy and marketing, Robyn Norris, administrative assistant and dean of fun, and James L. Perry, senior vice-president-human resources and organizational excellence at Master Checmical Corp. They are in front of paintings of the company’s founders, Clyde A. Sluhan, left, and his wife, Marian Sluhan.

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  • REMAX10p-Kathy-Kuyoth-and-John-Mangas

    Kathy Kuyoth and John Mangas credit the success of Re/Max Preferred Associates to, among other things, their commitment to their employees. The pair opened their business 15 years ago and were one of few ReMax brokerages to grow consistently before, during, and after the recession.

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    Doug Kearns began washing cars for Yark at age 17 and worked his way to vice president of the company.

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Area workplaces reach for the top

Strong senior leaders set the tone for high-performing companies, but when it comes to judging whether an organization is a terrific place to work, there’s only one audience that matters: the employees.

For the fourth year, The Blade partnered with Philadelphia-based WorkplaceDynamics, an employee research and consulting firm, to determine the Toledo area’s Top Workplaces through employee surveys. FULL STORY


Top Workplaces 2017: The Winners


■ No. 1 small employer: Master Chemical Corp. employees given ‘roadmap’ to succeed

No one is ever left wondering what his colleagues are working on at Master Chemical Corp.

From manufacturing associates all the way up to the chief executive officer, everyone’s duties and goals at the Perrysburg company are made available to everyone else.

“Right now you can jump online and pull up my work plan. You know what I’m working on, where I’m at, how I’m performing. It’s not a tool to be punitive — we even say it’s not a contract, it’s a roadmap,” said James Perry, the company’s senior vice president for human resources and organizational excellence. FULL STORY


■ No. 1 midsize employer: Re/Max Preferred Associates keeps family focus

For 15 years, the owners of Re/​Max Preferred Associates have abided by a strict principle — no one working in their office will get a side sweetheart deal that would set them above other real estate agents.

“It’s cost us a few times. We’ve had a few top agents contact us and say, ‘I can be your loss-leader,’” said broker and co-owner John Mangas. “We’ve had to say, ‘Thanks for the thought, but we’re not interested.’”

Selling out just to add a sales star to the lineup would be seen as a betrayal, broker and co-owner Kathy Kuyoth agreed. The company, which opened in 2001 and still has 21 of its original 27 agents, is “run more like a family than a workplace,” Mrs. Kuyoth said. FULL STORY


■ No. 1 large employer: Best people drive Yark Automotive Group's achievements

At Toledo’s Yark Automotive Group, which sells 11 brands of vehicles including Jeeps, the most valuable assets aren’t the shiny new four-wheeled products hot off the assembly line.

No, the company’s most treasured possessions, in which it invests much time and money, are its 450 employees.

“You can build buildings and order the inventory and do all the different things you do, but without good people none of this is possible,” Yark Vice President Doug Kearns said of the company’s many accomplishments, including being northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan’s new and used vehicle sales volume leader for 22 consecutive years, a streak that was extended in 2016.

When Yark Automotive owner John Yark and his late brother, Jim, started the company in 1981 with a single Oldsmobile dealership, they realized that the way they were ultimately going to be successful was by having the best people, Mr. Yark said. FULL STORY

Toledo region's best workplaces at a glance


■ Special award categories

WorkplaceDynamics chooses special award recipients based on standout scores for employee responses to specific survey statements. Employees rate these statements on a seven-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. This year’s winners are:


Based on the statement: “I have confidence in the leader of this company.”

■ Large employer: James Kamsickas, Dana Inc.

■ Midsize employer: J.R. Toland, Savage & Associates Inc.

■ Small employer: Steve Wurth, Wurtec Inc.


Based on the statement: “I believe this company is going in the right direction.”

Winner: Ohio Living Home Health and Hospice


Based on the statements: “My manager helps me learn and grow,” ”My manager makes it easier to do my job well,” and “My manager cares about my concerns.”

Winner: Harbor Behavioral Health

New ideas

Based on the statement: “New ideas are encouraged at this company.”

Winner: Plante Moran PLLC


Based on the statement: “At this company, we do things efficiently and well.”

Winner: The Danberry Co.


Based on the statement: “My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful.”

Winner: Comfort Keepers


Based on the statement: “This company operates by strong values and ethics.”

Winner: Fifth Third Bank

Clued-in senior management

Based on the statement: “Senior managers understand what is really happening at this company.”

Winner: Meritage Hospitality Group (dba Wendy’s of Ohio)


Based on the statement: “I feel well-informed about important decisions at this company.”

Winner: iHeartRadio Toledo


Based on the statement: “I feel genuinely appreciated at this company.”

Winner: Visiting Angels of Toledo

Work/​life flexibility

Based on the statement: “I have the flexibility I need to balance my work and personal life.”

Winner: The JDI Group


Based on the statement: “I get the formal training I want for my career.”

Winner: Taylor Automotive Family


Based on the statement: “My benefits package is good compared to others in this industry.”

Winner: GenoaBank


■ Repeat winners

Here are the employers marking their fourth consecutive year on The Blade’s Top Workplaces list:

■ Ballas Buick GMC

■ Bolt Express LLC

■ Christian Home Care

■ Ed Schmidt Auto Inc.

■ Harbor Behavorial Health

■ MassMutual Ohio

■ Master Chemical Corp.

■ Plante Moran PLLC

■ Taylor Automotive Family

■ William Vaughan Co.

■ Yark Automotive Group

Here are the employers marking their third year on The Blade’s Top Workplaces list:

■ Cardinal Staffing Services

■ Central City Ministry of Toledo

■ Fifth Third Bank

■ Lubrizol

■ Ohioans Home Healthcare

■ The JDI Group

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