Best and Brightest names elite-level winners


The Michigan Business & Professional Association hosts an annual awards dinner to honor West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. Photo via

The winning companies of this year’s Best and Brightest elite awards and Best of the Best awards were announced Thursday during an annual awards event honoring West Michigan businesses for their best practices in human resources.

West Michigan’s 2015 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For were recognized by the Michigan Business and Professional Association on May 7 for their innovation and best practices in human resources during an annual symposium and awards program at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.

Elite awards

More than 110 West Michigan companies included in the 2015 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For awards program competed for 10 additional elite awards in a number of categories, including communications and shared vision; community initiatives; benefits and employee solutions; diversity and inclusion; employee achievement and recognition; and strategic company performance.

Several of the elite award winners included Andy J. Egan Co, for communications and shared vision; Buist Electric, excelling in community initiatives; Greenleaf Trust, based on its compensation, benefits, and employee solutions; Crowe Horwath LLP, for diversity and inclusion; and HUMANeX Ventures, for employee achievement and recognition strategies.

Construction firm Elzinga & Volkers received an elite award for its employee education and development, while Express Employment Professionals was recognized for its employee enrichment, engagement, and retention practices. In terms of recruitment, selection and orientation, Acoustics By Design Inc. was selected as an elite winner. Consumers Credit Union received an award for its strategic company performance and Mill Steel Company was recognized for its work-life balance culture.

Two companies were also honored by MBPA as the Best of the Best Small Business and Best of the Best Overall companies in West Michigan for their practices across all of the different categories. Southwest Michigan First was selected as the Best of the Best Small Business, while MSU Federal Credit Union was recognized as the Best of the Best Overall winner for the region.

Regional best practices

The MBPA’s West Michigan Best and Brightest Companies to Work For awards competition recognizes businesses in the region with exceptional human resources practices and dedication to employee enrichment. For 2015, more than 70 large West Michigan companies and nearly 40 regional employers with less than 50 employees were recognized.

Of the West Michigan companies recognized, 41 percent offer some sort of tuition reimbursement program for employees, nearly 30 percent offer gym and equipment reimbursement, more than 50 percent have onsite games and activities, and approximately 17 percent provide massage therapy. Roughly 23 percent of all the West Michigan Best and Brightest Companies to Work For offer holistic health activities, approximately 20 percent provide relaxation and meditation areas, and 25 percent have onsite fitness classes for employees.

In terms of employee benefits, 47 percent of the 2015 regional winners had average company tenures of six to ten years, with an average of 73 percent of hires based on employee referral. Another 38 percent of hires were derived from internships and co-op programs, and more than 60 percent of the companies use internal job postings and 44 percent are leveraging social media platforms.

The program

Companies are nominated for the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For awards competition and then evaluated by an independent research-based university in a number of key measures related to human resources practices. The MBPA program is designed to provide the business community an opportunity to showcase best practices and receive recognition.

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