Top Workplaces: Here are the 2023 leaders in workplace culture

The winners in some of the categories in this year’s survey of employees.

(courtesy BZI) Building Zone Industries (BZI), a leading provider of steel erection and fabrication and innovative construction systems, highlights its MezzMaster.

For many in business, good leadership is essential to move a team forward.

There are a lot of essential parts — such as a company’s values, training and work-life flexibility — that keep the wheel spinning, so companies can remain innovative players in Utah’s many industries.

Some organizations shone the brightest in different categories this year, according to the 2023 Top Workplaces survey, conducted by Energage, a Philadelphia-based research and consulting firm.

Here are some of the honorees, from the study’s 10th edition:

Leadership: large company

Jack Buttars, UFirst Credit Union • Growing UFirst Credit Union from its small beginnings to a large operation, serving 100,000 members across Utah, takes a village — and teams working with the confidence that their boss is guiding them in the right direction.

Leading a collaborative environment with kindness has distinguished the credit union’s president and CEO, Jack Buttars, employees said in the survey.

“Jack is a great representative of the culture we live at the [credit union],” one staffer wrote. “He takes time to learn who his employees are and makes an effort to treat them as equals.”

Leadership: midsize company

Mark Erickson, Tanner LLC • Keeping the books in order may be one of the most fundamental tasks any operation has to do. Tanner LLC provides accounting and advisory services to many companies in different industries, from startups to well-established names.

Mark Erickson, the head of the firm, has been instrumental in achieving Tanner LLC’s goals, some employees said in the survey. With a good track record, and relationships within the industry, his team always finds something to learn from him. However, it is his willingness to drive individuals to their success that makes him stand out.

“I have worked closely with Mark for a number of years and know how much he cares for the firm and all team members,” an employee wrote. “He is a proven leader and is looked up to by many.”

Leadership: small company

Carrie Romano, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area • It takes a great deal of empathy and trust to thrive in the business of providing a temporary stay for pediatric patients’ families.

Carrie Romano embodies that notion, her team wrote in the survey, with such greatly appreciated qualities as being adaptable, inspiration-worthy and a good listener.

This is the second straight year Romano has earned this award.

“Carrie is an amazing role model and embodies every positive quality a CEO should have.” a staff member said. “She is professional, compassionate, a great listener, makes everyone feel special, and is always wanting to hear about ideas, opinions, and goals, to take action and make sure the team is happy.”


Building Zone Industries • This Cedar City construction and steel manufacturing company has grown from 80 employees to 450 since 2016.

The way that its leadership accommodated that growth, while maintaining its work culture and incorporating innovation, stands out in the staff’s view.

“I feel like [Building Zone Industries] is branching out into multiple fields, so they can cater to growing markets and diversify their income,” a staffer commented in the survey. “In doing so, they are also providing multiple differing job opportunities, such as remote work, jobs closer to home or farther away, depending on your position and desires.”


Crucial Learning • This Provo-based company is in the business of teaching people to communicate and to deliver their best possible outcomes, with virtual and in-person courses on such topics as industry-specific communication, leadership and time management.

Managers apply what they preach, according to the survey, as employees value their consistent one-on-one feedback sessions.

“We work together really well, and our conversations are helpful to give me perspective on the company and why decisions are made as they are,” someone wrote about their manager. “I know my boss has my back and provides feedback when there are things on which I need to work or areas where I can grow.”

New ideas

Twistlab Marketing • This Salt Lake City agency has focused on custom marketing solutions for local businesses. Like many of its counterparts, innovating is what keeps them in business.

Its secret sauce is keeping channels of communication open to constantly listen to its team’s ideas.

This “ensures that all team members feel empowered to contribute their ideas,” a staff member said. “Everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts and innovative concepts during team meetings, brainstorming sessions or informal discussions.”


Elase • With four locations in Utah, this spa has cared for many skin care and anti-aging needs, along with other cosmetic procedures.

Efficiency has been crucial for this operation to exist, an employee said. In a highly competitive market, Elase stands out by keeping up with the newest technologies and offering the necessary training to incorporate them into their services.

(Jeremy Harmon | The Salt Lake Tribune) One of the Odyssey House locations in Salt Lake City on April 10, 2020.


Odyssey House of Utah • Finding meaning in the job is what keeps many workers going. That is true for those who work at Odyssey House of Utah, one of the state’s oldest behavioral health treatment centers.

Often, staffers get into the behavioral health industry to help out with specialized treatment for everyone, and they stay for the results.

“Success stories. People changing their life,” an employee wrote about what they found to be the most meaningful about working at the company, “and gaining a huge family of support from staff and clients alike.”


Slalom • This business consultant, based in Seattle with a Salt Lake City location, helps companies with cross-industry expertise to shape courageous strategies.

Employees praised their workplace for its strong values, “doing what’s right, always.”

One team member gave a specific example: “Announcing the worst first quarter in company history and not doing layoffs.”

Clued-in senior management

Ensign Engineering & Land Surveying Inc. • Many thought processes happen at Ensign Engineering & Land Surveying Inc., a Sandy-based firm that specializes in civil engineering, structural engineering and land surveying.

For some employees, clarity makes a big difference in their daily jobs.

Senior managers are able to keep track of different roles, a commenter said, which helps the team understand the reasoning behind their decisions.


Health Catalyst • This South Jordan data and analytics technology provider, focusing on the health care industry, has been on this list for 10 straight years.

This time, the team is praising the company’s communication strategy. Health Catalyst keeps its staff in the loop of any company changes, struggles and decisions, survey respondents said.

“The transparency here is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, from the highest levels at least,” one employee said. “I’ve rarely been surprised by a change in policy in my time here.”


CUI Agency • What makes employees feel appreciated at this Midvale-based insurance company happens from many sources, but overall, it’s a feeling of being taken care of.

“I like that there is trust in employees — not a lot of micromanagement,” a staffer wrote in the survey. “Seeing numbers posted motivates individuals to work harder and more efficiently. There is a lot of positive praise, and CUI is very generous in giving back.”

Work-life flexibility

Utah Foster Care • In a post-pandemic world, the work-life balance continues to be an essential discussion for most companies.

To keep up with Utah Foster Care’s mission to find, educate and nurture families to meet the needs of children in foster care, employees value their ability to step away in their time off.

The institution helps with that balance by offering “liberal remote options plus flexible schedules. Generous [paid time off] with a sick account option,” one staffer said. “Allowing us to contribute [paid time off] to other staff who need it is also so helpful.”


Fidelity Investments • Many Fidelity Investment employees have taken advantage of the company’s financial and insurance services training opportunities.

Most survey responders appreciated being able to get prepared to get their licenses and obtain the necessary knowledge to climb up the company ladder.

“I wouldn’t have been able to pass [my Series 7 licensing] exam without the supportive team around me. We had tutoring provided and plenty of time to study at work. It was the best combination for success,” an employee said. “Additionally, since then I’ve passed my [Series 66 licensing,] which led to my current role.”


MarketDial • This Salt Lake City software company offers a platform that provides retailers with comprehensive testing to foreshadow the success of their business initiatives.

Overall, its staff is happy with its benefits package, the survey results said, with a “top-notch” health care coverage and 401k match.

Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America corps member and writes about the status of communities on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.