Patel, Greene & Associates in Bartow (No. 3), Clark/Nikdel/Powell (No. 10) in Winter Haven, and CPS Investment Advisors (No. 27) in Lakeland were among the 42 Florida entries in the Small Company category that ranked businesses with 15 to 49 employees. A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure in Bartow was No. 26 among the 30 entries in the Midsize Company list of employers with 50 to 249 employees.

That’s according to Florida Trend magazine, which recently released its 2016 ranking of exemplary employers within the state.

Patel, Greene & Associates in Bartow (No. 3), Clark/Nikdel/Powell (No. 10) in Winter Haven, and CPS Investment Advisors (No. 27) in Lakeland were among the 42 Florida entries in the Small Company category that ranked businesses with 15 to 49 employees.

A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure in Bartow was No. 26 among the 30 entries in the Midsize Company list of employers with 50 to 249 employees.

This is the eighth year Florida Trend has compiled its “Best Companies to Work For in Florida” rankings.

“To be voted as a ‘Best Place to Work’ is a highlight for me personally because I think we’ve got some great people who work here,” said Rob Kincart, A-C-T’s president. “It also sends a solid message to our customers.

“We believe happy folks here make our customers happy as well.”

Established in 1987, A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure is an environmental science, engineering, and field services firm.

Among employee perks, Kincart said A-C-T keeps a freezer stocked with ice cream and offers workers a chance to socialize during “Fun Fridays.”

“We realize they spend a lot of time away from home for their work, so we want to make sure they enjoy that time,” Kincart said.

Patel, Greene & Associates — a transportation engineering firm — was founded in 2011, but has quickly established itself as a desirable workplace.

“When my partner and I started this, we just wanted to build a company where we valued our employees more than the places we came from valued theirs,” said Gordon Greene, vice president, referring to himself and co-founder Hiren Patel.

Greene said the Bartow business hosts monthly get-togethers for employees, which have included attending a Tampa Bay Rays game and a weekend getaway for workers and their families at St. Pete Beach.

Meanwhile, Clark/Nikdel/Powell — a marketing, advertising, and web development firm established in 1991 — offers benefits such as an open vacation policy and a $200 check for employees on their birthdays.

Alex Nikdel, the company’s president, said its culture is based on cultivating a shared vision and continuously improving processes.

“The fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to managing creative work that you find in many advertising agencies doesn’t always scale well,” Nikdel said in a news release. “It may sound counter-intuitive, but adding more structure and discipline has made our agency team happier and our work even better.”

CPS Investment Advisors was established in 1975 by late founder Chas P. Smith.

The Lakeland firm manages $1 billion in client assets throughout the U.S.

“We’re honored to receive this award,” said James Luffman, a principal partner at CPS, in a statement. “We have a great staff, wonderful clients, alliance members, and I enjoy coming to work every day.”

“We try to have a family environment with a flexible work schedule,” Luffman said.

Workers go to ball games together and participate in fitness programs, which helps brings a sense of teamwork and camaraderie, Luffman said.

By:  John Ceballos

The Ledger