Missoula JSEC Employers of Choice named for 2020

  • — February 26 2020

The Missoula Job Service Employers' Council (JSEC) is pleased to announce the selection of three local businesses for the 2020 Employers of Choice Award. 

Each year, Missoula JSEC honors local businesses that welcome innovation, value employees, and engage with the community. Award winners were selected for each of three categories based on size: businesses with 25 or fewer employees, 26 to 50 employees and businesses with more than 50 employees. This year, Submittable, Cats on Broadway, and Bitterroot Disposal received awards for their dedication to positive workplaces and contributions to communities in Missoula and Ravalli counties.

All three businesses will be honored at a luncheon hosted by Missoula JSEC. 

About the winners:

Submittable employs 130 people and has been in business for 10 years, almost doubling in size last year. The Missoula SAAS, or software as a service company, provides cloud-based submission management that helps clients accept, review and make decisions on digital content. It is used by over 2 million users and 10,000 clients worldwide, including National Geographic, AT&T, Harvard University, and the University of Montana.

Employee benefits include insurance options, 401(k), life insurance, and optional Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, Dependent Care Accounts and commuter benefits, flexible vacations and sick leave, generous paid parental leave policy, on-site child care, discounted fitness memberships, personal development stipends of $500-$1,000 per year, book purchase reimbursements, company volunteer outings at local nonprofits, fully stocked kitchens with complimentary snacks and beverages, and gender-neutral bathrooms with complimentary hygiene products.

The CEO, Michael FitzGerald, holds weekly drop-in office hours. There is an Employee Voice Committee and a Leadership Engagement Group that discusses best practices around topics such as accountability and conflict resolution.

“Submittable is committed to hiring driven, ambitious, and kind people who have done hard things in their personal and/or professional lives,” wrote Asta So, head of people for the business, and the award nominator. 

Employees can nominate one another for awards, and staff can attend an annual holiday party, summer party, “Sushi Fridays” every month, and company lunches every other month.  Submittable also runs a month-long writing residency for writers from underrepresented backgrounds.

Cats On Broadway Veterinary Hospital has six employees at its West Broadway Street location. It opened in 1992 and has been owned by Dr. Jenny Ault for the past five years. It offers veterinary services, food, grooming, and boarding for cats. According to manager Bryan Ault, who nominated the business, it is the first and only feline-exclusive clinic in Missoula.

Since Dr. Ault acquired the practice, she has phased in benefits, including paid time off, rewards for meeting clinic goals, paid health insurance, holiday pay, and fun team-building exercises. The clinic enlisted consultants to come in and help strengthen staff’s leadership skills. Monthly executive meetings and weekly staff meetings allow everyone to have input on the company’s direction and resolutions to issues. 

Out in the community, the clinic works to educate cat owners about the importance of regular veterinary care. 

“Many people don’t realize that cats often hide their symptoms until they are very sick. Too many times, a preventable problem becomes a fatal condition before owners seek medical care for their pets,” Bryan Ault wrote. 

The clinic offers outreach on Facebook, a blog, and a newsletter. It regularly donates to AniMeals, the Humane Society of Western Montana and Friends of the Shelter. It hopes to offer workshops to the public and help restart the 4-H cat project in the future. 

“Our goal is to bring world-class veterinary care to the cats of Missoula and the surrounding area,” Ault wrote

Bitterroot Disposal in Victor has 25 employees and has been in business for more than 45 years. 

Community Relations Manager Jennifer Bernosky nominated the business, saying, “It’s a challenging industry, where teamwork is essential and open communication paramount. While always looking to add new talent, our average employee tenure is 10 years, with two staff members at 25 years and several between 15-10 years.”

The benefits that keep them there include a competitive salary, plus family health benefits, including medical, dental, vision, flexible spending account and/or healthcare savings account, life insurance and 401(k) retirement benefits, and an allowance for annual work boots and all personal protection equipment.  

The business donates tens of thousands in monetary sponsorships and donated services. It partners with local nonprofits to buy Christmas gifts for less fortunate children. It has added commercial cardboard recycling for Hamilton businesses after a local recycling nonprofit discontinued collection.

According to Bernosky, the company’s core purpose is honoring commitments, providing stakeholders peace of mind, and establishing itself as the premier waste-services company in the markets it services. Operating values are safety, integrity, customer service, and being a great place to work.

Contact Sam Loveridge: Public Information Officer, Department of Labor and Industry
Back To Top