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February 17, 2017 Best Places to Work in Connecticut 2017

#3 Small/Medium Company Category: Mintz + Hoke

Mintz + Hoke employees are holding Gold Awards at the 2016 CT Ad Club Awards ceremony.

Kathy Morelli started at Mintz + Hoke 10 years ago as an account coordinator. Today, she heads up the firm's digital technology department. She is just one of many employees who exemplify the agency's commitment to professional growth.

“Kathy expressed an interest and Ron saw the potential there. This company is going to encourage you,” says Human Resources Manager Christine Matonti, referring to the agency's president, Ron Perine.

“Those who want more responsibility will be proactive. That's what I'm looking for,” adds Perine. “If you have the wherewithal to create an opportunity, by all means, bubble it up.”

The philosophy fits Mintz + Hoke, an Avon-based agency specializing in branding, media, advertising, public relations and digital marketing.

“Here, I found an environment that is not only a culture of energy and passion, but also has the opportunity for people to be creative, bring ideas, and move up in the company,” says copywriter Carli Preli. “You are hired with the expectation that you have something to bring to the table, and you are valued from day one.”

Becca Sheehan, a senior media planner for the firm, agrees.

“I've been here 10 years and know whether someone's been here five minutes or 10 years, they are just as passionate,” she says. “It's exciting when you see the way everyone strives to be their best.”

Perine says total inclusion and exchange of ideas is vital to the success of his agency.

“One way we keep tabs on what our staff wants is by using TINYpulse — a program that sends out a question every two weeks and allows employees to answer anonymously,” he says. “It's a tool that's helped us immensely. We've made modifications to our process by using it, and employees know that we care what they think.”

That inclusion bolsters loyalty. According to Matonti, it's easy to name employees who have been with the company 20 years or more. Dedication is rewarded through work anniversary gift cards and other ways.

On the community involvement front, company team building exercises are created around projects to support any number of local organizations.

“I just did my fourth year at the Habitat for Humanity build,” says Preli, referring to an initiative that involves dozens of agency employees rolling up their sleeves to rehab homes in the Hartford area.

Sheehan says that kind of effort comes naturally to the Mintz + Hoke team.

“These are people who like to donate time as it is, then having support from the company — it's inspiring,” she says. “They really care, and we don't forget about people. It makes you want to be here.”

In addition, agency leadership adds in some fun and games for employees in the form of discounted tickets to local family entertainment or sporting events. Friday massages courtesy of a licensed masseuse are also a favorite perk.

Career development is a priority at Mintz + Hoke, and employees are given every opportunity to excel in their area of expertise, or to learn a new one if they show interest. Employees are encouraged to discuss their goals, which may lead to the development of a seminar focused on an area of expressed interest.

“I'm going for my MBA right now and they are funding it,” says Matonti. “They know that in the long run, it will benefit the agency as a whole.”

Being named among the best places to work in Connecticut — again — is an honor Perine doesn't take lightly.

“It says a lot about our culture, and that, in turn, resonates with our clients,” he says. “It's a big piece of business development and it's an accomplishment for the whole agency.”

Read about the other Best Places to Work in CT 2017 winners.

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